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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm

THEFT IN THE WOODS

• A deputy took a report yesterday morning from an employee of Meek Logging who said he returned after the weekend to find someone had cut the cables and stolen a battery from his bull dozer and loader parked out on the “5000 line” about two and half miles off Cooks Hill Road in Centralia, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is estimated at $850, the sheriff’s office said.

CAR PROWL

• Police were called to the 1500 block of Lewis Street in Centralia about 9:35 p.m. yesterday when a man saw a subject take a stereo from a vehicle and run away. A track with a police dog failed to locate the thief, according to the Centralia Police Department.

SECURITY CAMERA STOLEN

• A security video was stolen from a business on the 700 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police just after 4 p.m. yesterday.

SLASHED TIRE

• Police were called about 12:35 a.m. today to the 700 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia about a slashed tire to a parked car. A suspect was seen on security video from the Travel Lodge, according to the Centralia Police Department.

WRECK

• A 24-year-old Chehalis women was hospitalized with minor injuries after she rolled her Mitsubishi Eclipse on the 600 block of Logan Hill Road yesterday afternoon. A deputy called about 4:20 p.m. concluded she was westbound when she lost control and hit an embankment, causing the vehicle to roll onto its top, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. The damage to the car was extensive, Brown said.

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Council member’s lawyer: Cat killing case needs a judge who isn’t paid by the city

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CENTRALIA – Centralia City Council member Bill Bates didn’t show up at court today as expected, but his lawyer came in his place, asking for a different judge and prosecutor in his client’s cat shooting case.

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"Susie"

Bates, 60, is charged with killing his neighbor’s pet with a pellet gun. Bates, who is also pastor of a downtown church, has said it was an accident, he was only trying to run it out of his yard.

Centralia attorney Peter Abbarno asked a judge in Centralia Municipal Court this morning to move the case to Lewis County District Court.

“It would be a conflict, almost like prosecuting your own boss,” Abbarno said after the brief hearing. “So I think everyone in the court felt uncomfortable with that.”

The city council is responsible for hiring the city’s judge and prosecuting attorney, Abbarno said.

A substitute judge, Paul Strophy, approved the request.

Bates had been scheduled to make his plea this morning.

The Pannette family called police in late February, after Bates came knocking on their door on Ham Hill Road and confessed what he’d done. He offered to buy them a new cat.

He was subsequently charged – after a review by the city’s prosecutor – with unlawful use of an air gun and killing a pet.

Both are gross misdemeanors, punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine.

The incident has sparked outrage among both those who feel it was justified because the animal was on Bates’ property being a nuisance and those believe one shouldn’t use lethal force on other people’s pets.

Dusty Pannette and her family were devastated by the loss of “Susie” who had safely roamed for all 10 years of his life on Ham Hill. They were particularly stunned as Bates had not complained to them their cat was bothering him.

Centralia has no leash law for cats.

The case will be moved to Lewis County District Court, in Chehalis and Bates will appear before a judge there on April 4, according to Abbarno.

The attorney emphasized to news reporters he thought it was an unfortunate accident.

“He didn’t try to hide this, he has no criminal history, it’s not in his nature,” Abbarno said.

Bates is serving his fourth year on the city council and is minister at Destiny Christian Center, an Assemblies of God Church, on North Tower Avenue.

•••

For background, read:

• “Minister, city council member shoots neighbor cat dead with pellet gun” from Thursday March 1, 2012, here

• “Centralia city council member charged for killing neighbor cat” from Tuesday March 6, 2012, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, March 26, 2012 at 12:09 pm

LOST AND FOUND OUTSIDE PACKWOOD

• A 34-year-old Packwood woman was cold, wet and had a possibly sprained ankle after getting lost north of Packwood Friday and spending the night outside. She had gone for a walk about 4:30 p.m. behind her home in the High Valley area into the Butter Creek Canyon area, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. She called about 5:10 p.m. to say she was lost but then cell phone contact was lost, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The woman, whose name was not released, was found a little after 7 a.m. on Saturday, Brown said. She said her dog kept her warm, according to Brown.

UNDER CLOTHES MISSING

• Chehalis police were called about 6:15 p.m. yesterday about a burglary to an apartment on the 400 block of Northeast Jefferson Avenue. A woman said a drawer full of her underwear were missing. Further details were not readily available.

FIREARM STOLEN

• A deputy was called yesterday about the theft of a firearm from the 1300 block of Ferrier Road in Winlock. Someone got into a vacant house sometime after 8 p.m. on Saturday and left with a .22 caliber rifle, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

JEWELRY TAKEN FROM BEDROOM

• A deputy was called yesterday afternoon to the home of a 91-year-old Chehalis-area woman where someone had broken her sliding glass door, gone into her bedroom and stolen about 100 pieces of jewelry, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It happened on the 500 block of Brown Road East, the sheriff’s office reported. The loss is estimated at more than $1,000.

WALLET THEFT

• A 46-year-old was arrested for alleged theft and use of credit cards after Morton police were called Thursday night to the 500 block of Adams Avenue about a missing wallet. Leslie S. Matthews was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Morton Police Department.

CAR RUNS INTO ONY STORE

• A 32-year-old Salkum woman was arrested on Friday for hit and run for allegedly running her station wagon into the front of the Justus General Store on the 100 block of Main Street in Onalaska. It happened around 3:30 p.m. and her car struck a freezer out front, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The owner took down the license plate information and a deputy found her later at a location on Centralia Alpha Road, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Jenifer A. Wildman was found with a folding knife tucked in one boot and a butterfly knife in the other, Brown said. She was booked into the Lewis County Jail for possession of a dangerous weapon, hit and run and also obstruction as in the patrol car she kept taking off her seatbelt an moving her cuffed hands into the front of her, according to Brown. The damage to the store was not noted by the sheriff’s office.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 12:50 pm

MINI BIKE WRECK INJURES ROCHESTER WOMAN

• A 32-year-old Rochester woman was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after a motorcycle accident in the Little Rock area last night. Troopers were called about 5:20 p.m. to the 11,000 block of Waddell Creek Road where Kayla R. McKnight had lost control of a Honda 50cc off-road bike and landed in a ditch, according to the Washington State Patrol. She was not wearing a helmet, according to the state patrol. Update Monday March 26, 2012 at 12:19 p.m.: McKnight is listed in satisfactory condition this morning.

THEFT OF TAXI RIDE

• A police dog tracked down a 35-year-old man from Chehalis who left a taxi cab without paying early this morning in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department. Officers arrived about 6:20 a.m. to the area of South Diamond and East Locust streets where they observed Charles E. Frenz who ran, according to police. He was apprehended by a K-9 and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

BURGLARY

• Police were called just before 7 o’clock this morning to an overnight burglary at a home on the 2400 block of Seward Avenue in Centralia.

• Someone broke into a residence on the 800 block of Landing Way in Centralia and ransacked a bedroom, according to a report made to the Centralia Police Department yesterday afternoon. A sliding glass door had been broken and a watch and other items were stolen, according to police,

• Police were called to a residence under renovation on the 600 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia yesterday afternoon where the front door had been kicked in. Nothing appeared to be missing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police are investigating a burglary of a residence on the 400 block of South Washington Avenue. Somebody broke in some time between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Friday, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police were called to a car prowl on the 700 block of Harrison Avenue on Friday night. Someone had gotten inside an unlocked vehicle and tried to steal a stereo, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A wallet and a purse were stolen from a vehicle at the in a parking lot on the 500 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia sometime on Friday, according to the Centralia Police Department.

911 SCAM

• Authorities are warning the public of a scam in which residents in Washington and several other states are getting phone calls from someone asking for payment for 911 services. The caller claims individuals must pay a fee to register their addresses in a database so responders can find their homes in an emergency, according to a message from Lewis County 911 manager Craig Larsen. Larsen said he isn’t aware of it happening locally but his message notes it is a scam; 911 services are funded through dedicated excise taxes on phone bills and other local government money.

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News brief: Pancakes and preparedness info

Friday, March 23, 2012 at 5:36 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Boistfort Emergency Assistance Group and Boistfort Fire Association are holding their second annual pancake breakfast tomorrow with the goal of helping folks prepare for their own safety.

The 8 a.m. to noon event at the Baw Faw Grange will include disaster preparedness information and displays, fire truck tours and raffles, according to Lewis County Fire District 13 Chief Gregg Peterson.

Plus sausage, eggs and all-you-can-eat pancakes.

The Boistfort Emergency Assistance Group began in the fall of 2006 after a windstorm damaged the elementary school and made its mission to create an evacuation center for use during a  disaster, according to Peterson.

The BEAG made changes at the Baw Faw Grange so it can run on a generator and propane, conversions that proved invaluable during the December 2007 flood, according to Peterson. The grange opened its doors at 7 a.m. that morning and within an hour had heat, lights and warm food in preparation for distressed citizens, according to Peterson.

The cost is $5 for adults and $2.50 for children.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:44 am

POLICE: MAN VANDALIZES CAR, HIDES IN ATTIC

• A 30-year-old man was found hiding in his attic after Centralia police got a search warrant because he refused to come out and talk with them last night about allegedly breaking the windshield on his ex-girlfriend’s car, according to the Centralia Police Department. Officers took Jonathan A. Lischka from his home on the 500 block of South Diamond Street and booked him into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree malicious mischief, according to police.

THEFT

• Chehalis police were called to the 1200 block of Southwest Elzina Street about 8:15 a.m. yesterday in which numerous items including appliances, a computer and a child’s playhouse were missing. The victim was moving out and still had some of her belongings in the home, according to police. There were no signs of forced entry, police said.

• Centralia police took a report about 8 o’clock yesterday morning of a purple 1996 Saturn stolen from the 400 block of North Ash Street. It has a license plate of AGU 1073, according to police.

• A four-wheeled electric scooter was reported stolen late yesterday afternoon from the 2500 block of Fords Prairie Avenue in Centralia, according to police.

• Chehalis police were called just before 5 o’clock this morning when a resident on the 100 block of Southwest 12th Street found a large neon beer sign in her front yard. It seemed to have been stolen and was taken away by an officer, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

LOCK DOWN

• Mossyrock schools were locked down briefly yesterday afternoon while law enforcement went to a home next door to arrest an individual wanted on a felony warrant. He was taken into custody; the lockdown was just precautionary, according to Mossyrock Officer Rebecca Sutherland.

NOT GUILTY PLEAS IN BANK HOLDUPS

• The two men charged with robbing a Chehalis bank after trying to hold up a nearby credit union over the weekend pleaded not guilty yesterday in Lewis County Superior Court. Robert T. Hendrickson, 23, of Centralia and Robert J. Hughes, 32, of Tenino, remain held in the Lewis County Jail on $150,000 and $250,000 bail respectively. Prosecutors allege Hendrickson went into Twin Star Credit Union on South Market Boulevard and was told they had no cash in their drawers and then went up the road to Chase Bank where he got approximately $2,276 from a teller. Prosecutors allege Hughes was the getaway driver. The two men were  apprehended a short time later when their car wrecked on a curve on Cooks Hill Road in Centralia. Their trial dates have been set for the week of May 14.

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News brief: Subject found from truck that hit freight train

Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:39 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Centralia police acting on a tip spoke to a male overnight who said he was a passenger in the dump truck struck by a train yesterday evening in Centralia.

He said they ran off because they were scared, Officer John Panco said.

Police were called just after 6 p.m. yesterday to a railroad crossing on Floral Street where they found a wrecked large dump truck, but no driver.

The 1965 International dump truck suffered severe front end damage and a crossing arm was bent. The freight train which had kept going subsequently discovered a rupture in one of the cars, spilling soybeans.

Panco said a 200-foot-long trail of what might have been brake fluid suggested the accident may have been cause by a brake failure.

Officers spoke to the male in Chehalis, got a name of the supposed driver and are following up to confirm what happened, according to Panco.
•••

For background, read “Truck versus train in Centralia” from  Thursday March 22, 2012 at 8:05 p.m., here

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Coroner McLeod ends first year tallying fewer homicides, three cases still unknown causes of death

Friday, March 23, 2012 at 9:21 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County coroner’s year-end report shows roughly the same number of suicides here during 2011 as the year before.

The number of homicides dropped however, from what many called an extraordinarily high number in 2010 of seven, down to four last year.

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Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod

Coroner Warren McLeod after his first year in the elected office made public this week his annual report, which primarily describes his office’s purpose, mission and accomplishments.

His staff has strengthened “chain of custody” procedures, acquired a response vehicle and developed a policy and procedure manual, among other changes.

They are in the midst of becoming an accredited facility.

McLeod noted the October coroner’s inquest into the 1998 death of Ronda Reynolds in Toledo cost $35,000.

During 2011, there were 767 deaths in Lewis County, although the coroner’s office also handled two out-of-county deaths as a courtesy for Mason and Yakima counties, according to McLeod.

The vast majority of those deaths were due to natural disease processes, while 29 were accidental and three are undetermined, according to his statistics.

Nine were suicide; while the year before eight deaths in the county were suicide, according to the state Department of Health data.

No details were provided about more specifics in any of the categories.

The coroner’s office has yet to determine the cause and manner of death of three sets of remains found during last year.

McLeod said the remains are still in King County with a forensic anthropologist who specializes in figuring out those types of cases.

One of them is a partial skull found in March in a wooded area north of Mineral, determined to be Michael Lloyd Riemer, who was 36 years old when he went missing from Pierce County in 1985.

The two others remain unidentified, according to McLeod.

Skeletal remains found off the side of a logging road near Morton in April are believed to belong to a small woman between 20 and 35 years old when she died.

Authorities have said they don’t know how long ago she died, but doubted the remains had been there very long, because it was a well-used logging road.

Human remains found in September in a field on Joerk Road in Randle could possibly belong to Trisha McKenzie-Fire, 57 years old when she vanished from her home about a mile and a half away in April, but positive identification has not been made, according to authorities.

McLeod’s office operated with a budget last year of about $296,000. Forty autopsies were conducted during 2011.

His position is half-time, but he has a full time chief deputy coroner and four deputy coroners.

He currently has five individuals in training to become deputy coroners as well as four reserve (volunteer) deputies in training.

The coroner is also advertising for two or three others who live within 35 miles of Packwood so he can cut down on the mileage reimbursements paid out to deputy coroners.

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Two murder cases stalled by requests for psychiatric evaluations

Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 9:34 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Joshua Vance, the suspect in the stabbing death of his father in Onalaska and Weston G. Miller, the suspect in last week’s fatal shooting in Centralia will both be evaluated by psychiatrists from Western State Hospital before further court proceedings can take place.

The men are charged with first-degree murder in separate cases and are being held in the Lewis County Jail.

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Joshua Vance

Centralia J.P. Enbody who represented both before a judge today said the requested evaluations are to find out if they are competent to stand trial and able to assist their lawyers in their defense.

“Just to make sure he understands the nature of the proceedings, in a nutshell,” Enbody said.

Vance, 25, had been off his medication for several days two weeks ago when he allegedly attacked his father Terry Vance while he was asleep in bed, according to his family. The Centralia College student was hospitalized himself for lacerations to his fingers after telling a first responder he cut them to make himself stop.

His lawyer, David Arcuri, said he made the request for reasons he wouldn’t discuss based on attorney-client confidentiality. He called it a 15-day evaluation.

Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher said while sometimes the competency evaluations are done by Western State staff at the jail, they would make sure Vance got his conducted at the state mental hospital near Steilacoom.

Both men were on the court schedule today to make their pleas and have trial dates set. But that didn’t happen.

Vance was brought into the courtroom but taken away before his case was addressed. Miller was not brought up from the jail at all.

Centralia attorney Enbody said it wasn’t necessary for his client to be present.

Miller, 29, was arrested on Tuesday of last week after police were called to his home on B Street in Centralia and found his house guest dead of two gunshot wounds to his chest area.

Prosecutors say it was an unprovoked attack inside the out-of-work welder’s house on B Street but Miller claims 43-year-old David Carson rushed him with a knife.

Enbody said the reason for the request was because the charges are “about as serious as they get” but declined to offer a more specific reason for wondering if his client might not be competent.

Deputy Prosecutor Kjell Werner said both sides “thought it was a good idea.”

Western State has up to 90 days to complete their evaluations, according to Enbody.

However, it took almost 15 months after a Centralia woman was arrested last spring before a judge was able to get the outcome of her mental evaluation.

A court date to review the progress of the evaluation for Miller was scheduled for April 5. A similar date was set for April 12 for Vance’s case.

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Truck versus train in Centralia

Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 8:05 pm
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Train traffic is stopped at Floral Street in Centralia after a dump truck struck a train.

Updated at 10:04 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CENTRALIA – Police are searching for the driver of a large dump truck that collided with a train earlier this evening in Centralia.

When police arrived at the crossing on Floral Street between South Gold and South Tower Avenue, the light blue  truck sat in the middle of the tracks, its front end smashed.

Neighbor Michael Nichols said he didn’t see it happen but heard it.

“Big boom and it shook my house,” Nichols said.

Officers walked along the tracks and contacted a northbound train that was no longer in sight, Nichols and his neighbor Andrey Puris said.

They had another train back up to just south of the scene, the men said.

It appeared the driver got out and left on foot, Centralia Police Sgt. Brian Warren said.

There wasn’t blood or enough damage on the train to suggest the driver had been dragged away, according to Warren.

A spokesperson for BNSF said the truck struck the side of a freight train hauling soybeans from Vancouver to Seattle, rupturing one car and spilling soybeans.

Spokesperson Gus Melonas said it happened shortly after 6 p.m. and he was told the dump truck’s brakes locked up.

Several trains were delayed, he said.

One track opened up about 7 p.m. and the adjacent track is expected to reopen about 10:30 p.m., Melonas said.

BNSF crews are investigating and inspecting their equipment, he said.

A crossing arm on the west side of Floral Street was bent forward as though it had been hit.

“There you can see, he ran through the gate,” Nichols said.

Officer Warren said the truck is registered in Thurston County and police were attempting to reach its owner.

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Centralia Police Department Officer Angie Humphrey at Floral Street / Courtesy photo from Matthew Kramer

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm

DRUGS

• A 25-year-old Rochester woman was arrested for possession of heroin and methamphetamine after contact with police about 11:20 p.m. last night at the 2400 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia. Officers went there looking for someone with a warrant and when Amanda D. Chamberlain saw them, she ran, according to police. Chamberlain also had an outstanding warrant, according to Officer John Panco. The suspected drugs were found inside her purse, he said. Chamberlain was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police arrested a 24-year-old woman for possession of suspected heroin after a traffic stop in the 500 block of Northeast Washington Avenue in Chehalis late yesterday afternoon. Indications of illegal activity led an officer to bring in a drug sniffing dog who discovered a loaded syringe on the floor board of the vehicle, according to police Sgt. Gary Wilson. Alyssa E. Taylor was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to Wilson.

THEFT

• Centralia police were called to the 500 block of South Tower Avenue just before 8 p.m. last night where a 17-year-old boy allegedly tried to steal two cans of beer from  a grocery store and fought with security personnel when he was stopped. He was booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center for second-degree robbery.

WRECK

• A 21-year-old Chehalis man was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital with neck pain after his pickup was struck by a vehicle on Highway 603 at Brown Road East last night. A deputy called about 7 p.m. found the truck had rolled, hit a post and landed in the ditch, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Th pickup truck also collided with a Ford Expedition stopped at Shorey Road, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The 49-year-old driver of the other vehicle, a 2011 Lexus, was cited for failing to yield, Brown said.

SEX ABUSE

• Chehalis police arrested a 31-year-old Chehalis man last night for an incident of sexual abuse upon a young girl that took place in the unspecified past. Sean M. Klamn was arrested at a Chehalis home and booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree child rape, according to police. The age of the child or if the two knew each other were not revealed. However, under state law, the crime of first-degree rape of a child occurs if the victim is less than 12 years old and can involve the ordinary meaning of intercourse or any penetration however slight with an object or part of a person.

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Read about Tenino police chief quits amid plans of inquiry into his conduct …

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 7:08 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian reports Tenino Police Chief Sean Gallagher resigned today after the mayor said he planned to put the chief on leave pending an investigation into “conduct unbecoming of an officer” related to the inquiry into his wife’s 2010 suicide.

News reporter Jeremy Pawloski writes Gallagher said he resigned because the mayor was trying to take over operational control of the police department.

Read about it here

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Pe Ell coach rape trial set for next week, judge denies request to dismiss charges

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 5:48 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A judge today said no to a defense motion to dismiss the charges against a now-former Pe Ell softball coach accused of sexual misconduct and rape of a 16-year-old girl.

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Todd D. Phelps

Todd D. Phelps, 52, of Pe Ell, is scheduled for trial next week.

Defense attorney Don Blair told the judge prosecutors changed the date of one of the alleged incidents while they have long known the defense of alibi has been asserted.

“That just smacks to me of misconduct,” Blair said this afternoon.

Prosecutors also withheld potentially exculpatory evidence, according to Blair.

Blair only learned recently of a police report about a call to the victim’s home about a runaway the same night as the alleged rape, according to Deputy Prosecutor Debra Eurich.

Eurich said the newly discovered police report came to her attention during conversations with people involved in the case.

Phelps is charged with third-degree rape as well as second-degree sexual misconduct with a minor in connection with encounters last spring and summer with a member of the softball team he coached.

Pe Ell School District authorities said he resigned at the end of last April  because of a violation of school policy regarding social contact with students.

Phelps has pleaded not guilty. His trial was originally set for early January and has been postponed six times.

The parties are expected in court again tomorrow to confirm if they are ready for trial.

Among the reasons noted have been both sides asking for a continuance, new information given to the court and newly discovered evidence.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt said today changing the dates was not an issue, and that the defense still has plenty of time to interview new witnesses if it needs to.

Hunt said he was not sure what to make of the motion.

“This is to me, is a tempest in a teapot,” Hunt said.

•••

For back ground, read “Former Pe Ell coach faces charge of third-degree rape of teenage student” from Tuesday November 29,  2011, here

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Read authorities seeking family of man killed by train …

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 5:07 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Longview) Daily News reports the man killed by a train last week north of Castle Rock is 56-year-old Juan Aurelio Garza, a resident who has lived off and on in Castle Rock and was on his way to the library when he was struck.

The Cowlitz County Coroner’s Office has not been able to locate Garza’s family, although they learned he previously taught at various colleges and high schools and lived in several other states, according to the newspaper.

Read more here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 10:13 am

SPRING CLEANING SURPRISE

• The sheriff’s office was called yesterday when a 70-year-old Centralia woman cleaning out a trunk in her living room found a box labeled “Seventy commercial explosives, extremely dangerous.” A deputy arriving just before 1 p.m. to the home on the 1500 block of North Pearl Street was told she thought they were something used by her late husband about 20 years earlier, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. A bomb squad from the Washington State Patrol was called to dispose of the items, Brown said.

THEFT

• A deputy called yesterday morning to a well drilling business on the 900 block of Jackson Highway in Toledo learned someone had broken in probably just before 3 a.m. and stolen approximately $2,000 worth of various wiring, including wires cut from several machines, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Two Stihl chainsaws were stolen from the 300 block of Shanklin Road in Onalaska sometime between Monday and yesterday, according to a report made to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. They may have the words “McDaniel Telephone” engraved on the base, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 6:20 pm

THEFT

• Police were called about 9:40 a.m. yesterday about a burglary to a home on the 100 block of North Gold Street in Centralia. It appeared someone had come in through an unlocked door while the resident was out for about an hour, according to police. Missing was an X-Box, games, a backpack and jewelry, including a bracelet and a ring, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police were called just before 11 o’clock last night to the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia about a car prowl. The owner saw a male inside the vehicle but he left before police arrived, according to the Centralia Police Department.  A stereo was taken, according to police.

• Someone took a wallet, a cell phone and an iPod from an unlocked truck parked at Toledo High School some time during during baseball practice between 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

WRECK

• A 21-year-old driver escaped injury when he lost control of his truck pulling a loaded car trailer this morning on Interstate 5 south of Chehalis. Troopers and aid called just before 11 a.m. to the northbound lanes near milepost 70 found the 1999 Ford F250 and its trailer had partially rolled, blocking the freeway, according to the Washington State Patrol. Two of the three cars dislodged from the trailer, according to the state patrol. All three looked wrecked, according to Lewis County Fire District 5. The pickup was totaled. Vladimir Kachankov, 21, of Battle Ground, was unhurt, the state patrol reported. His trailer had blown a tire causing him to lose control, according to the investigating trooper.

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Interstate 5 near milepost 70 is blocked by a truck and its car trailer. / Courtesy photo by Washington State Patrol

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Read about several seek the bench in Thurston County …

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian reports that four individuals plan to run for Thurston County Superior judicial seats this fall.

News reporter Jeremy Pawloski writes that attorney Allen Miller, former state Rep. Brendan Williams and Thurston County Court Commissioner Indu Thomas announced their candidacy for the position held by the retiring Judge Thomas McPhee; and that Court Commissioner Christine Schaller seeks to fill the spot opening up when Judge Paula Casey retires.

Olympia attorney James Dixon has already been appointed to the vacancy created by Judge Christina Pomeroy’s retirement, according to Pawloski.

Read about it here

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News brief: Prison for Olympia man follows gun show sales investigation

Monday, March 19, 2012 at 9:27 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 70-year-old Olympia man was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison today for unlawfully dealing in firearms in a case that began at a Centralia gun show.

David Devenny, who reportedly sold a gun that a week later was used to kill Seattle Police Officer Timothy Brenton in 2009, was also fined $12,850 and will get three years of supervision after his release, according to the U.S. Attorney’ Office.

“Defendant lined his pockets by funneling guns to criminals, and others paid the heavy price for his actions,” U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan stated in a news release. “Those who ignore laws that are meant to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and children take heed.”

Davenny was arrested in November 2010 after selling guns to a convicted felon and a person with a domestic violence conviction, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

He came to the attention of law enforcement who conducted undercover purchases at guns shows in Western Washington.

He pleaded guilty previously to unlawfully dealing in firearms and two counts of selling a firearm to a prohibited person, according to the news release.

Prosecutors in asking for a significant sentence noted that for eight years Davenny dealt countless guns illegally and “flooded the streets with untraceable firearms,” according to the news release.

He was sentenced in Tacoma today by U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle, who called Davenny’s behavior “cavalier.”
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For background, read “Man’s arrest for illegal firearms sales follows undercover operation at Centralia gun show” from Saturday Nov 20 2010, here

And, “Undercover purchases at Centralia and other gun shows lead to four federal indictments” from Monday May 2, 2011, here

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Foiled Chehalis bank heists lead to serious charges for local pair

Monday, March 19, 2012 at 8:16 pm
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Robert J. Hughes, back row, and Robert T. Hendrickson wait to go before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The two men arrested for allegedly holding up two banks in Chehalis on Saturday got away with, briefly, roughly $2,276.

Robert T. Hendrickson, 23, of Centralia and Robert J. Hughes, 32, of Tenino, were charged today with first-degree robbery, attempted first-degree robbery and attempting to elude a police vehicle.

The pair were taken into custody after wrecking during a police pursuit less than 30 minutes after officers were called to a silent alarm at Twin Star Credit Union on South Market Boulevard and then 10 minutes later to Chase Bank a few blocks to the north.

If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Defense attorney Bob Schroeter said Hendrickson has no current income or assets and Hughes is pending $300 a month from on-the-job injury payments. Both qualified for court appointed attorneys.

Parents of both men were in Lewis County Superior Court today when the defendants appeared before Judge Richard Brosey.

Charging documents and police allege the following account:

Employees at Twin Star observed a man later identified as Hendrickson standing in the customer service area.

When he was asked if he needed assistance, Hendrickson put his hands in his pockets, leaned forward and told the credit union employee to give him all the cash in the drawer.

The employee said there was no money in her drawer, but said they could get some out of the ATM. He left.

Chehalis police have said that branch has no cash drawers like regular banks.

Hendrickson got into to the passenger side of a black Acura.

Employees at Chase told police an individual later identified as Hendrickson came in and asked to use the restroom and left soon after. He returned a few minutes later and approached a teller with his hands in his pockets.

“Give me all the money in the drawer and there won’t be any problems,” he allegedly said.

The teller removed all the cash from the drawer and set it on the counter. Hendrickson put it in his front pocket and walked out the front door.

The silent alarm from Twin Star on the 1500 block of South Market Boulevard came at 10:07 a.m.

As police officers converged, already with descriptions of the suspect and the car, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Ken Cheeseman saw a male run from Chase Bank and get into a black Acura.

He followed but lost sight of the car but it wasn’t long before an officer spotted a black Acura at the Interstate 5 exit at Mellen Street in Centralia.

Centralia Officer Ruben Ramirez followed the car which began heading west on Cooks Hill Road watching a woman walking her dog yank her pet from the road and go into a ditch to avoid getting hit, as well as observing the Acura swerve into oncoming traffic narrowly missing two oncoming vehicles.

Ramirez activated his lights and siren and hit speeds of 100 mph.

The car passed Swanson Drive and as it entered a curve, skidded off the road into a ditch.

An individual later identified as Hendrickson exited the passenger side and ran, but Ramirez’s partner, police dog Lobo, took him to the ground.

When Hendrickson was searched, a large wad of money was found, some of which was confirmed to be from a robbery the day before in Thurston County. Chehalis police have said the pair might be tied to a bank robbery in Olympia.

Other money was seen in the console area of the car.

A Chehalis detective reviewing surveillance videos from both financial institutions identified the individual shown as Hendrickson.

His bail was set at $150,000. He has no felony criminal history, according to Schroeter.

Hughes, because he has some felonies and other crimes in his background, including a recent bail jumping charge in Thurston County, found his bail set at $250,000.

Their arraignments are set for Thursday afternoon.

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For background, read “Breaking news: Holdups at two Chehalis banks, two in custody” from  Saturday March 17, 2012 at 12:35 p.m., here