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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 12:20 pm

CANDY, AMMO AMONG THE LOOT

• Deputies yesterday morning were called to Vader for an overnight car prowl spree in which at least five locations were hit. A blue BMX bicycle was taken from the back of a truck parked on the 800 block of G Street sometime after 4:30 a.m., according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Among the other items stolen from various vehicles were fishing poles, keys, a cordless drill, loose candy, jumper cables, a child’s doll and  a 9 mm magazine filled with ammunition, according to the sheriff’s office. The suspects are three juveniles, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

MORE KIDS STEALING STUFF

• Two boys were spotted stealing a bicycle from the library in Centralia yesterday. An officer responding about 4 p.m. to the 100 block of South Silver Street describes it as gray Yukon mountain bike.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police were called about 3 p.m. to Southwest Chehalis Avenue near Main Street when an individual found someone entered their car which have been left unlocked and stole a lunchbox and prescription drugs.

UNHAPPY TRAIN PASSENGER

• Police were called to the railroad station in Centralia yesterday when a conductor kicked a passenger off the Amtrak train, who allegedly became agitated and threatening, even kicking at luggage. Police say Hassan A. Sabaghi, 64, from Seattle, was removed about 11:30 a.m. because he was screaming at other passengers. The train was enroute to Denver, according to police. Sabaghi was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for disorderly conduct, according to the Centralia Police Department. It’s not clear if the luggage he kicked was his own, or if his bags had remained on the train.

HORSE PURSUIT

• Officers responded just before 1 p.m. yesterday to assist sheriff’s deputies with catching four horses that got loose from the 500 block of South Street in Centralia and were running in traffic, according to the Centralia Police Department. After about a half hour, the animals were corralled at Jefferson-Lincoln Elementary School about a half mile away, according to the sheriff’s office. The owner, a 32-year-old woman, will be issued a citation for “animals at large,” according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

WRECKS

• A 33-year-old Randle man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with a possible broken back and internal injuries after a single-vehicle collision yesterday along the 300 block of Kiona Road in Randle, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy responding about 7 p.m. reported the 33-year-old passenger was taken to Morton General Hospital where she was treated and has been released. The driver was northbound and traveling too fast when approaching a right turn and ran into some trees, according to the sheriff’s office. The 1996 Buick Regal was totaled.

• A 16-year-old boy from Castle Rock was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital with a possible concussion and a wrist injury last night after he lost control of his car and struck a tree along the 400 block of Boistfort Road west of Chehalis. A deputy responding about 10:40 p.m. noted his 1972 Subaru was totaled and his 16-year-old female passenger ended up with just scrapes, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, violation of protection order; responses by fire department for illegal outdoor burning, by police for alarms, disputes, collisions, shoplifting; complaints of reckless drivers, loud music, barking dogs … and more.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Updated at 6:41 p.m.

POSSIBLE ARSON IN ROCHESTER

• A suspicious fire early this morning at a Rochester home is under investigation. Firefighters called about 2:30 a.m. to the Sunny Acres Mobile Home Park on the 6000 block of Southwest 203rd Avenue found a porch had caught fire although a neighbor extinguished it with a garden hose, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority. Nobody was home at the time but a neighbor arriving home spotted the flames, Chief Robert Scott said. Scott said an investigator was back out at the mobile home this morning. The burned area was on the top of a wood rail, he said. “We’ll follow up with law, we’ve talked with the property owner,” he said. The resident indicated they had no idea who might do such a thing, according to Scott. A fire on Sunday about five miles to the north in which a barn was destroyed is also under investigation. Seven fire departments assisted with that blaze on Case Road at the Scatter Creek Wildlife Area which spread to about two acres before it was contained.

BRUSH CATCHES FIRE NEAR WINLOCK

• Firefighters extinguished a smoldering grass fire about 8:15 p.m. yesterday on undeveloped property along the 2500 block of Highway 603 north of Winlock. Firefighter Patrick Jacobson said it was probably 50 yards away from the road. “There wasn’t anyone around, I don’t know what the cause was,” Jacobson said. It was contained to an area of about 25 by 30 feet, he said.

BURGLARY CENTRALIA

• Someone broke into a residence on the 500 block of North Iron Street in Centralia and left with a Sony game console, according to a report made to police at 2 p.m. yesterday. The case is still under investigation,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

AUTO THEFT

• Centralia police responded  about 5:10 a.m. today to a report of a stolen red 1999 Honda Civic at the 1000 block of Eckerson Road. It has a license plate that reads 389 BEQ,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Someone stole a broken down car valued at $200 that was left parked at the 1400 block of U.S. Highway 12 in Ethel, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning. A deputy contacted Monday by its 19-year-old owner was told it was left there on July 20 when it would not start, according to the sheriff’s office. It is a red 1997 Dodge Stratus with a license plate of 682 WTJ, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

SHED BREAK-IN

• Centralia police were called to the 100 block of West Chestnut Street about 7 p.m. yesterday regarding the theft of unspecified property from an unlocked shed. It’s not clear yet what is missing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Someone threw a rock through the back window of a vehicle parked at Mellen and Yew streets in Centralia, according to  report made to police yesterday morning.

• A deputy will be looking at security footage to find out who spun cookies on the lawn at Onalaska High School and caused $30 damage to a rhododendron plant on Monday night or Tuesday morning, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

DISOBEDIENT AND UNRULY

• A 23-year-old woman was jailed yesterday after she refused to give her name or identification to a sheriff’s deputy. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said the deputy contacted two people in a vehicle that was parked in a no trespass area off Coal Creek Road outside Chehalis about 2:40 p.m. A male and a female were having a dispute, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The woman was driven to Centralia where a police officer there confirmed who she was, Brown said. Carlina F. Anderson, 23, of Centralia, was arrested and booked for obstructing a public servant, according to the sheriff’s office.

• A 31-year-old Chehalis man was arrested overnight after police were called to Southwest Interstate Avenue and told he grabbed a bicycle and threw it down, causing his female companion to fall. Jesse J. Wheeler was booked into the Lewis County Jail for disorderly conduct, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

WRECKS

• A 55-year-old bicyclist was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with injuries to his face after he collided with the back end of a flatbed trailer on the shoulder of U.S. Highway 12 east of Randle yesterday evening. Troopers and aid called about 6:10 p.m. to the scene found a truck and trailer had pulled off to the side of the highway, according to Lewis County Fire District 14. “Apparently for some reason the bicyclist didn’t see it and ran into it, fairly fast by the looks of it,” Fire Chief Jeff Jaques said. Paul N. Small was traveling eastbound when it happened, according to the state patrol. The chief said he was wearing a helmet. The investigating trooper reports Small lives in Randle. Jaques said he believed he is a Packwood resident.

• A 21-year-old Onalaska woman was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital after she rolled her car on the 500 block of Larmon Road near Onalaska yesterday evening. She said a deer appeared in front of her and she lost control of the vehicle, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Deer tracks were found into the ditch; the driver was not cited, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The 2010 Chevrolet Aveo was described as totaled.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, misdemeanor domestic assault; responses for alarms, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, non-injury collision, inquiry about legality of discharging a Zombie Shooter inside city limits; complaints of car squirreling around, homeless person bothering customers … and more.

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News brief: Coroner confirms woman discovered in river is Chehalis resident

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 11:05 am

Updated at 6:21 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Coroner’s Office said the woman who was found dead in the Skookumchuck River on Monday is 40-year-old Tina A. Thode of Chehalis.

She is the woman police suspected she was, Coroner Warren McLeod said this morning.

McLeod said he doesn’t yet know how she died.

A pair of teenagers floating down the river in Centralia spotted the body and contacted authorities on Monday evening. Centralia police said there were no obvious signs of traumatic injury or foul play, but that responders had spent several hours on Saturday night trying to locate Thode in the same area when she called 911 and said she was lost.

The search ended after responders got word someone had seen Thode and said she was okay, according to Centralia Police Department detective Sgt. Pat Fitzgerald.

McLeod described Thode as a Chehalis resident, although he could not pinpoint her current address. She has grown children, parents and siblings who live in the area, he said.

An autopsy was conducted today, but a determination about the cause and manner of Thode’s death won’t come until after microscopic studies are done and the results of toxicology tests come back, according to McLeod. The tests can take eight to 10 weeks.

•••

For background, read “Breaking news: Woman found dead in Skookumchuck River in Centralia” from Monday July 29, 2013, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Updated at 1:29 p.m.

POLICE: HUSBAND APPREHENDED AFTER GUN THREAT

• A 42-year-old Ethel man who allegedly went to Centralia where he showed his estranged wife a loaded magazine from a pistol and told her, “This bullet has your name on it” was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail yesterday. Deputies responded around 11 a.m. to the 3300 block of Harrison Avenue where the alleged incident occurred and Centralia police subsequently made a traffic stop on David E. Threlkeld and took him into custody for felony harassment, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. He was found with a loaded 40 caliber Glock pistol, according to the sheriff’s office.

POLICE: EX-BOYFRIEND BASHES WINDOW

• A 32-year-old Chehalis man was arrested last night for allegedly breaking the rear window of his girlfriend’s vehicle. Thommy A. Clinton was cited for the incident connected with the 600 block of Yew Street in Centralia and then released,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• Centralia police looking for a man with a warrant from the state Department of Corrections yesterday found him just before noon at a residence on the 1100 block of F Street. Police found suspected methamphetamine and heroin on Scott R. Hotchkiss, 34, of Centralia, and booked him into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. Arrested and booked at the same time also for possession of methamphetamine was Tanner Z. R. Russell, 21, of Centralia, according to police.

THEFT AND FRAUD

• Centralia police took a report last night about a person attempting to use a credit card locally from a wallet accidentally left at a bus stop in Centralia. The report made to police about 8:30 p.m. is connected with a location of the 200 block of South Pearl Street, according to the Centralia Police Department.

MAN, TEEN ESCAPE INJURY IN DUI WRECK

• A 46-year-old Winlock resident who rolled his vehicle while trying to answer his cell phone yesterday was arrested for driving under the influence as well as reckless endangerment; he had a 13-year-old passenger, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Aid and deputies called about 7:30 p.m. yesterday to the Winlock-Vader Road near Ferrier Road found a 2004 Jeep Wrangler in a ditch with minor damage, according to the sheriff’s office. Nobody was taken to the hospital, according to Lewis County Fire District 15. Curtis J. Farrier was booked into the Lewis County Jail, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. He was also cited for using his phone while driving, she said.

BB GUN INCIDENT UNDER INVESTIGATION

• Police were called about 10:15 a.m. yesterday by a parent about a 15-year-old boy who was shot with a BB gun in the area of the 1000 block of Scammon Creek Road in Centralia. The case is under investigation but the boy ended up with just a red mark on his back, according to the Centralia Police Department.

WRECKS

• The Washington State Patrol reports a 68-year-old Chehalis man was injured when his motorcycle was hit by a vehicle changing lanes on Interstate 5 north of Kelso on Sunday afternoon. Troopers called about 2:25 p.m. to the northbound lanes near milepost 42 report Halsey K. Hines was transported to St. John Medical Center in Longview. The 25-year-old driver of the Hyundai Tucson was reportedly unhurt.

• A 25-year-old Chehalis woman was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital after her Ford Taurus rear ended a Chrysler mini van on Interstate 5 south of Chehalis about 11:40 a.m. on Sunday, according to the Washington State Patrol. Troopers responding to the northbound lanes near the state Route 508 interchange cited Winona F. Gladue for following too closely, according to the state patrol. None of the four occupants in the other vehicle, from Newberg, Ore., were hurt, according to the investigating trooper.

COUPLE LOSES EVERYTHING IN OAKVILLE FIRE

• An unoccupied mobile home and nearby garage went up in smoke yesterday morning near the center of town in Oakville. Firefighters called at 6:45 a.m. to the intersection of Cedar and Newton streets were joined by crews from two other departments in getting the fire extinguished, according to Grays Harbor County Fire District 1. The fire was so hot it melted some fiberglass on another nearby building, according to Capt. Erik Palmerson. Palmerson said nobody was injured but a couple was preparing to move in on the first of the month. “And unfortunately, the (incoming) tenants had all their belongings stored in the garage,” he said. Palmerson said it began in the garage, where there had been some remodeling going on and was possibly related to wiring. Neither the owner or the renters had insurance, he said.

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Breaking news: Woman found dead in Skookumchuck River in Centralia

Monday, July 29, 2013 at 11:04 pm
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Firefighters wait at the corner of Reynolds and North Tower avenues while detectives complete their scene investigation several hundred yards away.

Updated

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CENTRALIA – A woman’s body was found in the Skookumchuck River in north Centralia this evening but police don’t suspect foul play.

Centralia Police Department detective Sgt. Pat Fitzgerald said two kids floating down the river found her, went home and called 911 around 7 p.m. and then walked police to the scene.

She hasn’t been positively identified, but Fitzgerald said he suspects it is the same woman who called 911 on Saturday evening saying she was lost near the river.

Officers and firefighters spent about three hours that night walking both sides of the river and even using thermal imaging cameras but didn’t find her, he said.

Before the night was over however, authorities came across someone who had seen her and told them she was okay, he said.

Fitzgerald didn’t think the body had been in the water all that long, not since Saturday night. A chair and a couple bottles of water were found near her, he said.

There were no obvious signs of traumatic injury, according to police.

Detectives conducted their investigation tonight east of a pasture at  Reynolds and North Tower avenues.

A car that belongs to the woman was found parked on the east side of the river off Central Boulevard and impounded by police, he said.

He described the woman he suspects it could be as in her mid-30s and local, someone who’s lived here for years. The coroner’s office is expected to confirm her identity and cause of death.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, July 29, 2013 at 8:43 pm

EXTREME SHOPLIFTING

• A subject captured on security video at a convenience store near Vader apparently took only three six-packs of Budweiser beer after backing his truck up to the entrance while it was closed and using an axe to break the glass on the front door and then popping inside and quickly back out. An employee arriving to the Shell station on the 100 block of Mulford Road on Saturday discovered the burglary and called 911, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Surveillance video from inside the business showed the male, dressed all in black and appearing to have a bandana covering his face, use a long pole to turn an outside camera, according to the sheriff’s office. Nothing at first appeared to be missing, including the safes, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The truck is described as blue with a dark canopy, according to Brown.

• Three women from Longview were arrested for allegedly shoplifting about $1,000 of merchandise from four stores at the Centralia Outlets on Saturday evening. Centralia police responded to reports about 5:40 p.m. and a trooper subsequently stopped a vehicle near the state Route 508 interchange where all the goods were recovered, according to the Centralia Police Department. Booked into the Lewis County Jail were Ashley L. Leonard, 30, Adrianne R. Lindgrin, 27, and Rebecca C. Wilcox, 41, according to police. Wilcox was additionally arrested for possession of methamphetamine, according to police.

• Police were called about 10 p.m. yesterday to Safeway on the 1100 block of South Market Boulevard in Chehalis after a subject left the store with a cart full of laundry soap. Nobody was able to get a plate number as the departing vehicle had no license plate on its back and the front plate was covered, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

OTHER THEFT

• Someone stole 30 sheets of roofing tin from property on Kjesbu Road sometime between July 20 and Saturday, according to  the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

•  Centralia police took a report about 9:35 a.m. on Saturday about roughly 15 gallons of fuel stolen from a vehicle at the 1000 block of South Gold Street.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Police were called about 7:30 a.m. yesterday about a purse stolen from a vehicle at the 200 block of Northwest State Avenue in Chehalis. The purse was subsequently located in a nearby apartment but missing an item or two like a bottle of prescription meds, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The case is being referred to prosecutors for a charging decision, according to police.

• Police were called about 5:30 p.m. yesterday about a wallet stolen from a vehicle while its owner ran inside an apartment building for short time at the 300 block of Southwest Third Street in Chehalis.

BAD BAR BEHAVIOR

• A 40-year-old Morton woman was arrested for disorderly conduct after she allegedly struck another patron of a tavern on the 100 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia and then walked outside and disrobed. Kristine M. Hiatt was booked into the Lewis County Jail following the Saturday night incident, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police were called about 10:40 p.m. on Friday to the 1000 block of Southeast Adams Avenue where a man said he observed a male “key” his neighbors Jeep. The caller tried to follow him but lost track of him and an officer subsequently contacted a suspect but no arrest was made, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

DISPUTES IN CENTRALIA

• Centralia police responded about 11:30 p.m. yesterday to a report of a domestic assault at the 1400 block of Harrison Avenue. No arrests were made but the case is being referred to prosecutors for evaluation of charges, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 25-year-old Centralia man was arrested on Saturday afternoon in connection with violating a protection order with assault regarding his ex-girlfriend, according to police who responded to the 2800 block of Russell Road in Centralia. Levi S. Ramirez was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 29-year-old man was contacted by Centralia police multiple times on Sunday, first for allegedly slashing a tire on a neighbor’s car at the 2800 block of Russell Road for which he was cited and then released; then because he allegedly stole a beer from a business on the 1000 block of Harrison Avenue for which he was cited. Officers found him later in the morning when they were called again to the 2800 block of Russell Road for a possible dispute, according to the Centralia Police Department. Donald P. Myers allegedly took several prescription pills there from his ex-girlfriend and was booked for theft into the Lewis County Jail. However, he was released without charges on the last incident, pending further investigation.

FALL FROM SECOND STORY

• Aid was called about 5 o’clock this morning to the 800 block of First Street in Centralia where a subject reportedly fell one story off a balcony. The patient was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Further details were not readily available.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor domestic assaults, driving under the influence; responses for alarms, violation of protection order, disputes, stolen bicycle, shoplifting, fender bender, non-injury collisions, motorist who struck a bicyclist who said he wasn’t hurt and wanted to leave, a small dog inside a parked vehicle with his tongue hanging out, a bloated possum laying on a street corner, a male laying under a sleeping bag on the grass off Northwest Pennsylvania Avenue, a male laying on a sidewalk, drunk in public, a female out in the road yelping like a dog; complaints of berry bushes growing onto a sidewalk, dogs running loose trying to pick fights … and barking dogs … and more.

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News brief: State-owned Scatter Creek barn goes up in flames

Monday, July 29, 2013 at 11:11 am
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Fire with an unknown cause spreads from tree, brush to barn and scorches two acres. / Courtesy photo by West Thurston Regional Fire Authority

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The cause of a fire that consumed a large, old wooden barn at the Scatter Creek Wildlife Area north of Grand Mound yesterday evening remains under investigation.

Firefighters called about 6:30 p.m. to the 16000 block of Case Road Southwest found a tree and brush fire had spread into the two-story structure and was beginning to move towards homes adjacent to the state-owned property, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.

Crews from numerous area departments responded containing the blaze to about two acres, Chief Robert Scott said.

They were joined by personnel from the state Department of Natural Resources, as well as some from Fish and Wildlife which maintains the property, according to Scott.

“It was a little dicey, as spot fires were being cast down range,” Scott said.

Scott said he didn’t know what the barn was used for, but he’s been told it was empty and it’s been there a very long time.

“I’m not sure how old that barn is, but it’s been there for decades, probably close to 100 years,” he said.

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News brief: Out of control teen with knife confronts several Rochester residents

Monday, July 29, 2013 at 10:43 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 16-year-old Rochester boy suspected to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both was arrested last night after allegedly confronting residents at four homes, including using a knife to slash and cut a door causing a female to flee.

It began with a 911 call about 9 p.m. about an intoxicated male outside a residence who allegedly shoved the caller who had been trying to calm him down at 185th Avenue Southwest in Rochester, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

About 30 minutes later, a frantic female called 911 to say a male was trying to break into her home, Lt. Greg Elwin said in a news release.

He came inside armed with a knife and she fled, according to Elwin.

One of several responding deputies located the suspect walking along the roadway and took him into custody without incident, Elwin said.

Elwin reported the young man had threatened at least one person using the knife, demanding keys to their car.

The boy, who was not named, was booked into the Thurston County Youth Service Center for first-degree burglary and first-degree attempted robbery, according to Elwin.

Sheriff John Snaza issued a statement praising the various citizens who assisted each other and the sheriff’s office.

“These types of incidents punctuate how important it is that we all be vigilant in our daily lives,” Snaza stated. “These neighbors came together to look out for each other and work with deputies to get this guy in custody. By working together, we can help keep our families and homes safe.”

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Packwood kidnapping suspect heads to mental hospital

Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 10:15 pm
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Zachery H. Bynum tries to fire his lawyer David Arcuri after Arcuri asks a judge to have Bynum evaluated by mental health specialists.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Packwood man who allegedly kidnapped his young woman friend – first forcing her up a logging road and then dragging her out of the Glenoma grocery, both while armed with a machete – won’t be seeing a judge again anytime soon.

Zachery H. Bynum’s mental stability is in question.

A judge signed an order for the 41-year-old to be evaluated at Western State Hospital to determine if he’s competent enough to understand the court proceedings he’s involved in.

“And, that his mental disease, if he has one, or his mental status, is such that he can effectively assist his lawyer,” defense attorney David Arcuri said.

Bynum was arrested at gunpoint at the end of a police pursuit on July 16 after he allegedly forced 22-year-old Hesper Barker of Morton to flee a deputy in her truck. Court documents state the events of that day came after Barker met with Bynum to tell him she could not see him any more.

He remains held in the Lewis County Jail on $250,000, charged with 12 counts, including first-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault.

He was in court on Thursday to be arraigned, but that can’t be done unless he’s found competent.

Family members from Packwood, Seattle and Eastern Washington traveled to attend the hearing in support of him.

“Everyone just wants help for him, that’s all,” his sister Lela Bynum said. “The episode that happened, it’s not his personality, it’s not who he is.

“They’re just that, they’re episodes.”

Bynum’s father and step mother live in Packwood. He lives with a friend and helps take care of horses and the farm, according to Trish Schmid who said she raised him from the time he was 9 years old. The sheriff’s office described him as a homeless person when he was arrested.

He has a prior felony conviction for second-degree assault from 1994 and several misdemeanor convictions for domestic violence and harassment, according to prosecutors.

His 19-year-old daughter saw him for the first time in a decade in the courtroom last week.

“The last time I saw him, I was on the stand, testifying against him,” Tawnee Bynum said.

One of his his priors is a fourth-degree assault from 2003 in which she was the victim, at age 10, she said.  A no contact order kept them apart, and she only recently learned it had expired.

Her father looked like he was about to cry when he realized who she was and that she was there, she said.

“When I mouthed I love you to him, he had the biggest smile on his face,” she said.

Tawnee Bynum didn’t go into any detail about the past, only saying she and her sister both want their father to get better.

When Bynum was first to go before a judge, he refused. The following day, when he did appear, temporary defense attorney Bob Schroeter apologized to the judge, saying his client had significant mental health issues.

Arucri, who was then appointed to represent him because he is indigent, said he spoke with Schroeter and met with his new client in the jail and concluded he had a duty to get an evaluation done by experts at the state mental hospital.

Bynum vigorously disagreed with Arcuri’s request to the judge and told him he was fired. Judge Nelson Hunt signed the order, because a defendant can’t even make that decision unless he or she is competent, according to Arcuri.

A review hearing is scheduled for Aug. 8.

If Bynum is found competent, he can be then arraigned, according to Arcuri. If he is not found competent, the hospital can keep him while it “restores competency” something that is sometimes done with medication, Arcuri said.

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Zachery H. Bynum recognizes his daughter in the courtroom whom he hasn’t seen in 10 years.

•••

For background, read “Lawyers: Mentally disturbed Packwood man kidnapped woman friend” from Thursday July 18, 2013, here

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Chehalis man arrested and then set free, after child rape accusation

Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 10:09 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 30-year-old man who was arrested at his Chehalis home and held in jail for five days on suspicion of sexually abusing his 4-year-old daughter was released with no charges, after a specialist concluded it appeared the child was coached to say what she said.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said it was a rare occurrence but was also an instance of the system working.

“To me, it’s checks and balances,” Meyer said.

Michael E. Miller, 30, was jailed on July 6, a Saturday and went before a judge the following Monday afternoon. Bail was set at $100,000 to continue to hold him on probable cause while further investigating was done and prosecutors could decide whether to file charges.

The offense he was arrested for was child rape in the first degree.

According to court documents, the little girl’s mother called police in mid-June and said the youngster told her that her father put his finger in her “pee pee”. When subsequently interviewed by an investigator with Child Protective Services, she blurted out, “My dad put his finger in my bottom and it hurt,” court documents state, but the session was ended after the interviewer was not able to keep the girl “on track.”

Deputy Prosecutor Joely O’Rourke said that while Miller was locked up, the child was seen by a specialist at a sexual assault clinic in Olympia, who gave a final report. O’Rourke declined to file any charge.

“The parents are in a heated custody dispute over 4-year-old twins,” O’Rourke said.

There were indications the child might have been coached, and there was no corroboration, she said.

O’Rourke said holding a person in jail without charging them doesn’t happen often, but Miller had a previous issue that moved her in that direction. She didn’t want to elaborate, but the court documents state Miller was convicted in 2004 of possession of child pornography.

His visits with his children are supervised by his sister who is a social worker and very credible, O’Rourke said, and she said there was no way such an incident could have occurred because she was with them during the visits.

Chehalis Police Department detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said there was no physical evidence and no independent witness, but he had what a police officer needs, probable cause for the arrest.

“It’s one of those things, you err on the side of the child,” Wilson said.

O’Rourke indicated an eye will be kept on the situation.

Miller declined to comment on his situation.

Prosecutor Meyer reiterated that each step along the way to a criminal charge requires a different framework to view a case. First police have their protocol, the prosecutors apply their standards and then a judge reviews each case before a charge can be filed.

Meyer indicated potentially someone could be in trouble for coaching a child to utter such phrases, but spoke only theoretically about it.

“You have to look at what proof there is, and more importantly, what proof there isn’t,” he said.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 12:36 pm

ROLLOVER WRECK

• Firefighters rescued a woman and three dogs this morning after her mini van ran into a ditch and landed on its side, trapping her. Lewis County Fire District 6 said they were called around 9 a.m. to Highway 603 near Shorey Road west of Chehalis. The woman was alert and talking but they had to got through the back of the van to get to her, Firefighter Mike Goodwillie said. The animals didn’t seem to be hurt, he said, although a “little teeny” dog bit one of the firefighters on the hand when he tried to get it out so they could to the patient. “I’m guessing it was just scared, cause it was in a rollover too,” he said. The woman was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital, the firefighter was not, according to Goodwillie.

CAR IN RIVER

• Aid and deputies responded yesterday afternoon after a car went off the road and into the Skookumchuck River near state Route 507 and Connor Road Southeast north of Centralia. Thurston County Fire District 12 Deputy Chief Butch Smith said  it happened just before the corner and when they arrived, the young man was already out of the vehicle which landed on its wheels in a shallow area. He was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital by Thurston County Fire District 16, Smith said.

VEHICLE VERSUS BICYCLE

• A young man was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital after his bicycle and a vehicle collided about 4:30 p.m. yesterday at the 100 block of West First Street in Centralia. Police say he rode into traffic without stopping and suffered cuts and scrapes.

NIGHTLIFE

• A 27-year-old Randle man who allegedly tried to force his way back into a downtown Centralia tavern after being kicked out last night was arrested for disorderly conduct, according to police. James C. Murphy was contacted about 12:15 a.m. at the 100 block of South Tower Avenue and then booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 20-year-old Chehalis resident was arrested last night when he was contacted by an officer inside a tavern on the 300 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia. Dalton J. Taylor was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for minor in possession of alcohol by consumption as well as providing false information to a public servant, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT

• Centralia police were called about a TV satellite DVR stolen from a home on the 600 block of Yew Street yesterday. A suspect has been identified and the case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license; report of a bicycle stolen from a porch overnight … and more.

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Read about former Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier charged in acid attack on Thurston County judge …

Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 11:18 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian reports a former soldier already incarcerated for threatening to kill a military prosecutor was charged yesterday for an incident last September in which a man threw battery acid on the face of Thurston County District Court Judge Michael “Brett” Buckley when he answered the door at his Olympia home.

News reporter Jeremy Pawloski writes that Michael E. Martin, 33, who lived in Tumwater at the time, apparently blamed the judge for issuing a restraining order against him that ended his 12-year military career.

Read more here

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Birdwells going separate ways on used car business theft case

Friday, July 26, 2013 at 6:05 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A judge today dismissed part of the criminal charges against Lorrine D. Birdwell, a Toledo woman who with her husband is accused of major theft in connection with their used car business.

Lorrine and Keith A. Birdwell operated  Birdwell Brothers Auto Sales with sites in Centralia and in Lacey.

They were both in Lewis County Superior Court today, each represented by their own lawyer.

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Keith and Lorrine Birdwell

Prosecutors allege the couple used various deceptions to avoid paying back the Centralia-based Security State Bank on loans for vehicles, contending the unrecovered losses to the bank are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

They were each charged in January with one count of first-degree theft and five counts of felony unlawful issuance of a bank check.

The “bad” checks – a secondary issue – were allegedly written by Keith Birdwell for several thousand dollars each over a period of three days last July at the point where the bank began to realize there was a problem, according to Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Eric Eisenberg.

Seattle attorney Allen M. Ressler argued this afternoon his client didn’t write the checks and there was no direct evidence to show she was involved in them. Eisenberg argued she had to have known as she was managing the financial side of the business and the bad checks were part of the larger scheme.

Part of what pointed to what would be a proper inference, Eisenberg said, was Lorrine Birdwell’s “runaway spending” of some $26,000 on her American Express credit card right after the bad checks were written.

Judge James Lawler sided with Lorrine Birdwell’s attorney.

Ressler also notified the court he would be filing a motion to sever their cases so they could be tried separately.

They have both pleaded not guilty.

A trial was scheduled for the week of August 26, but both sides agreed to postpone it, or them, until the beginning of December.
•••

For background, read “Centralia used car lot owners appear in court on criminal charges” from Wednesday January 23, 2013, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, July 26, 2013 at 11:32 am

Updated at 12:19 p.m.

SMOLDERING HAY IGNITES GRAND MOUND BARN FIRE

• A fire that tore through a Grand Mound area barn early yesterday burned so hot it ignited a pile of pallets about 30 feet away but the dairy cows in the area were unhurt and seemingly undisturbed. Crews called about 1:30 a.m. after being alerted by a passerby found the 5000-square foot building on the 7000 block of James Road Southwest fully engulfed in flames, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority. It was a three-sided metal building used to store feed and other materials, Chief Robert Scott said. Members of four fire departments responded. Bales of hay stacked some 25 feet high seemed to be the source of the blaze, Scott said. “The investigation narrowed it down to spontaneous combustion, which can happen if you have damp hay, he said. “It will build up heat internally and ignite.” Crews were on the scene until about noon, according to Scott, extinguishing the smoldering materials layer by layer. None of the dairy cows kept about 150 away were injured. “Actually they were quite occupied,” he said. “I think it was feeding time. They just kind of looked.”

ELECTRICAL ISSUE DRAWS FIRE DEPARTMENT TO K-MART

• The Chehalis K-Mart store was evacuated yesterday when a circuit breaker malfunctioned and electrical box in the ceiling melted. Firefighters called just after 11 a.m. to the 1200 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue found no flames or smoke but shut off the power and advised an electrician be called in, according to the Chehalis Fire Department. Capt. Casey Beck said the store reopened, except for Little Caesars Pizza.

SHORT STROLL PROMPTS FELONY ARREST

• A 29-year-old Olympia woman was jailed for second-degree escape yesterday after she ignored a judge’s warning to stay seated when he discovered she had a felony warrant out of Pierce County. Kayla A Bettesworth was appearing in Lewis County District Court on West Main Street at Pacific Avenue for failing to pay fines, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Judge R.W. Buzzard had remanded her into custody at about 2:30 p.m. but she advised she needed to go to the restroom and left, according to the sheriff’s office. Bettesworth was located outside in the parking lot – allegedly in possession of an illegal butterfly knife – and booked into jail, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

MORE TROUBLE IN COURT

• When a 15-year-old boy at juvenile court on Pacific Avenue in Chehalis was remanded in to custody yesterday, his mother retrieved his backpack to get him his contact lens solution and found a pipe and suspected marijuana, according to police. She turned it over to the youngster’s probation officer who called police, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said.

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED THEFT IN DRYAD

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports one of the two individuals sought for taking several closet doors and vinyl windows when they were evicted from a Dryad apartment was located yesterday morning in Dryad and booked into the Lewis County Jail. Danielle M. Watson, 28, was arrested for second-degree theft, according to the sheriff’s office. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said the wanted 28-year-old man has indicated to a deputy he will return the items next week and turn himself in.

SHOPLIFTING FOOD

• Police were called just after 1 p.m. yesterday to Safeway on the 1100 block of South Market Boulevard in Chehalis after a customer reportedly left with a cart full of groceries, without paying for them. The cart was left about two blocks away and an officer will be reviewing security video to attempt to identify the subject, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Someone broke into a garage and got inside a car on the 400 block of Northeast Adams Street in Chehalis where they stole a stereo system, according to a report made to police yesterday morning.

• Police were called about 12:15 p.m. yesterday regarding car a prowl at the 100 block of Northeast Boistfort Street in Chehalis. A stereo was taken out of an unlocked vehicle, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

DRUGS

• Centralia officers responding about 1 o’clock this morning to a person in the middle of a road possibly swinging a sword found a 40-year-old man with a walking stick and acting strangely. It took place on the 1300 block of Central Boulevard. Peter D. Harris, a Centralia resident, was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for possession of meth, according to the Centralia Police Department.

WRECKS

• A 20-year-old Centralia man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle last night after he ran his car off the road west of Centralia and crashed into a tree. Aid and deputies called about 6:15 p.m. to the 900 block of Lincoln Creek Road found the driver with possible internal injuries as well as cuts to his hand, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation found he was traveling westbound and failed to negotiate a corner, crossed the centerline, and traveled down an embankment hitting the tree on the driver’s side trapping him inside, according to the sheriff’s office. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said at last update, he was in stable condition in the intensive care unit. The Mazda MX6 was totaled, she said.

• The driver was described as a short female missing several teeth and her passenger was a brown Pitbull with a brown eye. After a minor two-vehicle collision along the 800 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia just after 2 o’clock yesterday, both vehicles pulled over but then the tan colored 2003 Buick Century took off, according to the Centralia Police Department. Nobody in the victim vehicle was hurt, but police would like to find the fleeing driver. Sgt. Stacy Denham said it has an Oregon license plate of YLV 027.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license; responses for smoldering beauty bark at Twin City Town Center caused by a flicked cigarette butt, disputes and disturbances, suspicious activity … and more.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 3:57 pm

CAR LANDS IN SOMEONE ELSE’S GARAGE

• A 20-year-old motorist from Ethel was cited for second-degree negligent driving after he reportedly fell asleep, lost control of his car, crossed the centerline and drove through a hedge, across a front yard and into a three-car detached garage on the 4000 block of Jackson Highway south of Chehalis yesterday. The garage door had been closed, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A vehicle inside the garage was shoved out the back door, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. It happened about 4:30 p.m. Neither he nor his 29-year-old passenger said they were injured, according to Brown. The driver had no license, she said. His 1992 Acura sustained major damage.

VEHICLE VERSUS UTILITY POLE

• A 75-year-old man who was allegedly driving under the influence was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after his 1932 Ford convertible struck a telephone pole along state Route 507 just east of Tenino last night. Troopers called about 7:20 p.m. to the scene about a half mile from Old Military Road impounded the car. Raymond Lasmanis, of Rainier, had been wearing a seatbelt, according to the state patrol.

TWO CAR WRECK

• Deputies and aid were called about 4:30 p.m. yesterday to Highway 603 just south of state Route 6 west of Chehalis for a two-car collision with what were described as minor injuries. Neither driver had insurance and both vehicle sustained major damage, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s office. A 2007 Saturn driven by a 22-year-old Arizona resident pulled from the shoulder onto the roadway where it struck a 1993 Honda Civic driven by a 23-year-old Centralia woman, according to the sheriff’s office.

FRECKLED BULLY SOUGHT

• Deputies are looking for a blond haired young man with lots of freckles driving a lowered white Honda passenger car who used his vehicle to block the path of a 14-year-old boy and his friend on bicycles along the 1200 block of Ferrier Road in the Winlock area. A deputy called around 6 p.m. yesterday about the incident was told the male yelled at the youngster asking if he wanted to fight and advised him he should apologize, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. When the victim tried to leave, the driver used his car to block him again, making slight contact, according to the sheriff’s office. Nobody was injured, but the sheriff’s office is looking for information on who the driver is. There was a young blond female passenger with him, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

VIDEO AND PICTURES SNAPPED OF THEFT

• The sheriff’s office is looking for two people who moved out of an apartment on the 100 block of Fifth Street in Dryad and allegedly loaded up several closet doors and vinyl windows from a storage room. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown reported this morning they have photos and video of the items being put into a red Ford Ranger. They were being evicted, Brown said.

CAR PROWL

• A vehicle at the 300 block of Hickory Street in Centralia was broken into, according to a report made to Centralia police just after 1 p.m. yesterday. Missing are a phone charger and some clothing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT OF FUEL

• Centralia police took a report about 10:45 a.m. yesterday that someone stole fuel by cutting a fuel line of a vehicle at the 200 block of East Main Street.

BROKEN GLASS

• Chehalis police were called about 7:15 p.m. yesterday regarding the rear window of a vehicle found shattered at the 300 block of Southwest 15th Street.

SMOLDERING SLASH PILES START FIRE IN NAPAVINE

• Trees and grass caught fire yesterday along the 1100 block of Rush Road north of Sommerville Road in Napavine yesterday, burning about a half acre. About 15 members of Lewis County Fire District 5 called out around 3 p.m. yesterday were joined by crews from the state Department of Natural Resources and a truck from Winlock, according to Firefighter Brad Bozarth. It appeared the wind kicked up smoldering debris from slash piles which had been burned a month or so ago, Bozarth said. it took several hours and some heavy equipment to make sure it was extinguished, he said. Bozarth said they finished up about 7:30 a.m. today.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants; responses for misdemeanor assault, stolen bicycle, non-injury collision, suspicious activity, a person who thought they saw items stolen from them advertised for sale online, vehicles that almost caused wrecks; complaints of barking dogs … and more.

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News brief: Suspect pleads not guilty in Chehalis woman’s death

Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 10:30 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Corey R. Morgan pleaded not guilty this morning to second-degree murder in connection with the death late last week of his girlfriend Brenda Bail.

Morgan was arrested on Friday after he said he and Bail wrecked on a logging road near Morton but an autopsy showed the 48-year-old woman died from strangulation.

Morgan, 32, who is from Randle but lives in Chehalis according to authorities, remains held on in the Lewis County Jail on $500,000 bail.

A trial date was set for the week of Sept. 9.
•••

For background, read “Man suspected of killing fiancee had assaulted her before, lawyer says” from Tuesday July 23, 2013, here

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City of Chehalis rejects damage claim from blind man who fell into open manhole

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 8:33 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – An attorney for the blind man who fell into an uncovered storm drain alongside a Chehalis sidewalk last summer has filed a lawsuit on his behalf, after the city denied a claim for damages.

Tim Franklin, now 43, was walking to the Safeway grocery store to buy milk when he dropped into a brick-lined pit late at night on July 11, 2012.

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Tim Franklin

He smacked his head and struggled for about five minutes to get out because his foot was wedged under a small pipe about halfway down.

Police and aid arriving to the corner of Southwest 11th Street at Market Boulevard found him just pulling himself out. He declined to go to the hospital, but went to a doctor the following day, he said.

Franklin, who moved to Daytona, Florida this spring after residing in Chehalis for 10 years, was fairly low key about the incident then, and still makes light of it somewhat.

People don’t believe him when he tells them he fell in a manhole, he said. Because that’s like a joke, a blind man falling into a manhole, he said.

He seems just surprised the city wouldn’t take responsibility for the missing cover.

“They should have bolted it down or something, it’s weird,” he said.

The claim filed in March was for damages in the amount of just over $30,000. It notes he has headaches, pain in his neck and shoulders and elsewhere and that he has fear and apprehension about walking around town due to fear of falling again.

Chehalis attorney Joseph Mano Jr. also wrote that Franklin gave up working in his wood shop because of the inability to turn his head and look down.

Peggy Hammer, with the city of Chehalis said it wasn’t the city that rejected the claim, it was the city’s insurer.

“In general, there are findings the city has to be aware of the situation to be liable,” she said.

Hammer alluded to something the fire department mentioned last year, that metal thieves had been stealing the covers.

The lawsuit was filed in Lewis County Superior Court two weeks ago. The city’s attorney has 20 days to respond.

It asks for an amount to be proven for general and special damages, plus costs.

The filing mentions Franklin’s medical care, pain and lessened capacity to enjoy life.

Mano writes the city had been making repairs at the location, and in the course of the work, a large hole was developed in the sidewalk area which the city failed to cover or ensure was safe for pedestrians.

Franklin said he sold his woodworking tools and decided it’s time for a job in which he relies on his brain instead of physical labor. He previously built birdhouses, cabinets and chicken houses.

“It might be time to learn some computers,” he said in a telephone interview today.

He and his his oldest son relocated to Florida, he said, because his sister lives there, his mother spends a lot of time there and Daytona has good job opportunities for the blind.

He’s currently playing guitar at an old folks home, and would like to expand the musical side of his life, he said. It’s $40 an hour, but only for two hours each month, he said.

“They like the old hymns,” he said.

He said he hadn’t heard from his lawyer since he was told the claim was turned down. He said he hopes they might be able to conduct whatever interviews are needed by telephone.

Franklin said he wasn’t angry when it happened, but he’s beginning to feel differently now.

“Now I’m getting mad, cause they denied the claim” he said without raising his voice or changing his tone. “Sheesh. What am I supposed to do about my medical bills?”
•••

For background, read “Missing manhole cover trips blind man” from Thursday July 12, 2012, here

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News brief: Father pleads guilty to theft from high school fund

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 5:35 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Chehalis man accused of helping himself to money from a fund set up for the W.F. West High School senior class pleaded guilty today, as charged.

Robert N. Downs Jr., 43, was in Lewis County Superior Court after a plea deal was worked out.

Prosecutors said Downs signed his wife’s name to checks written out to himself adding up to about $8,000. When Chehalis police announced their findings in March, they indicated that Downs’ wife had replaced the missing money.

The account was run in part by Downs’ wife. The fund comes from a tradition of parents collectively starting fundraising during their children’s freshman year to pay for graduation-related activities.

Downs, an employee at Green Hill School, pleaded guilty to first-degree theft and 14 counts of forgery.

His sentencing is set for September.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said he will be recommending a year and a day in prison, although he expects Downs’ attorney to request he be sentenced as a first-time offender, which would mean much less time.
•••

For background, read “Chehalis parent pleads not guilty to stealing from high school senior fund” from Thursday May 23, 2013, here

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Read about feds cracking down on marijuana in Washington …

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 4:49 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Kirotv.com reports federal agents have raided a number of medical marijuana dispensaries including one in Olympia.

While Washington state has its owns rules on the medical use of cannabis and in December legalized recreational use for those 21 and older, pot still remains illegal under federal law.

Read more here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Updated

DOG KNOCKS SUSPECT TO THE GROUND

• A wanted man who was spotted and then took off running from a Chehalis officer was tackled by police dog Reign and then taken into custody overnight. Officer Warren Ayers recognized 22-year-old Ammahad A. Bradley when he saw him walking in the area of West Main Street and Railroad Avenue about 1:30 a.m., according to the Chehalis Police Department. Detective Sgt. Gary WIlson said the subject began struggling with Ayers and then fled, even as he was warned about the canine partner. “He popped the door, the dog takes off, tackles him, basically knocks the guy to the ground,” WIlson said. Bradley, who previously lived in Chehalis, was wanted by police in Snohomish County for a July 13 incident in which he rammed a car and then led police on a pursuit, according to authorities. An officer from the Mountlake Terrace Police Department came down and picked him up, Wilson said.

ASSAULT

• Centralia police took a report of a domestic assault alleged to have occurred about a year ago at the 2800 block of Russell Road, which was reported yesterday. The case is under investigation but appears there is no evidence and not much to follow up on, according to the Centralia Police Department.

BREAK-IN CENTRALIA

• Centralia police were called to the 900 block of South Pearl Street just before 3 p.m. yesterday about a burglary in which a shotgun, jewelry and money were stolen. The case is still under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

WORKER ACCUSED OF STEALING

• An officer responded to the Sears store at the Lewis County Mall yesterday evening for a report of employee theft. The case is being referred to the Lewis County Prosecutors Office with a recommended charge of second-degree theft, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Further details weren’t readily available.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Two individuals from Tacoma were arrested for allegedly removing the wheels and tires from a vehicle that broke down and was left at a parking lot in Randle at U.S. Highway 12 and state Route 131, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning. One of the suspects said he planned to sell them to get money for gas and food, according to the sheriff’s office. Arrested were David L. Glenn, 32, and 18-year-old Lee A. Green, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

VANDALISM

• Someone used chalk to leave graffiti on the side of a building in the 300 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia, according to police.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespass, misdemeanor domestic assault; responses for alarm, minor collisions, disorderly subject, suspicious person, possibly suicidal subject; complaints of barking dogs and more.

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Body found in Chehalis River is 94-year-old blind woman

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 8:20 am

Updated at 5:07 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The 94-year-old woman found dead yesterday in a river in the south end of the Boistfort Valley was legally blind and liked to walk along the river on her property, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Alice Cripe was discovered down a steep embankment, resting against some rocks in the South Fork of the Chehalis River on her own property, according to authorities.

Her death was an accident, Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod said today. Alice Cripe fell down, hit her head and drowned, according to McLeod.

The sheriff’s office doesn’t know exactly when it happened.

Family members from California visited her house on the 1000 block of Wildwood Road on Monday night, leaving around 9 p.m.; and when they returned yesterday morning could not find her inside but subsequently located her body, according to the sheriff’s office.

Sheriff’s Office Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said the bank was perhaps 10 to 15 feet down, although detectives don’t know for sure how far she fell.

Fire Chief Gregg Peterson said she is a long time resident of the Boistfort Valley and she lived alone.

It was just a little more than a year ago at the north end of the Boistfort Valley that 8-year-old Nicholas Matchett drowned after he apparently slipped off the steep bank behind his home into the river.