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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.

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Sawed off shotgun found near Adna gas station, one arrested

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 8:03 pm
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Gilbert Borquez waits for a judge in a Chehalis courtroom this afternoon.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – If what Gilbert Borquez says is true, two vehicles full of people from Raymond were trying to help a female get back her rental car – containing $500 and all her belongings – from her ex-boyfriend who stole it, when a sawed-off shotgun accidentally discharged outside an Adna gas station on Tuesday.

Amalia Copp concocted a plan to get the ex, Paul Martin, to meet someone at the 76 station on state Route 6 for a drug deal and they would rush up and take back her rental car, Borquez told detectives.

But Martin in his Nissan drove off erratically; and then Borquez gave chase in his silver Hyundai but got stuck in the ditch, the story goes.

One of the group ran for the nearby fields and two males along with Copp left in a silver Jeep Cherokee, according to the interview as described in court documents. The Jeep was stopped by a trooper farther west on state Route 6, but the occupants denied any involvement, and were released.

Borquez, 36, was booked into the Lewis County Jail last night, and appeared in court this afternoon.

Prosecutors asked he be held with no bail, as the details get sorted out.

He was arrested by the sheriff’s office for drive-by shooting and first-degree assault, but Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey today said he could see probable cause to hold him for second-degree assault, as well as a weapons violation because of the pistol-grip sawed off shotgun.

“I’ll give you till 4 o’clock tomorrow (to charge him), Brosey said this afternoon.

The Lewis County segment of the saga began about 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday with a 911 call about someone firing a shotgun outside the gas station at the intersection with Highway 603. Then two, or three, vehicles fled the area, with one subject on foot who was finally tracked that afternoon along the Chehalis River.

Borquez told detectives that when they arrived at the gas station and he saw Martin had a handgun, he retrieved his shotgun from his vehicle, according to court documents.

He said he fired one round into the ground, which was accidental, the documents state.

Today, Borquez was taken back out the area to assist in recovering the shotgun. He’d said he had thrown it into the brush across the street from where his car was stuck, according to court documents.

Defense attorney Bob Schroeter argued unsuccessfully for only $10,000 bail, noting it seemed like an inadvertent release of a shotgun into the ground.

There is no allegation anyone was shot.

According to court documents, detectives tracked down Borquez by asking law officers in Pacific County about a short, stocky Hispanic male with tattoos on the left side of his neck and face who was known for involvement with the three stopped in the Jeep. That was the description given by witnesses at the scene.

A witness from the gas station picked his photo out of a montage, according to the documents.

According to Borquez, the plan was hatched on Tuesday morning, when Copp and three males arrived at his home in Raymond asking for help.

She said she’d rented a 2012 Nissan Altima because she’d been kicked out of her father’s house the night before, and everything she had was in the car when her ex-boyfriend took it, Borquez told detectives.

Borquez is scheduled to return to court tomorrow afternoon when, if charges are filed, his bail will be set.

Robert R. Ogilve, 42, who was booked Tuesday afternoon  remains in the jail on a  warrant from the state Department of Corrections.

The Pacific County resident told detectives he just wanted a ride into town from a friend, and the next thing he knew he found himself at a gas station near Chehalis where there was a dispute and someone firing a shotgun, court documents state.

•••

For background, read “Dispute, gunshot draws law enforcement to state Route 6 intersection” from Tuesday April 16, 2013, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Updated at 3:30 p.m.

DRIVE-BY SHOOTINGS?

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office booked a man into jail about 10:30 p.m. yesterday for drive-by shooting and first-degree assault. The jail roster lists him as Gilbert Borquez. A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office confirmed the arrest, but declined to release any details on any assault or the arrest.

• Centralia police were called just after 1:30 a.m. today after someone shot out windows of an SUV belonging to a woman in her 20s and at the windows of her house with a BB or pellet gun at the 600 block of Alder Street. Images of an unknown suspect pulling up in a vehicle were captured on surveillance video, according to police.

MISSING JEWELRY

• A deputy was called about 5:30 p.m. yesterday for a burglary at a vacant house on the 300 block of Burchett Road in Onalaska. The owner, a Puyallup man, said sometime since April 1, someone forced open a door and left with what the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office described as miscellaneous jewelry totaling at least $70.

GARAGE BREAK-IN

• Morton police reported yesterday they are investigating what appears to be forced entry into a garage on the 100 block of Collar Avenue, and indications someone has been using the place to “hang out” in.

MISSING UTILITY TRAILER

• Someone stole a utility trailer from the 1000 block of J Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday morning. It has wood sides and a license plate of 8029XX, according to the Centralia Police Department.

POLICE: REPEAT SHOPLIFTER NABBED

• A 42-year-old man caught allegedly shoplifting tools from Lincoln Creek Lumber in Centralia was arrested yesterday at the business on the 1600 block of Harrison Avenue and accused of stealing from the store three times in the past several weeks. Police officers called about 11:30 a.m. concluded John L. Lybert’s image is on videotape committing the crimes,  according to the Centralia Police Department. Lybert was booked into the Lewis County Jail for a felony, organized retail theft, because of the repeated offenses within the same 180-day period, according to police.  However, prosecutors are referring the case back as a misdemeanor offense for municipal court.

VANDALISM

• Police took  report of graffiti on a shed last night at the 1300 block of Oxford Avenue in Centralia.

LOST AND FOUND

• Morton police said yesterday that the bones a citizen found last week are probably deer bones; an examination concluded they are not human. Chief Dan Mortensen said he believes they were discovered along state Route 508.

• A Morton police officer found a portable radio in the area of the 600 block of Main Avenue which can be claimed by its owner if they can identify it, according to the Morton Police Department.

ALLEGED GANG MEMBER ACCUSED OF INTIMIDATING WITNESS

• A judge ordered 32-year-old Centralian Joshua Rhoades held without bail this morning, less than a week before his trial is to begin in Lewis County Superior Court. Rhoades is charged with second-degree assault in connection with a late January incident in which a 17-year-old boy was jumped on a Centralia street. Police and prosecutors say it was gang-related. Deputy Prosecutor Joely O’Rourke said Rhoades was previously held on $100,000 bail, but bailed out of jail pending trial. However, O’Rourke alleged today that Rhoades violated conditions of his release by intimidating a witness. O’Rourke said a new charge is pending. “He denies that,” defense attorney Chris Baum said, noting his client has been out of town and wouldn’t have been in the area when the alleged intimidation occurred. The parties were in the courtroom in Chehalis today to confirm if they are ready for trial. Baum this morning asked Judge Richard Brosey to postpone the trial, as he hasn’t yet interviewed the victim. Baum said the contact information he was provided was inaccurate, and he wasn’t able to reach the teenager. Brosey ordered prosecutors to make the victim available for the defense attorney to talk with, and said the trial would remain scheduled for next Wednesday.

SEXUAL ABUSE TRIAL PUSHED TO JULY

• A trial scheduled for next week for a 32-year-old man charged with sexual abuse of a 13-year-old relative of his wife’s who was living in their Centralia home has been postponed. Marty R. Heap remains held in jail on $75,000 bail. He was arrested and charged in early March not long after taking a polygraph test about alleged incidents that had been brought to the attention of Centralia police in May of last year. The girl revealed Heap had sexually assaulted her, telling a detective she had thought it would stop, but it never did and that she didn’t want his son to grow up with a father in jail, according to charging documents. Heap denied the accusations and has pleaded not guilty. He is charged with three counts of second-degree child rape and one count of molestation. This morning attorneys agreed with a Lewis County Superior Court judge the trial could begin in mid-July.

VEHICLE VERSUS PEDESTRIAN

• A 13-year-old boy escaped with relatively minor injuries after he was hit by an SUV in a crosswalk this morning in Chehalis. Police and aid were called just before 8 a.m. to Northeast Cascade and Washington avenues where the boy was knocked about 15 feet out of the crosswalk, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Witnesses said the boy spotted his school bus arrive and darted across the street, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said. The driver was probably traveling less than 20 mph, but already in motion from having just left a stop sign, Wilson said. The boy suffered scrapes, bumps and bruises, Wilson said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assaults, reports of suspicious circumstances; a report of possible child abuse that turned out to be mark left on a little one’s back from falling off a tricycle … and more.

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News brief: Chehalis fire chief ready to move on

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 8:45 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Chehalis Fire Department Chief Kelvin Johnson’s last day isn’t until next week, but a farewell gathering is planned on Friday evening at the Riverside Golf Club.

Johnson began as a probationary firefighter in his hometown of Idaho Falls in 1978, spent five years in Puyallup working as deputy chief and the past five years as the chief in Chehalis.

It’s time to move on, and back home, he said. He and his wife are relocating to the Boise area.

“I’ve been in the fire service now close to 35 years, I’m over 60,” Johnson said. “I have a grandson and family in Idaho and I’ve had what I consider a very long and successful and enjoyable career.”

Johnson said he hopes to do more teaching, with the National Fire Academy in Maryland.

The Chehalis department has been working more closely with neighboring agencies over the past several years, something that seems like it will become more official perhaps in the not-too-distant future, according to Johnson.

The rural fire districts in Napavine and outside Chehalis have decided not to be involved, but Chehalis and Centralia’s Riverside Fire Authority are continuing to explore some kind of consolidation, beginning with exploring the possibility sharing a chief, he said.

“If it seems feasible, we’ll take it to the voters at some time in the future,” he said.

Well, those left behind will be checking in with voters. Johnson’s last day is next Wednesday.

He said he’s very much appreciated his time in Lewis County, appreciated the community support, and enjoyed himself.

Friday’s festivities begin at 6 p.m. with appetizers and a no-host dinner and bar. Riverside Golf Club is on Airport Road in Chehalis.

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Read about Winlock woman tangled up in Elma gas station assault …

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 7:01 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Guns: Paintball, check. Airsoft, check. Pistol, check.

And baseball bats.

The (Aberdeen) Daily World reports a 27-year-old Winlock woman, Anna M. Kohler, is among four people charged in a weekend gas station attack in Elma during which a 26-year-old homeless man was shot with a .22 caliber handgun.

The incident was a “show of force” as a 53-year-old Elma man and his companions were trying to collect a debt, news reporter Brionna Friedrich writes.

Read about it here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 12:29 pm

GIRLS MUGGED BY OLDER GIRL

• A 14-year-old Chehalis girl was arrested last night after she allegedly confronted two younger girls and stole $6 from the pocket of a backpack one of them was carrying. It happened around 6 p.m. as the 600 block of Cascade Avenue in Chehalis where what police label a second-degree robbery involved pushing grabbing and pulling hair, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said the victims – ages 12 and 13 – who were just walking somewhere, didn’t fight back. Wilson said those involved knew each other. The teen was booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center, according to police.

BOYFRIEND ARRESTED AFTER KNIFE THREAT

• A 26-year-old Chehalis man was arrested after he allegedly threw a knife at his girlfriend who was trying to leave him. Police called a little after 11 a.m. yesterday about the dispute at the couple’s home on the 100 block of Southwest Fifth Street were told Cory Aldrich assaulted the woman then pointed the folding knife at her, threatened to kill her and flung it. It hit the floor, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The woman also turned over a gun she said belonged to Aldrich, so he faces a possible charge related to that as he’s not supposed to have guns, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said. Aldrich was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

POLICE CALLED TO WAL-MART ABOUT BOSTON BOMBING MESSAGE

• Wal-Mart called Chehalis police just before 6 p.m. yesterday after a threat was found written on the inside of a stall in the women’s bathroom. The message referenced the bombings in Boston and indicated a time and day for an incident here in Chehalis, according to the Chehalis Police Department. An officer responding to the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue indicated it was up to management if they wanted to evacuate the store, as most of the time similar messages are simply political rants, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said. They didn’t shut down the building and nothing happened, Wilson said.

PROWLERS AND POSSIBLE PROWLERS

• Centralia police were called about 4:30 p.m. yesterday to the 1100 block of Alder Street about an aquarium stolen from a back porch.

• Chehalis police were called about 8:50 a.m. yesterday to a home on Southwest 20th Street where it appeared someone had been messing with a back door.

• Chehalis police were called about 11:30 p.m. yesterday about noises outside a bedroom window on Southwest 12th Street and about 45 minutes later to a home on Southwest McFadden Avenue where a 13-year-old boy awakened to noises outside a door at his home. Nobody was found in either case, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

ALCOHOL SHOPLIFTING

• A 16-year-old boy was stopped by store security as he attempted to leave a Centralia grocery last night with a bottle of vodka and a bottle of whiskey. Police called about 10:30 p.m. to the 500 block of South Tower Avenue will refer the case to juvenile prosecutors for a possible charge of theft, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• Police say an officer recognized someone with a warrant yesterday evening at the Pepper Tree Motel on the 1200 block of Alder Street in Centralia and when arresting the man, found suspected methamphetamine. Austin A. Lasky, 24, of Las Vegas, Nevada, was booked into the Lewis County Jail after contact with police at about 6 p.m., according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants; responses for shoplifting, possible disputes, suspicious circumstances; complaint about parking and complaint about neighbor’s dirty diaper trash  … and more.

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Adna shotgun dispute details remain a mystery

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 10:23 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – It’s still unclear exactly what happened yesterday morning outside an Adna gas station where law enforcement officers were summoned with a report of someone firing a shotgun.

Nobody’s talking.

Two or possibly three vehicles were involved but fled the scene, at the 76 gas station at state Route 6 and Highway 603, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

A gray Jeep Cherokee was stopped on state Route 6 at milepost 38, and three people were questioned, but they just said they heard a gunshot as they pulled into the store and left because they were scared, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

“There were some issues with their story,” Brown said.

A subject who was spotted hiding from deputies on the other side of the Chehalis River east of the store was finally detained around 3 p.m., but he said he was avoiding law enforcement because he was wanted on a warrant, according to Brown.

No shotgun was found.

Robert R. Ogilve, 42, from Pacific County, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, on the warrant from the state Department of Corrections, according to the sheriff’s office. For unknown reasons, he had shed his pants, according to Brown.

“Basically, he said there was a dispute, there was a gunshot, he didn’t know what it was about,” Brown said.

The sheriff’s office believes everyone involved is from Pacific County. None of the people contacted were very forthcoming with information, Brown said.

The sheriff’s office will continue to investigate because, “We obviously are not going to ignore someone firing a shot or pulling a shotgun out in a dispute,” Browns said.

•••

For background, read “Dispute, gunshot draws law enforcement to state Route 6 intersection” from Tuesday April 16, 2013, here

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News brief: Man brings home dynamite found in Ethel-area woods

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Courtesy photo by Lewis County Sheriff’s Office

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Washington State Patrol was to remove a crate of dynamite this morning discovered partially buried in the woods on a man’s property southwest of Ethel.

The man called the sheriff’s office last night after taking eight “bricks” home with him, of approximately 300 yellow bricks in a box marked U.S. Military, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown suggested it could have been part of a large supply of explosives hidden around the nearby farm of a 56-year-old man who was killed by an explosion in December of 1998.

The man worked in the explosives industry and was known to use dynamite to blow up stumps on his property on the 200 block of Classe Road, Brown stated in a news release.

“It was believed at the time of his death, he had placed the dynamite in the back of his tractor-trailer, and was traversing his property when the dynamite exploded,” Brown stated.

At the time, authorities searched for and disposed of several boxes of dynamite, but there was concern there could be more hidden, according to Brown.

Last night, a bomb technician responded to the 100 block of Spotted Doe Lane examine the new find and concluded the explosives were stable, according to the sheriff’s office.

Sheriff Steve Mansfield in the news release indicated the outcome of this incident could have turned out bad, and served as a reminder for folks not to touch or transport items they find and suspect are explosives, but to instead call 911 immediately.

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Dispute, gunshot draws law enforcement to state Route 6 intersection

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 12:19 pm
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Detectives, deputies and Chehalis police patrol vehicles gather at the north end of Highway 603 near Chehalis this morning.

Updated at 2:31 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Deputies are congregating around Highway 603 at state Route 6 west of Chehalis after an incident outside the 76 gas station there.

“I heard a ‘bang’,” clerk Chelsea Hamilton said.

Her co-worker said he walked outside when someone hollered for him to call 911 around 10:15 a.m.

Pete Holmstedt saw a small gray car like a Kia trying to get out of the ditch, and heard a lot of yelling before a gray Jeep sped south down Highway 603, he said.

Holmstedt said he didn’t see which way the small car went.

Lewis County Sheriff’s Office detective Bruce Kimsey said he was still trying to piece together what occurred. The call was for a dispute, Kimsey said.

Deputies were initially called about shots fired, but have no victim, according to a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office.

Witnesses have said they saw someone throw a gun, and also saw someone flee on foot, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

A K-9 was brought out to conduct a track.

A guy who appeared to be hiding has been spotted by the river, Brown said about 2:15 p.m.

“There’s somebody running from us, we don’t know if it’s a suspect or a victim,” she said. Or possibly even a witness who is scared, she added.

Initial reports are that three vehicles were involved. Brown said a trooper and deputies stopped a gray Jeep Cherokee on state Route 6 at milepost 38, but the two men and one woman said they were not involved.

They said a shot was fired and they left to go home to South Bend, Brown said. The three were briefly detained and then let go, she said

 

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 10:22 am

THEFT

• A 47-year-old Wal-Mart employee was arrested last night for first-degree theft, for allegedly stealing iPods at her workplace. It was an internal investigation with suspected losses of about $3,000 in merchandise, Chehalis Police Department detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said. Theresa L. Carter, 47, of Salkum, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to Wilson.

• Chehalis police were called yesterday morning by a Shelton resident who said they found their stolen boat offered on Craigslist, for sale in Chehalis. Officers are waiting for further information to determine if it the same boat and if it is actually in Chehalis, according to police.

•  Chehalis police were called about 4:40 p.m. to Wal-Mart for an individual who allegedly stole a Sonicare-type toothbrush and exchanged it for a gift card. Officers chased down a 23-year-old man  and discovered he had an outstanding warrant, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Fernando Aguilar, a homeless person from the Centralia area, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to detective Sgt. Gary WIlson. The toothbrush incident will be passed along to prosecutors for a possible charge of second-degree theft, Wilson said.

FIGHT

• Chehalis police were called last night to Green Hill school to take a report about multiple assaults between inmates. Further details are not readily available.

DRUGS

• A 27-year-old Centralia man was arrested for possession of heroin after his warrant arrest about 1:50 p.m. yesterday at West Cherry and South Pearl streets in Centralia. An officer saw a couple walking, knew the woman had an outstanding warrant, stopped and found David J. Lyon had a warrant as well, according to police. Lyon had a trace amount of suspected heroin on his person, Sgt. Kurt Reichert said. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. Samantha H. Jackson, 21, also of Centralia, was booked for her warrant, according to police.

VANDALISM

• Police took a report about 11 a.m. yesterday from the 1300 block of Eckerson Road in Centralia that someone shot at a window with what appeared to have been a BB gun.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants; responses for family disturbance, suspicious circumstances; complaints of someone sleeping in an apartment complexes common area, loose dog chasing cars, vagrants walking between retail stores … and more.

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News brief: Another Centralian wakes up to flames

Monday, April 15, 2013 at 12:42 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A smoke detector may have saved the life of Centralia man who was alerted to a fire inside his home late yesterday afternoon, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

The single adult male occupant was sleeping – or maybe cat napping – when a fire broke out inside the older, single-wide mobile home he rents at the 1400 block of Harrison Avenue, Acting Capt. Jesse Berry said.

“I think he tried for a split second to extinguish it, and then got out,” Berry said.

Firefighters called just after 5 p.m. attacked the blaze through a side door and had it knocked down within 10 minutes, Berry said.

The man was not injured, but Red Cross was contacted to help him with a place to stay, according to Berry.

There was smoke damage throughout the home and fire damage in the kitchen, also extending into the living room, he said.

Berry said it helped that the call was just blocks from the fire station, so the response time was short, but said the importance of the working smoke detector was “phenomenal.”

The cause is under investigation.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, April 15, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Updated at 2:57 p.m.

DRUGS

• A 38-year-old Chehalis woman was arrested when police served a search warrant an apartment on Southwest Chehalis Avenue on Friday afternoon. Heather L. Smith was booked into the Lewis County Jail for delivery of drugs based on an ongoing investigation, according to Chehalis police. Officers found pills and suspected heroin they are getting tested, detective Sgt. Gary WIlson said. One 11-year-old child was taken into the custody of Child Protective Services and another female spotted in the area was arrested in an unrelated matter; for an outstanding warrant, Wilson said.

NAPAVINE BURGLARY ARREST

• Napavine police said today they arrested a suspect in last week’s Frosty’s Saloon and Grill burglary in which thousands of dollars were stolen. Lonzo W. Lawson III was arrested on Friday at a motel in Chehalis on Southwest Interstate Avenue, Napavine Officer Silas Elwood said. Elwood said they had some cooperating witnessing, tips, that led police right to him. Elwood described Lawson as a transient with no known connections to Frosty’s. However, Elwood said, it sounds like Lawson had information from someone who knew the building and its possible another arrest could follow. Lawson was booked into the Lewis County Jail for burglary, theft and trafficking in stolen property, Elwood said.

ATTEMPTED BREAK-INS

• Centralia police report the back door to a vacant residence was found kicked in yesterday at the 900 block of North Washington Avenue. Nothing appeared to b missing and no other damage was discovered, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called to to Southwest Fifth Street on Friday morning where it appeared someone tried to pry open a garage door, according to police.

WRECKS

• A 26-year-old Chehalis man ended up with several broken bones in his legs when he allegedly blew a stop sign and struck a pickup truck at Highway 603 and Harmon Road northwest of Napavine on Friday, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning. The unnamed motorist was cited for driving recklessly and with a suspended license after the two-vehicle collision just before 2 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office. He was also flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with non-life threatening injuries, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Brown said his 25-year-old passenger from Morton was transported to Provide Centralia Hospital with a possible broken leg and two men in the 2001 Dodge pickup which was involved were taken to Providence to be checked out. The causing driver’s Honda Civic was described as totaled.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning a stuck accelerator is the cause of an 11 p.m. Thursday single-vehicle wreck in Onalaska in which a 26-year-old man ran into a utility pole. It happened at Leonard Road and Main Street, according to the sheriff’s office. The driver suffered scratches, bumps and bruises and totaled his Dodge pickup, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. He was cited for no insurance, according to Brown.

• Nobody was hospitalized but two vehicles sustained major damage  when they collided just before 11 a.m. on Friday at Jackson Highway and Bishop Road outside Chehalis. A 50-year-old motorist from Chehalis turned in front of a 38-year-old Chehalis motorist attempting to make a left turn, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

NOT A WRECK

• A 52-year-old Toledo man was jailed on Saturday evening when he was found passed out behind the steering wheel of his vehicle parked behind a gas station at the 400 block of state Route 506 in Toledo. A deputy arrested Keith F. Tabor at about 8 p.m. for being in physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, DUI; responses for non-injury collisions, people accidentally dialing 911; complaints of disorderly persons, complaints of noisy neighbors, complaints of people behaving strangely,  … and more.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 12:35 pm

PEDESTRIAN STRUCK BY VEHICLE ON U.S. HIGHWAY 12

• A 24-year-old Yakima man was hospitalized after he was hit by a car as he assisted a disabled motorist on U.S. Highway 12 near Packwood yesterday afternoon. The pedestrian, Jesse A. Stillwaugh, was struck by a westbound Subaru Outback that came around a curve and was unable to stop because of a hill and poor road conditions, according to the Washington State Patrol. A trooper called about 4:20 p.m. to the scene about 10 miles east of Packwood, noted that there was no shoulder where it happened. Stillwaugh was transported to a Yakima hospital, according to the state patrol. No citation was issued to the Subaru driver, a man from Tacoma, according to the investigating trooper.

THEFT

• Centralia police were called about 12:30 a.m. today to a burglary at the 1000 block of Mellen Street. An amplifier to a car stereo is missing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police reported yesterday an officer was called about the theft of pain medication from the 300 block of East Magnolia Street in Centralia the day before.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, DUIs, driving with suspended licenses, calls for misdemeanor assault, non-injury collision … and more.

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News brief: Centralia household awakens to fire

Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 11:29 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Firefighters called about 1:20 a.m. today to the 1800 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia found flames in the front of a house on the porch.

Two adults had seen a glow outside their bedroom window and evacuated four children after unsuccessfully attempting to douse the fire, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

A dozen firefighters extinguished the blaze, according to Capt. Scott Weinert.

“The fire was quickly knocked down, it looks like minimal extension into the house,” Weinert said.

The adult male said he’d disposed of debris from the fireplace into a garbage can on the porch; he believed it to be cool, Weinert said.

The damage is estimated at $32,000.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, April 12, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Updated

ASSAULTS UNDER INVESTIGATION

• Police are investigating after an individual contacted police in Olympia early this morning and reported he was beat up at a Centralia gas station on the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue. The victim said two unknown individuals approached him, knocked him to the ground and kicked him around, according to the Centralia Police Department. Centralia police noted the male drove to the Olympia area and called 911 from his girlfriend’s home, even though he had a cell phone with him.

• Centralia police yesterday morning began investigating a child assault, in which they are looking for a known suspect. No one had been arrested as of this afternoon, and further details are not available, according to Sgt. Brian Warren.

• Chehalis police are investigating a report that someone held a gun to someone else’s head, following a report made yesterday in connection with an address on McFadden Avenue. The incident is still being looked into, Officer Linda Bailey said today.

BOAT’S CONTENTS PLUNDERED

• A deputy was called yesterday to the 1200 block of Eshom Road in Centralia where so someone had stolen numerous items from a boat parked there, including a motor, a marine radio, crab pots, fishing knives and nets as well as four deep sea fishing poles and other marine equipment. The loss is estimated at about $5,000, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The owner, a 58-year-old Rochester man, said it happened sometime since March 31, according to the sheriff’s office.

THEFT FROM MOOSE SHED

• Police were called yesterday morning to the Moose lodge on the 1400 block of Grand Avenue in Centralia where someone had broken into a storage shed and stolen a pressure washer and a hand held leaf blower, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VEHICLE THEFT

• A Honda ATV was stolen during the night from the 400 block of Ash Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday.

MEDS MISSING

• Centralia police took a report about 7:25 p.m. yesterday from the 1400 block of Lum Road about the theft of a woman’s medications.

VEHICLE PROWLER ESCAPES IN SEMI TRUCK

• Chehalis police were called about 8 o’clock last night to the Wal-Mart parking lot when a witness saw a woman break out the back window of a car and steal unknown items before getting into a semi truck and leaving the area. The truck wasn’t found, according to police. The vehicle had been left in the north end of the parking lot a few hours earlier because its owner was arrested for being disorderly. Officers had been called to the store at 5 p.m. by a 38-year-old man from Utah who said he needed help because a female had drugged him up, Officer Linda Bailey said. The man was jailed due to his paranoid behavior and because he could be a risk to himself or others, Bailey said.

MORE DISORDERLINESS

• A 58-year-old Centralia man was arrested and jailed for trespass last night when he reportedly refused to leave a friend’s home on the 300 block of West Magnolia Street in Centralia. Centralia police, responding about 8:30 p.m., noted Nicholas F. Henderson wasn’t welcome because he was reportedly drunk and belligerent. He was scheduled to be released from jail this afternoon.

DRUGS

• A 32-year-old Chehalis woman was arrested for possession of methamphetamine after police contacted her about 5:50 p.m. yesterday on the 100 block of Southwest Interstate Avenue in Chehalis. Officers were assisting another agency on another case at that location, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Lili N. Holster was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

WOMAN SERIOUSLY HURT WHEN POWER WHEELCHAIR FALLS ON HER

• A 55-year-old Napavine-area woman was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle yesterday to be treated for injuries she sustained when she was pinned beneath her power wheelchair. Lewis County Fire District 5 was called about 4 p.m. to the home along Berry Road where it appeared the chair had gone off the side of a low deck, according to Chief Eric Linn. “Unfortunately it almost severed one leg,” Linn said. The chief said the chairs weigh upwards of 350 pounds and it took about six responders and a good amount of time to get the patient untangled from the chair. The area was rural so the helicopter picked her up from the front yard, according to Linn.

WRECK

• A 40-year-old Onalaska motorist escaped injury when he failed to negotiate a curve on state Route 506 near Vader late yesterday afternoon and a trailer broke loose from behind his 2009 International dump truck and rolled. Clifford R. Nowels was traveling eastbound about two miles outside of town when it happened around 5 p.m., according to the Washington State Patrol. The trailer came to rest in the ditch, the state patrol reported. The investigating trooper blamed it on speed.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrest for warrant, calls about suspicious circumstances, tips on the whereabouts of wanted people … and more.

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Driver inattention, not brakes, blamed for school bus wreck near Toledo

Friday, April 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Washington State Patrol has found that inattention on the part of the driver caused the accident on Tuesday night that sent a school bus loaded with teenagers across a two-lane highway and 50 to 75 feet down an embankment into a swamp near Toledo.

Driver Ronnie H. Withrow, 53, will be ticketed for running the stop sign at the top of the Interstate 5 freeway off ramp, state patrol spokesperson Trooper Will Finn said this morning.

Withrow initially stated the brakes on the bus failed, but an inspection found no problems with the brakes, the state patrol reported yesterday.

None of the passengers were seriously injured, and Withrow has been praised by responders for guiding the bus through a narrow space between a sign and a guard rail as it traveled downhill.

Finn said this morning he had no information on what Withrow was distracted by.

“I just know the investigation has come to a conclusion and that’s what the trooper has decided,” Finn said.

Finn said hoped to learn more from the investigating trooper when the trooper comes back on duty this afternoon.

Withrow had been placed on administrative leave from the Winlock School District. He has not returned a phone call seeking comment.

Finn did say no skid marks were found at the scene, and it appeared Withrow shouted for everyone to hold on after he’d already gone through the stop sign. He added it was concluded the driver did not fall asleep, as he took the exit.

After a commercial vehicle inspector found no mechanical failures or defects with its braking system, the investigating trooper had to go back and ask more questions, Finn said.

Withrow began driving a school bus for Winlock in September, and drove for other schools before that, according to District Superintendent Shannon Criss.

Criss was unavailable this morning, but issued a prepared statement in which she said she is reviewing with legal counsel on the matter. And, she noted: “Student safety is always our primary concern.”
•••

For background, read “School bus wrecks off I-5 into swamp near Toledo” from Wednesday April 10, 2013 at 7:28 a.m., here

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Vader man’s body recovered from creek after canoe overturns

Friday, April 12, 2013 at 10:05 am

Updated at 1:11 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 57-year-old man is dead after a canoe capsized in a creek near Vader last night.

Rescuers were called around 8:30 p.m. by the man’s wife who said they had been canoeing in Stillwater Creek when the two-person craft tipped over near the 1400 block of state Route 506, west of town, according to authorities.

“She was able to get to shore and he was missing,” Vader area Fire Chief Richard Underdahl said.

Underdahl described the creek as very full, very swift, about 25 feet across in places with steep brush-covered banks.

The 38-year-old woman said she last saw her husband hanging onto the canoe near the bank and then he disappeared, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Vader area volunteer firefighters – Cowlitz-Lewis Fire District 20, formerly known as Lewis County Fire District 7 – were assisted by responders, including swift water rescue technicians, from Lewis County Fire Districts 2 and 15, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and Cowlitz County Fire District 6 out of Castle Rock.

They found the partially submerged canoe and then about 10 minutes later, discovered the victim submerged, face down against a log about 100 yards upstream, according to the sheriff’s office.

The water temperature was measured at 43 degrees.

The victim is identified as John Handel. An autopsy is scheduled for this afternoon.

The wife was taken care of by homeowners near the creek and checked by paramedics, according to Underdahl.

Chief Brown said the couple started out near their home on the 100 block of Brim Road and planned to travel to the Brim Creek Bridge.

Neither Brown nor Underdahl had an answer as to why the couple was in the water so late in the evening. Neither were wearing life jackets.

“We’re just sorry the outcome was what it was,” Underdahl said. “We volunteer to help our neighbors, it’s tough to deal with things like this.”

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 7:52 pm

FROM THE COURTHOUSE

• Prosecutors told a judge today they’d like to postpone the murder trial for 30-year-old Centralian Weston G. Miller, because they are still waiting for some results from test conducted by the state patrol crime lab. It was set to start next week in Lewis County Superior Court but is now scheduled for the week of May 6. Miller is charged with first-degree murder for the March 13, 2012 fatal shooting of his house guest, 43-year-old David Wayne Carson. Last week, Miller pleaded guilty to four counts of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm that grew out of the same investigation – to clear up some issues before trial, his attorney said.

RAPE AREST

• Deputies arrested a 26-year-old Winlock man yesterday for third-degree rape. They were told by a Chehalis woman she’d met up with a friend at a local tavern the previous night, went out with him to a few more bars and they were taken by back to his home in Winlock, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The woman said she awoke to Nathan A. L. Hope having sex with her, without her consent, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Hope was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

CHAPEL BURGLARY

• Deputies were called to a Chehalis area church last night where someone had forced their way into its chapel and left with an amplifier and a Fender precision bass guitar, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A man who had been doing repair work at Dayspring Baptist Church on the 2000 block of Jackson Highway with his brother said they’d left about 1 p.m. and returned about 5 p.m. when they discovered the burglary, according to the sheriff’s office.

WIRE THEFT

• Someone stole wiring from a storage building on the 500 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday morning.

GADREN TOOL, FUEL STOLEN

• Police were called to the 1900 block of South Market Boulevard in Chehalis yesterday where someone had pried the padlock on a businesses’ storage building and left with an old weed eater. Gasoline was also siphoned from a box truck, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Someone got inside an unlocked vehicle at the 1600 block of South Market Boulevard in Chehalis and stole the stereo and some paperwork, according to a report made to police yesterday morning.

ILLEGAL WEAPON

• Centralia police confiscated a sawed off shotgun yesterday from a female at the 1200 block of Alder Street when contacting her on another matter. A shotgun with a barrel shorter than 18 inches is illegal, unless one possesses a special permit, according to the Centralia Police Department. The case is being referred to the prosecutor for a possible charge, Sgt. Kurt Reichert said. This gun was literally sawed shorter, Reichert said.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police responded to a residence in the 1200 block of Rhobina Street just after 2 p.m. yesterday where a window was broken, possibly by a BB, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such fender benders, arrests for warrant, misdemeanor assault, misdemeanor theft … and more.