Archive for July, 2016

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, July 31st, 2016
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SINGLE-VEHICLE WRECK U.S. 12 OAKVILLE

• A 68-year-old driver was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle this morning after his car wrecked off U.S. Highway 12 about two miles west of Oakville, according to the Washington State Patrol. Don J. Scott of Aberdeen was headed west when his Mercury Marquis crossed over the oncoming lane, traveled over an embankment and struck a tree, according to the state patrol. Troopers were called about 8:40 a.m. and are investigating the cause of the crash.

TWO-VEHICLE COLLISION U.S. HIGHWAY 12 OAKVILLE

• Two people from Shelton were taken to the hospital after their Subaru Outback struck a cargo trailer being towed by a pickup truck that came into their lane on U.S. Highway 12 about two miles west of Oakville today. Troopers called about 12:50 p.m. to the scene cited the driver of the 2014 Ford F150 with second-degree negligent driving, according to the Washington State Patrol. The investigating trooper indicated David F. Moen, 73, from Albany, Oregon, was westbound, fell asleep at the wheel, ran into the ditch, overcorrected and crossed into the eastbound lane. Moen and his passenger were reportedly uninjured. But the 88-year-old driver of the Subaru and his 77-year-old passenger were taken to Summit Pacific Hospital, according to the state patrol.

TWO VEHICLE CRASH U.S. HIGHWAY 12 PACKWOOD

• One person was hurt when a Jeep stopped for an elk on U.S. Highway 12 in Packwood and was rear ended by a pickup truck. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee was able to be driven from the scene and its driver Nicole J. Beaudoin, and its passenger, Paul E. Knollman, both 35 years old and from Seattle were reportedly unhurt, according to the Washington State Patrol. The driver of the 2011 Ford F150 pickup, Ignacio L. Sanchez, 59, from Yakima, was issued citations for following too closely and not having insurance, according to the state patrol. His 25-year-old passenger, Jessica V. Jimenez, also from Yakima, was transported to Morton General Hospital, the investigating trooper reports. The vehicles were westbound about 9:45 p.m. on Friday when it happened.

MISSING MOWER

• Centralia police were called at about 10:30 a.m. yesterday about a lawn mower missing from the 1800 block of Van Wormer Street.

CAR PROWL SUSPECT CAUGHT

• A male juvenile was arrested and booked for vehicle prowl in an early morning case yesterday associated with the 1100 block of Woodland Avenue in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, drugs, harassment, probation violation, misdemeanor domestic assault, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, third-degree theft, malicious mischief, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more, among 323 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 48-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Man imprisoned for Lewis County molestation now faces indefinite detention

Saturday, July 30th, 2016
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By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A former local man nearing release after serving an approximately 27 year prison sentence found himself brought before a Lewis County judge, where state attorneys are asking to keep him locked up.

Dannell Harris was 24 years old when he broke into the home of acquaintances, looking for drugs and money, according to court documents.

The family’s 4-year-old girl was sleeping on the couch, and when he left, he took a BB gun, a few dollars, and the child with him.

Court documents go on to relate how the father discovered she was missing at 3 a.m. It was Nov. 23, 1989, a Thanksgiving morning.

Police searched and later that morning, found the little girl in a car abandoned on a logging road not far from Centralia.

Harris was convicted two months later of second-degree kidnapping, first-degree burglary and first-degree child molestation in Lewis County Superior Court. He was given a sentence of 332 months.

This week, the state Attorney General’s Office filed a petition in Lewis County Superior Court to civilly commit Harris for an indefinite period of time, contending he is a sexually violent predator.

Harris had a previous conviction for third-degree rape in a 1988 case. He also had a 1985 conviction for second-degree robbery. Both were in Thurston County.

The state contends Harris has a mental abnormality and is likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence if released. The allegations in the petition have to be proven at a trial.

In 1990, Washington became the first state in the nation to pass a law permitting the involuntary civil commitment of sex offenders after they serve their criminal sentences. The attorney general’s office’s special division to handle those cases was created shortly after that.

Harris, now 50, was transported from the Twin Rivers Correctional Center at Monroe to Lewis County and brought before a judge on Thursday.

A Lewis County Superior Court judge had already seen the petition and found probable case for the case to go forward. An order was signed directing the custodial detention and evaluation of Harris.

An evaluation will be done by an expert chosen by the state, to include penileplethysmograph and polygraph testing, according to court documents.

Among the documents in the petition are those signed by a psychologist who evaluated Harris in 2009, conducting  four and half hours of clinical interview and reviewing more than 2,000 pages of documents.

The psychologist this week signed a declaration that it’s still his opinion Harris has a mental abnormality that causes him serious difficulty controlling his sexually violent behavior. Dr. Dale Arnold wrote he read 700 pages of updated records to come to his present conclusion.

In his report, he makes note of information from his interview that states Harris had some 400 sexual partners by the time he was incarcerated, had only begun to feel sexual desire for young girls a few months before the kidnapping and that Thanksgiving morning of 1989 was the first time he’d acted upon the feelings.

Harris is represented by two lawyers, Pete MacDonald and Ival Gaer.

The state’s aim is to keep Harris in a secure facility for control, care and treatment until his condition has changed.

Judge James Lawler on Thursday signed an order to transport Harris to the Special Commitment Center at McNeil Island. Currently, 283 individuals are being held under the program.

During fiscal year 2015, the attorney general’s office’s special division tried 15 cases and won 10 civil commitments.

News brief: Stump burning at origin of small wildfire

Saturday, July 30th, 2016
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One outbuilding was lost to fire west of Centralia / Courtesy photo by Riverside Fire Authority

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Authorities suspect an attempt by a property owner to burn out a tree stump led to the spread of flames that destroyed an outbuilding yesterday west of Centralia.

Firefighters were called about 12:50 p.m. yesterday for a grass and brush fire at the 1700 block of Bunker Creek Road, according to Riverside Fire Authority. It was described as about 100 feet by 200 feet in size.

By the time crews arrived, one building on the property had burned, according to Fire Capt. Scott Weinert.

“The Department of Natural Resources was summoned to assist with the extinguishment operation,” Weinert stated.

The damage is estimated at $20,000 for the building and $4,000 for its contents, according to Weinert.

News brief: Purse, backpack taken by force

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Centralia police are investigating an early morning robbery in which an individual reported a purse and backpack were stolen after a threat with a knife.

Officers were called at 6:44 a.m. to the 1600 block of North Scheuber Road, according to the Centralia Police Department.

Officer John Panco said it happened on the street but wasn’t a random victim. Nobody was injured, he said.

“All the people involved know each other,” Panco said.

Panco didn’t have further details to release, except to say one victim was a female, and there may have been more than just two people involved overall.

News brief: Suspect in multiple fatality shooting captured in Chehalis

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Local law enforcement apprehended a 19-year-old man on Interstate 5 in Chehalis overnight, in connection with a shooting in Mukilteo.

Troopers, assisted by police from Chehalis and Centralia, stopped the southbound car about 1:50 a.m. near milepost 75, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Trooper Will Finn described the teen as a person of interest related to the shooting.

Mukilteo officials described him as a suspect in an incident in which three people were dead and a fourth injured after a shooting which took place at a gathering of 15 to 20 people at a home in the Chennault neighborhood.

The 2016 Subaru WRX had been spotted traveling 68 mph in a 50 mph zone, Finn said.

“A high risk stop procedure was used and a 19 year old male driver, and only occupant, was taken into custody without incident by troopers,” Finn stated.

Troopers were requested by investigators to secure the vehicle and made arrangements to have it and the driver transported back to the Mukilteo area, according to the state patrol.

Mukilteo is north of Seattle, in Snohomish County.

Pot in Centralia: A growing underground industry

Friday, July 29th, 2016
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By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS –  Law enforcement estimated a sizable investment was made – as much as $50,000 – in an indoor growing operation on rural property just outside Centralia, where they seized almost 30 pounds of marijuana from an outbuilding.

The 23-year-old resident who allegedly cultivated and trimmed the plants was charged in Lewis County Superior Court yesterday with two felonies in connection with the find.

Ivan C. Spain Hanson was brought before a judge yesterday afternoon, after spending a night in the Lewis County Jail.

Hanson has no criminal history, not even a speeding ticket in his past, defense attorney Joely O’Rourke told the judge as bail was discussed.

He earns about $4,000 per month working at a distributor called Green Leaf Industries in Thurston County, O’Rourke said, indicating that meant he didn’t qualify for a court appointed lawyer.

His case was pursued by the Lewis County Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team.

Hanson is charged with manufacture of marijuana and also possession of marijuana with intent to manufacture or deliver, both class C felonies with maximum penalties of five years in prison.

Charging documents don’t make any mention of where he may have planned to market the product.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt when he learned the defendant was employed in the marijuana industry pondered aloud how to tailor the conditions of release, which generally order that a person pending trial may not use or possess illegal drugs.

“Do not have any on your person while you’re away from the job site,” Hunt told him. “And do not use any, on or off the job site.”

While producing and selling recreational cannabis have been legalized in Washington, following the 2012 passage by voters of Initiative 502, businesses must be licensed through the state Liquor and Cannabis Board.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Paul Masiello said Hanson did not have any kind of license for his operation.

The property is on the 1200 block of Roswell Road, on the east side of town on land just adjacent to the city that sits in unincorporated Lewis County.

Details in court documents are few, suggesting JNET began the investigation “in 2016”. A detective who went to the location could smell the strong odor of growing marijuana coming from the buildings.

Records showed exceptionally high amounts of electricity were being used there. A search warrant for the home and outbuildings was obtained on Monday.

Masiello wrote in charging documents that 150 plant were found in the larger building, and one room appeared to have just been harvested. Marijuana was found inside large trash bags, he wrote.

The preliminary weight of what detectives confiscated was 29 pounds.

Given the growing equipment they found, it appeared $40,000 to $50,000 had been invested in the facility, Masiello wrote.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Melissa Bohm made mention to the judge a gun was found in Hanson’s vehicle, when she addressed the question of bail.

O’Rourke noted his car was located elsewhere, with the weapon inside, not at the property and not with Hanson. Hanson had a license for the .22 caliber Walthur, according to O’Rourke.

Judge Hunt allowed the defendant release on a $10,000 unsecured bond. He ordered him to return to court next Thursday.

The illegal grow find comes on the heels of a similar case.

Two individual appeared before the same judge on Wednesday, also charged with manufacture of marijuana.

According to the allegations in court documents in that case, a Renton woman purchased a building described only as on Tower Avenue in Centralia – with recently darkened windows – for the purpose of of growing marijuana.

A detective with tips from citizens, including one who reported smelling marijuana, contacted the driver of a black BMW parked there this past spring.

Anh Tuan Hoang Nguyen, 33, of Centralia, provided the detective with an authorization form and allowed him inside, where he said he had 25 plants.

The detective was shown a room with about 25 plants, but then behind two doorways found rooms with about 80 more plants.

Nguyen told the detective he sold five to six pounds of marijuana every three to six weeks, and that he was growing it for a dispensary in Seattle. When asked about money, he handed over $6,605 he said were proceeds.

Charges were filed on July 1, following the JNET investigation, and Nguyen and his mother were summonsed to court. His mother is named in court documents as Mai Anh Hoang Nguyen, 54 years old.

They arrived to court on Wednesday afternoon with a lawyer and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Judge Hunt set their bail with $10,000 unsecured bonds. Their trials are set for the week of Oct. 13.

Neither the city of Centralia nor Lewis County have yet issued any approvals for growers, processors or retailers of marijuana.

News brief: Woman hurt in single-car wreck near Pe Ell

Friday, July 29th, 2016

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 33-year-old Centralia driver was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle today after falling asleep on state Route 6 and crashing.

Dena M. McCully was traveling westbound about five miles east of Pe Ell when her sport utility vehicle went off the road to the right, hit and tree and then continued down an embankment, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Troopers called about 1:10 p.m. to the scene found McCully was injured and her 2006 Hyundai Tucson was totaled.

The investigating trooper reports she fell asleep. McCully was to be issued a citation for second-degree negligent driving, according to the state patrol.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, July 29th, 2016
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RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY

• Chehalis police were called about 10:35 a.m. yesterday to the 600 block of Southwest Chehalis Avenue where they were told that sometime during the past three days someone entered the residence and stole power hand tools.

SHED BREAK-IN

• Centralia police were called about 1:10 p.m. yesterday for a burglary to a shed on the 2600 block of Mount Vista Road. Someone stole and ax but dropped it in the yard, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AUTO THEFT

• Centralia police were contacted just before 11 a.m. yesterday and given second-hand information of a stolen vehicle. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

POSSIBLE FRAUD

• Chehalis police were called yesterday afternoon to Wal-Mart and asked to investigate a suspected fraud. An officer was told the store received a fraudulent order for a Playstation 4 and a female had picked it up. An officer contacted the female who said it was a gift from her fiancé who resides in Haiti, a person whose birthday or middle initial she did not know. The situation is still being looked into, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• An officer was called at 8:45 a.m. yesterday regarding a vehicle prowl at the 2600 block of Borst Avenue in Centralia.  A stereo and speaker were removed, but left behind by the suspect, according to the Centralia Police Department. Some sunglasses were missing though, according to police.

• Chehalis police were called about 7:40 a.m. yesterday about a suspected repeat prowling of a vehicle which had been broken into previously on Northwest Gertrude Street.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police were called yesterday afternoon to the 1500 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue to take a report that the fuel lines had been cut on a vehicle parked there.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, negligent driving, misdemeanor assault, interfering with domestic violence reporting, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street, dog alone in parked vehicle  … and more, among 170 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

News brief: Outdoor burning restricted here, and around state

Friday, July 29th, 2016

By Lewis County Sirens

CHEHALIS – With the arrival of warm summer temperatures and below normal precipitation in Western Washington, the Department of Natural Resources has expanded its burn ban to cover the entire state.

It begins today and runs through Sept. 30.

The ban means outdoor burning is prohibited on all forestlands that DNR protects from wildfire, according to the state agency. Anyone caught violating the burn ban can face fines. Prescribed ecological burns approved by DNR will be allowed if expressly approved by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark.

Recreational fires in approved fire pits within designated state, county, municipal and other campgrounds are allowed.

DNR’s ban does not apply to federally-owned lands such as national forests. Counties and local fire districts may have additional burn restrictions.

Already this year, DNR has had 408 wildfire starts throughout the state.

News brief: Centralia man pistol whipped outside Centralia hospital

Friday, July 29th, 2016

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Centralia detectives are investigating this morning after an individual was beaten and left in a parking lot at the 900 block of South Scheuber Road in Centralia.

Police were called last night to Providence Centralia Hospital where they spoke with the 37-year-old male victim at about 10:20 p.m.

“Basically, the person was contacted by someone, told to (drive) somewhere, he got scared and pulled over into the parking lot at the hospital,” Centralia Police Department Officer John Panco said. “Once he tried to get out of the car, he was pistol whipped.”

Panco said the victim had injuries to his face, including a possible broken nose. Someone saw him in the parking lot and helped him into the emergency room, Panco said.

The Centralia Police Department indicated this morning the suspects are known to the victim.

The suspect or suspects ran off, Panco said.

News brief: Appeals court orders Morton horse case restitution amount decreased

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Morton couple won not once, but twice in a row when they appealed the amount Lewis County judges ordered them to pay in restitution associated with animal cruelty charges involving their horses.

Joanne M. Simmons and Terry L. Simmons were convicted of two counts of second-degree animal cruelty.

Back in 2012, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office deputies and county code enforcement workers seized nine of their 18 horses from property on the  800 block of state Route 7. Prosecutors described the animals as severely malnourished.

The couple was initially charged with numerous counts of first- and second-degree cruelty, but eventually only convicted of the two counts, which were misdemeanors.

The court ordered them to pay $20,589.42 in restitution.

Five private groups and the Lewis County Animal Shelter assisted in the removal and foster care of the horses.

In their first appeal, the Simmones argued the sentencing court erred by imposing costs associated with charges previously dismissed. The appeals court agreed and remanded for modification of the restitution order.

On remand, the sentencing court doubled the amount recommended by the state, saying it was exactly the kind of case where that was appropriate. Prosecutors had asked for $4,533.54.

The three-member panel of division II of the Washington State Court of Appeals said the judge erred again.

While the law allows for a doubling of restitution in lieu of a fine, it wasn’t a fine that was the issue, the justices stated. Their fine was $500.

Another statute provides a basis for doubling restitution, but only applies to felonies, they wrote.

The opinion was issued last week. The order under review was signed by Judge Nelson Hunt.

“Thus, we reverse the sentencing court’s restitution orders and remand for correction of restitution to the amount calculated before doubling,” the justices wrote.
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For background, read: “Former owners of Morton horses charged with animal cruelty” from  Tuesday November 13, 2012, here

News brief: Vader area drug conviction sticks

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS –  The state Court of Appeals in a decision this week upheld the conviction of Jeffrey J. Johnson for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

Johnson argued the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence discovered after he consented to a search of his home in the Vader area.

The three-member panel of justices disagreed with him and affirmed his conviction from Lewis County Superior Court.

The determination about the 2015 case was filed on Tuesday.

News brief: Potential life term overturned for then-teenage defendant

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS –  A defendant whose sentence could have been as long as life in prison will be returning to Lewis County Superior Court to get a fixed-length term in prison.

The state Court of Appeals reversed the sentence of Brian W. Buckman, who pleaded guilty to second-degree rape of a child, because he was under 18 at the time of the offense and state law excludes him from indeterminate sentencing.

In 2012, Buckman was given a prison term with a minimum of 86 to 114 months in prison and a maximum of life.

He appealed the court’s decision denying his motion to withdraw his plea and in the alternative appealed his sentence.

He was 17 years and 7 months old when he and a 13-year-old had sexual intercourse. His case was handled not in juvenile court, but in adult court, in Lewis County Superior Court.

The opinion from division II of the Washington State Court of Appeals was issued on Tuesday.

While the guilty plea form he signed set forth both the standard range and the maximum penalty, it also specified indeterminate sentencing applied if he was at least 18 years old, the justices wrote.

The trial court had denied his motion to withdraw the plea, arguing since he was beyond his 17th birthday at the time of the offense, he was not 17 years of age or younger.

The three-member panel of the Court of Appeals agreed with not allowing him to withdraw the plea affirming the conviction, but remanded the case for a determinate sentence.

Buckman was represented in his appeal by Centralia attorney Peter Tiller. Representing the state was Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Sara Beigh and Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher. Judge Nelson Hunt was the judge in the original case.

News brief: K-Mart theft case revived by appeals judges

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS –  Lewis County prosecutors won their appeal of the dismissal of a case by a local judge who concluded gift cards stolen by an employee from K-Mart did not meet the definition of “access devices.”

Angel R.M. Nelson was charged in Lewis County Superior Court in 2014 with second-degree theft of an access device and second-degree possession of a stolen access device. Surveillance video allegedly showed her retrieve empty gift cards three times and add funds to them without adding cash to her register, according to background information in the opinion issued this week by the state Court of Appeals.

At a pre-trial hearing, the judge granted a defense motion, ruling that as a matter of law, a gift card is not an access device, according to the document.

Reviewing in the light most favorable to the state and looking to the statute’s plain language, the three-member panel of justices found the state was correct. The justices said a gift card is an “access device.” The opinion was issued on Tuesday.

They remanded the case for further proceedings.