Archive for November, 2016

Former Centralia College basketball team member, cousin accused in burglary

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A judge set bail with $25,000 signature bonds for the suspects accused of breaking into a Centralia residence while a woman home alone there locked herself in her bedroom.

Reginald D. Ford, 22, and Isaiah M. Kelly, 20, a pair of cousins from Federal Way, are each charged with residential burglary.

Kelly was arrested shortly after the Saturday afternoon incident at the 900 block of West Pear Street.

The three Centralia College basketball team members who reside there, but weren’t home at the time, told police Kelly was on the team with them, until he was released at the start of the school year.

When Ford was brought before a judge yesterday afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court, temporary defense attorney Joely O’Rourke told the judge Ford was requesting a court appointed lawyer. He is unemployed, she said.

Charging documents relate the victim heard someone knock, then pound on the front door and then kick it open. She said she was scared because her boyfriend and their roommates were away and she locked herself into her bedroom.

She said she heard the sounds of someone going through things in the house, but didn’t hear any talking and was on the phone with dispatch when her bedroom door was kicked in.

She yelled, they left, according to court documents.

When police followed up, they learned numerous items were missing from the home including two Xboxes, several games and a Bluetooth speaker, according to the documents. A pair of Nike Air Jordans belonging to one of the residents were found near where police located Kelly.

Ford was booked into the Lewis County Jail on Monday. Arraignments for both suspects are scheduled for Dec. 8.

For background, read “News brief: Victim startles burglars inside Centralia residence” from Sunday November 27, 2016, here

Rape case: Trial cut short in Lewis County Superior Court

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A judge declared a mistrial yesterday in a rape case in Lewis County Superior Court and it’s not clear if prosecutors will attempt to try again.

A 23-year-old Centralia man was charged late this summer for an incident reported in the spring of 2015 that allegedly occurred a year earlier at a rural Centralia home with a young woman with whom he had somewhat of an intimate relationship.

Jordan T. White was charged with second-degree rape, pleaded not guilty and proceeded to trial. He has been free on an unsecured bond.

Defense attorney Shane O’Rourke said they were most of the way through their first day yesterday, when the sheriff’s deputy sitting with the deputy prosecutor dropped his pen onto the table, at a particular point during a recording being played for the jury.

O’Rourke said he wondered if it was intentional or not and began watching the deputy, and saw him bow his head and put it into the palm of his hand, in a way a person could potentially perceive to mean, “I can’t believe what I’m hearing.”

Finally, when the deputy gestured to the alleged victim while she was on the stand testifying, O’Rourke made an objection and the jurors were sent out of the room.

“I wondered, is he encouraging her to cry, trying to console her,” he said. “Unfortunately, the jurors were watching.”

It’s common for the investigating law enforcement officer to sit at the prosecutor’s table during criminal trials. Officers of the court are not allowed to comment on the evidence during trial, even non-verbally.

O’Rourke asked Judge Nelson Hunt for a dismissal, for government misconduct, saying he believed the deputy’s actions tainted the jury.

Judge Hunt concluded the defendant had been prejudiced, citing intentional and problematic behavior, O’Rourke said. He declared a mistrial.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Melissa Bohm declined to comment today if another trial would be held.

Bohm said the attorneys will go before a judge tomorrow, to set a new date for a trial, but she expects the defense will make a motion to dismiss the case entirely.

The case was investigated by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, beginning in April 2015. The alleged victim, 19 years old at the time, said she didn’t report it when it happened out of fear, embarrassment and uncertainty about what would happen, according to charging documents.

She told the deputy she and her friends were drinking Fireball, she was heavily intoxicated and realized the next morning she had been anally penetrated, according to the allegations. White told the deputy the two had a history of fooling around, with oral sex, and on the night in question, what they did was her idea, because she wanted to remain a virgin, the documents state.

A brief hearing is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016



• A verbal altercation last night south of Chehalis escalated when one man pulled a knife from his pocket and moved aggressively toward the other, who retrieved a fireplace poker and struck the first man to keep him away, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy called about 10 p.m. to the 200 block of Guerrier Road was told the first man threatened to kill the other man, a 44-year-old, according to the sheriff’s office. Corey J. Hickman, 31, was arrested for felony harassment and booked into the Lewis County Jail, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.


• Chehalis police were called about 7:15 p.m. yesterday for an argument between adults that turned physical while at a basketball game at R.E. Bennett Elementary School. It started in the gym and moved to the parking lot, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Police were told that there was yelling and then a 36-year-old man pushed a 31-year-old man, while the mother of one of them said she was knocked back when she tried to break it up. Eathon A. Wesen, 36, of Chehalis, was arrested for fourth-degree assault and then released pending a court date, according to police. The disagreement between the men, one of whom was previously married to the other’s wife, was related to kids and yelling at the woman, according to police.


• A 32-year-old Chehalis resident was arrested yesterday after Centralia police were called to the 1600 block of Eshom Road in Centralia at about 12:25 p.m. because he allegedly entered a residence where he was not supposed to be, because of a court order. Damion E. Robbins was arrested for for residential burglary and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Centralia police were called just before 8:30 a.m. yesterday to a business on the 200 block of South Pearl Street where sometime during the night someone broke in and stole money, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Centralia police took a report about 1:30 p.m. yesterday that a Toyota Camry was missing from a home on the 200 block of Downing Road where it was being repaired. A suspect was found in the vehicle by Chehalis Tribal Police and was arrested, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Centralia police were called to the 900 block of South Scheuber Road about 11:45 p.m. yesterday where someone had broken the rear window of a pickup truck and stole keys and cash, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• An officer was called about 9:35 p.m. yesterday to the 500 block of North Iron Street in Centralia following the discovery an unknown person had rummaged through an unlocked vehicle and taken paperwork, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Someone brought a found purse into the Chehalis Police Department yesterday which turned out to belong to a woman whose vehicle was prowled on Saturday at the 1700 block of North National Avenue in Chehalis.


• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrant, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarm, dispute, runaway juvenile, vandalism, third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances, parking lot fender bender  … and more among 131 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Centralia shooting suspect remains at large

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

David Serrano Mosso

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Law enforcement is looking for a 20-year-old Centralia resident, suspected to have shot an acquaintance yesterday at the northwest edge of Centralia.

Authorities say David Serrano Mosso was a passenger in a white sport utility vehicle that pulled up near an apartment complex at the 3100 block of Ives Road, off Harrison Avenue.

Serrano Mosso called out to the 19-year-old male victim, and when he approached, Serrano Mosso fired one round from a handgun, grazing the victim’s leg, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office

Deputies dispatched at 2:42 p.m. learned the 19-year-old Centralia man drove himself to the hospital, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.

“The victim and the suspect are acquaintances and have only known each other for a few months,” Breen stated in a news release.

The vehicle and its driver were located last night, but Serrano Mosso remains at large, according to Breen.

The victim had done some automotive work in the past for Serrano Mosso, according to Breen.

Anyone having information on the whereabouts of Serrano Mosso is asked to contact the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office at (360) 748-9286, or Lewis County Communications at (360) 740-1105.

A Centralia resident with the same name and also 20 years old was recently convicted in a case in which a 37-year-old Centralia man was beaten inside his car in the parking lot at Providence Centralia Hospital this summer. David Serrano Mosso was initially charged in Lewis County Superior Court with first-degree assault but made an Alford plea to second-degree assault and was sentenced the end of September to time served.

He had no criminal convictions prior to that, according to prosecutors.


For background, read “News brief: Centralia man shot by individual in vehicle, which then flees” from Tuesday November 29, 2016, here

News brief: Chehalis area garage goes up in flames

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A fire investigator is looking into the cause of a blaze that destroyed a large garage and its contents last night in rural Chehalis.

The resident who was home at the 100 block of Sanford Court north of Adna discovered the fire and called 911 about 8:20 p.m., according to Riverside Fire Authority.

An arriving crew found the detached structure fully involved in flames and threatening to spread to the adjacent home, outbuildings and trees, Chief Mike Kytta reports.

They were joined by personnel from Lewis County Fire Districts 6 and 13, and managed to contain it to the building of origin, according to Kytta.

The contents, which included numerous motorcycles and a car, as well as the approximately 30-foot by 36-foot metal-roofed garage are a total loss, according to authorities.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by an investigator from the Chehalis Fire Department.

News brief: Centralia man shot by individual in vehicle, which then flees

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Updated at 6:20 p.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Sheriff’s deputies were on the scene this afternoon of a shooting at the 3100 block of Ives Road in Centralia.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, via Twitter, indicated just before 4 p.m. they were trying to locate the suspect.

Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said preliminary information is the male victim was outside an apartment complex’s office, off Harrison Avenue, when a vehicle pulled up.

“The individual yells out to him, he turns to see what’s going on and a shot or shots are fired,” Breen said.

The male was struck in the leg, the injury is non-life threatening, Breen said.

Breen said the 19-year-old Centralia man at first didn’t realize he was hit.

“It just kind of grazed him and he drove himself to the hospital,” Breen said.

The victim apparently has known the suspect about a month, having done some automotive work for him, Breen said.

Breen confirmed about 6 p.m. it was just one shot, fired from a handgun.

Deputies are chasing down some leads, looking for a person whose identity they know, he said. A white sport utility vehicle is believed to be involved, he said.


Judge-elect O’Rourke secures her place in Lewis County history

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The final count in the only contested race for Lewis County Superior Court judge indicates overwhelming support for local lawyer Joely O’Rourke.

O’Rourke won 72 percent of the votes while her opponent gathered only 28 percent. The numbers are rounded to whole votes, though officially include two decimal places to the right of a single vote.

The Nov. 8 vote-by-mail general election in Lewis County is certified today. Turnout was almost 78 percent.

Joely O’Rourke

While the Chehalis woman will be the first female superior court judge in county history, it’s not something she gave a lot of thought to during the campaign, she said.

“I really wanted to be elected solely on my qualifications,” O’Rourke said. “It’s definitely an honor, for sure.”

The graduate of the University of Washington and Gonzaga University Law School began her professional career as a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

In 2009, she started working as a deputy prosecutor in the criminal division at the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office.

For the past two years, O’Rourke has been in private practice, representing defendants at their first appearance on criminal charges in both Lewis County District Court and Lewis County Superior Court.

She will be sworn in and take the bench on Jan. 9. She will replace Judge Richard Brosey who is retiring after more than 18 years in the position.

Twenty-thousand-seven-hundred-seventy-one voters marked their ballots for O’Rourke, compared with 8,258 who supported rural Chehalis attorney Katherine Gulmert.

In a year that saw more than $51 million in candidate contributions across Washington state, O’Rourke’s campaign raised more than $26,000 and Gulmert’s raised none, according to figures available from the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission.

Gulmert, a former deputy prosecutor who now has a private practice in Chehalis, posted an open letter to her supporters and the community on her campaign website shortly after election day. With less than half the votes counted at that point, Gulmert’s showing was just 30 percent.

She congratulated O’Rourke on her victory.

“It was a well-run and dignified campaign and I hope that she continues to serve Lewis County for many years to come,” Gulmert stated. “I expect that when I appear before her I will see what so many local attorneys and judges already know, that she is fair, unbiased and prepared in every area of the law.”

Adna resident Andrew Toynbee will also be sworn in in January, taking the seat of Judge Nelson Hunt who is retiring too. Toynbee is leaving the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office to return to Lewis County, where he spent 13 years in the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office.

He ran unopposed and earned 22,654 votes.

The third Lewis County Superior Court judge, James Lawler, was also unchallenged for another four-year term. Lawler was first elected in 2007. He got 23,662 votes.

Lewis County voters submitted 35,786 ballots in this presidential election year. Republican president-elect Donald Trump secured 21,992 votes (64 percent) while the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton got 9,654 (28 percent).

There are 46,094 registered voters in the county, with a population of  roughly 75,000.

The Lewis County Board of Commissioners saw two contested races, with incumbent Edna Fund beating challenger Dan Keahey, 53 percent to 47 percent. Both are Republicans.

Commissioner Bill Schulte is stepping down and will be replaced by Republican Bobby Jackson who won with 56 percent over Independent Bob Bozarth who took 44 percent of the votes.

Lewis County Fire District 3 in Mossyrock saw 63 percent support for its proposal to fund construction of a new fire station with as much as $1.4 million in bonds.

The Napavine-based Lewis County Fire District 5 failed to get at least 60 percent support for an emergency medical services levy. A majority of voters said yes (56 percent), but it wasn’t enough to pass.

See all the final results for Lewis County here

For background, read:

• “A second Chehalis attorney hoping for outgoing Lewis County judge’s seat” from Tuesday July 26, 2016, here

• “Judge Brosey eyes retirement, Chehalis lawyer to seek election to the court” from Wednesday March 30, 2016, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016


Updated at 11:14 a.m.


• Centralia police are investigating after a report about 10:15 p.m. yesterday of one vehicle chasing another and firing a shot at the fleeing vehicle. A witness who had already called police then reported that the chasing vehicle returned and fired a shot at her. No impact point could be located, according to the Centralia Police Department. The case is associated with an address at South Rock and West Cherry Streets. The suspect vehicle is described as a red four-door possibly a later 1990’s Buick or Oldsmobile, with a white male driver in his late 20’s to early 30’s, according to police.


• Centralia police responded to an approximately 2 a.m. 911 call to the 1000 block of Belmont Avenue where a male victim said he had been assaulted with pepper spray. The incident is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports a search warrant served at a Rochester residence yesterday turned up 12 firearms stolen the day before from a gun cabinet in a home on the 100 block of Rose Marie Drive in rural Chehalis. The 41-year-old victim suspected a person who had been at the residence earlier and was asking questions about the victim’s belongings, according to the sheriff’s office. Seth E. Lloyd, 29, of Rochester, was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for numerous offenses including first-degree burglary and unlawful possession of firearms, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.


• Police yesterday arrested their second suspect in a break-in from Saturday afternoon in which a woman called 911 from her locked bedroom as someone was kicking in her door. Reginald D. Ford was booked into the Lewis County Jail yesterday evening for residential burglary, according to the Centralia Police Department. A 20-year-old, Isaiah M. Kelly, was arrested on Saturday after the incident at the 900 block of West Pear Street.


• A green 1991 Mazda pickup was taken sometime in the night from where it was parked at the 1400 block of Logan Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police just after 9 o’clock yesterday morning.


• Chehalis police were called yesterday morning about a possible vehicle prowl that had occurred previously at the 100 block of Northeast Hampe Way.


•  The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning a 35-year-old man was arrested because a small plastic baggie containing suspected methamphetamine was located as he was being processed into the Lewis County Jail at about 3:30 a.m. today. Ian T. Westenfelder, of Packwood, was being booked for an unrelated reason, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Chehalis police were called to the 1300 block of Northwest State Avenue about 7:30 a.m. yesterday regarding a driver and passenger sleeping in a running car. The officer spoke with them and noted a glass pipe and a piece of foil in the lap of 20-year-old Anna M. Folden of Chehalis, according to the Chehalis Police Department. She was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia and then released, according to police.


• Centralia police were called to a business on the 600 block of North Tower Avenue just before noon yesterday after a car struck the building and took off. The suspect Volkswagen Jetta was located within the hour at Wal-Mart in Chehalis and occupied by at least four individuals, but not the suspected driver, according to police. Two of them were arrested on outstanding warrants, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Nobody was hurt, but the impact shoved a wall into freezers pushing them forward inside B and D Market, according to its owner David Haladay.


• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrant, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, runaway juvenile, vandalism, third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances … and more among 124 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.


Car strikes building, moving wall. / Courtesy photo by B and D Market