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News brief: Clean out your medicine cabinet, maybe save a life

Friday, April 26, 2013 at 12:48 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

After collecting more than 1,000 tons of expired and unwanted prescription medications at previous events over the past three years, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will hold a national drug take back day tomorrow.

In Rochester, containers of old meds can be dropped off between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

The idea is to prevent abuse, addiction and even death from theft, diversion, accidental ingestion and misuse, according to the DEA.

The number of people across the country abusing prescription drugs is higher than than those using cocaine, heroin and hallucinogens combined, officials say. The majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet, according to surveys of users.

They can be delivered tomorrow to the collection site at the ROOF Community Resource Center in Rochester on the corner of U.S. Highway 12 and Bend Street  SW, according to the sheriff’s office.

In Lewis County, four local drop off sites were established late in 2010.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, April 26, 2013 at 11:43 am

Updated at 7:34 p.m.

HIT AND RUN

• Just before 1 a.m. today, a Centralia police officer noticed a parked vehicle with significant damage that appeared fresh at the 300 block of Harrison Avenue. A suspect vehicle was located a few blocks away, but officers are still investigating to figure out who the driver was, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FUNNY MONEY

• An officer was called to Chehalis City Hall yesterday afternoon about the receipt of two counterfeit $20 bills. They were taken into evidence, according to police.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Police were called about 4:15 p.m. yesterday to the 700 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia regarding two tool boxes taken from a van in a carport there.

VANDALISM

• Police were called to a restroom at the Fairway Shopping Center on South Gold Street in Centralia yesterday for graffiti in which someone posted an individual’s name and phone number and suggesting folks call to tell that person to tell them to tell Obama to keep his filthy hands off other people’s guns.

WRECKS

• Centralia police and aid responded to a rear end collision at noon yesterday at the 700 block of West Main Street in which the rear window of one of the vehicles was broken out by its driver’s head. He was treated by medics, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

• A driver escaped without serious injuries when his vehicle left U.S. Highway 12 just east of the Mayfield Lake bridge, hit the ditch and rolled up onto its top yesterday, according to Lewis County Fire District 8. Firefighters called just before 5 p.m. said the lone occupant declined treatment.

• A collision around 6:15 a.m. on southbound Interstate 5 near the Napavine interchange blocked the left lane and shoulder for a period of time this morning, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. A Toyota pickup ran into the median causing minor damage to the truck, something that seemed to have followed the driver suffering a medical problem, according to Lewis County Fire District 5. A trooper started CPR which medics continued all the way to Providence Centralia Hospital, District 5 Firefighter Brad Bozarth said. The Washington State Patrol reported that Michael E. Seifert, 61, of Onalaska, died. His truck scraped along the jersey barrier for approximately 600 feet before coming to a stop, according to the state patrol.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for misdemeanor assault, warrant; reports of misdemeanor theft, parking lot fender benders; responses for burglar alarms, suspicious circumstances … an individual who called to report a threatening note found on her car while she was inside Wal-Mart regarding leaving her dog in the vehicle … and more. (Looks like it’s nearly the end of a practically drama-free week around Lewis County.)

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 10:43 am

Updated at 7:04 p.m.

SKILLET ATTACK REPORTED

• Centralia police were called just after 11 p.m. yesterday to the 3000 block of Borst Avenue where a woman said her 18-year-old daughter hit her with a frying pan. The daughter was not located and the investigation continues, according to the Centralia Police Department. Sgt. Kurt Reichert said the victim had a minor bruise on her cheek.

ALLEGED BONG-SMOKING BABY’S MOTHER IN TROUBLE

• Centralia police yesterday arrested the mother accused of giving her toddler a hit off a bong for violating a protection order. Rachelle L. Braaten, 24, is free on bail pending trial in the case that caught the attention of a worldwide audience with a cell phone video last month that prosecutors claim shows her allowing her 2-year-old to smoke marijuana from a water pipe. Braaten is prohibited by court order from contacting the boy, but officers were tipped off about 9 p.m. yesterday she was at the home on the 1400 block of Delaware Avenue in north Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department. She was discovered hiding in a closet, Sgt. Kurt Reichert said. Braaten was arrested and then released.

ATTEMPTED BREAK-IN

• A deputy was called about 8:15 p.m. yesterday to the 100 block of Pinkerton Road in Ethel following the discovery someone had pried a lock off a door to a garage-shop building. The person taking care of the property for its owner thought it had occurred sometime after April 13 and didn’t believe anything had been stolen, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

‘SURVIVORMAN’ IN LEWIS COUNTY WILDERNESS AREA

• The missing survivalist thought to be lost in  the Capitol Forest is alive and well in a wilderness area near Morton, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office. The Lacey man was dropped off in the woods last Thursday by his wife, according to kirotv.com, and a search was conducted when he didn’t return home on Monday. The sheriff’s office notes via Twitter, that Scott Garrow said he left of his own free will.

SUPER FIRE DEPARTMENT GAINING TRACTION

• Effective immediately, Riverside Fire Authority Chief Jim Walkowski will oversee the Chehalis Fire Department as well as his own in Centralia. Walkowski said his board of commissioners last night approved the agreement, already given the thumbs up by officials in Chehalis. Chehalis’s Chief Kelvin Johnson retired this week after five years at the helm.

ANOTHER ARREST MADE IN ADNA SHOTGUN CASE

• The Raymond woman who authorities say concocted the plan that led to a shotgun incident in an Adna parking lot last week has been arrested. Amalia L. Copp was booked into the Lewis County Jail yesterday afternoon after she was apprehended in Pacific County. Prosecutors allege an acquaintance of hers fired at a car being driven by her ex-boyfriend outside at the 76 station on state Route 6 the morning of April 16. Gilbert Borquez, 36, was arrested two days later and then charged with first-degree assault, drive by shooting, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of an illegal firearm. Copp, 43, faces identical charges. Court documents state she was trying to get back her rental car from her ex-boyfriend who stole it. A judge this afternoon ordered her held on $100,000 bail. Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead said she masterminded the plans, and that even though Gilbert Borquez fired the sawed off shotgun, Copp is charged as an accomplice. Halstead  declined to say if the alleged victim and vehicle have been located, answering this afternoon with a “maybe.”

ALSO FROM THE COURTHOUSE

• Prosecutors have made an offer for a plea arrangement to the pair of brothers arrested in January after a marijuana growing operation was discovered in their Seminary Hill Road home. Zeshawn H. Hasnani, 27, and Sohail Hasnani, 24, allegedly sold their product to medical marijuana dispensaries and have been jailed since their Jan. 10 arrest. Defense attorney Douglas Hiatt told a judge today the offer was conveyed to the men and they’d be contemplating it over the next week. The brothers and their lawyers were in Lewis County Superior Court this afternoon for a review hearing. They are scheduled to appear before a judge again next Thursday afternoon.

BONUS QUOTE OF THE DAY

• “You’ll see me in court.” – Angry parting words to a judge from a woman unhappy with his ruling on her request this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended licenses; reports of stolen bicycles; responses for burglar alarms, reports of misdemeanor assault, landlord-tenant issues … and more.

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Trial in Centralia gang beating opens with testimony from teen victim

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 7:50 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 17-year-old Rochester boy testified today he was fighting for his life when he was jumped by purported gang member Joshua Rhoades and two others in Centralia in late January.

Dustin McLean said he saw a 4-inch closed knife in Rhoades’ fist, was pulled to the ground by a female, punched by a taller white guy and then beaten and kicked.

“I was hit well over 20 times,” McLean said.

The Centralia College student was the first witness in the trial that began today in Lewis County Superior Court in Chehalis. Rhoades, 32, is charged with second-degree assault.

Deputy Prosecutor Joely O’Rourke contended in opening statements the teen was minding his own business walking to the store at night with friends when a car carrying a trio of strangers stopped near them at Fuller’s Market on South Tower Avenue looking for trouble.

O’Rourke told jurors the reason for the attack was to further Rhoades’ (aka Spooker) affiliation in the street gang, LVL.

Prosecutors have alleged in charging documents that Rhoades jumped out of a green Ford Taurus flashing gang signs, asking the teen and his friends if they were  rival “Nortenos” as he held a knife; and that he initiated a fight in which the 17-year-old was knocked unconscious.

Defense attorney Chris Baum cross examined McLean, questioning how he could possibly positively identify a knife in the dark that was held in a closed hand, why he told police he didn’t want aid and why he told a doctor he wasn’t knocked out.

Twelve jurors plus one alternate, comprised of six men and seven women, are hearing the case that is set to continue into the end of the week. Judge James Lawler is presiding.

•••

For background, read “Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup – ALLEGED GANG MEMBER DENIES BEATING TEEN” from Thursday February 7, 2013, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 1:14 pm

FRAUD ATTEMPT ON ELDERLY WOMAN

• Chehalis police were called yesterday afternoon by a woman who said her mother went to Western Union at Shop ‘N Kart to wire money to an impostor who had phoned and said he was her grandson being held at a police department until he could pay the repair bill following a rear end collision he caused. “Her children were able to catch it before the transaction, thank goodness,” detective Sgt. Gary WIlson said. Wilson called it a typical scam, which is widespread and nearly cost the woman who is in her 80s $1,885.

THEFT FROM FRONT PORCH

• Two old wooden bar stools were removed from a front porch at the 200 block of North Diamond Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police at mid-morning yesterday.

OTHER THEFT

• A tool box was reported stolen yesterday afternoon from the 500 block of South Silver Street in Centralia.

• Centralia police took a report about 12:40 a.m. today of a wallet stolen from a locker at a health club at the 2000 block of Borst Avenue.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police were called again yesterday morning to the 100 block of Virginia Drive regarding vehicle tire issues. This time a subject reported their tire was slashed.

NOT AN ASSAULT

• Chehalis police were called just before 7 p.m. yesterday to an alley off of Southwest Lewis Street where a witness thought they saw a male hit a female with a car, knocking her down. The female told an arriving officer he tried to drive away, she got her hand hung up in the car and fell in a mud puddle, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Nobody was arrested.

NO ROOM AT THE INN, OR THE POLICE DEPARTMENT

• Chehalis police were called about 3 o’clock this morning from a  registered sex offender at a downtown bus shelter who said he was kicked out of where he had been staying, was very cold and inquired if he could sleep at the police station. Detective Sgt. Gary WIlson said he didn’t know how this particular call turned out but said officers commonly attempt to find a shelter or organization which can assist in those cases.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, misdemeanor theft; responses for disputes, burglar alarms; complaints of harassment; vehicle tire punctured, barking neighbor dogs … and more.

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Read about man playing “Survivorman” missing in Capitol Forest …

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 4:11 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Kirotv.com reports search efforts are expected to resume this morning for a 47-year-old man who didn’t return home from testing his “Survivorman” skills in the Capitol Forest.

Scott Garrow, of Lacey, was dropped off on Thursday morning and due home Monday morning, according to Kirotv.com

Read more here

Update at 8:19 a.m.: Search suspended

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Updated at 6:59 p.m.

DRUG BUST AT CHEHALIS HOUSE

• A 36-year-old Chehalis man was arrested at his home yesterday morning following an ongoing investigation into drug sales. A half dozen law enforcement officers arrived about 9 a.m. with a search warrant at the single family residence on the 500 block of Southwest William Avenue, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Three individuals were detained but police arrested only Jonathan A. O’Connor, for multiple counts of delivery of methamphetamine, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said. The case regarding his 36-year-old girlfriend is being referred to prosecutors for evaluation of a possible charge of conspiracy to deliver drugs, Wilson said. Officers found minimal amounts of suspected meth, but confiscated packaging materials and scales, which suggest drug dealing, according to police.

THEFT OF CRIME STOPPERS SIGN

• Someone stole the Crime Stoppers sign right off its posts in Morton. It was near the 400 block of Second Street and police are looking for tips as to where it is now. Chief Dan Mortensen asks anyone with information to call Lewis County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-748-6422.

GARAGE AND TOOL LOOTING

• A weed eater, a power saw and motorcycle gear were reported missing yesterday from a garage on the 200 block of North Oak Street in Centralia. The theft occurred sometime during the previous couple of days, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police were called about 1:50 p.m. yesterday regarding tools missing from the front porch of a residence on the 800 block of Woodland Avenue in Centralia.

CAUGHT INSIDE VACANT HOME

• Centralia police arrested two women yesterday afternoon for allegedly breaking a window and entering an unoccupied home on the 200 block of West Magnolia Street. The 22-year-old and the 48-year-old were booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree burglary, but both were released without charges today pending further investigation.

BOOZE RUNS

• A 48-year-old woman was caught just before noon yesterday trying to steal a bottle of vodka from a store on the 500 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia and then later around 8 p.m., a pair of males each shoplifted an 18-pack of beer from a business on the 1300 block of South Gold Street, according to the Centralia Police Department.

WRONG PEDAL PROBLEM

• Police officers were called about 7:25 p.m. yesterday to the 1200 block of Johnson Road in Centralia after a driver inadvertently stepped on the gas pedal while backing up and ended up hitting a vehicle, a travel trailer, a garage and two fences, according to the Centralia Police Department. The driver’s injuries were minor, according to police.

THOSE SNEAKY DEVILS

• Centralia police were called at 7 a.m. yesterday to the 100 block of Virginia Drive where a female said someone was deflating the tires on her car. They were called back to the same area just before 2 o’clock this morning where a male discovered someone had let the air out of one if his tires.

LEADERSHIP CHANGE AT RURAL CHEHALIS FIRE DISTRICT

• Longtime volunteer firefighter Jim Martin was recently sworn in as an interim commissioner for Lewis County Fire District 6. The 41-year-old rural Chehalis resident ran unsuccessfully for the position in 2011. Martin said he replaces Greg Pulver, who resigned his post to work outside the area. When he ran against now-Commissioner Kirk Johnston in 2011, the two men indicated neither would be very upset if the other won, as they shared many of the same views on how to run the department. Martin says he plans to run in November for a permanent six-year-term. He said he intends to continue as a volunteer firefighter-EMT. “My main focus is steering, to help steer, the district in the future, as one of three commissioners,” he said.

FLAMES LIGHT UP WINLOCK SKY

• A 30-foot long fifth wheel trailer burned last night south of Winlock and the cause is under investigation. Firefighters from four departments were called to the 9:15 p.m. call to a back field northwest of the intersection of state Route 505 and North Military Road, according to Lewis County Fire District 15. “It was fully involved when we got there,” District 15 Firefighter-EMT Patrick Jacobson said this morning. State Route 505 was shut down for about 30 minutes, because of the large number of fire trucks, he said. Nobody was living in the trailer and nobody was injured, Jacobson said. It didn’t seem suspicious, he said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault; responses for burglar alarms, fender bender, found drug paraphernalia, noisy neighbors; complaints of disputes … and more.

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Fifth wheel trailer burns in Winlock / Courtesy photo

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Read about cause of death remains elusive for body found three years ago near Toledo …

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 10:53 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Longview) Daily News reports a police investigation suggests the man whose body was found three years ago on property near Toledo may have committed suicide, but the cause could remain officially undetermined because a key piece of evidence – his head – was missing.

Travis Seeber was 35 years old when he went missing in 2008 while he was a suspect in an attempted sexual assault of a teenage babysitter south of Winlock. His truck, with his driver’s license on the seat, was found by law enforcement soon after abandoned off Cougar Lane.

The identity of the remains was only finally confirmed this year by DNA. Seeber was described by the coroner as a resident of Toledo and by the sheriff’s office as living in Winlock.

News reporter Natalie St. John writes one of the interviewees told deputies he believed Seeber committed suicide to avoid going back to prison and others said he was an IV meth user who was “whacked” out the night of the incident with the 18-year-old girl.

Read about it here

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News brief: Blaze destroys Littlerock business

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 9:00 am
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A cinder block building burns behind the remaining structural pieces of a different building, which was destroyed by fire many years ago.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

An early morning fire gutted a former mill in Littlerock.

About 25 firefighters responded to the call just after 5 a.m. to the 6500 block of 128th Avenue Southwest, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.

The roof of the large cinderblock building collapsed and a live power pole ignited, according to department spokesperson Lanette Dyer.

“Nothing in there is salvageable,” Dyer said.

Dyer said the 40 foot by 60 foot structure was a wood mill at one time and she believes it is currently used for welding and some type of fabrication. She didn’t know the name of the business.

Crews remain on the scene cooling the debris down with water and expect to be there all day, she said.

The cause is unknown, but didn’t appear suspicious, she said.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, April 22, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Updated at 6:56 p.m.

SHOE BOX SCARE AT CENTRALIA CITY HALL

• Police shut down a portion of North Pearl Street in Centralia after a small box was discovered sitting on a sidewalk next to City Hall, specifically outside police department offices, at about 9 a.m. this morning. Bomb technicians from the Washington State Patrol were summoned, who X-rayed what Police Chief Bob Berg said he thought was a shoe box, finding it empty. Nobody was evacuated, but personnel moved to a different part of the building, Berg said. The chief said it was sitting atop an access grate. The street was reopened about 11:45 a.m.

FIREFIGHTERS EVACUATE CHEHALIS MOVIE THEATER

• Firefighters summoned last night about a smokey haze inside the movie theater in Chehalis searched the building and finally discovered the transformer that feeds a neon sign above the concession stand had shorted out. Employees suspected it was the popcorn machine and didn’t evacuate the building until after firefighters arrived, according to Chehalis Fire Department Capt. Rob Gebhart. The call to the Midway Cinemas on Northeast Hampe Way came about 8:30 p.m., he said. After a manager noticed the sign wasn’t illuminated, crews found the charred wiring, Gebhart said. Gebhart said workers asked movie-goers in each of the theaters to exit the building, and estimated some 50 customers waited outside for 10 to 15 minutes before they were allowed back in. Gebhart said it was odd in that the incident didn’t trip the circuit breaker, but an electrician was going to come out today.

REALLY? ON VOICE MAIL?

• A 27-year-old Winlock man was jailed on Friday after he allegedly left voice messages for his girlfriend of five years following their break up saying he would kill her and dispose of her body where it wouldn’t be found. Ross C. Lawrence was contacted and arrested for felony harassment, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

BUSTING IN TO THE MASONIC TEMPLE

• Chehalis police were called just after 7 a.m. yesterday when someone observed a subject break through the front door window of the Masonic temple on the 100 block of West Main Street. Arriving officers searched the building and found a trail of blood – presumably from a glass cut – leading out the back door, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Nothing was taken, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said.

SNEAKING INTO GIRL’S HOUSE

• Police were called about 7 p.m. on Saturday when someone saw a subject crawl through an upstairs window at a neighbor’s home on the 600 block of Southwest Pacific Avenue in Chehalis. Officers caught a 15-year-old boy coming back out the window, police said. It was his former girlfriend’s house, nobody was home at the time and the teenager was booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center for burglary. Detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said he didn’t know what the teen was doing there.

GLENOMA BURGLARY

• A deputy was called about 1 p.m. on Saturday to the 7500 block of U.S. Highway 12 in Glenoma where someone had gone into a mostly empty residence and stole a blanket, pillows, a fishing vest, jumper cables and a Garth Brooks CD collection, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

COINS, CURRENCY MISSING FROM CENTRALIA HOME

• A 45-year-old Centralia man called the sheriff’s office to his home on the 1500 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia on Friday afternoon after discovering someone had got into his gun safe and stolen numerous collectible currency and coins, including a Kennedy half dollar. No forced entry was found into the residence or the safe, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is estimated at $500.

DRUGS

• A 31-year-old Centralia man was arrested in Centralia on Friday in connection with an ongoing Chehalis Police Department investigation into alleged drug dealing. Joseph L. Nickols was booked into the Lewis County jail for delivery of drugs and also possession of a controlled substance because he had a patch of Fentanyl – a potent pain medication -  without a prescription, detective Sgt. Gary WIlson said.

ALLEGED VANDALS CAPTURED

• Centralia police arrested three teenage boys after they were caught spray painting graffiti on a business at the 1900 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia yesterday afternoon. Further details were not readily available.

GRILL TAMPERING

• Centralia police were called about 3:50 a.m. today to the 500 block of North Pearl Street where an unknown subject apparently had entered a fenced area, turned on the propane to someone’s gas grill and then left.

WRECK

• A 17-year-old Mossyrock girl escaped with minor injuries when  she lost control of her car on the 400 block of Salmon Creek Road, traveled down an embankment, impacted a tree and landed on its top on Friday night, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The girl said it happened about 9 p.m. and she walked home, according to the sheriff’s office. Her Ford Focus was totaled, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. She was cited for wheels off the roadway and will likely be in trouble for driving with a suspended license, the sheriff’s office reported.

FROM THE COURTHOUSE

• The man who found himself shot when he confronted a resident inside an unlocked rural Chehalis home one night in February has pleaded guilty and apologized for what he did. Brian L. Creed, 51, was high on methamphetamine when he encountered an armed and just-awakened young man inside the manufactured home on the 400 block of Highway 603 west of Chehalis, according to authorities. Court documents say 24-year-old Joshua Norman ordered Creed out, but Creed charged him, Norman fired his 40 caliber handgun and then Creed tackled Norman on February 10. Norman held him at gunpoint until deputies arrived. Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Shane O’Rourke said Norman and his wife didn’t attend Friday’s court hearing in Lewis County Superior Court, but Creed read aloud a statement in which he told them and the court he was sorry. He pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary, although O’Rourke indicated it still wasn’t exactly clear what Creed’s intentions were for entering a stranger’s home. Creed, who was shot in the abdomen and hospitalized for about 10 days, was sentenced to just shy of three years in prison. He was also sentenced to 90 days for a separate second-degree trespass. He has two past convictions for felony theft and two more for misdemeanor theft.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants; reports of shoplifting; responses for burglar alarms, suspicious circumstances, a high school student who was “verbal” to staff at the school; complaints of loud neighbors, a woman’s child’s grandparents harassing her on Facebook … and more.

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Frosty’s burglary suspect denies entering through boarded up window, taking $15,000 from safe

Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 12:04 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The 37-year-old homeless man accused of pedaling a bicycle to Frosty’s Saloon and Grill in Napavine for an overnight burglary in which some $15,000 was stolen from a safe the week before last has pleaded not guilty.

Lonzo W. Lawson remains in the Lewis County Jail pending trial, held on $100,000 bail.

Prosecutors allege Lawson recently learned from a cell mate at the jail – a Frosty’s employee – there would be a large amount of cash inside and was told the layout of the tavern. A board covering a broken window was pushed out and a knife was apparently used to pry open the office door.

When Lawson was arrested April 12 at a motel in Chehalis, police found he had a new computer, cash and other new merchandise, according to charging documents. He was high on heroin and with two women who were using drugs with him, prosecutors allege.

According to charging documents, he told two acquaintances of his plan and shared some of the money with them. One man told police the money was spent on drugs, clothing and at the Lucky Eagle Casino. At least $800 was recovered.

Lawson, who was described by police as a transient with no known connections to the West Front Street establishment, denied any involvement.

A stocking cap found on the floor when an employee arrived for work the morning of April 9 was taken for DNA testing.

Lawson was charged on Monday with first-degree burglary, first-degree theft, two counts of trafficking in stolen property and possession of heroin; he pleaded not guilty on Thursday.

His trial was scheduled for the week of May 27.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 11:04 am

CHARGES FILED IN GAS STATION SHOTS FIRED CASE

• Bail was set at $100,000 for Gilbert Borquez after prosecutors filed charges in connection with Tuesday’s events outside an Adna gas station. Borquez, 36, told detectives he accidentally fired his sawed off shotgun into the ground when he and a group of others from Raymond were attempting to get a stolen car back from someone. Borquez on Friday was charged with first-degree assault, drive by shooting, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of an illegal firearm. Prosecutors state in charging documents that a 911 operator was told one of the males fired a shotgun at a newer four-door vehicle. The participants and victim had fled by the time law enforcement officers arrived to the morning mayhem at the corner of Highway 603 and state Route 6.

BREAKING AND ENTERING

• A 45-year-old Centralia man was arrested last night after he was caught inside a vacant building at the 400 block of South Iron Street taking unspecified property. Brian H. Jones was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police took a report on Friday morning of someone breaking into a house under repair at the 1200 block of Delaware Avenue in Centralia and posting graffiti.

• Someone broke into an empty garage on the 500 block of South Silver Street in Centralia and left with a wheelbarrow from the yard, according to a report made to police on Friday.

MISSING TRUCK

• A black Chevrolet S10 was stolen from the backyard of a home on the 500 block of East Maple Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 1 a.m. yesterday. It has a license plate of B20781K, according to the Centralia Police Department.

K9 FINDS WANTED SUBJECT UNDER BRUSH

• Police dog Lobo was called in to track down a wanted person just after 7 p.m. on Friday in the area of North Tower Avenue and East Third Streets in Centralia. Michael E, Bicker, 27, of Centralia, was located hiding under bushes behind a business on B Street and booked into the lewis County Jail, according to police.

OOPS

• Police called to the 1500 block of Windsor Avenue in Centralia for a dispute over a laptop computer late Friday afternoon discovered it was stolen. Officers will be working with Amtrak police to get it back to its rightful owner, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VEHICLE PROWL

• A shopper at the Centralia Outlets off Lum Road returned to their vehicle to find someone had broken in and stolen a backpack and two Xbox 360 game systems just after 9 p.m. on Friday, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police took a report from a citizen yesterday that someone had broken out a window at the Borst home in Fort Borst Park.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants; reports of misdemeanor thefts … and more.

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Mother of dead Centralia 2-year-old admits some responsibility in case

Friday, April 19, 2013 at 9:59 pm
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Becky Heupel watches while her lawyer confers with the deputy prosecutor during her court hearing today.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Koralynn Fister’s mother pleaded guilty today to her role in the circumstances that led to the Centralia toddler’s death.

Becky M. Heupel’s short term live-in boyfriend James Reeder has been convicted of the abuse, sexual and otherwise, that led to the child dying last May, but Heupel today agreed to pay with prison time for not acting on clues something was amiss.

“Guilty,” she answered when asked by the judge.

And when Judge James Lawler concluded all his questioning and pronounced the 31-year-old guilty of criminal mistreatment in the second degree, she began to dab at her eyes with a tissue.

Heupel was free to leave after the 30 minute hearing in Lewis County Superior Court. Her sentencing won’t take place until next month.

Prosecutors haven’t suggested the mother of two participated in any way or witnessed the 25-year-old unemployed boyfriend harming the 2-year-old girl in the weeks before she died. In fact, Deputy Prosecutor Shane O’Rourke confirmed today there was no evidence she did.

If there was, she would have been facing the same kind of sentence as Reeder, O’Rourke said.

But when Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer charged the mother last month, Meyer said spoke of Heupel’s inaction.

Meyer said he believed Heupel put her relationship with her new boyfriend ahead of the well-being of her child, ignoring warnings from others he was abusive and ignoring injuries on Koralynn she said would have prompted her to call police if they were on someone else’s child.

Koralynn died on May 24 of head injuries and drowning; Reeder told police he found her face down in the bathtub when he stepped out to get a towel. Heupel and her 4-year-old daughter had left the house about two and half hours earlier.

Reeder had moved into the household only about 10 weeks earlier. Prosecutors have said he suggested parenting duties be divided up and as a result, he spent a significant time alone with the little one, changing her diapers and giving her baths.

Prosecutors indicated a lengthy list of injuries, some old and some new found on the child’s body, such as palm-sized pieces of skin missing from her buttocks, signs of penetration, bruising, a missing toenail and more.

Last May, after Reeder’s arrest, Prosecutor Meyer called it the worst case of child abuse and neglect he’d seen in his career.

Heupel’s attorney, Paul Strophy, said today his client did see some injuries, but not any that suggested to her sexual abuse was occurring. In the final weeks, Heupel didn’t see Koralynn’s private areas, he said, adding that he believed her.

He suggested Reeder was a predator.

“On the surface, in her presence, he appeared very attentive, a good father figure,” Strophy said.

He offered to take a more hands on approach, and she appreciated it, he said.

“Obviously she now feels like she didn’t do enough and didn’t see the signs” Strophy said. “Had she known or realized what was going on, she would have put a stop to it, or got help from law enforcement.”

O’Rourke today said Heupel saw the injuries, or should have. Anybody who’s a regular parent would have, he said.

“There has to be some recognition, the fact that when you’re a parent, you watch out for this,” O’Rourke said.

Attorneys on the two sides have agreed to recommend a so-called exceptionally high sentence, but only by one day. They will suggest to the judge she go to prison for a year and one day.

Today, when Judge Lawler queried Heupel, and asked if she realized he would still be free to impose the maximum penalty of five years, she faltered.

“No,” Heupel said.

Her response prompted a 10 minute recess, during which she and Strophy left the room to talk alone.

It was after their return, and Heupel agreeing with the judge she understood that he pronounced her guilty.

She admitted to second-degree criminal mistreatment – recklessly creating an imminent and substantial risk of death or great bodily harm by leaving her child in Reeder’s care.

She will be sentenced on May 16.
•••

For background, read “Koralynn Fister: Dead toddler’s mother pleads innocent to putting little one in harm’s way” from Friday March 22, 2013, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, April 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm

TEMPER TANTRUMS

• A 31-year-old man was arrested yesterday after deputies were called about someone breaking windows at the Mineral Post Office. The suspect, David J. Otis located in Morton, said he was having a bad day, and admitted to throwing a rock and an ash tray at the building, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The Mineral resident was booked into jail for second-degree malicious mischief, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The damage is about $1,000, according to Brown.

• A 28-year-old man was arrested yesterday evening for assaults after deputies were called to the 100 block of Sunflower Lane in Onalaska. Eric C. Neilson, of Toledo, had gone to his mother’s home to pick up rent and allegedly swung a metal fence post a driver’s side window of a vehicle and broke out the rear window with a rock as well as shoved and punched people there, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Neilson was located down the road and told deputies he “wanted his money,” Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to Brown.

THEFTS OF WIRING

• Centralia police were called about 1:30 p.m. yesterday to a vacant residence on the 1000 block of South Pearl Street where someone had broken in and ripped out wiring and fixtures.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said this morning deputies took reports of pieces of copper ground wire stolen from multiple utility poles along the 2100 block of Cispus Road in Randle and also the 200 block of Mineral Road South. The loss to Lewis County PUD is more than $4,500, according to the sheriff’s office.

VEHICLE VERUS BICYCLIST

• A 23-year-old woman on a bicycle was struck by a vehicle which then drove away yesterday at the 400 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia. Police, called about 4 p.m., say the back tire on the bike was hit causing her to spin around. Her injuries were minor, according to the Centralia Police Department.

WRECK

• Centralia police were called just after 8 a.m. yesterday to Fremont Avenue and North Pearl Street where a motorist struck the rear of one of four vehicles which were stopped in a line. Injuries were minor, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor assaults  … and more.