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News brief: Lewis County deputy cleared to return to work following fatal shooting

Friday, July 8, 2011 at 7:32 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office announced this afternoon that its internal investigation confirmed Deputy Matt McKnight acted within the law and did not deviate from office policy, procedure and training when he fatally shot a 33-year-old man in Napavine the week before last.

Deputies were assisting Napavine police with a dispute early on June 20 when McKnight was confronted by a volatile suspect; the result was McKnight shot Steven V. Petersen who died at the scene, the sheriff’s office said today in a news release.

A team of officers from outside sheriff’s offices conducted the shooting investigation. Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer’s review of their findings concluded last week the deputy’s use of deadly force was justified.

Sheriff’s Steve Mansfield’s office conducted an  internal investigation that included a “shooting review board”.

McKnight is cleared to return to normal patrol duties next week, according to the sheriff’s office. The 27-year-old  has worked with the sheriff’s office a little more than four years.

Sheriff Mansfield said in the news release it’s an unfortunate reality that law enforcement must at times resort to the use of deadly force to protect themselves and others during volatile situations.

“This incident, while tragic for so many reasons, drives home the reality of the dangers of this profession and the importance of how we conduct ourselves and what we do each and every day to achieve our mission and protect those we serve,” Mansfield stated.

It was about 2 a.m. after a man had apparently stabbed the front door of a home on West Washington Street when McKnight confronted Petersen several blocks away.

Meyer wrote in his findings that Petersen wouldn’t take his hand out of pocket, ignored verbal commands and began to advance on the deputy when the deputy fired four shots. No knife was found in the pocket or anywhere else, according to Meyer.

Petersen died of a gunshot wound to the head.
•••

Read background here

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Read about judge for Tenino, Tumwater, reprimanded for DUI …

Friday, July 8, 2011 at 6:40 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian reports a judge for Tenino and Tumwater was issued a reprimand for violating the state’s Code of Judicial Conduct when in September he drove under the influence of alcohol, struck a vehicle and left the scene.

Read news reporter Jeremy Pawloski’s story here

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Breaking news: Plea deal made in Salkum triple homicide

Friday, July 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm

This news story was updated at 5:30 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A plea deal has been reached with one of the two men charged in last summer’s triple slaying near Salkum.

Ryan J. McCarthy, 29, is scheduled to plead guilty next week in Lewis County Superior Court.

Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher said today he would not discuss what McCarthy plans to plead to, or what if anything either side offered in exchange.

He is set to go before a judge on Thursday.

The Redmond man and former Onalaska resident John A. Booth Jr. were arrested after four people were found shot – three fatally – inside a home off Gore Road near Salkum last August.

The dead are David West Sr. 52, his son David West Jr., 16, and a friend Tony E. Williams, 50, of Randle. West Sr.’s live-in girlfriend, Denise Salts, 52, survived a gunshot wound to her face.

McCarthy’s lawyer couldn’t be reached immediately for comment this afternoon.

Attorneys brokered a plea deal last week, and yesterday set a date with the judge, but it won’t be final until McCarthy “signs on the dotted line,” Meagher said.

He did say he and Olympia defense attorney Rick Cordes have agreed upon the amount of time they will recommend to the judge that McCarthy serve.

McCarthy was charged with murder as well as attempted extortion. His trial was set for October.

Booth, 32, is scheduled to go to  trial on Nov. 7.

He is charged with attempted murder of Salts, second-degree murder of West Sr., first degree murder of David Jr. and Williams, attempted extortion and unlawful possession of a firearm.

The two men are former cell mates. Authorities have said they believe the two men’s Aug. 21 visit to the house was related to a drug debt collection.

Booth’s lawyer, Roger Hunko, said this afternoon he had no reaction to offer about the news.

“I don’t think it means much one way or the other to John,” Hunko said. “Mr. McCarthy is going to have to do what he needs to do.”

•••

Read background on the case:

• “West Sr. pointed shotgun telling pair of ex-cons to leave his house, triggering triple homicide, unsealed court documents allege” from Saturday Sept. 4, 2010, here

• “Unsealed document: More details on Salkum slayings” from Monday Sept. 6, 2010, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, July 8, 2011 at 10:42 am

GUN HELD TO NEIGHBOR’S HEAD

• A 67-year-old Centralia man was jailed last night after he reportedly kicked a house guest out by putting a gun to the guest’s head. Police said a couple of friends were visiting at the 1000 block of Elm Street and after an argument ensued, the resident, Donald N. Ordania, held a small caliber pistol on a 58-year-old neighbor. The victim and his friend left and called police about 11 p.m., according to the Centralia Police Department. Ordania was contacted and arrested for first-degree assault, Officer John Panco said.

MORE GRAFFITI ON GARAGES

• Centralia police were called yesterday about gang graffiti found on two more garages; one on the 300 block of North Rock Street and the other on the 400 block of North Oak Street.

THEFT

• Chehalis police were called about 11:20 a.m. yesterday to the 200 block of State Avenue where a woman said she stepped out of her apartment and left the door open, and then discovered someone had gone in an stolen her cell phone.

• A deputy was called yesterday to the 100 block of Wakefield Drive outside Centralia where the resident said sometime between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., somebody went inside and stole two rings according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is estimated at $500. The sheriff’s office has a suspect in mind, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said this morning.

CAR PROWLS

• Someone threw a rock through the window of a vehicle on the 200 block of state Route 603 west of Chehalis around 2 a.m. yesterday and then stole $200, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Centralia police took reports of four car prowls yesterday morning, the first three at the 2500 block of Fords Prairie Avenue and the 2400 block of Leisure Lane. Later in the morning, an officer was called to the 2600 block of Fords Prairie Avenue where somebody had stolen medication from inside a vehicle.

WAYWARD CIGARETTE IGNITES PORCH

• Firefighters were called about 7 p.m. yesterday to the 1500 block of Oxford Avenue in Centralia where a porch had caught fire. It was a very old wooden porch and someone had tossed a cigarette, they thought, into a can, Riverside Fire Authority Capt. Ken Colombo said. Someone had already used a garden hose to put the fire out, Colombo said.

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News brief: Kittens pulled from rubble of burning home

Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 8:11 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Fire destroyed an Adna area home this afternoon.

Lewis County Fire District 6 was called about 12:50 p.m. to the 100 block of Sunset Drive, off Brockway Road, according to Firefighter-paramedic Tim Kinder.

The single-story house was fully involved in flames when they arrived and fought “pretty much defensively,” Kinder said.

District 6 was joined by members of fire departments from Chehalis, Centralia and Napavine.

Nobody was home, although some pets perished, Kinder said.

Kinder believed two cats and a dog were rescued.

Fire Capt. Ted McCarty of Chehalis Fire Department said two kittens were saved, and seemed to be doing fine.

“They kinda reached in and found them in the foam and rubble, about an hour into it,” McCarty said.

Kinder described the house as gutted. It had been burning for quite awhile before firefighters arrived, he said.

The cause is under investigation.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm

SUBJECT GIVES BAIL BONDSMAN THE SLIP IN CHEHALIS

• Law enforcement officers converged on Chehalis today after a bail bondsman tried to take a man into custody and the man fled. It began around noon at the Chehalis Avenue apartments on Southwest Third Street when the wanted subject jumped out a second story window and ran, according to Chehalis police. A police dog was called in and conducted a track, but the individual has not been found, Deputy Chief Randy Kaut said. Kaut said he wasn’t sure what the man was being brought in for.

TEEN HURT WHEN HE JUMPS FROM MOVING TRUCK

• A teenager was injured when he leaped from a moving vehicle last night along state Route 506 outside Vader. The Washington State Patrol reported the driver and the 15-year-old boy were arguing when the boy bailed out of the pickup truck; it was traveling about 30 mph. Troopers called about 10:30 p.m. to milepost nine reported he suffered a concussion and cuts and was taken by ambulance to Providence Centralia Hospital. The teen, whose name was not released, lives in Ryderwood, according to the state patrol.

TWO INJURED IN U.S. HIGHWAY 12 WRECK

• A man and a woman were hospitalized after their car plowed into the back of pickup truck stopped on U.S. Highway 12 in Salkum yesterday. Troopers called about 3:10 p.m. found the 1988 Oldsmobile totaled. A Chevrolet pickup driven by a Randle man was waiting to turn onto Kennedy Road, and a GMC pickup driven by a Morton resident was stopped behind him, according to the state patrol. The occupants of the Oldsmobile, Robert J. Costner, 47, of Mossyrock, and Dawn F. Terry, 50, of Morton, both had head and neck pain, according to the investigating officer. He was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital and she was taken to Morton General Hospital, the patrol reported.

GRAFFITI ON GARAGES

• Someone spray-painted graffiti – “South Side 13″ – on several garages in the area of the 300 block of North Rock Street in Centralia, a police officer noted about 10 p.m. last night.

WANTED MAN FOUND INSIDE COURTHOUSE

• Deputies found a man wanted for a knife assault earlier this week when he showed up for court yesterday on an unrelated matter. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office was seeking Travis P. Shive, 25, of Onalaska, after he allegedly jumped a 42-year-old man who confronted him about his driving on Monday near the 600 block of Burchett Road in Onalaska. The victim was kicked in the chest and cut above his eye with a pocket knife, according to the sheriff’s office. Shive was found yesterday afternoon in Lewis County District Court and taken into custody without incident, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said this morning. Shive was released without charges, pending further investigation.

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Breaking news: Coroner’s inquest for Ronda Reynolds’ death to move forward

Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 8:22 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS -  The coroners inquest into the controversial 1998 death in Toledo of former state trooper Ronda Reynolds is back on, tentatively scheduled for mid-October.

Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod announced this morning an appeal in the case has been put on hold.

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Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod

The state Court of Appeals issued a “stay” on June 20, after hearing from lawyers for the coroner and Barb Thompson, mother of the deceased, according to McLeod.

Their reason, according to McLeod, is to see what the outcome of a coroner’s inquest would be.

McLeod said in a news release the inquest will be held in Lewis County, he will be the presiding officer.

One of McLeod’s first acts after he took office in January was to change Reynolds’ death certificate from suicide to undetermined. Soon afterward, he announced he would hold a coroners inquest; to be conducted in Clark County.

In May, however, he put the inquest on hold, saying he needed to wait for the outcome of the civil case appeal – Thompson vs. Wilson.

A panel of three judges heard from attorneys on both sides on June 16.

Reynolds, 33, was found with a bullet in her head and covered by a turned-on electric blanket on the floor of a closet in the home she shared with her husband of less than a year, Ron Reynolds, in December 1998.

The case was the subject of a judicial review in Lewis County in November 2009 after which a panel of citizens concluded then-Coroner Terry Wilson’s determination that Reynolds’ died of suicide was arbitrary, capricious and incorrect. A judge ordered Wilson to change the manner of death, but Wilson appealed.

The appeal is now on hold, as the judge’s want to see what the outcome of an inquest will be.

•••

See the rules governing the procedures for the coroner’s inquest, here

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Breaking news: Onalaska man gets five years for shooting suspected burglar

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 12:37 pm
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Sixty-year-old Ronald Brady is handcuffed before being led out of a Chehalis courtroom this morning, following his sentencing.

This news story was updated at 4:58 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A judge rejected Ronald A. Brady’s lawyer’s idea of the Onalaska man remaining free on a bond while his appeal is pending for fatally shooting a suspected burglar and sentenced Brady this morning to just over five years in prison.

Brady, 60, was convicted of second-degree manslaughter in Lewis County Superior Court almost two weeks ago.

At his sentencing today, Deputy Prosecutor Shane O’Rourke asked the judge to impose 63 months, the top of the standard sentencing range combined with three mandatory years because a firearm was used.

Defense attorney Don Blair asked the judge to consider just six months in the county jail.

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Thomas McKenzie

Judge Nelson Hunt was brief.

The sentence will be 63 months, Hunt said.

“While it’s true a burglary may have been about to be committed, the defendant had many opportunities to do just about anything to avoid this deadly confrontation,” Hunt said. “And in fact, the defendant did what he stated he was going to do.”

Fifty-six-year-old Thomas McKenzie of Morton died the night of April 19, 2010 outside the house Brady owns on the the 2100 block of state Route 508. Brady admitted firing five or six shots with a .22 caliber rifle, three of them toward Thomas McKenzie.

A dozen friends and acquaintances of Brady’s sat behind him this morning in the courtroom in Chehalis. About twice that many took up seats elsewhere in the audience.

Deputy Prosecutor O’Rourke asked the judge to impose the maximum time allowed, 27 months from the top of the standard sentencing range, along with the 36 mandatory months because a gun was used.

“There’s no dispute the jury found this was an intentional act,” O’Rourke told the judge.

The defendant made a decision to go to the property “where he didn’t even live, laying in complete wait in the darkness,” he said.

Brady went outside and fired his gun and kept shooting even after Tom McKenzie began to run, O’Rourke said.

“He admitted eventually, I did shoot him, and hit him,” he said. “He caused this by going offensively outside the garage.”

Lastly, O’Rourke said, there is a victim, a person slain by the defendant on the night in question; a person who did not need to die.

Centralia defense attorney Blair reminded the judge that although a pretrial ruling prevented him from calling the McKenzie’s burglars during the trial, the prosecutor did so during his closing, and so Blair was finally able to do that too.

“I think what’s getting glossed over is what really was going on that night,” Blair told the judge. “The McKenzies were there to burglarize the defendant’s house.”

Brady had been stolen from as many as seven times in the past, he said. The McKenzies showed up on his property uninvited, he said.

Blair described his client as a law-abiding citizen who has done nothing but be cooperative throughout the case.

“If the McKenzies had lived their lives like Ron had lived his, we wouldn’t be here today,” he said.

Blair agreed his client waited inside his own house, and probably was angry, feeling violated.

“And if somebody showed up at my house in the middle of the night, I’d probably start shooting too,” Blair said.

He asked the court to approve a mitigated sentence downward to six months.

About 30 minutes was given to several members of Thomas McKenzie’s family to address the judge before sentencing.

Robert McKenzie, of Morton, spoke briefly.

“My name is Robert McKenzie. Tom is my son,” he said.

Robert McKenzie pointed out Brady acknowledged he’d do the same thing again, and wasn’t sorry for what he did. He’s cold-blooded, the father said.

“This guy, he’s gonna kill again. He says he’s gonna kill again,” he said. “We gotta put him away judge.”

Colleen Wolczak directed many of her words about her brother directly to Brady. She asked him how he could kill and have no remorse.

“You say you’re not sorry my brother is dead,” Wolczak said. “What kind of man is that?”

The Salem, Ore. woman said maybe her brother should not have been at Brady’s property, but he didn’t deserve to die for a burglary. She pointed to her parents in the first row.

“They lost their first-born child, because you were peeved,” she said. “Well, a lot of us get peeved, Mr. Brady, but we don’t kill.”

Patrick McKenzie said he followed the trial regarding his brother in the news from his home in Nevada.

In the civilized world, people don’t wait in a garage and then take the life of someone they judge to be of little virtue, Patrick McKenzie said.

The intruders onto the property could have been a Girl Scout selling cookies, or a plumber showing up on the job, he said.

“Which I am. And I’ve done that, shown up after dark. But I guess I wouldn’t be here if I lived in Lewis County, or next door to Mr. Brady,” he said.

“Our family is hurt, Mr. Brady,” Patrick McKenzie said. “Hurting in ways that cannot be imagined or fathomed by someone who hasn’t lived through it.”

Another brother, John McKenzie of Morton, said he felt the prosecutors did “a real good job” of showing premeditation and intent.

He recounted his understanding of the testimony he heard.

Brady stepped outside his garage with one thing on his mind, and that one thing was to shoot, he said.

“How can he say he feared for his life? My brother was running away from him, running for his life,” John McKenzie said.

He called the defendant an angry man with no respect for human life who took the law into his own hands.

“He showed no mercy, no compassion at all for my brother,” he said. “Tom’s death was not an accident.”

Brady chose, on his attorney’s advice, not to make a statement to the judge.

After Judge Hunt imposed the sentence, and and left the bench, some of Brady’s supporters said they would have liked to speak for their friend.

Terry Schrader, of Centralia, called the case chilling for property owners who want to defend themselves.

Rodger Manecke, of Cinebar, said he was unhappy with verdict, thinking it will make property owners leery and thieves bold.

“I think it send out a big message, this kind of verdict, making people afraid to protect what’s theirs,” Manecke said.

Marvin Woods came from his home in Lacey to be there today.

Brady has been his bridge partner for some 10 years, he said. He even played cards with Brady at the Unity Church in Centralia earlier in the day of the shooting.

I only know Brady is an exceedingly honest man, Woods said.

Woods, who said he had 30 years in the military, said he didn’t like the fact that Brady ended up killing the guy.

“I don’t know what in the world I’d do under those same circumstances,” he said.

The Onalaska man was taken handcuffed out of the courtroom down to the Lewis County Jail.

Brady argued self defense in his trial. He avoided a first-degree murder conviction, and also a conviction of first-degree assault for allegedly firing at Thomas McKenzie’s wife Joanna McKenzie.

A jury of six men and six women took less than three hours on June 24 to find him guilty of second-degree manslaughter.

Until today, the retired bachelor had been free on a $50,000 unsecured appearance bond.

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Mothers of Thomas McKenzie's children shared photos of his children. Teresa, Cristy, Anthony, Danielle and Brittney, taken in 2010 at a celebration of life for their father. / Courtesy photo

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Thomas McKenzie, right, with his children Anthony, Robert, Stormie, taken about a year before his death. / Courtesy photo

•••

Read “Breaking news: Onalaska murder trial: Guilty of second-degree manslaughter” from Friday June 24, 2011, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 9:49 am

Updated at 6:32 p.m.

OUTLET MALL EMPLOYEE FIGHTS OFF MAN

• Centralia police were called to an Outlet Mall store yesterday about noon after a man in his 30s came up behind an employee put one arm around her neck and fondled her with his other hand. The woman, in her 20s, kicked and yelled and he ran away, according to police. It happened outside the back door of the business along the 1300 block of Lum Road, according to the Centralia Police Department. The subject was described as a man with light colored hair, wearing a stained orange shirt and dark carpenter-type pants which were very dirty, Officer John Panco said. He was not found.

THEFT

• Somebody broke into a parts distribution business on the 400 block of East Summa Street in Centralia over the weekend and stole money and keys, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy who took a report Tuesday morning learned a window was smashed; the loss is estimated at about $500, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

• Centralia police took a report Tuesday afternoon of the theft of a computer from a residence on the 1100 block of North Pearl Street. By Wednesday morning, a suspect had been identified and the computer recovered, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called Tuesday morning abut the theft of money from the 300 block of Southeast Washington Avenue.

• Centralia police were called Tuesday morning about theft of wire from a business on the 2000 block of Johnson Road.

• A stereo, sun glasses and some change were taken in a car prowl on the 900 block of North Washington Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police Tuesday morning.

• Somebody stole the back license plate from a vehicle and replaced it with a plate from a vehicle stolen in Cle Elum, according to a report made to police Tuesday morning from the 1200 block of Eckerson Road in Centralia.

BRUSH FIRE

• Firefighters were called about 4:20 p.m. on Tuesday to a brush fire at the end of the football and track by Chehalis Middle School. Chehalis Fire Department Capt. Rob Gebhart said it was likely started by fireworks. He estimated it was 30 feet by 10 feet in size. They put it out, he said.

COLLISION

• Two people were taken to Providence Centralia Hospital Tuesday night after a three-car collision on northbound Interstate 5 north of Centralia. Troopers were called about 9:50 p.m. to the crash – in a work zone near milepost 83 – and found the driver of a Hyundai Elantra from The Dalles, Ore. failed to stop when other vehicles ahead were stopped, according o the Washington State Patrol. The driver and her 13-year-old passenger suffered bruises to their chests, her car sustained an estimated $5,000 damage, according to the state patrol. Her car hit the rear of a Toyota Camry, damaging it. The Camry was pushed into a 2002 BMW,damaging it. Driver inattention was blamed.

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State Patrol: Chehalis educator who died in May wreck had five times legal limit of alcohol in system

Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at 5:28 pm

This news story was updated 12:22 p.m. on Thursday July 7, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Chehalis high school educator who crashed his vehicle and died two months ago in the Boistfort Valley had a blood alcohol level of .42, an amount lethal to most people, the Washington State Patrol said today.

Trooper Ryan Tanner today called that level – more than five times over the legal limit for driving – really high, one of the highest he’s ever heard of.

William Irvin Peterson Jr., 43, died at the scene of blunt force trauma when he wrecked his Ford Bronco just before 4:20 p.m. on May 4 on the 900 block of Wildwood Road, according to authorities.

The state patrol at the time reported Peterson traveled into a field, striking a fence and then attempted to drive back onto the roadway but flipped the vehicle onto its top where it collided with the road’s embankment.

Peterson was an educational assistant at W.F. West High School, in charge of the students sent to the in-school suspension room, according to Chehalis School District Superintendent Ed Rothlin.

He also was an assistant coach for boys football and basketball, and coached in Rochester Schools, Rothlin said.

Peterson was scheduled to work that day but had called in absent, Rothlin said.

Tanner said the recent return of the blood results close out the investigation.

That much alcohol in a person’s system would be fatal to most people, Tanner said.

Based on his training, except for persons who have built up a high tolerance to alcohol from past drinking behavior, most individuals with that level would not be conscious, let alone breathing, Tanner said.

It was the second W.F. West High School staffer to die in an alcohol-related accident in 15 months.

Teacher Geoffrey J. Gilbert was killed early on February 9 of last year when his speeding motorcycle ran into the rear of truck on Interstate 5 near the 13th Street interchange. Trooper Tanner said alcohol and marijuana were both involved.

Rothlin said it’s the fourth death of a school district employee this year.

They lost a Chehalis Middle School science teacher recently to an illness, and two food service workers to cancer this school year, he said.

“It’s been kind of a rough year for us,” he said.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at 12:01 pm

ASSAULT

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a man who reportedly jumped a 42-year-old Onalaska man yesterday cutting him above his eye with a pocket knife.

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Travis P. Shive

Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said a deputy called about 11:40 a.m. yesterday to the 600 block of Burchett Road in Onalaska was told the 42-year-old man confronted a motorist who was driving erratically and pulled into a driveway across the street. When the victim said he didn’t have a requested tool to fix the vehicle, the younger man “jumped ” him and when the two went to the ground, the younger man kicked the other man in the chest and also pulled out a pocket knife. The assailant then took off into the woods, Brown said. The sheriff’s office concluded their suspect is Travis P. Shive, 25, of Onalaska. He is wanted for first-degree assault, according to Brown. She is asking anyone with information on Shive’s whereabouts to call 911 or to leave an anonymous tip, call Lewis County Crime Stoppers at at 1-800-748-6422.

• Police called to the 1100 block of Scammon Creek Road in Centralia just before midnight last night arrested a 23-year-old Centralia man who lives there for second-degree assault for allegedly choking his girlfriend. The girlfriend had marks on her but did not need to go the hospital, according to Officer Wayne Compton. A 20-year-old woman who lives there was arrested also for misdemeanor assault, with the victim being another female, Compton said. The officer said the incident involved a disagreement. Pedro Romero Rivera was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FIREWORKS INJURY

• Lewis County Fire District 6 was called about 11 p.m. last night to a report a 40-year-old man was hit in the face with fireworks in Adna. The victim however went into a house off Chilvers Road and wouldn’t come out to be treated, Firefighter Mike Goodwillie said. Initial reports were it was a firecracker, but neighbors said it was a mortar that left the ground at an odd angle, Goodwillie said. “The patient refused care so we never saw him, but we’re guessing he’s okay,” he said.

THEFT

• Police dog Kayo was called out yesterday morning after officers were told a man inn his 40s with a beard kicked in the door to a house on the 700 block of Euclid Way in Centralia and then ran away. No suspect was found.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning the theft of an ATV valued at more than $11,000 from Country Tractor on the 1600 block of Bishop Road outside Chehalis. An employee told a deputy on Friday the 2011 Kubota had been parked in a row near others at the business and they didn’t know when it was taken, the sheriff’s office reported.

• Centralia police were called about a car prowl about 7 a.m. today on the 900 block of North Washington Avenue. A stereo was taken.

• Speakers were stolen from a vehicle on the 1100 block of E Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 4:40 a.m. today.

DRUGS

• Chehalis police arrested a 55-year-old man for possession of suspected marijuana and methadone pills following a traffic stop about 12:30 a.m. Sunday on the 500 block of North Chamber of Commerce Way. Robert F. Penfield, of Chehalis, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• A 27-year-old Rochester man was booked into the Lewis County Jail for possession of suspected drugs after he was detained for suspected shoplifting at Wal-Mart on Sunday afternoon. An officer called to the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue reported Casey D. Hasenbalg had taken binoculars and a phone from the store and then found on his person was white powder.

SEX CRIME ARREST

• A sheriff’s deputy witnessing a verbal dispute between a 19-year-old man and a 14-year-old female near the courthouse in Chehalis Sunday afternoon led to the arrest of the 19-year-old Chehalis man for allegedly having a sexual relationship with the teenager, according to Chehalis police. An investigating Chehalis officer learned about an encounter which apparently occurred  within the last few weeks, that prompted the arrest for third-degree child rape, according to the Chehalis Police Department. While the relationship was supposedly consensual, and no violence was alleged, sex between a 19-year-old and a 14-year-old is a crime, according to detective Sgt. Rick McNamara. Michael A. Gonzales-Fox, 19, of Chehalis, was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

WRECKS

• A 20-year-old man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after he crashed his dirt bike yesterday afternoon on a logging road in Adna. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said the Olympia man looked back for his friend as he as rounding a curve and ran into a large iron gate. The patient, whose name was not released, was believed to have broken both his legs, according to the sheriff’s office. It happened near the 100 block of Bowman Road prior to about 2:50 p.m., according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

• A 19-year-old Chehalis man was arrested for driving under the influence after a single-vehicle rollover collision about 4:45 a.m. on Sunday on Koontz Road south of Napavine, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s office. Tyler W. Wisner, of Chehalis, had cuts to his hands but declined aid, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. He was cited for the DUI and then released, Brown said.

• A 28-year-old Tenino man who was ejected from the passenger side window when he wrecked his pickup truck Saturday night is listed in serious condition this morning. Michael L. Hart was transported to  Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after the crash on Skookumchuck Road Southeast near Northcraft Road Southeast near Tenino. Hart is in the hospital’s intensive care unit, according to a Harborview spokesperson.

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Winlock firefighter juggling work, time with premature twins

Monday, July 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm
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Ashley Estep holds newborn Jackson Andrew Jacobson for the first time on Saturday. / Courtesy photo

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Winlock-area Firefighter-EMT Patrick Jacobson finally got to hold one of his new twin babies over the weekend, three weeks after they were born but about three months before they were expected to arrive.

Jacobson, 22, and his fiance Ashley Estep, 23, became parents of twin boys the morning of June 12, long ahead of their expected due date of September 28.

The premature infants will stay at Tacoma General Hospital at least until the end of September.

Estep was only 24 and a half weeks along when they were delivered by emergency C-section, Jacobson said.

Until Saturday, the couple was welcome to touch the tiny babies, but weren’t able to hold them, Jacobson said.

Jackson Andrew Jacobson was born just 12 and one-quarter inches long and weighed one-pound seven ounces.

Kameron Kent Jacobson was exactly 12 inches long and weighed in at one-pound eight-ounces, Jacobson said.

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Patrick Jacobson holds Kameron Kent Jacobson for the first time later on Saturday. / Courtesy photo

They’re doing okay, but the doctors say neither one is out of the woods yet, according to Jacobson.

“If they’re not having a good day, they’re having a good moment,” he said describing the way the nurses talk about it.

The biggest issue is their lungs are not yet mature and the babies are both on ventilators, he said.

By Thursday, each gained about six ounces: “They’re slowly growing, but they’re growing,” he said.

Jacobson, named last year’s firefighter of the year by the American Legion Post 101 in Winlock, is making the more than hour long drive after his shift each night to be with them and their mother.

He works full time with Lewis County Fire District 15.

Estep, who works at Wal-Mart in Chehalis, is staying at an apartment especially for families that live far away and have children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

A friend of the couple has set up a donation account at Anchor Bank in Wal-Mart, to assist them financially; Jacobson with extra fuel expenses and because Estep isn’t working.

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Jackson Andrew Jacobson photographed in the first two or three days after his June 12 birth, at just 12 and one-quarter inches long and weighing one-pound seven ounces. / Courtesy photo

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Kameron Kent Jacobson was 12 inches long and weighed one-pound eight-ounces when he was born on June 12. / Courtesy photo

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, July 4, 2011 at 9:33 am

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY

• The Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office offers several points to ponder for the Fourth of July holiday. Consequences for irresponsible use of fireworks – such as possession of fireworks that have been altered  or possession of Illegal explosive devices (like M-80s and M100′s) can be harsh, according to the office. Examples: Making an explosive device is a gross misdemeanor, which can bring a fine of up to $5,000 and one year incarceration; If property is damaged, it could result in a charge of malicious mischief; If it is used to blow something up, it could be considered a destructive device, therefore a felony; If someone is hurt, a person could be charged with bodily harm or assault. Also, a person found responsible for a wildfire started by a firework could be required to pay fire suppression costs which can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The chief deputy state fire marshal suggests folks consider attending public fireworks displays, produced by trained professionals.

• Lewis County Fire District 5 was called to a tree fire about 11:20 p.m. last night at Northwest Fifth Avenue and West Grand Boulevard in Napavine, most likely ignited by fireworks, Firefighter Brad Bozarth said. The approximately 40-foot tall tree was rotten inside and so they had to cut it down to extinguish all the fire, he said.

WRECKS

• A young boy was flown to Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver yesterday evening after a four-wheeler accident northeast of Winlock. Lewis County Medic One was called about 7 p.m. to the property off Meier Road where the child had somehow crashed into a parked road grader, according to Paramedic Kirk Johnston. He is about 11 years old, Johnston said. “Last I heard from the hospital he’s doing okay,” Johnston said this morning. “He was wearing a helmet. If not, it would not have been very good.”

• The driver of a Volvo was cited for falling asleep and sideswiping another car before rolling off U.S. Highway 12 just west of Packwood Saturday afternoon, according to the Washington State Patrol. Nobody was injured, according to Trooper Ryan Tanner.

BICYCLIST BRIEFLY AVOIDS WARRANT ARREST

• A Centralia man was arrested at Taser-point after fleeing on his bicycle from a police officer after being told to stop on Friday. Shane A. Mendoza, 22, was contacted near the 1200 block of Mellen Street and booked into the Lewis County Jail for obstructing and two outstanding warrants, according to Centralia police.

THEFT

• A stolen car trailer was recovered early this morning at the 1200 block of Lum Road, in the parking lot at the Centralia Outlet Mall, according to Centralia police.

• Centralia police were called yesterday afternoon to the 500 block of East Summa Street where someone had broken into a business and taken a jacket.

• Centralia police took a report yesterday morning about a burglary to a church on the 1000 block of Alder Street. Taken were power tools, according to police.

• Centralia police were called to a burglary to a business at the 1700 block of South Gold Street on Friday morning. Somebody stole some speakers, according police.

• Centralia police were called about 11:30 p.m. on Friday to the 600 block of South Tower Avenue where two males reportedly entered the store and fled with a 12-pack of soda. An officer was given a description of the vehicle and the suspects, according to the Centralia Police Department. Earlier, about 12:30 a.m., an officer as also called to the same location where a male stole two cases of Budweiser beer.

DRUGS

• Jacob R. Woods, 36, of Centralia, was arrested for possession of heroin following his arrest yesterday in Centralia on an outstanding warrant, according to the Centralia Police Department. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail after contact with an officer on the 1300 block of Belmont Avenue, according to police.

• A 21-year-old Centralia resident was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and marijuana at the 200 block of West Cherry Street in Centralia about 11 p.m. on Friday, according to police. David L. Davenport was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DOG BITES CHILD

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a black lab that reportedly bit an 8-year-old boy, leaving him with with several injuries to his face and arm. The child had been playing on Thursday at a friend’s home on the 1100 block of North Fork Road outside Chehalis when the dog got aggressive and started biting, according to the sheriff’s office. A deputy contacted the boy and his mother at Providence Centralia Hospital that afternoon and the office planned to contact the animal’s owner, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

FIREFIGHTERS INVESTIGATE SMOKE SMELL AT ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY

• Firefighters spent almost an hour at an assisted living facility in Centralia late Thursday afternoon trying to track down the source of the smell of something burning.  The 4:15 p.m. call to 1700 Providence Place – to a building with approximately 15 apartments – eventually turned up a dish towel that had been left on a kitchen burner, according to Riverside Fire Authority. The resident had already tossed it in the garbage, Assistant Fire Chief Mike Kytta said.

WSP DRUG SNIFFING DOGS PRAISED FOR GOOD YEAR

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Kershaw and Kilo

• The Washington State Patrol reported on Thursday that Thurston County-based drug sniffing dog “Kilo” and his counterpart in Pierce County combined have helped get more than 26 pounds of marijuana off the streets in the past year. Kilo, a chocolate Labrador has been working with her partner Trooper Jeff Kershaw for three years, according to Trooper Guy Gill. The two canines have also helped find methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and hundreds of pills including Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and Ecstasy, leading to the removal from the streets also of thousands of dollars in associated drug money during the 12-month period, according to Gill.

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Fire Chief Hadaller: Grant-writing ‘fiend’, jokester, father

Sunday, July 3, 2011 at 3:02 pm
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Firefighters, first-responders from near and far line the way for arriving guests at Chief Matt Hadaller's memorial service in Mossyrock.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

MOSSYROCK – Chief Matt Hadaller loved his fire department, loved his fire boat – the SS Hadaller – bragged about their newly “tricked out” aid car and was passionate about the fire service.

But he’d pass up a Lewis County Fire Chief’s Association meeting anytime in order to attend his child’s ball game.

“That’s the kind of father he was,” Jim Walkowski said.

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Matthew M. Hadaller III 1963-2011

Still, he was among the most active in the fire chiefs group, and spent countless hours finding ways improve his department, Walkowski said.

“Matt was one of our go-to members,” Walkowski said. “When you needed something accomplished or done, Matt was who you’d go to.”

The 47-year-old Mossyrock man who died unexpectedly earlier this week could be relied upon for many things, according to Walkowski, the chief of Riverside Fire Authority in Centralia.

“Matt always had your back when things were rough,” he said. “Matt had no problem telling you he felt; we all know this.”

Walkowski’s words were shared yesterday in front of a football stadium packed with friends, family and others who came to pay tribute to Hadaller, at a memorial service that included speakers from the state fire chiefs association, the state fire marshal’s office, the governors office and more.

Kevin Hanson, representing the Lewis County Fire Commissioner’s Association, called the loss of Hadaller immeasurable.

Pastor Wayne Nelson reminded attendees of the sacrifices firefighters make: “They train and wait, train and wait, so they can be ready.”

Matthew Morgan Hadaller III, a husband and father of four, was at home, on call, late Monday night when he suffered what the Lewis County coroner called a major cardiac event.

Mourners who didn’t already know learned yesterday – if they read the memorial folder handed out – that Hadaller grew up on a farm, became a stellar football player at Mossyrock High School and went to work for Cowlitz Stud after graduating, finishing his mill career as head sawyer.

He started at Lewis County Fire District 3 some 25 years ago, and was their first full time firefighter. He became assistant chief to the Mossyrock-area fire department in 1997, and its chief in 2002.

The afternoon service under sunny skies at Mossyrock High School’s football stadium brought fire trucks and firefighters from countless agencies.

Hadaller’s casket took center stage with dignitaries, some who knew him and some who didn’t.

Bagpipes sounded and the audience sat silent during the tolling of the firefighters’ bell, and the official last alarm broadcast from Lewis County 911 dispatch.

Fellow firefighter, and former District 3 chief, Curt Spahn described the man he knew for over 30 years as loving, proud, involved, selfless, fearless, a talker, and someone who left the department a rock solid foundation.

And a jokester, Spahn said, recalling Hadaller’s great amusement with his own pranks.

“Around Matthew, you had to keep your guard up,” Spahn said.

Spahn told of a training in which they crawled through a smoke-filled room, where each firefighter was supposed to keep one hand on the foot of the person ahead of them.

“But not Matt, he was behind me with both hands on my ankles, I had to drag Matt through,” he said.

And when they came out, Hadaller was just laughing, he said.

The chief’s latest dream was a new fire station, Spahn said.

Walkowski told the crowd that often a measure of success is how much a fire chief can do with limited resources.

Hadaller was a “grant-writing fiend” often calling for breakfast meetings at Country Cousin with Walkowski to get advice on how to bring in money for the small department; once spending an entire day at Walkowski’s house working on a grant proposal, Walkowski shared.

“As chief, he was always thinking about where he could take the department,” Walkowski said. “Sometimes we had to rein that in, cause he was way out there.”

Walkowski echoed Spahn’s sentiment that Hadaller was instrumental in growing a department that will continue to benefit from his leadership, even though his service has ended.

“Matt didn’t have a lot of resources, but if you look at what he accomplished for his department and community, it’s amazing,” Walkowski said.

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Members of Lewis County Fire District 3 stand at attention for Chief Matt Hadaller's family.

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Mossyrock High School's football stadium is filled with those paying tribute to Chief Hadaller.

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July 2, 2011, Mossyrock

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July 2, 2011, Mossyrock

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July 2, 2011, Mossyrock

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July 2, 2011, Mossyrock

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July 2, 2011, Mossyrock

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News brief: Tenino man critical after rollover wreck

Sunday, July 3, 2011 at 8:38 am
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Michael L. Hart was ejected from the passenger side window of his truck when it rolled near Tenino. / Courtesy photo by Washington State Patrol

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 28-year-old Tenino man was in critical condition last night after he rolled his pickup truck south of Tenino, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Troopers called about 9:40 p.m. to Skookumchuck Road Southeast near Northcraft Road Southeast found Michael L. Hart had been ejected from the passenger side window of his vehicle. He was not wearing a seatbelt, according to Trooper Ma Kayla Morgan.

Hart was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to the state patrol.

Morgan reports Hart was headed west when his truck left the right shoulder; he overcorrected sending the vehicle sideways across the eastbound lane and rolling over.

His 1985 GMC pickup as described as totaled.

Morgan reports alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor and notes the injuries could have been prevented if the motorist had been wearing a seatbelt.

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Details emerge in Napavine officer-involved shooting

Saturday, July 2, 2011 at 7:22 pm
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Five holes mark the front door of Anita Mecca's mobile home in Napavine. Three pierced through to the inside.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

NAPAVINE – Thirty-nine-year-old Anita Mecca had a bad feeling after she told her new boyfriend to move out of her Napavine home.

He didn’t take it well, she said, remaining outside in her driveway for several hours with dead battery in his van waiting for someone to help him jump start it.

It was Saturday June 18, and at one point later that day, Steven V. Petersen showed all his empty pill bottles to a friend, and another friend described Petersen with some kind of fabric wrapped around his wrists, and saw blood on his arms, Mecca said.

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West Vine Street and Second Avenue, Napavine

He tried to do a guilt trip on me, she said, for ending the relationship that was only a couple weeks long.

Mecca, who was raised in Napavine, said she had a friend stay over for two nights, because she was worried what Petersen might do.

“I had a feeling something was going to happen, I put my baseball bat by the door,” Mecca said Thursday as she stood on the porch of her mobile home. “And sure as sh** … I didn’t know he was going to freak out like that.”

“Like that”, according to authorities, is the 33-year-old Napavine man less than two days later returned to her home in the night, used a knife to repeatedly puncture a truck’s steel hood and did the same to her front door, and then less than 20 minutes later charged a sheriff’s deputy who had stopped him on the street.

Petersen died of a gunshot wound to the head around 2 a.m. on June 20. Lewis County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt McKnight reportedly fired four times, hitting Petersen with three bullets.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer this week announced he concluded McKnight’s use of deadly force was justified. The 27-year-old deputy remains on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal review.

Petersen, according to Mecca, lived in Napavine with his wife and young son.

After his wife died unexpectedly last month, Mecca and Petersen began dating and then he moved into her mobile home.

His son had been taken into foster care, she said. His next closest family member is his father, who lives in Missouri, authorities have said.

He didn’t work; he had seizures and took medication for them, Mecca said.

It’s disturbing, she said Thursday.

The holes through the front door of her home, presumably with a large knife, leave her certain Petersen was going to hurt her when he showed up that night.

Mecca said she took his display of empty pill bottle to mean Petersen had ingested all his, of what she recalled was, Prozac and seizure medicine on that Saturday.

“When he got out of his van, he was so messed up he could hardly walk,” she said.

“It’s hard to sleep at night, knowing I was so close to death,” she said. “Then hearing gunshots. One cop told me it wasn’t my fault, I did what I could.”

Prosecutor Meyer on Thursday released his findings, outlining the reasons for his decision about McKnight. The eight page document is in the form of a letter to Thurston County sheriff’s detective Dave Haller, part of the team of officers from outside nearby sheriff’s offices who conducted the shooting investigation.

Some of the information discovered may help explain Petersen’s actions, Meyer wrote, such as apparent suicide attempts, and a note left to his son.

However, the focus of the investigation was whether or not McKnight’s use of deadly force was justifiable.

Meyer said he received the report on Tuesday, and reviewed it along with photos, recordings and video taken at the scene. He had his opinion reviewed by attorneys both inside and outside his office, including Thurston County Prosecutor Jon Tunheim, according to the letter.

On Wednesday morning, Meyer met with Sheriff Steve Mansfield and McKnight and gave them a draft of his conclusions, Meyer said.

The elected prosecutor summed it up this way:

Deputy McKnight was told Petersen had used a knife at the home – on the 500 block of West Washington Street – and despite multiple commands heard by others to take his hand out of his pocket, Petersen said, “That ain’t gonna happen”.

Meyer said Petersen was pacing back and forth, and then tensed up his shoulders and started running at the deputy.

“McKnight was left with no choice,” Meyer said. “(Petersen) was intending to do him harm, and McKnight was in fear for his life.”

McKnight fired. According to Meyer, one bullet entered Petersen’s left forearm and exited between his fingers, and another entered his right forearm and his torso and went out the back. The other struck him in the head.

His left hand was still in his jacket pocket, Meyer said.

No weapon was found in the pocket or anywhere else, Meyer said.

“But realize, where the shooting occurred was approximately seven blocks from the incident,” Meyer said.

McKnight did not fire a warning shot, Meyer said; his understanding is that would be contrary to the deputy’s training.

It was just McKnight and Petersen on the street, at the intersection of West Vine Street and Second Avenue, several blocks from Mecca’s home, Meyer said.

Sheriff Steve Mansfield said this week it will take some time to conduct the internal investigation. It will include a “shooting review board”, as well as a review of policy, procedures and training, he said.

It’s like a self-critique of his office, the sheriff said on Thursday.

“To make sure everything is working like it should and there’s nothing we need to change,” Mansfield said.

McKnight, who started at the sheriff’s office a little more than four years ago was one of the younger officers they’ve hired, Mansfield said, and as best he could recall on Thursday without checking, it’s the the first law enforcement agency he’s worked at, he said.

Officers from both inside and outside his office will sit on the shooting review board, he said.

“I have no reason to believe this (for McKnight) will turn out any different than the prosecutor has said,” Mansfield said.

The following are more details from Meyer’s report, the Napavine police incident report, and Mecca, about what happened at Mecca’s home, and afterward.

Late that Sunday night, early Monday morning, Mecca and her friend, 29-year-old Jared Brockman were sitting on the couch when they heard someone tapping on a window and then heard someone on the front porch. It was Petersen. He said, “let me in”, she said. They told him to leave.

Brockman then heard Petersen hitting his truck, so he went outside and yelled at him to knock it off, Mecca said. That’s when Petersen turned and ran towards the front door.

They shut the door, locked it and Brockman leaned against it with his shoulder. Petersen was kicking the door, they thought. They called 911

At 1:57 a.m., Brockman tells 911 a guy is trying to break into the house, and it’s Steven Petersen. Brockman arms himself with a baseball bat.

Law enforcement begins to respond and “set up containment” in the area.

Napavine Police Department Officer Noel Shields is dispatched at 1:59 a.m. He walks into Mecca’s yard with his flashlight. He sees footsteps in the wet grass that lead toward Meadow Lane. He sees Mecca and Brockman on the porch.

Deputy McKnight responds and is sent to the area of Third Avenue and West Vine Street for “containment”.

Also responding are sheriff’s Sgt. Pat Smith and Deputy Kevin Anderson.

Officer Shields observes holes in the hood of the truck and five holes in the front door that appear to be caused by a knife. Three of the punctures went through the door.

Shields informs the other responding officers that Petersen is possibly armed with a large knife.

Shields, in checking the property, gets to the back door and then hears four to five gunshots.

Blocks away and moments earlier, McKnight had seen something in his rearview mirror, a couple blocks from him. He sees something again he concludes is a person near Second and Vine. He turns around and pulls his patrol vehicle to the intersection

McKnight uses his spotlight and stops on one side of the intersection, while the person later identified as Petersen is on the other side.

McKnight exits his patrol vehicle, keeping his distance, and makes contact with Petersen.

McKnight identifies himself and tells Petersen he needs to see his hands.

Petersen paces back and forth, ignoring McKnight, who then draws his weapon.

McKnight tells Petersen he just needs to talk and continues to give him verbal commands..

After being given a verbal command, Petersen told McKnight, “It ain’t gonna happen buddy.”

Petersen’s body posture changes, his shoulders come forward and he begins to advance on McKnight.

McKnight still could not see his hands.

McKnight feared for his safety, and fired his weapon.

After hearing the shots, Shields runs from the Mecca’s house toward the scene. Anderson and Smith arrive.

At 2:14 a.m., Lewis County Fire District 5 is told by a 911 dispatcher to respond.
•••

Read Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer’s findings on Deputy Matt McKnight’s officer-involved shooting from June 20, 2011, here

Read “Breaking news: Deputy shoots, kills burglary suspect in Napavine” from Monday June 20, 2011, here

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Read about Green Hill School counselor of sex offenders arrested for alleged voyeurism …

Saturday, July 2, 2011 at 3:23 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian reports a Green Hill School counselor was arrested after he allegedly used his cell phone to take a photo underneath a woman’s dress in a parking lot in Tumwater.

Read news reporter Jeremy Pawloski’s story here

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News brief: Procession of emergency vehicles to honor Chief Hadaller

Friday, July 1, 2011 at 11:32 am
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Lewis County Fire District 3 Chief Matt Hadaller. / Courtesy photo by Taryn Houghtelling

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A procession of fire trucks and law enforcement vehicles will travel east on U.S. Highway 12 tomorrow to the Mossyrock High School football stadium to attend the memorial service for Matthew M. Hadaller III, the fire chief who died unexpectedly on Monday night.

Hadaller, 47, was a member of his community’s fire department for 20 years, and spent the last seven and half years as chief.

He was at home late Monday night when he suffered what the coroner called a major cardiac event, caused by what is sometimes called arteriosclerosis, a narrowing of the arteries.

The technical term is arteriosclerotic coronary artery disease, according to Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod.

“My impression is he didn’t know he had it,” McLeod said today.

Volunteer members of his Lewis County Fire District 3 took him by ambulance to Morton General Hospital, but he suffered a cardiac arrest on the way and couldn’t be revived, Lewis County Fire District 13′s Chief Gregg Peterson said earlier this week.

The memorial service is set for 1 p.m.

The procession is set to depart about 12:15 p.m. from Avery Road at Highway 603. Motorists should expect delays in the area along Avery Road and U.S. Highway 12 until about 1 p.m., according to the area fire chiefs who are organizing the events.

The chiefs note that anyone wishing to make a donation to Hadaller’s family can do so at any branch of Twin Star Credit Union, mentioning the Chief Hadaller Fund.

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Grand Mound: Training for nighttime fire calls

Friday, July 1, 2011 at 8:29 am
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Vacant home on Carper Road Southwest, Grand Mound

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Firefighter prepares

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Members of the Rochester-area fire department were joined by other agencies yesterday as they used fire to clear some property belonging to the Rochester School District.

The live fire training exercise was to include a chance yesterday for about 30 firefighters to learn more about fire behavior, smoke conditions and nighttime operations.

West Thurston Regional Fire Authority Chief Robert Scott described the opportunity as very valuable to the department.

Personnel have been training in the structure for the past four months, on topics such as ventilation, search and rescue, fire attack, firefighter “may day” procedures and more, according to Scott.

“For us to receive this type of training for as many personnel that have participated would have cost thousands of dollars and required extensive travel in some cases – our only location for live fire training is 100 miles away at the State Fire Training Academy in North Bend,” Scott stated.

They let the fire take over the vacant house on Carper Road Southwest at about 8:30 p.m. and finished up about two hours later, according to Scott.

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Three firefighters practice their skills Thursday at a donated house next to Rochester High School.

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Personnel near the end of a live fire training exercise last night in Grand Mound.

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West Thurston Regional Fire Authority lets the fire take over.