Mental evaluation awaits attempted car jacking suspect

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 7:39 pm

Tommy W. Miller, Jr. is escorted out of the courtroom following a bail hearing in Lewis County Superior Court

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The 23-year-old accused of throwing a hospital employee out of the driver’s seat of her car after she got off work in the early morning hours on Tuesday was charged today with two felonies in Lewis County Superior Court.

Tommy W. Miller, Jr. of Lacey was brought before a judge this afternoon but his temporary defense attorney said Miller wouldn’t talk to him.

When Judge Andrew Toynbee queried Miller directly, he responded with random words and gibberish, Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher said.

Meagher said when Miller returns to court tomorrow, he will have an order prepared to get him evaluated at Western State Hospital.

“We don’t have any choice, it’s our only option,” Meagher told Miller’s family after the hearing.

He was charged today with first-degree attempted robbery and second-degree assault.

Prosecutors allege he approached the employee’s car in the parking lot at Providence Centralia Hospital and after trying to speak to her once, that when she turned her attention back to her phone, he opened her car door.

The victim, identified in court documents only by her initials A.T., told police he grabbed her with both hands by the front of her shirt and threw her onto the ground, ripping her brassiere in half, tearing her top and leaving her with scrapes on her hands and knees, Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead wrote in court papers.

She ran into the emergency room to call 911 and realized she had her car keys in her hand, according to Halstead.

Centralia police and deputies responding to the approximately 3:37 a.m. call eventually spotted Miller walking on nearby on Cooks Hill Road. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

Halstead wrote the victim had looked back as she ran and saw the headlights to her vehicle had been turned on.

“It appears the subject attempted to steal A.T.’s vehicle but was unsuccessful when he discovered the keys were no longer in the vehicle,” Halstead wrote.

Meagher today asked the judge to hold Miller on $100,000 bail. Temporary defense attorney noted his client appeared to have no criminal history.

Judge Toynbee set bail at $50,000.

Defense attorney Shane O’Rourke was appointed to represent him. His next hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. tomorrow.

For background, read “Woman pulled from her car in Providence Centralia Hospital parking lot, runs inside to call 911” from Tuesday April 11, 2017, here

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5 Responses to “Mental evaluation awaits attempted car jacking suspect”

  1. GoodGrief says:

    Prisons and jails truly are not set up to provide treatment for mental illness anymore than they are set up to provide medical treatment, such as given by a hospital or clinic. In that way, we do a disservice to those who are ill. Should a person with a brain tumor “do their time?” Or should the brain tumor be treated? Mental illness can and should be treated. We don’t have hardly any state-level facilities, so it is up to the local areas to decide how to treat those in our society who need help. “Our” society. That includes all of us, I’m afraid, even those we don’t like. We should be providing help to them in order to help US. Getting mentally ill medicated/treated is healthy for our community, our county and for each of us, individually. Perhaps if the truly “rich” (like our president and most of his cabinet) would actually PAY their fair share, we wouldn’t be scrabbling around trying to squeeze pennies out of the poor to treat those even worse off than ourselves. Ok, jumping down from THAT soapbox, but it is something to consider. We are in these dire straights due to the rich squeezing the middle and working class, not from the poor using mental health and medical services.

  2. Sherman says:

    When you cut funds for mental health, the mentally ill end up in the prison system. That and politics. Like Lewis County Coroner, Lewis County Commissioner, and President of the United States.

  3. Sunshinegirl says:

    They said he had no criminal history but he looks familiar to me , I have heard his story before. Easy peasy do wtf ever and just act crazy. Think I will try that.

  4. AKChristiansen says:

    They don’t send you to Western State…after a couple weeks (15 days) or so (a month in my case) they come to the jail to evaluate persons that have a need for it or have a “Western State hold” put on them. In his case, at least he had bail set, I did not.

  5. BobbyinLC says:

    I understand mental illness is a problem in our CJ system but it is getting old seeing people charged with crimes “acting bizarre” and getting sent to Western State for evaluation.

    Great place Western State…not. Please if you do the crime then be prepared to face the music in court.

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