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News brief: Driver hurt in wreck off state Route 7

Friday, December 20, 2013 at 10:37 am

Updated at 1:23 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

An individual has been taken to the hospital after a vehicle plunged some 50 feet down an embankment off the highway north of Morton this morning.

The first reports were the driver was unresponsive but when troopers arrived, he was awake, alert and talking, according to Washington State Patrol Trooper Will Finn.

“He’s been transported to the hospital with some serious injuries,” Finn said.

Finn said the wreck occurred on state Route 7 about six miles north of Morton.

Troopers responding just after 6:30 a.m. found the 2004 Chevrolet Impala totaled, according to the Washington State Patrol. His car went broadside down into a tree, Finn said.

Scott Geltmacher, 57, of Spanaway, was traveling southbound when he lost control on the snow and ice, crossed the centerline and left the roadway, according to the state patrol.

He was taken to Morton General Hospital with facial lacerations and lots of bruises and then transported by ground to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle as a precaution because of what Finn called small brain bleed.

The investigating trooper blamed the wreck on driving too fast.

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Suspected mental issues continue to impede Glenoma kidnapping case

Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 8:06 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Packwood man awaiting trial for allegedly forcing his young woman friend up a logging road and then dragging her out of the Glenoma grocery while armed with a machete this summer will be seeing the psychiatrists again before his case can proceed.

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Zachery H. Bynum

Zachery H. Bynum, 41, was arrested and charged in July but his lawyer said his mental stability was in question so he was evaluated by doctors at Western State Hospital before he could be arraigned.

He was found to be competent enough to understand his court proceedings, his lawyer David Arcuri said today.

However, Arcuri told a judge a today, he has concerns once more and asked for Bynum’s competency to be evaluated again.

It’s based upon what occurred when he visited his client in the jail yesterday, Arcuri said, but didn’t offer any detail.

Bynum was arrested at gunpoint at the end of a police pursuit on July 16 after he allegedly forced a 22-year-old Morton woman to flee a deputy in her truck. Court documents state the events of that day came after she met with Bynum to tell him she could not see him any more.

He is charged with first-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault and other offenses.

This summer, when Bynum was first to go before a judge, he refused. His first lawyer told a judge Bynum had significant mental issues.

The next time he was in court, when Arcuri requested his client meet with experts at the state mental hospital, he vigorously disagreed with the plan and tried to fire Arcuri.

A judge signed an order today to have Bynum evaluated again and cancelled the scheduled trial.
•••

For background, read “Packwood kidnapping suspect heads to mental hospital” from Sunday July 28, 2013, here

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Winlock man incarcerated for child molestation wants shorter sentence

Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 6:52 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Winlock man convicted last year following his identification through  DNA as the prime suspect in a previously unsolved sexual assault in a campground restroom of little girl is asking a judge if he may withdraw his guilty plea.

Reginald L. Juntunen, now 25, was sent to prison a year ago for 25 years to life after making a deal with prosecutors his new attorney says was not fair.

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Reginald L. Juntunen

Seattle-based defense lawyer Mitch Harrison said the request comes about based mostly on the inclusion of the so-called aggravating factor, that the offense was predatory.

“The aggravator is really meant for the worst of the worst, and Reggie, he’s not that,” Harrison said this afternoon.

Harrison was in Lewis County Superior Court today to set a date for the hearing. It is scheduled for Jan. 31 in front of Judge Richard Brosey.

Juntunen was enrolled in Lewis County Drug Court when he was charged last summer. He pleaded guilty to first-degree child molestation in connection with a 2007 attack on an 8-year-old girl at a Mossyrock area campground.

Harrison said his client’s previous attorney ought to have provided mitigating evidence to try to get a deal with much less time. In his motion, he states Juntunen shows absolutely no indicators of being a sexual deviant outside the one incident.

Juntunen’s goal is not to escape punishment, but to obtain a more reasonable sentence, he said.

Harrison said he understood the deputy prosecutor believed including the aggravating factor – which mandated the lengthy sentence – was mandatory, but it’s not.

“The Supreme Court about a month before he was charged said it was discretionary,” Harrison said.

Without it, the sentence for that offense would be something more like 10 years, or even a special sentencing alternative, he said.
•••

For background, read “Winlock High School grad gets 25 plus years for molestation” from Wednesday December 12, 2012, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Updated at 5:25 p.m.

STEALING GAS IN THE NIGHT

• Chehalis police were called to an auto dealer’s business on the 2500 block of North National Avenue yesterday morning regarding the discovery someone during the night had tried to steal gasoline by cutting fuel lines on seven vehicles. The loss is estimated at as much as $1,500, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Earlier, police were called about fuel drained from the tank of a rental car at the 500 block of East Summa Street in Centralia when a line was cut.

UNRULY INDIVIDUALS

• Police arrested a 50-year-old old Centralia man last night after he allegedly dented a door with a bat at the 300 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia. David D. Nelson was cited for third-degree malicious mischief and then released, according to Centralia Police Department.

• A 32-year-old Centralia woman was jailed after she allegedly began breaking things and refused to leave a residence at the 300 block of West Magnolia Street in Centralia yesterday evening. Officers responding about 6:30 p.m. arrested Electra J. Swan for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest before booking her into the Lewis County Jail, according to Centralia Police Department.

PROWLING AROUND

• Chehalis police were called about 7:40 a.m. yesterday to the 100 block of Northeast Fair Oaks Terrace where someone had  rifled through two vehicles parked inside an unlocked garage during the night. Nothing appeared to be missing, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• An individual on the 100 block of Leona Drive in Chehalis woke up yesterday morning to discover the door to their sport utility vehicle ajar and change missing from the console. A neighbor’s vehicle was found partially open as well with a pack of cigarettes stolen, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

DRUGS

•  A 19-year-old Centralia resident was arrested for a warrant and possession of methamphetamine after contact with an officer about 9:50 p.m. yesterday at the 700 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia. Nathan A. Cheney was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police took a report yesterday morning from the 700 block of M Street regarding two slashed tires and other damage done to a vehicle.

COLLISION

• A motorist was reportedly uninjured when they were knocked to the ground by their own vehicle as it rolled away from them yesterday morning at the 1200 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia. The vehicle rolled across the street and struck a building, causing minor damage,  according to Centralia Police Department.

LAYOFFS LIKELY AT CENTRALIA’S FIRE DEPARTMENT

• A significantly smaller budget for the coming year means Riverside Fire Authority likely will cut up to five personnel and lose a sixth position through attrition. The fire department that protects the city of Centralia and its surrounding area yesterday adopted a budget of about $3.9 million for 2014 compared with last year’s roughly $4.6 million, according to Chief Jim Walkowski. The abrupt and large drop in revenue comes from a massive decrease in the assessed value of TransAlta’s power plant, according to the chief. Walkowski said the department previously understood the Washington State Department of Revenue would be depreciating the value of the facility – in anticipation of its 2020 closure – more gradually. The organization currently operates with a chief, two assistant chiefs, the equivalent of three office staff and 27 firefighters, several of whom are paramedics as well, along with its volunteers. During the next 45 days, RFA will be addressing the impacts more specifically and keep the community updated, according to a news release this morning.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence; responses for alarms, other misdemeanor theft, possible large dollar amount theft of gift cards, request to check on a person tweaking outside a convenience store … and more.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Updated at 4:39 p.m.

FIRE CHASES ONALASKA FAMILY FROM HOME

• Firefighters spent about three hours last night chasing flames up through the walls and into the attic of an older two-story house in Onalaska. Crews called about 10:40 p.m. to the 200 block of Railroad Avenue found a smoke alarm had alerted the resident and his children who got themselves outside, according to Lewis County Fire District 1.  The original brick and mortar chimney had been enclosed at some point over the years, Chief Mark Conner said. “It looked like it had been burning round the chimney for sometime before it broke through,” Conner said. Nobody was hurt, he said, and the owner later found the pet cat hiding inside the house. The actual fire damage was limited to the areas around the chimney, according to Conner.

NEIGHBOR STOPS ATTEMPTED BREAK-IN

• A Centralia resident was awakened about 11:45 p.m. yesterday when two males broke a window trying to get into the home on the 200 block of North Buckner Street and were chased off by a neighbor. They didn’t get inside but also had tried to kick a door in before fleeing in a silver car, according to the Centralia Police Department. Sgt. Brian Warren said he didn’t know what their intent might have been. The case is under investigation, according to police.

CHASE LEADS OUT WINDOW

• A Centralia police officer who chased a subject who fled a home through a broken window last night sustained several minor cuts to his hands, according to police. Officers were at the residence on the 700 block of North Tower Avenue about 11:30 p.m. looking for someone with a warrant when 27-year-old Kevin B. Kempf dived out the window and an officer followed, according to police. Kempf was apprehended in the yard and booked into the Lewis County Jail for resisting arrest, according to Sgt. Brian Warren.

THEFT

• Someone broke into an equipment yard on the 300 block of Hamilton Road south of Chehalis over the weekend and carted away about $3,500 of items including two radiators and some aluminum, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It happened sometime after 4 p.m. on Friday and 7:30 a.m. on Monday, according to the sheriff’s office.

DRUGS

• Centralia police responding about 3:40 p.m. yesterday to the 1200 block of Alder Street about two individuals hanging out for more than an hour in vehicle in the parking lot found the two men fighting and subsequently arrested them for drugs. Vincent B. Fulginiti, 41, was arrested for possession of heroin and Kevin A. Dawkins, 24, was arrested for possession of heroin and methamphetamine, according to the Centralia Police Department. The Chehalis resident were booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police. Fulginiti was to be released from jail without charges pending further investigation.

• A 28-year-old Chehalis man was arrested by Centralia police about 7 a.m. yesterday for allegedly driving under the influence of an unspecified drug and leaving the scene of an accident. The arrest in connection with the 900 block of E Street in Centralia resulted in Joshua K. Roberts getting booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Police were called about 9 p.m. yesterday about a pair of car prowls that had just occurred at the 100 block of Northeast Sky Lane in Chehalis. An officer contacted a male who was attempting to locate the suspect and a K-9 track was conducted without success, according to the Chehalis Police Department. A purse was taken from car and some items were recovered in a parking lot, Officer Linda Bailey said.

• Centralia police responded about 7 p.m. yesterday regarding a vehicle prowl at the 400 block of West Main Street in which a window was broken out and a purse taken from the front seat.

VANDALISM

• Someone broke several windows out of a car during the night that was parked on the 300 block of West Magnolia Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday morning.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants; responses for disorderliness, dispute, suspected exchange of stolen merchandise for gift cards, minor collisions such as vehicle into a ditch, deer stopping in front of a moving car in the middle of a road … and more.

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Sheriff: Standoff with suicidal man near Winlock ends in suicide

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 9:33 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A standoff with an armed suicidal man ended yesterday with the 23-year-old subject dead inside a Winlock area home.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports the man had been holed up in his parent’s residence since Saturday.

It began when the man made threats to kill family members and refused to leave their home on the 100 block of Florence Place east of Winlock, according to the sheriff’s office.

Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said in a news release the family left, while deputies along with a mental health professional attempted to resolve the situation.

At about 2:30 p.m. yesterday, he came outside with a handgun and deputies attempted to take him into custody, but he ran back indoors, according to Brown. A sheriff’s office negotiator made phone contact with him again before gunshot was heard, according to Brown.

The SWAT team was on the scene, on standby, according to Brown.

He was located inside the residence dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Brown. His name was not released.

Sheriff Steve Mansfield called it a very sad situation for everyone involved, in which authorities worked tirelessly to bring to a safe ending.

“We explored numerous options over the past four days hoping this young man would opt to seek help for his issues and no one would be hurt,” Mansfield said in the news release. “Unfortunately he chose to take his life.”

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Lawsuit filed against Lewis County coroner over inquest

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 9:02 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The former Toledo elementary school principal who was arrested following a coroner’s inquest but not charged with a crime two years ago in connection with his then-wife’s 1998 death has claimed $5 million in damages for what his attorney calls scandalous proceedings that severely harmed his client’s reputation and employability.

Ron Reynolds and one of his sons, Jonathan Reynolds who was similarly affected, blame the Lewis County coroner.

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Ron Reynolds

“It’s difficult to put a value on your life when it’s been ruined,” Olympia-based attorney Rick Cordes said today. “The loss of retirement, earnings, your reputation.”

The senior Reynolds, now 62, hasn’t worked since the inquest took place, according to Cordes. Jonathan Reynolds, now 32 and residing in Montesano, might be working now, Cordes said, but he wasn’t sure.

A tort claim filed with the county on behalf of the men in October got no response, leading to a lawsuit filed earlier this month in Lewis County Superior Court. The lawyer representing Coroner Warren McLeod quickly removed the case to federal court.

At issue is the October 2011 coroner’s inquest convened by McLeod, who made a campaign promise the year before to deal with the long controversial death of former state trooper Ronda Reynolds.

Ronda 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 Toledo home she shared with her husband of less than a year and his three sons.

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Jonathan Reynolds

The inquest jury was unanimous in its determinations her death was a homicide and named Ron and Jonathan Reynolds as responsible. McLeod had arrest warrants issued and the two brought before a judge who immediately released them as the prosecutor was not filing criminal charges.

The complaint filed in Lewis County Superior Court on December 6 names Lewis County and Coroner McLeod.

Cordes contends in the filing McLeod had no legal basis for calling the inquest, had no intention to conduct it fairly and that the proceedings were handled negligently and recklessly.

“The actions of the defendant, as described herein, were scandalous and libelous and did severe damage to the plaintiffs’ reputations and integrity,” Cordes wrote.

According to Cordes, the coroner had no jurisdiction over the deceased’s body, from a case almost 13 years earlier. He points to McLeod going forward with arrest warrants even knowing the prosecutor would not be filing charges against anyone and with the sheriff’s office’s investigations all finding the death was a suicide.

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Warren McLeod

The complaint claims a major part of McLeod’s election campaign was advising voters he would have Ronda Reynolds’ death be reinvestigated and determined to be homicide, and that the inquest was designed to bring that about and lacked fundamental fairness.

McLeod, elected in November 2010 as the first new county corner in decades, was moving through ambiguously charted territory.

Coroner’s inquests in Washington state are rare, and McLeod, with assistance from Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor David Fine, created and adopted a set of rules to guide the proceedings.

After the Oct. 19, 2011 finding, McLeod issued then quashed his own warrants saying they served no purpose since no charges would be filed, but then he reversed himself, pointing to the state statute that the coroner “shall” issue warrants if the inquest jury ascertains it is a homicide and identifies who is responsible.

On the day the Reynolds’s were brought in front of Judge James Lawler, Cordes shared outside the Chehalis courtroom that his understanding of the law was different, that the statute was originally adopted around 1850 and was designed for the coroner to act when the sheriff was unavailable.

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Ronda Reynolds

The inquest and the days that followed it were heavily covered by the local and regional news media, as well as providing the framework for a one-hour documentary produced by CBS television’s 48 Hours Mystery.

The lawsuit, and the claim that preceded it, speak of a great deal of mental and emotional distress as well as public humiliation and crippling financial consequences for the Reynolds’s.

McLeod’s action have made it extremely difficult for the two men to continue to live in their respective communities, according to Cordes.

“Ron was a well-respected member of the community,” Cordes said. “And that’s not true anymore.”

While the claim to the county listed $5 million in damages, the lawsuit asks for an amount to be proven at trial, costs and attorney fees as well as other relief the court may deem just and equitable.

McLeod said today he can’t, on the advice of his attorney, comment on pending litigation.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said he and his staff don’t have a role in the case, because of the possibility of being called as witnesses.

The coroner and the county will be represented by John Justice, whose Tumwater law firm specializes in working with government agencies in civil cases.

Justice is the same lawyer who was hired to represent former Coroner Terry Wilson when Ronda Reynolds’ death was the subject of a civil trial in 2009, after which a panel of citizens concluded Wilson’s determination she died of suicide was arbitrary, capricious and incorrect.

•••

CORRECTION: This item has been updated to correctly reflect the town in which Jonathan Reynolds resides.
•••

For background, read “Breaking news: Inquest jurors: Ronda Reynolds was murdered” from Wednesday October 19, 2011, here

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List of possible pot stores, businesses and farms growing locally

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 1:58 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – With just three days left before the deadline to apply for a state license to legally sell marijuana, four entities in Lewis County have sought the okay from authorities.

Storefronts for cannabis could potentially open at a gas and grocery in Onalaska, and locations on Centralia’s South Gold Street as well as State Avenue in Chehalis and farther south along Jackson Highway.

But it won’t happen anytime soon.

Moratoriums are in place regarding such activity in the cities of Chehalis, Centralia and in unincorporated areas of the county. Even once they end, Lewis County officials and Mossyrock leaders have already chosen to require applicants to provide approval from the feds, which still outlaw marijuana.

The new market on the verge of opening comes from last year’s passage by voters of Initiative 502. The law that went into effect last December made it legal for for individuals 21 or older to possess as much as one ounce of marijuana and set up rules under which licensees may cultivate and package the greens and related products.

The number of retailers who could locate in Lewis County is capped at seven, with no more than two inside Centralia city limits and just one within the city of Chehalis.

There is no limit to the number of growers and processors, and already more than 20 locally have indicated their desire by submitting applications to the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

A spokesperson for the state agency said he suspects stores could begin selling by late June, but the timing falls on the market itself, as crops must be first grown and then processed.

The WSLCB could begin issuing licenses as soon as late February or early March, spokesperson Mikhail Carpenter said yesterday.

Carpenter based that on the 60 to 90 days it usually takes to issue liquor licenses.

Retailing hopefuls so far are:
• Allen’s Grocery & Gas, 2058 state Route 508, Onalaska
• Old Toby, 391 NW State Ave., Chehalis
• K-B Buds, 4237 Jackson Highway, Chehalis
• Casey’s Cannibas, 1613 S. Gold Street, Centralia

Wannabe growers and processors locally so far, are:
• Green Freedom, 119 and 120 Wallace Road, Mossyrock
• Tala Farms, Kjesbu Road, Silver Creek
• Evergreen Nirvana, 501 Boone Road, Ethel
• Silver Trees, 453 Gore Road, Onalaska
• Staffy’s Garden, 3966 Jackson Highway, Chehalis
• Wind Rose Farms, 763-11 Coal Creek Road, Chehalis
• MNO, 208 Maurin Road, Chehalis
• Evergreen Trees LLC, 208 Maurin Road, Chehalis
• Holland’s Hope, 208 Maurin Road, Chehalis
ª Alfhild Venutures, 208 Maurin Road, Chehalis
• Green Acres, 2405 Wildwood Road, Curtis
• Forbidden Farms at 201 Boistfort-Winlock Road, Chehalis
• Aaron’s Original, 177 Rarey Road, Winlock
• Nivia Enterprises, 142 Blake Road, Toledo
• Triple K Ranch, 757 Spencer Road, Toledo
• Kenneth Kindred, 2576 Seminary Hill Road, Centralia
• Warehouse 420, 21847 Lee Road, Centralia
• Grace’s Gold, 3134 Zenkner Valley Road, SW, Centralia
• Planet Medicine, 1708 Kresky Ave., Centralia
• George Washington Brand, 619 W. Reynolds Ave., Centralia
• Eastern Gate, 515 N. Gold St., Centralia
•••

For further details about the emerging marijuana market, check FAQ on I-502 from Washington State Liquor Control Board, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 11:09 am

Updated at 11:45 a.m.

DIAPER CHANGE LEADS TO BROKEN BONE

• A Centralia man was jailed yesterday evening after allegedly breaking his 6-month-old baby’s arm while changing its diaper. He grabbed it, the baby was crying and he was angry, Sgt. Brian Warren said. Police were called to the emergency room at Providence Centralia Hospital where the infant’s mother had brought the child, according to the Centralia Police Department. Police Sgt. Brian Warren said he understood it occurred earlier in the day at the family’s home on the 1100 block of Scammon Creek Road. Wayne P. Stalker was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree assault of a child, according to police. The baby was treated and has been released to his mother, Warren said.

ATTEMPTED ASSAULT WITH SUV

• Centralia police responded just before 11 p.m. yesterday to the 900 block of F Street where a 39-year-old man allegedly intentionally drove over a curb onto the lawn of a victim nearly running him down. Police say the sport utility vehicle had driven around the block a few times and then stopped, where the resident came off his front porch to see what was up. Donald E. Thomas, a Centralia resident, allegedly gunned the engine and headed for the man who is dating his ex-girlfriend, according to police. He jumped away, nobody was hurt, according to police. Thomas was booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree assault, according to the Centralia Police Department.

BURGLARY

• A deputy took a report about 5 p.m. yesterday of a Campbell brand air compressor missing from a shed area on the 100 block of Waterloo Road in Glenoma. The victim said the item was stolen sometime since Sept. 1, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s office.

DRUGS

• A 41-year-old Centralia woman arrested on a warrant about 3 a.m. today at the 800 block of West Main Street in Centralia was also arrested for possession of methamphetamine. Angela M. Grussing was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 40-year-old Centralia man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine yesterday after contact with an officer about 3:30 p.m. at the 200 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia. Travis L. Combs was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

LOST AND FOUND

• Chehalis police were called to Denny’s on the 100 block of Southwest Interstate Avenue yesterday morning about a suspicious circumstance regarding someone behind the building and a subsequent find of two Bibles in a bag. The books were taken back to the police department where their owner may claim them, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

WRECKS

• A 17-year-old driver escaped serious injuries when she tried to miss a deer and lost control of her Jeep Cherokee which traveled over an embankment and came to rest on its top in Onalaska yesterday afternoon. A deputy responding about 5 p.m. to the 300 block of Deggler Road reports the vehicle sustained major damage but the girl suffered only minor injuries.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespass; responses for alarm, marital dispute, graffiti, shoplifting and other misdemeanor theft, less-than-serious collisions; complaints of canines on the green harassing golfers  … and more.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, December 16, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Updated at 1:02 p.m.

ASSAULT ON KRIS KRINGLE

• A 38-year-old man who was reportedly intoxicated and belligerent was arrested yesterday after he allegedly knocked the head off a Santa Claus statue outside one of the antique stores in downtown Centralia. Police responding just before 4 p.m. to the area of North Tower and East Pine Street report that Jerome D. Volk, a Centralia resident, resisted officers as they attempted to detain him so he was booked for that as well as third-degree malicious mischief.

STOLEN FIREARM

• Chehalis police were contacted on Friday afternoon by a 50-year-old resident whose handgun was missing from his home on the 700 block of Southwest Pacific Avenue. He said he recently noticed the Colt black-powder revolver was gone, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The loss is estimated at $300, according to police.

RELUCTANT ARRESTEE

• Centralia police yesterday evening assisted the state patrol in searching for a detainee who fled Providence Centralia Hospital where he was taken for a blood draw. The individual took off from the facility on the 900 block of South Schueber Road while the trooper was on the telephone and officers called about 7:20 p.m. attempted a dog track, according to the Centralia Police Department. The man was eventually found back inside the waiting room, Sgt. Brian Warren said. Warren said he thought it was probably related to an arrest for driving under the influence.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence; responses for alarms, misdemeanor theft, minor injury rollover collision; complaints of car eggings, of nighttime vehicles with loud engines, radios  … and more.

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Convict loses argument about burial expenses related to 2010 triple-homicide

Monday, December 16, 2013 at 8:57 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

One of the two men convicted in connection with the events at a Salkum-Onalaska area home in which three people were fatally shot in August 2010 has lost his appeal regarding his responsibility to pay funeral and burial expenses for two of the victims.

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Ryan J. McCarthy

Ryan J. McCarthy, 28, Redmond, and John A. Booth, 31, of Onalaska, were both charged with first-degree murder and extortion shortly after the slayings of David West Sr. 52, his son David West Jr., 16, and a friend Tony E. Williams, 50, of Randle. Denise Salts, then 51, who also lived at the house on Wings Way, survived a gunshot wound to her face.

Authorities contended the visit by the two former cell mates to the residence was related to some kind of debt collection and that gun fire erupted when West Sr. brought out a shotgun and told them to get out of his house.

Booth was convicted by a jury two years ago of murder, attempted murder, attempted extortion and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He is serving a life sentence.

McCarthy was sentenced to 14 years in prison after getting a deal in which he pleaded guilty under doctrines such that he pleaded to crimes he did not commit to escape consequences of more serious charges, and agreed if a jury heard and believed the state’s evidence, he would likely be convicted.

McCarthy appealed the order by Lewis County Superior Court that he pay as part of his restitution the expenses for West Jr. and Williams who were shot by Booth, according to the opinion issued last week by the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II.

He pleaded to first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and attempted extortion in connection only with West Sr., according to the opinion. His murder charges were dismissed.

At his restitution hearing, both prosecutors and the defense argued to the trial judge he must find a causal connection, but the judge disagreed, according to the opinion. And two of the three appeals judges sided with the trial court judge.

The amounts in question were $5,750 for West. Jr. and $819.25 for Williams.

Judges George Fearing and Joel Penoyer stated that since the state paid benefits for West Jr. and Williams, finding they were entitled, it must have concluded McCarthy’s burglary, robbery and extortion were a proximate cause of their deaths.

In her dissent, Judge Jill M. Johanson pointed out the payments were distributed less than a month after the original charges were filed and long before McCarthy’s role was presented.

Johnason agreed with McCarthy that the Lewis County Superior Court erred as it improperly imposed restitution without making a finding his acts were related to the expenses incurred.

At his sentencing, prosecutors told the judge Booth fired the shots and “Mr. McCarthy was there.” His lawyer told the judge his client passed a  a lie detector test that confirmed his story in which he ran outside before Booth fired any shots.
•••

For background, read “Court hearing reveals more details about Salkum triple slaying” from Saturday Oct. 1,  2011, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 11:31 am

NAPAVINE HOME CATCHES FIRE

• Once again, a Napavine area family is displaced from a house fire. Crews called overnight to the 700 block of West Vine Street contained the blaze to the master bedroom, but there is heavy heat and smoke damage throughout the one-story residence, according to Fire Investigator Ted McCarty. The family returned home around 1 a.m. after being at some friends and opened a side door only to be confronted with smoke, McCarty said. The husband tried the front door with the same results and spotted flames through a bedroom window, McCarty said. Lewis County Fire Districts 5, 6, 2 and 15 responded. “The guys got a good knock down on it,” McCarty said. The parents and four children declined initial assistance from the Red Cross, saying they had family to stay with he said. The fire investigator said he is looking at a Cadet wall heater, but it’s too early to tell if that’s what caused the fire. It was just last Sunday when a family on Raubuck Road were dealing with a similar situation, except they were sleeping and awoke to smoke alarms and their two-story house subsequently burned to the ground from a possible flare up hours later.

THEFT

• Police were called about 3:15 p.m. yesterday to the Centralia Outlets on the 1300 block of Lum Road about a wallet and its identification stolen from a break room at one of the stores. An officer was told two females got into employee lockers, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police took a report of theft of tools from the 400 block of North Buckner Street on Friday afternoon.

• Police took a report yesterday of a car prowl during the night at the 100 block of Jalyn Street in Centralia. Cash was stolen, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police responded about 5:40 a.m. yesterday to the 3300 block of Fords Prairie Avenue in Centralia for a vehicle prowl. Someone took money and a cell phone from a purse left inside the unlocked vehicle, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Someone broke several windows out of a vehicle parked at the 900 block of F Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police early yesterday morning.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS REMINDER

• Lewis County 911 Communications is reminding the public to sign up for CODE RED to receive emergency notifications. CODE RED is used to send critical communications, from evacuation notices to missing child alerts, according to department manager Craig Larsen. Lewis County has used the system to make notification for boil water advisories as well as to get out word of a dangerous suspect at large in a rural county neighborhood. Flood notifications can be provided through CODE RED, should this occur in our region again. The public can sign up and find additional details at the 911 Communications page on the county web site.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants; confiscation of smoking devices with suspected methamphetamine residue with a referral for possession charges … and more.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, December 13, 2013 at 11:51 am

Updated at 12:40 p.m.

APARTMENT SEARCH TURNS UP DRUGS

• Three people were arrested yesterday after officers went to an apartment on the 1000 block of Scammon Creek Road in Centralia to pick up a wanted person. A community corrections officer from the state Department of Corrections was looking for 27-year-old Mark D. Fiman because of several warrants, according to the Centralia Police Department. When the door was opened, an individual dove into a bedroom and when they went in to get him, officers saw a set of scales, Sgt. Kurt Reichert said. An ensuing search of the residence turned up pills, the details of which are not yet available, according to Reichert. Brian J. Haugen, 20, who resides at the apartment, was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and a sparkler bomb, according to police. Justin W. Haugen, 21, also of Centralia, was arrested for possession of suspected meth, marijuana and Zanax/Oxycodone, according to police. Fiman also was booked for possession of meth and Oxycodone, according to police.

ASSAULT

• A 29-year-old client at the drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility on Southeast Washington Avenue in Chehalis was arrested this morning for allegedly choking another resident. Police were called just before 7 a.m. today regarding the assault, and Jonathan Schenck, from Federal Way, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

SCHOOL BOMB SCARE

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is investigating following a message discovered on a girls’ bathroom wall at Centralia High School yesterday that prompted an evacuation. Deputies notified at about 1 p.m. joined Centralia police officers at the Eshom Road building and searched the premises, according to Sg. Rob Snaza. The note indicated a bomb might go off at a certain time, Snaza said. No explosive was found. Law enforcement cleared the scene about 3:30 p.m. but will be reviewing surveillance tapes in an attempt to gain information, according to Snaza.

THEFT

• Chehalis police were called to the Vintage Apartments on North National Avenue yesterday where a 90-year-old resident said he returned home to discover someone had stolen cash from him.

CAR PROWL

• Police responded about 7:20 a.m. today to an overnight vehicle prowl at the 1000 block of Southeast Washington Avenue in Chehalis. Nothing initially appeared to be missing, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

CHASE AND WRECK

• A 24-year-old Toledo woman was arrested yesterday after she reportedly sped away from a deputy at about 100 mph and wrecked her car northeast of Winlock. It began about 1:30 p.m. at the 800 block of North Military Road and ended just north of the high school when the driver lost control, hit a ditch and rolled the vehicle onto its top, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The driver, Amanda N. Phillips, was unhurt but was taken to the hospital to be cleared before being booked into jail because of a previous injury, Sgt. Rob Snaza said. Phillips had outstanding warrants and was using a suspended driver’s license, according to Snaza. Her car was impounded an a search of it’s interior is planned, according to the sheriff’s office. She was booked for attempting to elude.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants; responses for alarm, shoplifting, suspicious circumstances … and more.

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Two die when car collides with dump truck in Centralia

Friday, December 13, 2013 at 8:03 am
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The two lane county road just east of state Route 507 north of Centralia is closed for a collision investigation. / Courtesy photo by Grant’s Towing.

Updated at 11:38 a.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Two young people were killed when their car slid into the path of of a dump truck on Big Hanaford Road just north of Centralia last night.

The four-door Kia Spectra was traveling westbound near Wigley Road and crossed the centerline into an eastbound Freightliner hauling a pup trailer, according to responders.

Fire Capt. Tim Adolphsen said he didn’t know if the truck was loaded or not.

“The reports we got, the car lost control in front of him and he struck it, on the passenger side,” Adolphsen said.

Dead at the scene were car’s driver, Jonathan W. Parker, 20, from Centralia, and his passenger Tiara F. Kalebaugh, 18, of Pe Ell, according to the Washington State Patrol.

“I would probably say they were killed on impact,” Adolphsen said.

He described the car as destroyed.

It happened shortly before 9:40 p.m. The state patrol indicates speed was a factor.

The truck’s driver, a 52-year-old Kevin L. Geer, of Tenino, was reportedly uninjured. His truck was damaged and towed, according to the state patrol.

The roadway was closed for approximately five hours while investigators were on the scene, according to Trooper Will Finn.

•••

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correctly reflect the type of truck involved.

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Investigators: Littlerock business was intentionally burned

Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Updated

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The fire that gutted a taxidermy shop in Littlerock last week has been found to be arson.

West Thurston Regional Fire Authority Chief Russ Kaleiwahea said today he didn’t have many details, as the written report is not yet completed.

“In talking with the investigator, it’s my understanding it’s determined to be incendiary,” Kaleiwahea said. “That’s kind of a new word for arson.”

Alden’s Taxidermy is on Palermo Southwest, just east of Littlerock Road.

The fire was well underway when it woke neighbors who called 911 about 4:30 a.m. last Thursday. Arriving crews found a fully involved structure fire that extended to a pickup truck parked next to it and left just two walls standing, according to Chief Robert Scott.

Scott said at the time, he assumed there is a substantial loss of contents.

Alden’s advertises they offer services from skinning to custom mounting of wildlife from elephants to mice.

“It was not only his works of art, but people he was doing business for as well,” Lt. Lanette Dyer, a department spokesperson said.

A notice on Alden’s business web site states the phone is scheduled to be repaired and asks for contact via email to assist in inventorying items which may have been lost.

Elements of the investigation were turned over early on to the sheriff’s office when questions arose about some of the findings.

Dyer said various pieces which should have been there could not be found among the debris, leading to the possibility of theft.

A dog belonging to the owner Alden Johnson, was inside the building but has not been located either, she said. Johnson was in Hawaii at the time, getting married, she said.

Thurston County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Greg Elwin said their arson investigator is working with the fire department and the business owner to evaluate evidence and identify persons of interest.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 10:43 am

HIT AND RUN LEADS TO POWER OUTAGE

• Police were called after a vehicle collided with a utility pole which knocked over at least one other pole on the 1000 block of Ham Hill Road in Centralia at about 1:15 a.m. today. The silver-colored Chrysler-type vehicle fled the scene, narrowly missing getting hit by the pole as it fell, according to police. It didn’t knock the power out but arriving crews shut off the electricity which will remain turned off at least through the morning and possibly into the afternoon, according to Riverside Fire Authority. The impact sheered the pole completely off, Capt. Scott Snyder said. Firefighters used thermal imaging equipment and walked the roadway searching the brush for any possibly ejected passengers until about 3 a.m., Snyder said. Nobody was found and nobody was known to be injured, according to authorities. Police said a large guide wire pole did fall on one vehicle.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Police were called about 12:40 a.m. today when a man walking his dog spotted a male rifling through a parked car on the 1100 block of Grand Avenue in Centralia, but the prowler fled before officers arrived, according to the Centralia Police Department. A window was smashed and missing were the stereo and a cell phone, according to police.

• Police took a report about 9:30 p.m. yesterday of a purse stolen from a vehicle at the 1000 block of H. Street in Centralia.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants; responses for misdemeanor assault, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, several vehicles sliding on ice and wrecking … and more.

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Read about former Pacific County sheriff dies at 66 …

Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:07 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Aberdeen) Daily World reports former Pacific County Sheriff John Didion has died. He was 66.

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John Didion

Didion served as sheriff for 12 years ending in 2010, in a department where he began as a road deputy, according to the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office.

News reporter Brionna Friedrich writes the former NFL linebacker passed away on Tuesday following a “major medical event” at his home over the weekend.

Read about it here.

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Two charged with drug dealing, two set free after Chehalis area raid

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 7:32 pm
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Randall D. Mauel faces a judge while his brother Ryan G. Mauel, wearing green, waits his turn during a bail hearing.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The two brothers arrested when more than a dozen law enforcement officers swarmed a Jackson Highway house south of Chehalis and seized pounds of drugs will get their chances to make their pleas in court tomorrow.

Randall D. Mauel, 42, and Ryan G. Mauel, 37, appeared yesterday afternoon briefly in front of a judge who set their bail at $25,000 and $10,000 respectively.

The reason for the difference is the younger man has no criminal convictions in his background and the older brother has several prior offenses, according to prosecutors.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge James Lawler was told Randall Mauel has a “pretty decent job” and an address in Pierce County. Ryan Mauel earns about $500 a month doing odd jobs and lives at his parents’ property where the two were arrested on Monday, defense attorney Bob Schroeter told the judge.

Officers found freezer bags containing about $200,000 worth of methamphetamine crystals and two baggies filled with heroin, according to authorities.

The approximately 146 grams of heroin was described by a sheriff’s office spokesperson as powdered and brown but in charging documents as a tar-like substance, with a street value estimated at $11,600.

The raid that took place about 12:30 p.m. on Monday at the 2500 block of Jackson Highway came out of fast-moving investigation by the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force, according to task force commander Capt. Dave Johnson. Officers following up on a tip obtained a search warrant just that morning, Johnson said today.

Johnson said he couldn’t reveal too much, but did know the drugs arrived locally from California within the previous 24 hours.

The Lewis County Regional Crime Task Force and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team assisted, contributing about half of the 14 law enforcement officers that conducted the arrests, according to Sgt. Rob Snaza.

Snaza is the SWAT leader and supervisor of the local task force.

According to charging documents and Snaza, the SWAT members entered the home through a door inside the carport and confronted the older brother, and then the younger brother who walked out a bedroom.

Two other individuals present were arrested but not charged. Snaza said the subjects were taken into custody without incident and no one else was at the home at the time.

Under a coffee table in the family room, inside a black duffel bag, Thurston detectives discovered the drugs and four digital scales along with packaging materials, according to the charging documents.

One of the bags held seven smaller portions of suspected meth in smaller zip lock-style baggies, according to the documents.

Charging documents state that when “Randy” Mauel was searched, a detective located $602 cash, more than $400 of it in $20 bills. The documents indicate a school bus stopped across the street, suggestive of so-called sentencing enhancements which can be implemented when drug crimes occur near schools or school bus stops.

Also arrested at the scene were Jonathan R. Stajduhar, 34, of Chehalis and Tesa M. Hanks, 34, of Centralia, but they were released from jail without charges pending further investigation, according to the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office.

The Mauel brothers were each charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, one for each type of drug. The offense carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

The methamphetamine totaled 2.7 pounds, the sheriff’s office said.

They were also charged with a class C felony, unlawful use of a building for drug purposes.

Schroeter indicated in court yesterday the home and property belongs to the men’s parents, the younger brother has lived there all his life and has taken care of his mom and dad for years.

It’s unclear where the older brother resides.

Charging documents say that Ryan Mauel told a detective the two have lived there about a month, and he pointed out his bedroom and said his older brother usually slept on the couch in the family room. Schroeter confirmed Ryan Mauel lives there, but said he took issue with the information that Randall Mauel does.

The sheriff’s office describes them both as Chehalis residents.

Their arraignments are scheduled for tomorrow morning in Lewis County Superior Court.

The younger Mauel is represented by local attorney Jacob Clark, the older Mauel by David Arcuri.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 11:08 am

Updated at 12:02 p.m.

SWAT TEAM GETS WANTED PERSON

• Deputies arrested a 32-year-old Chehalis area man at his home yesterday morning for misdemeanor assault that allegedly occurred earlier at the 1600 block of Bishop Road. A 37-year-old woman called 911 about 9 a.m. regarding the domestic assault and the suspect left, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies and the SWAT team went to his home on the 100 block of Goldmeyer Drive and after unsuccessful attempts to get him to come outside, made forced entry, according to Sgt. Rob Snaza. Jesse M. Mathat was booked into the Lewis County Jail, Snaza said.

DISPUTE LEADS TO ARREST

• A 29-year-old Chehalis man was arrested after a 911 call yesterday afternoon led deputies to a heated family argument at the 100 block of Woodard Road near Napavine. Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Rob Snaza said a deputy asked Elliot S. Dodrill to step away from the scene to talk but he became verbally aggressive, ignored commands, continued to resist and attempted to assault law enforcement officers, Snaza said. Dodrill was booked for third-degree assault and resisting arrest, according to the sheriff’s office. Prosecutors are referring the case instead for misdemeanor charges.

BREAK-INS

• Deputies responded about 5 p.m. yesterday to a report of a burglary at the 2900 block of Sawall Avenue outside Centralia in which an XBox 360 was taken. Sometime between 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., someone forced their way through the front door to get inside the home, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Chehalis police were called yesterday morning about an apparent burglary at a vacant rental home on the 600 block of Southwest Cascade Avenue. The case is under investigation, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

UPDATE ON GRAND MOUND ROBBERY

The Olympian reports that 20-year-old Sheena Gillham told a sheriff’s deputy when she was arrested for last week’s robbery of an AM/PM in Grand Mound she needed money to repay a drug debt. The Montesano woman who was apprehended on Monday following a tip about last Wednesday’s incident reportedly ignored a command to stop by a man in the parking lot who drew a gun on her as she left the convenience store on the corner of Old Highway 99 and U.S. Highway 12, news reporter Jeremy Pawloski writes.

UPDATE ON RYDERWOOD SHOOTING

The (Longview) Daily News reports the 43-year-old woman arrested after her roommate was shot in the abdomen at their Ryderwood home told a deputy the hunting rifle accidentally discharged while she was cleaning it in the bathroom and it fell.  John Stiller, 69, drove himself to a Vader restaurant after the early Monday morning incident and was flown to a Tacoma hospital where he underwent surgery. News reporter Barbara LaBoe wrote yesterday Linda Cochran remained jailed with bail set at $200,000.

DRUGS

• A 25-year-old homeless person was picked up and arrested by Chehalis police on Monday in connection with a suspected methamphetamine pipe allegedly found on him last month during a traffic stop. Chad E. Holmes was booked for possession of methamphetamine, charged yesterday and bail was set at $5,000, according to authorities.

SEX CRIME ALLEGED

• A 20-year-old Chehalis man was arrested yesterday by Centralia police in connection with alleged sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl, according to the Centralia Police Department. Zach R. L. Isham was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police responded about 11:20 p.m. yesterday to a report someone was attempting to break a window out of a van parked at the Law and Justice Center on West Main Street in Chehalis. Jacob M. Goble, 22, a homeless person, was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree malicious mischief, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarms, disputes, out-of-control teenager, rental business report that customer did not return property, cars doing cookies in parking lot, car slamming into fire hydrant, other collisions … and more.