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News brief: Centralia toddler homicide by abuse trial to last a week

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 3:57 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – James M. Reeder, now 26, appeared briefly in court today when lawyers apprised the judge of their progress in preparation for a trial in the death of 2-year-old Koralynn Fister.

Prosecutors allege Reeder tortured and raped his live-in girlfriend’s youngest daughter in their Centralia home. Reeder was arrested May 24 after he claimed he found her face down in the bathtub.

Defense attorney David Arcuri and Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead told the judge they thought the trial would last seven days. It is set for the week of January 28.

Reeder is charged in Lewis County Superior Court with homicide by abuse, two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of first-degree child rape and possession of methamphetamine.

He has pleaded not guilty.
•••

For background, read “Defendant in Centralia toddler death by abuse case pleads not guilty” from Thursday July 12, 2012, here

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Breaking news: Dehydrated, exhausted mushroom picker found walking near searchers’ camp near Randle

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 2:46 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Search and rescue teams are rejoicing with the family of 79-year-old Tacoma resident Dapeng Yang who was located this afternoon alive and well after spending 48 hours lost in the woods south of Randle.

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Dapeng Yang

Yang was found about 2 p.m. walking near Forest Service Road 26, within a mile of the searchers’ base camp, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

“He is in good condition and will be transported by ambulance to Morton General Hospital for treatment of dehydration,” Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said in a news release. “He is exhausted but did not have any signs of obvious injuries.”

Yang got separated from his family on Sunday morning as they gathered mushrooms in the forest.

Brown said it’s unknown why he did not respond to searchers calling his name and blowing whistles.

She had said previously there was a language barrier with those who reported him missing, as they were speaking Chinese.

His two female family members looked for him on Sunday and called for help that afternoon.

The area is heavily wooded, about 10 miles south of Randle, according to Brown.

Sheriff Steve Mansfield issued a statement expressing how pleased searchers are about the outcome.

“This is an incredible ending. Neither this mans’ family nor our search and rescue team gave up hope,” Mansfield said in the  news release. “Our teams worked tirelessly for the last 48 hours in hopes of finding this man alive. We are very pleased that the mission turned out in such a positive manner.”

More than 30 volunteer searchers with horses, Jeeps, dogs and ham radios joined the effort from Lewis, Thurston, Cowlitz and other Western Washington counties.

•••

For background, read: “Tacoma man missing from mushroom gathering outing south of Randle” from Monday October 8, 2012 at 8:40 a.m., here

See video when Yang spoke with KING5.com after he returned to his Tacoma home, here

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Search continues for missing mushroom picker near Randle

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 11:48 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A second night fell with no sign of a 79-year-old Tacoma man who vanished while gathering mushrooms in the forests south of Randle.

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Dapeng Yang

Dapeng Yang is an experienced hiker and isn’t believed to have any medical issues which would have contributed to him getting lost, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Searchers combed the area until dark last night and more than 30 individuals are looking for Yang again today, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

He and two female family members were in the area off Forest Road 26 near Strawberry Mountain picking mushrooms on Sunday.

They last saw him about 10:30 a.m. and called for help when he did not reappear by 3 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office.

It’s a heavily wooded area about 10 miles south of Randle, according to Brown.

The sheriff’s office says he was not prepared for an overnight stay, although he did have a backpack with water.

Multiple search and rescue teams from around Western Washington are assisting.
•••

For background, read: “Tacoma man missing from mushroom gathering outing south of Randle” from Monday October 8, 2012 at 8:40 a.m., here

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Rochester man accused of stealing more than $200,000 from employer

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 3:33 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 43-year-old Rochester man has been charged with theft from his employer, accused of diverting an estimated $230,000 from a discount building supply store in Rochester.

Larry Ledl is scheduled to make his plea in Thurston County Superior Court next Tuesday.

Ledl worked for VJs Bargain Barn, a business on the 6500 block of 198th Avenue Southwest, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

VJs had some concerns and hired an outside accountant to look over the books, sheriff’s Lt. Greg Elwin said. The theft was discovered and the sheriff’s office began investigating in May, Elwin said.

Money was coming in but not getting to the bank, he said.

Ledl quit before he was arrested, according to Elwin. “He just didn’t show up for work one day,” he said.

“It sounds like he became aware he was the subject of this investigation pretty early on,” Elwin said.

Ledl was arrested on Sept. 28 and released on bail.

He was charged on Oct. 2 with first-degree theft, in connection with money missing between mid-2008 and July 31, 2011, according to the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office. The charging includes an alternative of 22 counts of felony theft, according to Senior Deputy Prosecutor Mark Thompson.

Elwin said Ledl opened a similar business in Chehalis since the alleged theft; Builders Surplus Northwest.

An employee there yesterday said the owner – someone who is not Ledl – had no comment.

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News brief: Winds expand forest fire south of Packwood

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 3:28 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Forest Service was ramping up efforts yesterday after aggressively fighting a forest fire about 10 miles south of Packwood over the weekend, using helicopters to drop water on the flames.

The so-called South Point Fire has grown to more than 250 acres, as east winds contributed to higher fire behavior over the past couple of days, according to a news release Monday from the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

“Most of the fire spread has been to the southeast, away from town, so it still seems unlikely this fire will move off forest or threaten the community of Packwood,”  District Ranger Garr Abbas said in the news release.

Conditions including rough terrain has kept personnel from fighting the fire on the ground, according to Abbas.

On the east side, the fire is reaching toward the bottom of the Johnson Creek drainage near Forest Road 3115, according to the Forest Service.

Forest Road 21 is closed temporarily to facilitate their suppression efforts.

Abbas noted they are working with the Packwood Fire Department to schedule another community meeting at their station at 7 p.m. on Wednesday to help keep the public informed.

Officials have said they believe the fire was sparked in early September by lightening.

A new fire began over the weekend in the Mineral block of the National Forest that was measured yesterday afternoon at about five acres, but is roughly 65 percent contained and was expected to be fully contained by today, according to Abbas. The new fire presents no known threat to the public or adjacent landowners currently, he stated.

Hoped for shifting winds may help by bringing moister air and cooler temperatures, he noted.

•••

CORRECTION: This news story has been updated to correctly reflect the numbered name of the road near the Johnson Creek drainage.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, October 8, 2012 at 11:49 am

Updated at 12:28 p.m.

RANDLE MAN THREATENED WITH SHOTGUN

• Two men were arrested last night after they reportedly used a shotgun and a chainsaw to encourage a Randle man to move away. Deputies called about 8 p.m. to the 100 block of Kiona Road were told the pair arrived uninvited to the trailer of the 45-year-old victim and that Lloyd J. Goble, 33, held a gun directly under the victim’s head trying to get him to move off the property. At the same time, Gabriel J. Smithers, 29, was outside cutting a cedar tree and threatening to drop it onto the trailer, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. They were described as acquaintances, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. She wasn’t sure if either of the suspects had an ownership interest in the property or what their reasoning was. Two shots were fired before they left, Brown said. Goble, of Randle, and Smithers of Olympia, were subsequently located at the Big Bottom Bar and Grill in Randle and booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree assault and burglary, Brown said.

CAR CRASHES INTO DRUG STORE

• A driver rammed into the side of the Rite Aid drug store in Centralia yesterday when she attempted to park and mistakenly hit the gas pedal instead of the brakes, according to Centralia police. Aid called to the scene at 1200 Harrison Avenue said nobody was hurt but the exterior wall was shoved in about a foot and it “knocked a bunch of product of the shelves.” The store remained open, according to Riverside Fire Authority’s Capt. Greg Schwartz.

BOOZE LIFTED AFTER BREAK-IN

• Someone broke into a distillery on the 700 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia and made off with a bottle of whiskey, according to the Centralia Police Department. An officer who took the report yesterday morning concluded they threw a rock through the door sometime during the night.

KIDS, ALCOHOL AND FOOTBALL

• An underage girl and an underage boy were arrested for being in possession of alcohol on Friday night at a football game on the 2500 block of Mount Vista Road in Centralia, according to police.

CREDIT CARD FRAUD

• Centralia police took a report on Friday from the 200 block of West Oakview Avenue about someone making fraudulent charges of about $100 on someone else’s credit card. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• A 29-year-old Centralia woman was found to be in possession of suspected methamphetamine and heroin when she was arrested for a warrant about 12:30 p.m. yesterday at East Center Street and North Tower Avenue, according to police. Elizabeth J. Bowman was booked in to the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

WRECKS

• An 81-year-old driver and his two passengers were hospitalized last night with what appeared to minor injuries when his brakes failed as he was rounding a curve on the 1000 block of Gore Road in Onalaska, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 1992 Toyota van hit several small trees and landed on its side, sustaining major damage, according to a deputy who arrived about 9:20 p.m.

• A 57-year-old Winlock man was driving too fast and under the influence when he totaled his car yesterday afternoon on state Route 505 about 10 miles out of Toledo, according to the Washington State Patrol. A trooper called to the scene just before 5 p.m. reported Marc V. Raubuch was unable to negotiate a curve and lost control causing his 2000 Mercedes 320 to roll and come to rest in a field. Raubuch  was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital where he was treated and has been released, according to authorities.

• Two occupants of a Toyota Camry were treated at Providence Centralia Hospital following an early morning three-vehicle collision on Interstate 5 about five miles south of Chehalis yesterday, according to the Washington State Patrol. A trooper called about 4:40 a.m. to the northbound lanes near milepost 70 indicated Aleksey T. Kozorezov, 79, of Bothell, lost control of his car and hit a Pontiac Grand Am driven by a Winlock woman and a big rig. He and his 34–year-old passenger, Andrey A. Kozorezov of Federal Way were transported to the hospital but have since been released, according to authorities. No other injuries or serious vehicle damage was indicated.

• A 44-year-old Ethel man was hospitalized with complaints of abdominal pain after a single-vehicle wreck on Saturday evening on the 400 block of Tucker Road, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The driver said he was eastbound when he lost control at a corner and ran into a tree, according to the sheriff’s office. His Dodge Dakota pickup suffered major damage, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

• A 22-year-old woman escaped injury when she had a seizure and her car left the roadway off the 700 block of West Reynolds Avenue in Centralia, traveling through a yard, a hedge and barbed wire fence before coming to rest in a pasture on Saturday morning, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy arriving to the scene about 10:20 a.m. noted nobody else was injured and the damage was minor. She taken to Providence Centralia Hospital for treatment of her seizure, according to the sheriff’s office. The woman was not cited but a driver re-evaluation form will be forwarded to the state Department of Licensing, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

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Tacoma man missing from mushroom gathering outing south of Randle

Monday, October 8, 2012 at 8:40 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Volunteers on horseback are looking for a 79-year-old Tacoma man who got separated and lost from his family yesterday while picking mushrooms near Randle.

He was with two family members off Forest Road 26 near Strawberry Mountain about 10 miles south of Randle at 10:30 a.m. yesterday; the family called for assistance about 3 p.m. after looking for him, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

“When they could not find him they returned to their car and waited,” Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown stated in a news release. “When he didn’t return to the car they began searching for him but were still unable to find him.”

Temperatures reached 32 degrees in the area last night, according to Brown.

The missing man had a backpack with water but was not prepared for an overnight stay, she said. The family said he is an experienced hiker.

Packwood Search and Rescue along with Cascade Dogs searched for him until about midnight, according to the sheriff’s office.

Lewis County Posse’s horse team and citizen ham radio operators are at the scene this morning searching, Brown said.

Volunteer search and rescue groups from Thurston and Cowlitz counties are en route to assist, according to Brown.

Kirotv.com identifies the missing man as Dapeng Yang.

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News brief: Authorities seek help finding elderly Centralia pair

Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 12:18 pm
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Florence L. Fisher and James O’Neal. / Courtesy photo Lewis County Sheriff’s Office

Update: The sheriff’s office said about 7:15 p.m. the pair were found in Ballard and are safe.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Police are asking for the public’s help finding a missing elderly Centralia couple.

James L. O’Neal, 85, and Florence L. Fisher, 92, were last seen about 11:30 p.m. on Friday in the Everett area and were reported missing yesterday afternoon, according to the Centralia Police Department.

He was driving a dark blue Pontiac Vibe hatchback.

“Apparently both have forms of dementia, hers being more prominent,” Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Pat Smith said.

Smith said he understood they were in an accident and a family member was on their way up to meet them.

“I don’t know any details; it must have been minor,” Smith said. “The car was still drivable and nobody went to the hospital.”

However, the couple drove off, Smith said. They had been at a Dennys restaurant in Everett.

“They’re concerned he could get disoriented,” Smith said, noting O’Neal apparently thought he was in Centralia

The public is asked to call police if they see them or their car.

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Maurin murders: Amount of new evidence overwhelming the defense

Friday, October 5, 2012 at 5:06 pm
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Ricky Riffe listens to his attorney John Crowley in court this morning.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The trial in the 1985 Maurin kidnap and murder case was pushed out once again as the defense voiced concerns about slowness of information being turned over to him while the prosecutor worries about witnesses who could die before they ever get called to the stand.

Ricky Allen Riffe, 53, appeared in Lewis County Superior Court this morning as attorneys reviewed the status of the case with Judge Richard Brosey.

It was scheduled for the week of Nov. 5.

Seattle-based defense attorney John Crowley said he won’t be prepared by then.

Crowley told the judge he just received a witness statement from Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead; a witness he still needs to interview.

“It was typed August 30, I got it two days ago,” Crowley said.

Crowley noted his client was arraigned in August, but the state just last week collected DNA from his client, which is presumably now being tested at the state crime lab.

He also pointed out the prosecutor turned over 6,000 emails as recently as Tuesday collected from his client’s computer.

“The point is, we can’t be ready, given the rate of production of discovery by the state,” Crowley said.

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Ed and Minnie Maurin

Halstead objected to the request for a postponement until March, and being accused of “dribbling” the required documents to the defense.

“This is a case that’s recently re-emerged,” Halstead said. “As you can imagine, people have come forward.”

Halstead said the state has serious concerns about witnesses being available given the case is 27 years old, noting one who had a heart attack last week.

“He’s not the only one who might not be around in six months,” Halstead said.

Riffe, a former Lewis County resident, was a long time suspect but was just arrested in July at his home in Alaska.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office has investigated and reinvestigated the case since December 1985 when Ed and Wilhelmina Maurin vanished from their home in Ethel and their bodies turned up days later off a logging road outside Adna.

Prosecutors believe Riffe and his now-deceased brother John Gregory Riffe got into the Maurin’s home, uncovered bank records and forced the couple to go with them to the bank and withdraw $8,500 before shooting them in the backs with a shotgun inside their car, according to charging documents.

Ed Maurin was 81 years old. His wife, who went by Minnie, was 83.

The prosecution has in excess of 100 witnesses, some from out of state. Halstead today said the trial could last as long as four weeks. Last month, he estimated it could take two or possibly three weeks.

Judge Brosey said he would reschedule the trial for the week of Feb. 4 and proposed setting aside the whole month. He wants the attorneys to meet with him again in mid-November to review their progress.

“I don’t think I can be ready,” Crowley told him. “Given the computer and biological evidence floating out there.”

Halstead is preparing to take a formal deposition of one of his witnesses, Donald Burgess of Centralia, just in case his health prevents him from being present at the trial.

The parties will be back in court next Friday morning to address the details of the deposition with the judge.

Riffe is charged with two counts each of first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree robbery, as well as one count of burglary.

He has pleaded not guilty. His attorney continues to claim they got the wrong man.

Today in court he expressed optimism about the results of the DNA tests, which he’s still waiting to see.

“This was a bloody scene,” he said. “Hopefully the perpetrator left behind some evidence.”
•••

For background, read “Maurin homicide: Accused murderer’s lawyer says no new evidence in old case” from Thursday July 26, 2012, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, October 5, 2012 at 12:42 pm

‘I SEE YOU’

• A sheriff’s detective driving by the Handi Mart on Kerron Avenue in Winlock yesterday morning stopped when he spotted an individual on a mountain bike making repeated brief contacts with people in cars in the parking lot. The detective observed for awhile because numerous complaints have been received over the past few months about suspected drug dealing there, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. When the man motioned for one motorist to follow him up the street and the detective saw some kind of exchange, he contacted the bicyclist, Christopher W. Shope, 47, Winlock, and arrested him for possession of methamphetamine, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Shope denied selling drugs but admitted he had about $20 worth of meth with him, Brown said. Shope was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

ASSAULT WITH WOODEN ROD

• A 49-year-old Centralia man was arrested for second degree assault yesterday morning after he allegedly threatened to strike family members with a wooden closet rod. Keith A. Smith was booked into the Lewis County Jail after contact with an officer about 8:20 p.m. at the 1400 block of Johnson Road in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

ONE DOWN, ONE TO GO

• A woman wanted for hit and run for allegedly colliding with some mailboxes on the 1400 block of Centralia-Alpha Road as her boyfriend fled an alleged assault on Tuesday was arrested when she was spotted at Dennys in Chehalis last night. Raelynn D. Gonzales said she didn’t know where Mitchell W. Sinclair was, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. She was booked into the Lewis County Jail. He is wanted for allegedly striking a woman in the head and face with a steel bar.

THE GOOD STUFF IS GONE

• An empty purse found on a piece of equipment at a business on the 600 block of Northwest State Street in Chehalis was turned into the police department yesterday. The brown handbag discovered with an empty blue cloth lunch bag had no name or anything inside of it, according to police.

DEER WRECK

• A 37-year-old Castle Rock woman escaped serious injury when she swerved to miss a deer, crossed over the center lane and hit a guard rail before heading down an embankment. It happened about 8 p.m. yesterday on the 1000 block of Jackson Highway South near Toledo, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Her vehicle sustained major damage and she was cited for wheels off the roadway because her attempt to avoid the deer was unsafe, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

CHIMNEY FIRE

• Firefighters were called just before 7 p.m. yesterday to a fire on Vine Street in Napavine found five-foot high flames coming from a chimney. It was extinguished before it spread to the structure, according to Lewis County Fire District 5. Firefighter Brad Bozarth said its a good time for folks to get their chimneys cleaned if they haven’t already done so. This one was cleaned last year, but not very well, he said.

NEIGHBORS HELPING NEIGHBORS

• Four firefighters from West Thurston Regional Fire Authority traveled to Mason County last night to assist with a wild fire that  has burned about 150 acres. Fire Chief Robert Scott reminds folks there is a red flag alert in place in parts of Western Washington because weather conditions are ripe for fires. The (Tacoma) News Tribune reports the blaze near Shelton threatened about 100 structures when it began yesterday but 100 firefighters who worked through the night have it 30 percent contained.

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Joshua Vance admits to killing his father

Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 7:52 pm
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Joshua Vance sits with defense attorney David Arcuri as he pleads guilty to murder in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Going to trial is a gamble and both sides in the Onalaska murder case in which a 25-year-old mentally disturbed man stabbed to death his sleeping father chose to cut their losses with a plea agreement.

Joshua Leroy Vance previously pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity but this morning told a judge he was guilty.

His father, 58-year-old Terry Vance, was stabbed at least 11 times and his throat was cut the morning of March 7.

Lawyers crafted a modified set of charges so they could secure a sentence of between 25 and 30 years.

Vance, 25 years old and shackled at the waist and ankles said very little in court today, only answering Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt’s several questions.

Vance pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.

“That means you thought about it for awhile and decided that’s what you were going to do?” Hunt asked.

“Yes,” Vance replied.

Instead of three counts of attempted murder, because Vance had told deputies and hospital personnel he had intended to kill the rest of his family, Vance pleaded guilty to third-degree assault.

The plea to the second count was pursuant to a doctrine referred to as “In re Barr”.

As the judge put it, he pleaded guilty to a crime he may not have committed or did not commit as part of an agreement.

Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher explained he knew he could not get a conviction on those charges because of a rule that prevents him from relying on the defendant’s confessions alone.

Had the case moved toward trial, Vance’s admissions would not have been heard by a jury and Meagher would be left with no evidence of attempted murders, Meagher said.

But Meagher wanted Vance to be held accountable for them, so offered the “In re Barr” option with third-degree assault, he said.

Meagher will be asking for 30 years in prison when Vance is sentenced the week after next.

Defense attorney David Arcuri will be asking for 25 years, he said.

A psychiatric evaluation by a doctor for the defense supported the not guilty by reason of insanity, but an examination by a doctor hired by prosecutors indicated differently, according to Arcuri.

“If both experts had agreed, we would not be doing this,” Arcuri said.

It’s all about weighing the probabilities and the potential amounts of time, Arcuri said.

His client would have been facing close to 100 years in prison if they’d gone to trial and lost, he said.

Vance was attending Centralia College in the months before the attack. He was being treated for mental health issues; his family said he’d gone off his medications because he couldn’t afford them.

His diagnosis’s in the Western State Hospital doctors’ report included psychotic disorder, major depression, amphetamine dependence and alcohol abuse.

He has been hospitalized in the past for command hallucinations to kill himself and harm others. He also has been treated for substance induced hallucinations, according to the report.

Meagher said he took that into consideration.

“Let’s face it, the guy does have psychotic tendencies,” Meagher said.

Sentencing is set for Oct. 17.
•••

For background, read “Breaking news: Plea agreement made in Onalaska murder case” from Monday October 1, 2012, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 5:55 pm

NINTENDO STOLEN

• Centralia police were called to  home on the 500 block of Prairie Rose Street just after 6 p.m. yesterday about a Nintendo which had been stolen.

PAPER RACK VANISHES

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning a deputy was called about the theft of a newspaper dispenser from a gas station on the 2900 block of U.S. Highway 12 in Silver Creek. It is believed to have been taken sometime between Sunday and Monday and is valued at $600, according to the sheriff’s office.

ANGRY GRANDMA INVESTIGATED

• Police were called to Chehalis Middle School about 3:40 p.m. yesterday when a staff member said they witnessed a grandmother pull her granddaughter by the hair and slap her repeatedly. An officer requested security video footage and is following up, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

DRUGS, DRUGS AND MORE DRUGS

• A 20-year-old Centralia woman arrested yesterday for a garage burglary that occurred in Centralia last year was found with a variety of suspected drugs including heroin, methamphetamine and pills, according to police. An officer spotted Chelsea R. Hensley walking along the 1500 block of North Pearl Street about 3 p.m. and took her into custody, according to the Centralia Police Department. She was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

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Read about suspect in Rochester armed robbery captured in Idaho …

Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 4:30 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian reports police in Pocatello, Idaho arrested a man this afternoon wanted for a Rochester home invasion robbery in May in which two women were bound with zip ties at a home on the 10,900 block of U.S. Highway 12.

News reporter Jeremy Pawloski writes Timothy Dopp, 38, likely knew the victims because of their mutual involvement in the drug culture.

A 3-year-old girl who was in the house slept through the armed robbery.

Read more here

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Read about prison for Centralia mom who admits deadly assault of baby …

Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 4:09 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian reports attorneys agreed to recommend a prison sentence of just over 18 years for a woman whose 4-month-old baby died after she assaulted it in a Grand Mound trailer home in September of last year.

Rachel Bryan, 21, pleaded guilty today to second-degree murder in Thurston County Superior Court, according to news reporter Jeremy Pawloski.

The Centralia woman was arrested after medics were called about an infant in distress and found the child with acute head injuries. The baby died four days later at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma.

Read more here

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Sheriff’s Office: Adna-area husband attacked by wife with knife

Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 11:40 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 56-year-old man who arrived home to find numerous stab marks in the wall of his home escaped serious injury when his wife allegedly pulled a knife from the wall during an ensuing argument, stabbed him in the stomach and held the knife to his neck yesterday evening west of Adna.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said he wrestled the knife away and hid outside until deputies arrived.

Peggy Lee McCoy, 52, was arrested without incident, according to the sheriff’ office. She had armed herself with another knife, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

Deputies called at 5:24 p.m. to the home on the 800 block of Ceres Hill Road were told the husband got home and found items in disarray, and noticed the knife sticking out of the wall and the other marks.

Brown did not yet know details of the cause of the dispute or what the woman was upset about. McCoy refused to give a statement, she said.

Brown said the husband declined aid for a puncture wound in the left side of his stomach.

McCoy was booked in to the Lewis County Jail for first-degree assault, Brown said.

She is expected to go before a judge this afternoon.

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Last suspect from summer 2010 drive-by shooting in Chehalis now accounted for

Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 7:02 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Police aren’t looking any longer for Andrew Morales-Loberg, a 19-year-old wanted but never captured in connection with a Chehalis drive-by shooting two years ago.

The Chehalis resident is one of four gang members sentenced Monday to more than 100 years in prison for a quasi-drive-by shooting in Yakima County, according to authorities.

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Andrew Morales-Loberg

Jaime Lopez, now 20, is the name Andrew Morales-Loberg gave police when he was arrested, Yakima County Deputy Prosecutor Gary Hintze said yesterday.

He and three other men – all LVL members, according to Hintze – were convicted in what was described as a retaliatory shooting after the sister of one of their group was shot in Sunnyside early last year.

A few hours later, gunfire erupted outside a Norteno-related home in the nearby town of Outlook, Hintze said.

“They rolled up, stopped the car, got out and lined up outside and shot up the trailer, narrowly missing seven people sleeping,” Hintze said.

That was March 14, 2011 and the suspects were jailed shortly after, he said.

Morales-Loberg had been implicated in the summer of 2010 in a Chehalis incident in which someone in a red Chevrolet Blazer fired a round from a pistol that missed several people but struck a parked vehicle on Southwest William Street.

At first police said an unknown number of individuals were inside the Blazer, but soon filed charges against four local residents, claiming they were all in the SUV, including Morales-Loberg.

He was never apprehended.

Authorities here described the suspects as LVL members and the shooting as related to a debt owed to somebody called “Candy man”.

Witnesses implicated two different men as the shooter.

The alleged target Rolando Carrillo Cruz told a police detective he was certain it was Morales-Loberg; and Christina Palomares – at one point believed to be the driver – pointed to her husband as the shooter, according to court documents.

Drive-by shooting charges were subsequently dismissed against all three.

Palomares, a 24-year-old Tenino woman, pleaded guilty last summer to two counts of malicious prosecution. The deputy prosecutor said she lied about who was in the vehicle, and there was some question if she was even there.

Juan Valentino Vasquez was released three months earlier, because of insufficient evidence.

Charges against Ruben Alberto Palomares were dropped six months before that.

A $500,000 bench warrant remains for Morales-Loberg in the Chehalis case.

Chehalis police said they learned their wanted subject was locked up in Yakima and aren’t sure if he’ll be brought back to Lewis County.

Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher said today he hasn’t decided if he’ll pursue it, given Morales-Loberg’s lengthy Yakima County sentence.

“He got life, that’s good news,” Meagher said.

Hintze said he doesn’t know a whole lot about Morales-Loberg, although he said he also goes by the street name “Loki”.

The Yakima Herald-Republic quotes the father of Morales-Loberg, also known as Jaime Morales, as telling the judge on Monday that God would judge his son and the others fairly.

He was given 160 year sentence for his role in the Outlook shooting. With three guns and seven victims, the first-degree assault charges, plus mandatory firearm enhancement time added up, according to Hintze.