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Read about John A. Booth’s former counsel appointed as judge in Thurston County …

Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 7:53 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian writes that defense attorney James Dixon was appointed yesterday to the Thurston County Superior Court vacancy created by Judge Christina Pomeroy’s retirement.

Dixon was the court-appointed attorney who initially represented John A. Booth Jr., the former Onalaska resident charged in the August 2010  triple homicide in the Salkum area.

The Olympia-based attorney had previously announced he would be running for judge, according to news reporter Brad Shannon.

Read more here

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News brief: Worker shocked by overhead wire in Rochester

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 8:39 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A man doing work on a well at a Rochester fish farm was shocked this afternoon when the boom on the piece of equipment being used came into contact with an overhead power line.

The man, said to be in his 30s, was transported to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia with life-threatening injuries, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.

His name was not released.

Aid was called about 1:40 p.m. to 173rd Avenue Southwest and Wheat Street.

He had stopped breathing, Lt Lanette Dyer said.

“Bystanders had just stopped doing CPR because he came around,” Dyer said.

The patient was responsive but very confused and sustained burns, including an entry wound on his foot and exit wound on his calf, Dyer said.

He had been working with another man on the ground pulling a well pipe, Dyer said. She did not know the company they were employed by.

West Thurston Lt. Eric Smith said the second worker was not hurt.

“Overhead service lines, most people die when they come into contact with those,” Smith said.

Dyer described the electrical line as a commercial one which would have carried 220 volts.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 12:16 pm

DRUGS

• The case of three teenagers at Centralia High School was referred for possible charges of possession of marijuana after a school resource officer contacted the boys in a vehicle in the school parking lot during class, according to officer John Panco. Panco said the officer found some marijuana in a baggie in the vehicle about 10:15 a.m. yesterday.

• A 45-year-old Yakima woman was arrested for possession of methamphetamine on the 1300 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia about 1:30 a.m. today. Sarah F. Hansen, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A deputy found two baggies of suspected methamphetamine when they arrested a 28-year-old Centralia woman yesterday for an outstanding warrant. It happened about 12:30 p.m. at the 100 block of Centralia-Alpha Road. Jennifer A. Juarez was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

THEFT

• Police were called just before 10 a.m. yesterday to 200 block of West Main Street in Chehalis where someone had stolen a U-Haul trailer from Grants Towing sometime over the weekend, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Police were called yesterday evening to the 1100 block of G Street in Centralia about a security camera taken from the outside of a residence.

CAT SHOT DEAD IN CENTRALIA

• Centralia police took a report of an individual who shot and killed a cat with a pellet gun in the Ham Hill area on Monday. Officer John Panco said he was not at liberty to say who or discuss any details because the individual has not been arrested. The case was sent to the city’s attorney to determine if any charges will be filed, according to Panco.

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Evidence from Salkum murders found in coroner’s office locker

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 5:05 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Evidence from the triple murder in Salkum has turned up in the Lewis County Coroner’s Office, apparently never getting into the hands of law enforcement or attorneys in the case.

Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod said finger nail clippings and hair trimmings from all three victims were found in a sealed bag in the work locker of a former deputy coroner.

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John Allen Booth Jr.

He said today he thought it turned up about a month ago.

John A. Booth Jr., 32, was tried, convicted and sent to prison for life in December for the fatal shootings of David West Sr., 52,  David “D.J.” West Jr., 16, and 50-year-old Tony Williams of Randle.

The three, along with Denise Salts who survived, were found in the home Salts and the Wests shared on Wings Way in the Onalaska-Salkum area on August 21, 2010.

Defense attorney Roger Hunko – who represented Booth – said today he didn’t know anything about it but said he was dumbfounded.

“It sounds interesting,” Hunko said.

Both Hunko and elected Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer say it is a potential appeal issue for Booth.

Normally defense attorneys get to look at all of the prosecution’s evidence in a case.

“Can they try to make an issue? They can try,” Meyer said this afternoon.

Meyer said however, in this case he doesn’t see it as a problem, as the items were mentioned in reports.

Meyer said he plans to disclose the fact to both Hunko and Booth’s appeal attorney they now have this evidence and “see what the defense wants to do about it.”

The evidence was collected at the coroner’s office during the autopsies, according to McLeod.

He said he didn’t know why it wasn’t taken away by the sheriff’s office representative he presumed was in attendance or why it ended up in an employee locker.

McLeod said he called Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher after the discovery.

It’s not clear if anyone knew the evidence was missing.

McLeod was elected the November after the homicides and took office officially in January 2011.

“What we have in place now, if law enforcement is not present we’ll notify them to come over and collect that (kind of evidence),” McLeod said.

There’s no “chain of custody” documentation with it, according to McLeod.

McLeod said his staff had cut the locks from previous employee’s lockers to get inside them and that’s when it was found.

Both Meyer and McLeod said they expect something like this won’t happen again.

“We’ve worked out the issues and I hope we won’t have similar problems in the future,” Meyer said.

Booth’s attorney filed a notice of appeal the day he was convicted.

The former Onalaska resident who was sentenced under the so-called three strikes law said in a jail house interview after his conviction he could “guarantee” he would have a new trial within the next five years.

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News brief: Suspicious box draws bomb squad to Chehalis propane storage facility

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS -  A bomb squad was called out to a propane bulk storage yard in Chehalis today when a suspicious box was found against the fence.

Chehalis Police Department Deputy Chief Randy Kaut said someone observed the box on Northwest Prindle Street, at the back of the Cenex facility.

The call came in about 11:20 a.m., according to Kaut.

By about 2:15 p.m. technicians had X-rayed the item and found nothing dangerous, Kaut said.

“It sounds like the box was empty, I’m not even sure why it was there,” he said.

Cenex, with its address on State Street, distributes lubricants, refined fuels and does home delivery of propane, according to manager Sonny Pitts.

There is one giant propane storage tank in the fenced compound off Prindle, Pitts said. The others in the yard are waiting to be filled, he said.

“It wouldn’t have been a good thing,” Pitts said. “I’m glad they spotted it.”

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 10:06 am

Updated at 3:26 p.m.

POLICE: DAD BREAKS BABY’S LEG

• A 20-year-old Centralia father was arrested after his 5-month-old baby girl was treated yesterday morning at the emergency room for a broken leg. Centralia police called to Providence Centralia Hospital said Lincoln K. Hollis admitted “probably he was a little too aggressive when changing the baby’s diaper,” officer John Panco said. Hollis had brought the baby to the hospital, according to Panco. The child was transferred to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and Hollis was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree assault of a child, Panco said.

THEFT OF WIRING

• Someone broke into a fenced compound over the weekend at the 3000 block of Foron Road in Centralia and stole more then 400 feet of electrical wire and welding cable, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy called yesterday morning to Dulin Construction was told someone cut a padlock to the front gate and also used a sledge hammer to try to get money from a pop machine, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. The loss is estimated at more than $2,400, Brown said.

VANDALISM

• Police arrested a 19-year-old Centralia woman for allegedly slashing a tire on her ex-boyfriend’s vehicle on the 1000 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia last night. Malyse Bussanich said she was angry, Officer John Panco said. She was cited for third-degree malicious mischief and then released, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• A 43-year-old woman who reportedly tried to leave Safeway in Centralia with more than $100 of unpaid for merchandise last night was arrested for shoplifting and subsequently for possession of heroin, according to the Centralia Police Department. Rebecca S. Rycraft, of Olympia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police. How much of the drug found wasn’t noted in a police report, according to Officer John Panco.

WRECK

• The driver of a pickup truck was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital for evaluation after a collision with a semi-truck on U.S. Highway 12 in Ethel yesterday morning. It happened near Oyler Road about 8 a.m., according to the Washington State Patrol. One of the big rig’s fuel tanks fell off and spilled roughly 20 gallons of fuel, according to state patrol Sgt. Lucas Brandon.

Tenino man still not found

• The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office conducted a “thorough search” on Friday of the Tenino-area home and property belonging to 66-year-old Victor Shumate, missing since mid-January. He was not found, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Brady. Shumate has a home on the 17000 block of Mima Acres Drive Southeast and gets around by foot and bicycle. The sheriff’s office last week asked the public for information on his whereabouts, as his neighbors have not seen him since Jan. 13.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:21 am

CENTRALIA MAN WAKES UP TO PROWLER IN HOME

• Deputies were called just after 1 o’clock this morning to a home in north Centralia where a resident awoke to someone sneaking into his house. The 27-year-old man at the 100 block of Sawall Avenue said he heard the back sliding door open and heard a couple of footsteps inside before they left, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy checked the area finding only foot prints in the snow, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

SHED BURGLED IN CHEHALIS

• A deputy was called on Saturday morning to a burglary of a storage shed on the 100 block of Snow Peak Lane in Chehalis. Among the items taken sometime since the previous Monday morning were a Honda generator, power tools and two 100-foot extension cords, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

PT CRUISER STOLEN

• Chehalis police were called about 10 a.m. on Saturday to Southwest 10th Street near Main Street where a gray 2002 PT Crusier had been stolen overnight.

PARTS TAKEN FROM VEHICLES

• A deputy was called to the 1600 block of Rice Road outside Chehalis on Friday where someone had been stealing parts from cars. The resident, an 80-year-old man, said he thought it had occurred over the previous month, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Missing from his 1970s vehicles are an alternator, a a radiator,two carburetors, two valve covers, two batteries and an air cleaner, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

ATTEMPTED BREAK-IN AT TAVERN

• A deputy was called Saturday morning to an attempted break-in to the Headquarters Tavern on Front Street in Mineral. An employee had been called by the alarm company about 2:15 a.m., according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Window trim and an air conditioner unit were damaged, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Nothing appeared to be stolen taken but surveillance video will be reviewed, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

TAXI DRIVER RIPPED OFF

• Police were called about 6 p.m. yesterday to the 1500 block of Delaware Street in Centralia when a passenger fled a taxi cab without paying his $5 fare, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS AT SCHOOL

• A deputy was called Friday morning to Onalaska High School where a 16-year-old student allegedly took his father’s medical marijuana and tried to sell it at school, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The incident is under investigation.

RIFLE IN TRUCK GETS DRIVER ARRESTED

• A 35-year-old Centralia man was arrested following a traffic stop yesterday evening on the 1200 block of Mellen Street in which an officer observed a rifle in the cab of the truck next to the driver, according to the Centralia Police Department. Daniel L. Haubrick is currently not supposed to possess firearms because of a protection order naming him, according to officer John Panco. Haubrick was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police were called late Saturday afternoon to Southeast Third Street and Washington Avenue where someone had thrown a rock into the windshield of a car.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 11:54 am

POLICE: MAN MADE UP REPORT OF WOMAN’S THROAT CUT

• Aid and police called to a Centralia apartment early this morning to a report a woman had cut her throat from “ear to ear” found no victim, but arrested a man for making a false report. It happened about 4:20 a.m. at the 600 block of West First Street, according to Centralia police. Arriving officers spoke to the caller and he refused to give them more information, according to police Sgt. Carl Buster. A check inside the apartment turned up an individual who was fine, Buster said. The caller, Brian K. Wilson, 32, of Yelm, reportedly refused to cooperate, became combative and was detained after a Taser was deployed, according to Buster. Wilson was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

STOLEN VAN TURNS UP

• Centralia police were called about noon yesterday about a “suspicious” van found on the 1500 block of Windsor Avenue in Centralia. It was a van that had been stolen the day before, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT OF PURSES

• A purse left in a shopping cart yesterday at the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia was reported stolen.

• Police were called yesterday morning about a purse stolen the night before while its owner was at a tavern at the 100 block on South Tower Avenue in Centralia.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm

CRASH KNOCKS OUT TELEPHONE POLE

• Firefighters were called about 10:20 a.m. today to a single-vehicle accident south of Vader where a pickup truck rolled and took out a utility pole. It happened on the 100 block of West Side Highway, about a half mile south of state Route 506, according to Lewis County Medic One Paramedic Clayton Skinner. The lone occupant, a woman, was extricated and transported to Providence Centralia Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to Skinner.

VEHICLE THEFT

• A pickup truck stolen overnight from the 900 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia turned up in Chehalis, where two people bailed out and fled when spotted by police, according to the Centralia Police Department. A police dog attempted a track, but the subjects managed to slip away from officers, according to police. The Chevrolet S-10 pickup was returned to its owner.

• Police were called to the 100 block of South Pleasant Avenue in Centralia about 11:50 p.m. yesterday about a stolen vehicle. Missing is a green Windstar van, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THE PARTY’S OVER

• Centralia police broke up an underage drinking party last night on the 2800 block of Russell Road. Minta A. Harrington, 38, was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for four counts of furnishing liquor to minors, according to the Centralia Police Department.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, February 24, 2012 at 11:31 am

NEAR MISS OF POLICE CAR

• A police officer traveling north on Washington Avenue in Centralia yesterday morning woman ticketed a driver who blew a stop sign at Pine Street and nearly caused a wreck, with the officer’s patrol car, according to police. It happened just before 8:30 a.m. Carol L. Nelson, 45, of Centralia, told the officer she knew the stop sign was there but was in a hurry, Officer John Panco said. Nelson was cited for reckless driving, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT OF BIBLE

• Police were called yesterday to a Christian book store at the Outlet Mall in Centralia about someone shoplifting a Bible. An officer who responded to the Tree of Life Christian store on the 1300 block of Lum Road was shown security video of a woman leaving the retailer with a $50 copy of the book on Saturday, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CARPORT BURGLARIES

• Fishing gear, gas cans and a mountain bike were among the items stolen from carports on the 100 block of Osprey Lane near the Cowlitz Trout Hatchery south of Ethel, according to a report taken yesterday by a sheriff’s deputy.

CREDIT CARD MISUSED FOR SAUDI AIRLINES

• A 34-year-old Centralia man called police yesterday after his bank informed him someone had used his credit card number to try to purchase three tickets on Saudi AIrlines. The bank, or credit union, said there had been other victims, according to police. Officer John Panco said the department would follow up as much as it could, but usually they let the financial institutions deal with that kind of fraud, as the culprit may be in another country.

INMATE ARRESTED FOR STEALING FELLOW INMATES PIN NUMBER

• A 25-year-old inmate at the Lewis County Jail was arrested for multiple violations of a no contact order as sheriff’s office employees were investigating another inmate allegedly using his personal identification number to make phone calls from the jail. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said this morning that during the investigation, it was found Travis J. Parude, from Lacey, had actually used the other inmate’s PIN number to make calls to a person he was order not to have contact with. Pardue was arrested for five counts of violating a no contact order, Brown said.

SCHOOL BUS REAR ENDED IN CHEHALIS

• Police were called about 4:25 p.m. yesterday to a rear end collision involving a Head Start school bus in Chehalis. There were no injuries and the damage was minor, according to Deputy Chief Randy Kaut. A Jeep Wrangler was behind the bus as both were headed west on Main Street just east of Interstate 5, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

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News brief: Ex-cop gets prison for illegal gun show sales

Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A former Bremerton police officer was sentenced today to two years in federal prison in a case that included undercover agents purchasing guns from him and others at gun shows in Centralia and Puyallup.

Roy Alloway, 56, pleaded guilty last fall to unlawful dealing in firearms and filing a false income tax return.

Alloway was warned twice in 2005, but continued to purchase and sell guns without a federal firearms license; much of his conduct occurred while he was an active police officer, according to the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Western District of Washington.

He was one of four men charged last May following a lengthy undercover investigation into illegal sales at gun shows, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorneys Office.

The (Tacoma) News Tribune reports 77 of the firearms were seized in drug raids in which Alloway was either a participant or an insider with direct access to the weapons.

Some of the guns Alloway bought and sold later turned up at the scenes of a robbery, two assaults and in the hands of two felons, according to prosecutors.

“It was a breach of trust,” U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton said at sentencing. “It was not a technical violation; it was a total abdication of his responsibilities under the law.”

Alloway deposited cash, checks and money orders into his bank account totaling about $192,000 from the sale of firearms, according to the news release. However he failed to declare that income on his tax returns. As part of his plea agreement, he has agreed to pay all back taxes, according to the news release.

•••
Read a story with further details about Alloway from yesterday’s issue of The (Tacoma) News Tribune, here

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News brief: Tenino man missing for more than a month

Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 5:17 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Detectives are looking for information on the whereabouts of a 66-year-old Tenino-area man who hasn’t been seen since the middle of January.

2012.0223.Victor Shumate

Victor Shumate

Victor Shumate has a home on the 17000 block of Mima Acres Drive Southeast, where he lives alone, although it’s not believed he actually stays there because of the condition of the property, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’ Office.

Shumate gets around by foot or bicycle and is known to travel as far as Centralia, Yelm and Olympia, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Brady.

He frequents the Tenino Timberland Library but hasn’t been seen there or by his neighbors since Jan. 13, the second day of a snow and ice storm, according to Brady.

Shumate is described as 6 feet tall and weighing 160 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes.

The sheriff’s office asks anyone who has seen him or knows where he might be to call the sheriff’s office at 360-786-5500 or 360-704-2740 or Crime Stoppers at 360-493-2222. Brady asks that callers refer to the case number 12-969.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 11:33 am

Updated 12:34 p.m.

CAR VERSUS CHILD

• Police and aid were called to the 1100 block of South Gold Street in Centralia about 3:40 p.m. yesterday when an 8-year-old boy was hit by a car. The child was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital with what police described as minor injuries. An officer concluded he ran out in front of the vehicle,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

STOLEN VEHICLES

• A man called deputies to his home on the 3000 block of Jackson Highway south of Chehalis early this morning because he thought his vehicle was stolen. However, he remembered he had left it at the Star Tavern and taken a cab home, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. But his girlfriend arrived before the deputy left and because she had an outstanding warrant, she was arrested, according to the sheriff’s office. Barbara A. Alefteras, 43, was booked into the Lewis County jail for failing to appear in court in connection with driving on a suspended license, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

• Police were called about 7:30 p.m. yesterday about a car stolen from Southwest Pacific Avenue in Chehalis. An acquaintance of its owner was found about two hours later with the vehicle at a motel on Lakeshore Drive  in Centralia, according to Chehalis police. Nicodya A. L. Maddux, 23, of Centralia was arrested for an outstanding warrant and the apparent car theft was referred to the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office for a possible charge, Sgt. Gary Wilson said.

• A grayish black 1984 Mazda pickup was reported stolen from the 400 block of Centralia College Boulevard on Wednesday morning. It went missing overnight, according to the Centralia Police Department. Its license plate reads B48566C, according to police.

STATUE OF MARY MISSING FROM CHAPEL

• Somebody stole a ceramic statue from the prayer room at Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the Centralia Police Department. The theft was reported Tuesday morning. Officer John Panco said it was Mary with Baby Jesus, and the culprit had also tried to tear a statue of Joseph from its pedestal.

ARREST FOR MAKING UP BURGLARY REPORT

• Two people who reported a burglary in which a variety of medications were supposedly stolen from a home on the 1500 block of Pike Street in Centralia ended up getting arrested themselves on Tuesday. They said someone entered through a window, but an officer concluded there was no way that could have happened, according to Officer John Panco. Terry L. Olson, 56, and Merika G. Olson, 40, were arrested for attempting to file a false report, Panco said.

ATTEMPTED BREAK-IN

• Somebody apparently used splitting maul to break a window at a home on the 600 block of Davis Lake Road in Morton just as a resident there was getting into the shower. A deputy called about 12:30 a.m. yesterday found the window broken and was told by the woman she thought her dog scared the world-be intruder away, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

TP BURNED IN PARK RESTROOM

• Two girls, ages 12 and 14, were arrested after a discovery late yesterday afternoon someone had lit toilet paper on fire in the girls restroom at Penny Playground on Southwest 13th Street in Chehalis, according to police. The girls were arrested for reckless burning and then released, Sgt. Gary Wilson said. It’s a cinder block building and there was no significant damage, he said.

ARREST FOR NAUGHTY MESSAGES

• A 34-year-old Centralia man was arrested yesterday afternoon for allegedly sending sexually explicit text messages to a 16-year-old Centralia girl. Justin L. Hyde was booked into the Lewis County jail for communication with a minor for immoral purposes, according to the Centralia Police Department. Hyde was to be released without charges pending further investigation.

COLLISIONS

• An 18-year-old Rochester woman was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia after a two-vehicle collision early Tuesday morning near Rochester in which her Honda car was totaled, according to the Washington State Patrol. Tawnie E. Lasby was traveling north on James Road and attempting a left turn onto Independence Road, according to the state patrol. A Ford pickup traveling east on Independence ran into her driver’s side door, the state patrol reported. The driver of the pickup truck, Jacob A. Shore, 26, of Rochester, was reportedly uninjured.

• A 50-year-old driver told deputies he swerved to miss four deer that ran out in front of him when his vehicle left the roadway and rolled just before 6 a.m. on Wednesday. It happened along the 400 block of Spencer Road between Toledo and Ethel, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The Kelso resident, who was delivering newspapers, sustained possible fractures and was taken to St. John Medical Center in Longview, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

• Firefighters were called just after 5 o’clock this morning to the 900 block of Big Hanaford Road outside Centralia when a car served to miss a coyote and rolled over. The two occupants declined to go to the hospital, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

• A 27-year-old truck driver from Utah was ticketed after the cab of a bulldozer he was hauling struck the overpass on northbound Interstate 5 in Chehalis yesterday afternoon. It happened just after 2 p.m. at the 13th street interchange, according to Trooper Ryan Tanner. It didn’t apparently cause significant structural damage to the overpass but a bridge crew from the state Department of Transportation were going to examine it, Tanner said. The oversize load was supposed to have a pilot car traveling in front, but the pilot car was behind the truck, Tanner said.

LANDSLIDE

• Some 50 feet of roadway was covered  from a land slide yesterday morning along the Highland Valley Road southwest of Morton according to Lewis County Emergency Management. Sheriff’s Sgt. Ross McDowell described the mess as about 300 yards of debris.

OLD CASE

• A detective with the Washington State Patrol is looking for the public’s help in identifying a man who may know something about a stolen car found abandoned near Oakville almost two years ago. The 1999 Saab went missing from Kent on March 23, 2010 and a month later, it turned up along U.S. Highway 12 near the Black River Bridge just west of the Thurston County line, according to detective Krista Hedstrom. The plates were switched, Hedstrom said, and the windows smashed out. Inside, troopers found receipts and bags from Wal-Mart in Chehalis, and a detective matched a purchase with images of a man from security cameras, according to Hedstrom. There’s nothing extraordinary about the incident, but Hedstrom transferred in the the department and wanted to follow up on what a previous detective began, she said. The man in the picture is not necessarily a suspect, she said. “They’re connected,” she said. “He might be guy hitchhiking, we don’t know. He could have been a passenger.”

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Wal-Mart security video

2012.0221.hedstrom.walmartguytwo_2

Wal-Mart security video

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Prosecutor: Man with fire bomb threatened to kill himself

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 8:16 pm
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Matthew P. White speaks with defense attorney Bob Schroeter in court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Yesterday’s 911 call to a Mossyrock-area home in which a molotov-cocktail type device exploded in a kitchen was about a man threatening to kill himself, according to the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office.

Matthew P. White’s divorce became final last week and he went there with a gas can and several incendiary devices, but his adult son and the son’s friend wrestled with him and dragged him out of the house, charging documents state.

His ex-wife and son live in the home, but were not there when he arrived.

White, 51, was in Lewis County Superior Court this afternoon where he was charged with arson and several other offenses.

Judge Nelson Hunt set his bail at $250,00.

White sported what appeared to be two reddish black eyes-in-the-making as he faced the judge. Defense attorney Bob Schroeter told Judge Hunt White had “zero” criminal history.

Charging documents and the sheriff’s office give the following account:

Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Tim English was dispatched about 12:25 p.m. to the 100 block of Koons Road about a man threatening to kill himself.

When Deputy English arrived, White was sitting on the ground with four males standing around him.

Twenty-three-year-old Kevin White told the deputy he and his friend Anthony Westmoreland had seen his father’s car on the side of Salmon Creek Road, stopped and reminded him he wasn’t supposed to be in the area or near the house.

The senior White drove off and his son followed.

The son said he watched his father carry a gas can and an incendiary device to the front door then kick in the door and go inside.

The young men followed and once inside, saw White light the device.

Kevin White told the deputy he was roughly eight feet away when his dad threw it at him. Kevin White kicked it away and it exploded causing a fire in the kitchen.

Westmoreland put it out with an extinguisher, and Kevin White wrestled with his father.

Kevin White got a cut on his hand when he grabbed a knife from his father’s pocket.

When the senior White then pulled a two-foot-long knife from the neck of his jacket, Westmoreland punched him, knocking him unconscious.

Kevin White then dragged his father outside.

The fire damage was apparently limited to “possible smoke damage.”

No serious injuries were reported, though the senior White had a cut on his right eye and blood on his head.

Lewis County Fire District 8 was called just after 1 p.m. to conduct a “patient check” at the sheriff’s office request, according to Fire Chief Duran McDaniel.

Deputy English collected three knives from the home that the young men said were taken from White.

English recovered three incendiary devices and four tupperware containers with wicks and gasoline from White’s vehicle.

Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher said the devices were “molotov cocktail types”.

A sheriff’s office spokesperson said she was told they were made with styrofoam and gasoline. White told his son it was “Naplam”; he’d researched it on the Internet.

Also in the vehicle was an ice chest with styrofoam that was used in the mixture of the device, according to charging documents.

White hasn’t lived in the home since October. He is described as a Centralia resident.

On his way to jail, White told Deputy English he had been having thoughts of harming himself as well as killing his wife.

White is charged with first-degree assault of his son, first-degree arson,first-degree burglary and unlawful possession of an incendiary device

His arraignment is tomorrow.

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Centralia woman gets 30 years for decapitating premature infant

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 3:39 pm
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Laura Lynn Hickey looks back toward her family as she learns someone will address the judge on her behalf.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter


CHEHALIS – A judge gave Laura Lynn Hickey thirty years in prison today, for what her attorney said his client viewed as a mercy killing after her approximately 21-weeks-along fetus was unexpectedly delivered into a toilet.

Hickey, 25, admitted she cut off its head with a kitchen knife.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt said the case set a new low, but declined to hand down the 80 year sentence the prosecutor asked for.

“In my view, the defendant is only a threat to her own children, and her release will be past her further ability to bear children,” Hunt said.

The Centralia woman had pleaded guilty second-degree murder.

The standard sentencing range for the crime was between about 12 years to 20 years, although because the victim was particularly vulnerable, Hickey could have been locked up for life.

Hickey was about halfway through her pregnancy last March when she gave birth alone in her Centralia trailer home. She told detectives she grabbed the baby from the toilet, saw he was gurgling and trying to take a breath, according to charging documents.

“She indicated to police she couldn’t stand by and watch it suffer, and die,” defense attorney Ken Johnson told the judge this morning.

Johnson noted his client’s state of mind was impaired, and not only from drugs.

Attorneys disagreed if the infant boy was far enough along it could have survived outside the womb.

It weighed .85 pound and was less than 10-inches long, according to the lawyers involved.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said the baby “had taken a breath, at least one breath.” Johnson said Dr. William Brady was of the opinion the baby would not have survived.

More than 30 people sat in the Chehalis courtroom this morning, including Hickey’s mother, step-father and other family.

Her grandmother Nancy Wood asked the judge for some leniency.

“Laura’s never been in trouble,” Wood said. “She was a good mother, a good provider, until drugs came into the factor.”

The father of the child, Matthew Emery recommended she serve 10 years.

His written comments to the judge were read aloud; he sat with red-rimmed eyes next to a jail guard in the courtroom. What he is in custody for wasn’t mentioned.

Emery said said he still loves Hickey, but he doesn’t think he will ever understand what she did.

“I forgive you for what have done, and I don’t say this lightly,” Emery wrote.

Prosecutor Meyer said it was a crime so heinous, Hickey should lose the ability to “walk among us.” He described to the judge a variety of excuses by Hickey, saying she did not want the child.

Defense attorney Johnson asked for the low end of the standard sentencing range, saying she is a good candidate for rehabilitation and all he was asking was for a second chance.

Johnson acknowledged calling it a mercy killing is not a defense, but said it was an explanation, if there was an explanation.

“Laura realizes her explanations are totally inadequate,” Johnson said. “She made a mistake and must pay the consequences.”

Hickey addressed Judge Hunt, although she was told she didn’t have to.

She apologized, but said she would accept whatever sentence he gave her. She asked him to give her a second chance at life.

“I’m sorry for what I’ve done, I’m sorry for the baby I never gave a chance,” she said. “I’m sorry for my drug use.”

Then she laid her head down on the defense table, and appeared to cry.

Hickey will also get a mandatory extra two years because the plea agreement included a deadly weapon enhancement.

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The family of Laura Lynn Hickey sit behind her as she is sentenced.

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Man wrestled to ground as he tries to firebomb Mossyrock house

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 10:25 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 51-year-old man was arrested yesterday after he allegedly tried to fire bomb his ex-wife’s home in the Mossyrock area.

Matthew P. White was subdued by his 23-year-old son, who at one point kicked away a device his father said was Napalm before it exploded in the kitchen.

No injuries were reported. White, who lives in Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail on multiple offenses.

It happened on the 100 block of Koons Road, south of Mayfield Lake.

Deputies were called about 12:30 p.m. by the son, who said he was concerned about his father and followed him to the home, according to the Lewis County Sherif’s Office.

“The son watched his father carry a gas can and an incendiary device to the front door then kick in the door,” Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

Nobody was home at the time, according to Brown.

The son and his 22-year-old friend followed the father into the kitchen, where they found he had lit the device, Brown said.

Brown said White looked at the device and threw it at his son.

The friend grabbed a fire extinguisher and put it out, while White and his son wrestled, Brown said.

White then allegedly came at the friend, pulling a large knife from the back of his coat.

The two young men finally subdued White and pulled him from the house, according to Brown.

The fire damage was apparently limited to a door jamb.

Brown said the device was found to be gas mixed with styrofoam. She said three more were found in White’s car.

White was booked for first-degree arson, first-degree assault, burglary and possession of an incendiary device, according to Brown.

He has not lived at the house since October, she said.

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Victim in Portland shipyard accident spoke of joy in church video

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 7:21 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Centralia Community Church of God are among those mourning the death of 57-year-old John Michael Summers.

Summers body was recovered Sunday from inside a chemical holding tank at a Portland area industrial site.

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John Michael Summers

“He’s Mike to everyone here,” Pastor Mark Fast said this afternoon. “Oh man, what a big-hearted guy.”

Portland Fire and Rescue was called just after 10 o’clock on Sunday morning to rescue a worker who had apparently fallen into a 20-foot deep holding tank on a barge, according to a news release from the fire department. It contained a toxic and corrosive agricultural material, according to the fire department.

Another employee had seen Summers near the hatch, turned away and when he looked back, Summers was gone, the fire department reported.

Rescuers concluded a person would have become unconscious right away because of the lack of oxygen in the tank.

Pastor Fast said he’s come to know Summers, his wife Sandy Summers and adult daughter Gillian Summers as they began attending the Borst Avenue church about a year and a half ago. They had lived in Centralia before moving to Doty, Fast said.

“Over and over again, the word I’ve used to describe Mike most is genuine,” Fast said.

Summers used to have a flooring company and was a successful business person, Fast said. It was his understanding Summers had taken a job with a Seattle shipyard, and was commuting every weekend, Fast said. The pastor said he was surprised to learn Summers was working in Portland.

It was just this past October, when fast invited Summers to speak about his transformation to the congregation, something the church videotaped and shares through its website. He spoke of the joy permeating his life, Fast said.

A memorial service is set for 11 a.m. on Saturday at Church on the Hill in McMinnville, Ore., according to Fast. Much of Summers’ family lives there, the pastor said.

The accident occurred on Swan Island, at Cascade General Shipyard, according to a fire department spokesperson.

Oregon OSHA is investigating, Firefighter and Public Information Officer Paul Corah said.

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Courtesy photo by Portland Fire and Rescue

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Read about Yakima’s next police chief could be Chehalis’s former chief …

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports that former Chehalis Police Chief Dale Miller is one of two remaining candidates to be the next police chief in Yakima.

Miller, 47, moved to Ellensburg to take over the chief position there in the summer of 2006 after almost two decades with the Chehalis Police Department, the last two in the top post.

Miller and a lieutenant from the Chicago Police Department remain in the running to fill the top spot in Yakima’s 130-officer department, according to the Yakima Herald-Republic.

Read about it here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 1:28 pm

FISHERMAN RESCUED AFTER LANDSLIDE KNOCKS HIM INTO COWLITZ RIVER

• A 48-year-old fisherman called 911 after a landslide near the Blue Creek Boat Launch swept him into the Cowlitz River on Sunday afternoon. A deputy called about 4:30 p.m. was told the Bonney Lake man had been on the bank of the north side of the river when he heard trees snapping, looked behind him and saw a three- to four-foot high wave of debris coming at him, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. He tried to run but he was hit by branches and knocked into the water, the deputy was told. A boater picked the fisherman up downstream, Brown said. The man had no serious injuries, but he lost his fishing gear and a backpack, she said. The boat launch is south of Ethel. The loss is estimated at $1,000, according to the deputy’s report.

POLICE: INTOXICATED HIT AND RUN DRIVER ARRESTED

• A 32-year-old Centralia man was arrested about 10 p.m. last night for hit and run after his vehicle collided with a power pole on South Street in Centralia. When he was found on the 1100 block of Tower Avenue, he was cited also for driving under the influence and making a false statement to a police officer, according to the Centralia Police Department. Jaime Gariclazo-Avila was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

GUN AND BOOZE TAKEN FROM WINLOCK TRAILER

• A deputy was called late yesterday afternoon about a Winchester rifle stolen from a trailer at the 100 block of Wilson Road in Winlock. The owner said he’d last been there on Tuesday and when he returned, he discovered the theft, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Also missing was a bottle of Crown Royal whiskey and two boxes of ammunition, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

WHISKEY AND WOMEN’S CLOTHING STOLEN FROM WINLOCK HOME

• Two teenage girls were blamed for breaking into a Winlock residence and stealing a bottle of Fireball whiskey as well as a pink Victoria’s Secret jacket and jeans with rhinestones on their back pockets, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy called just before 7 p.m. Friday to the home on the 1400 block of Ferrier Road was told the girls – ages 13 and 14 – had been seen there the previous Tuesday and told they were not welcome there, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The teenagers were contacted and denied then admitted taking the items, Brown said. The case was referred for possible charges of residential burglary, Brown said.

SHED BURGLED OF EQUIPMENT

• Someone broke into an Onalaska shed while the resident was hospitalized and stole several items including a well pump and a Honda 3000 watt generator, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy called on Saturday to the 2000 block of state Route 508 reported that also missing was a socket set and a Briggs and Stratton motor, according to the sheriff’s office. The loss is estimated at about $1,000, Chief Civl Deputy Stacy Brown said.

ART, ANTIQUE MIRROR STOLEN FROM SALKUM HOME

• A carved wooden statue and antique wall mirror were reported stolen in a burglary a the 100 block of Forest Retreat Drive in Salkum. The victim said it occurred sometime since the previous Saturday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

ALCOHOL THEFT

ª Police were called just before 9 p.m. last night to a grocery store on the 500 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia after a male shoplifted two bottles of alcohol and left.

PURSE SNATCHED FROM SHOPPING CART

• Police called around 2:30 p.m. on Friday about a purse stolen from a shopping cart a Wal-Mart in Chehalis subsequently viewed security video from the Chehalis store showing someone taking the purse. No suspect found, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

MISSING CAR FOUND

• A car reported stolen Thursday morning from the he 400 block of Ash Street in Centralia turned up on Saturday morning on the 1100 block of South Silver Street. The purple Saturn was found parked and unoccupied, according to the Centralia Police Department.

WANTED MAN FOUND HIDING IN VACANT HOUSE

• A K-9 track last Sunday turned up a man wanted on warrants hiding in an unoccupied house on the 1000 block of E Street in Centralia. Officers got information Craig D. Ballard, 25, was at the 900 block of H Street at about 6 p.m. and when officers arrived, he fled, according to Officer John Panco. Ballard was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

WOMAN ANGRY WHEN NEW CELL PHONE OWNER GETS WRONG NUMBER, HERS

• An individual called Chehalis police on Friday to complain that she had been getting harassing phone calls from another woman. The first woman had bought a cell phone from Wal-Mart and the second woman was complaining she’d had her phone number for decades and now the other woman had been assigned the same telephone number, according to police. An officer determined it must be a mix up and advised the woman to return her new phone and get a different phone number, Sgt. Gary Wilson said.

UNDERAGE DRINKING CITATIONS

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning that seven young men and women were caught after a call about underage drinking last Tuesday night at the 600 block of Oppelt Road in Onalaska. The case of the youth, ages 16 through 20, was referred to the Lewis County Prosecutors Office for possible charges of minor in possession of alcohol, according to the sherif’s office.

GAS STOVE CAUSES INJURIES

• Lewis County Fire District 15 was called to the Frost Road Trailer Park in Winlock just after 5 p.m. on Saturday about an explosion inside a residence. Two individuals had been attempting to light a propane stove, it flashed and left them both with minor burns, according to Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Anderson. One declined treatment, but a 44-year-old woman was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital, Anderson said.

•••

Correction: The news item about the 25-year-old man found by police in a house on H Street  has been corrected to reflect it occurred Sunday night.