Suspect: ‘Everyone was drunk’

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Mark W. Powell heads back to sit down at the end of his hearing this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 46-year-old Centralia man arrested and jailed for second-degree assault on Monday while the victim was hospitalized on life support was ordered to be released today as no charges were filed.

Mark W. Powell was visiting with the 63-year-old man at the man’s home on the  3500 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia on Sunday night when a disagreement broke out, according to authorities. Powell allegedly punched Steven Nystrom in the face, Nystrom fell to the floor and Powell and his wife, or girlfriend, left.

Law enforcement got involved the following afternoon when they learned Nystrom was at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia with a broken nose, a bruised eye and potentially then a stroke as the result, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Powell was brought before a judge yesterday afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court where prosecutors asked he be held with no bail for the time being. When he was brought before a judge again this afternoon, Lewis County Chief Deputy Criminal Prosecutor Brad Meagher said he was running up against his 72-hour deadline to file charges.

“Given the information that I have on my desk right now, I’m uncomfortable charging Mr. Powell with a crime,” Meagher told the judge.

Meagher said that could change as his office gets further information. Judge James Lawler ordered Powell’s release, but cautioned him he could be subject to recall.

Nystrom was listed in critical condition as of about 11 a.m. today. Meagher said the latest update he had came after lunch today, and that Nystrom was still alive.

The declaration of probable cause filed yesterday in Lewis County Superior Court shares information from interviews a sheriff’s deputy conducted with friends, family, neighbors and Powell.

The victim’s roommate confirmed the victim brought home Powell and a woman on Sunday evening, but he felt they were trouble, so he stayed in his room.

The roommate recounted hearing a thud as though something had fallen and came out to find Nystrom on the floor. He said he couldn’t wake him up and figured he was drunk, so went back to bed.

When he got up on Monday morning, the roommate found Nystrom still on the floor, so he sought help from a neighbor who phoned 911.

The deputy tracked down Powell and his female companion with information from a taxi service; the driver told the deputy two males came to the taxi and the younger one got in.

The deputy found Powell and his wife, or girlfriend, – Kazi Hartman –  sleeping in a tent in a wooded area between train tracks and the 1000 block of North Gold Street.

Powell told the deputy that on Sunday evening, he was out drinking with Nystrom and Nystrom invited them to come to his house to hang out, they were there about three hours, everyone was drunk.

Powell said Nystrom told Hartman he could take better care of her than Powell could.

Powell told the deputy Nystrom put his hands around his neck and tried to choke him, so he punched him. Powell also told the deputy Nystrom got him in a headlock.

Powell told the deputy after he hit Nystrom, Nystrom fell to the floor and was still on the floor when he left. Hartman said she didn’t remember anything.

The information on Nystrom’s injuries first came on Monday to the sheriff’s office via contact with Nystrom’s step sister. She told the deputy he was in critical care at Providence St. Peter Hospital with the broken nose, bruised eye and that the neurologist said he’d suffered a massive stroke on the right side of his brain.

She thought he would likely not make it through the evening.

For background, read “Centralia man in critical condition after assault” from Tuesday November 7, 2017, here

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6 Responses to “Suspect: ‘Everyone was drunk’”

  1. Karen says:

    What is LC going to do now that Steven has passed away and cannot defend himself in court..just let the offender go?If a person dies because of complications due to assult that is murder

  2. Amerigo Vespucci says:

    Send this piece of shit to rehab.

  3. Matt says:

    He is actually my uncle, he has been an alcoholic for aslong as I can remember. But he was never a violent person.

  4. Bobbi C says:

    The old saying don’t judge a book by it’s cover does not come into account any more you can say what you please but take all the evidence into consideration not just what is written . If you do not know Mr Powell don’t judge and visa versa.

  5. BobbyinLC says:

    Well said FiFi

  6. Fifi says:

    when you invite people you don’t know into your home as an act of helping the homeless…and everyone gets drunk…this is what happens. I hope Mr Nystrom heals and Mr. Powell finds a job and somewhere to better his life

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