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Lawyers: Mentally disturbed Packwood man kidnapped woman friend

Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 7:22 pm
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Zachery H. Bynum appears with a defense attorney in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 41-year-old Packwood man being held in the Lewis County Jail allegedly took a 22-year-old woman up a logging road and threatened her with a machete, telling her either she was going to kill him or he was going to kill her before she managed to talk him into going to the Glenoma grocery, where he then forced her to drive him away as deputies arrived.

Zachery H. Bynum was arrested after an approximately four-mile police pursuit, during which he held the large knife alternately to the young woman’s ribs and neck, according to court documents.

Authorities say she tried to jump from her pickup truck while it was still traveling in excess of 45 mph after its front tires had been punctured by spike strips; it was only after it struck a guard rail and further struggling that she broke free and ran to the safety of a nearby patrol car.

Tuesday’s events were triggered because the woman met with Bynum to tell him she could not see him any more, court documents state.

Bynum, a homeless person, is charged with kidnapping and a multitude of other offenses.

He appeared before a judge today in Lewis County Superior Court, with shackles around his waist and his ankles. He refused jail officers’ attempts yesterday afternoon to bring him into court.

“My client could not be here yesterday because he suffers from significant, I mean significant, mental health issues,” defense attorney Bob Schroeter told the judge.

Prosecutors asked for bail to be set at $1 million, citing the danger to the victim and the community.

“Short of a violent sexual assault or homicide, I can’t think of much else more he could have done,” Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Shane O’Rourke told the judge.

Prosecutors said the Morton woman was taken to the hospital for treatment of cuts on her neck and other places on her body as well as scrapes.

Bynum has a prior felony conviction for second-degree assault from 1994 and several misdemeanor convictions for domestic violence and harassment, according to prosecutors.

Judge Nelson Hunt set bail at $250,000 and scheduled Bynum’s arraignment for next Thursday.

Charging documents are somewhat vague about the relationship between the two and don’t identify the location of the logging road or how long she and Bynum were there before they got to the grocery store at about 3 p.m. on Tuesday.

O’Rourke said he didn’t yet have a detailed timeline but got the impression from police reports the whole thing may have taken place over a period of a couple of hours.

She told deputies she is married and has had a romantic relationship with Bynum and they were also friends, according to court documents. She said she and her husband were reconciling and her husband no longer wanted her to see Bynum, the documents state. A sheriff’s office spokesperson said the two were dating.

Charging documents based on Lewis County Sheriff’s Office interviews with participants and witnesses allege the following account:

When the young woman met with Bynum on Tuesday to let him know she couldn’t see him any more, he became upset and asked her to give him a ride to a friend’s house. Along the way, he became hostile, calling her names and even spitting on her.

When they neared the destination, he ordered her to pull up a logging road, screaming at her.

Bynum grabbed her by the hair and dragged her up the logging road and away from her vehicle and her dogs which were inside. He took out the large machete and held it in his hand.

Bynum repeatedly shoved her to the ground and ordered her to keep walking and when she struggled, he  grabbed her by the throat and said “if she was going to talk like a man, she would fight like a man.”

He told if she didn’t comply, he would kill her dogs.

Finally, when they were stopped, as he stabbed his machete into the dirt near her, he told her it was her or him and he wasn’t going back to prison.

“(S)he knew she was going to die,” charging documents state.

The young woman convinced him they should go somewhere and continue talking, and she drove them to the store on the 8000 block of U.S. Highway 12 in Glenoma.

O’Rourke charged the defendant with one count of kidnapping for events up to this point and a second count of kidnapping for what happened at the small grocery after they arrived.

Bynum warned her not to do anything stupid, but once inside, she jumped over the checkout register, stood next to the clerk and begged her for help.

“The checker appeared scared and told (her), I’m sorry.”

Bynum pulled the screaming, struggling woman by her hair out of the building, choked her into unconsciousness and then ordered her back into the truck, smashing her face into the steering wheel.

That’s when a deputy arrived. She pulled away and the pursuit began.

The sheriff’s office spoke of him holding a large knife – described as a mini machete – to her neck. Charging documents refer both to a knife and a large machete.

The truck finally stopped near Kiona Creek Road.

Deputies said Bynum refused to comply with their demands, even at gunpoint, walking toward a deputy and telling him to shoot him in the head. It took a sergeant approaching with a Taser for him to get on the ground.

The defendant fought and resisted arrest, even with multiple officers attempting to detain him.

Bynum is charged with 12 counts, including first-degree kidnapping, second-degree assault, felony harassment, misdemeanor assault, attempting to elude and resisting arrest.

Schroeter told Judge Hunt Bynum has no income or assets. He was given a court-appointed attorney.

•••

For background, read “News brief: Morton woman assaulted, forced to flee arriving law officers” from Wednesday July 17, 2013, here

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News brief: Outdoor burning to be further restricted

Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 12:05 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Local officials have decided it’s becoming too dry for outdoor burning in Lewis County.

Beginning on Monday at 12:01 a.m., a burn ban goes into effect until further notice, according to the Lewis County Fire Marshal.

Exceptions are made for recreational fires either in approved campfire sites or approved burning receptacles, according to Fire Marshal Fred Chapman. Answers to related can questions can be sought by calling Chapman at 360-740-1146.

A similar burn ban statewide went into effect July 1 on all forestland and other property that is protected by the state Department of Natural Resources.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 11:20 am

ASHTRAY DEVICE BLAMED FOR HOUSE FIRE

• A two-story Centralia home was damaged by fire last night because of a cigarette butt disposal unit that was supposed to be filled with water but wasn’t, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Firefighters were called about 8:30 p.m. to the 800 block of E Street when someone smelled smoke, according to Capt. Tim Adolphsen. “Neighbors came with a garden hose to keep the fire in check until we arrived,” he said. A man and a woman who were house sitting for a relative got themselves and several dogs out safely and no one was hurt, according to the fire department. Adolphsen said the ashtray device was outside on a wooden shelf next to the home. There was smoke and soot damage throughout but the fire damage was contained to a portion of one wall, he said.

MAN BOOKED FOR SLASH FIRE THAT SPREAD

• One person has been arrested in connection with unauthorized outdoor burning that spread to a camp trailer outside Mossyrock in May, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It happened on May 6 at the 100 block of Swigert Road, according to the sheriff’s office. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said Lucas Davis was slash burning and left the scene. Davis was arrested yesterday and booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree reckless burning.

ASSAULT

• Centralia police were called abut 9:15 p.m. yesterday after a 33-year-old woman allegedly kicked a caregiver at the 900 block of South Schueber Road. Jamie L. Craig, was arrested for third-degree assault and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called to Green Hill School this morning to investigate an an incident that occurred on July 4 in which an inmate allegedly was out out of control and kicked one staff member and spit on another.

MISSING MONEY

• A woman called police yesterday regarding about $2,800 cash missing from her purse while at an office on South Market Boulevard in Chehalis the day before. No arrests have been made, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Detective Sgt. Gary WIlson said it apparently was the proceeds from the sale of a vehicle.

HIT AND RUN

• Centralia police are looking for the vehicle that knocked over a fire hydrant early this morning on the 1400 block of Harrison Avenue. It was reported about 6:40 a.m. Officers have a possible suspect identified, according to the Centralia Police Department.

NO CAT-NAP

• Police were called to an apartment complex on Southwest Third Street in Chehalis yesterday to a complaint a neighbor had stolen another neighbor’s cat. There was no crime, according to police. A 6-year-old resident thought the feline was cute and took it home with her, according to detective Sgt. Gary WIlson.

WRECK

• The sheriff’s office says a 75-year-old motorist was uninjured in a rollover wreck yesterday morning on the 300 block of Pleasant Valley Road outside Chehalis. It happened about 11 a.m. and it appeared the Toyota Camry rolled twice, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. A responding deputy determined the man lost control of his car when one of the tires went off the edge of the road and then the driver over corrected, according to Brown. The vehicle was described as totaled.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, misdemeanor domestic assault; responses for alarms, disputes, non-injury collisions; complaints of fireworks, barking dogs  … and more.

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Cause of yesterday’s apartment building and house fire unknown for now

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 7:36 pm
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Workers begin boarding up the west side of the apartment building that burned yesterday morning on the corner of Northwest West Street and Rhode Island.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – It could be awhile before the cause of yesterday’s fire that woke the occupants of a four-unit apartment building and an adjacent house in Chehalis can be determined.

Fire Chief Jim Walkowski said investigators can’t go back inside the bigger structure until its deemed safe to enter.

Both buildings were heavily damaged, he said.

He estimated the loss to the structure and contents was as much as $400,000 to the older apartments on the corner of Northwest West Street and Rhode Island. The house to its west may be fixable, he said.

Walkowski was at the scene of the 4:30 a.m. blaze again late yesterday afternoon as workers boarded up the windows.

The northwest corner of the apartment building suffered the greatest damage, he said. The exterior on the west side is completely charred.

He said he wasn’t sure what the residents might be able to recover of any belongings left undestroyed.

“Probably not a lot,” he said. “Once it’s stable, we’ll see what we can salvage.”

Ten adults were displaced by the fire that appears to have begun in the aging apartment building and spread to the one and half story house next door. A missing cat had not yet been found by yesterday afternoon.

The local Red Cross is providing emergency shelter, food and clothing to the occupants.

Nearly 50 firefighters from eight departments battled the blaze. A 55-year-old man who lives there was hospitalized briefly for smoke inhalation.

The fire chief said he hasn’t yet determined if there were operational smoke detectors, and got a report none activated inside the apartments. He was told by the owner they were in place, he said.

Walkowski said one of the challenges was the type of construction back in 1918 or 1924 when the big building was new. Once any flames got into a wall, there was nothing in place to stop them from spreading all around inside each wall, he said.

The other big issue was a natural gas line on the west side of the building broke, so the gas fueled a flame that was pointed directly at the neighboring house, he said.

It wasn’t an option to just extinguish the fire around the line, as then the gas would still be coming out, which would have been dangerous, he said.

It was about an hour and half before the gas company could get it shut off, he said. It involved digging and more complexity than just turning a valve, he said.

Walkowski said he’s heard the “hub bub” about the fire igniting from a meat smoker or related to explosions, but said it’s too early to know the cause.

The owner of the apartment building is being asked to hire a structural engineer to certify it is safe to enter, and then fire investigators will be able to conduct their examination, he said.
•••

For background, read “Blaze at Chehalis apartment building spreads to neighboring house” from Tuesday July 16, 2013 at 8:53 a.m., here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 2:08 pm

POLICE: TEEN ASSAULTS DAD AT HOSPITAL

• Centralia police are referring a case from an incident last night at the hospital for a possible charge of second-degree assault, regarding a 14-year-old boy who allegedly tried to choke his father. Police called about 10:30 p.m. to Providence Centralia Hospital on the 900 block of South Schueber Road found that security staff had already intervened and helped out the dad, according to the Centralia Police Department. The boy, from south Lewis County, suffers from a condition like perhaps autism and was being brought in for an evaluation of some type, Sgt. Stacy Denham said. He was not arrested, Denham said.

BURGLARY

• Centralia police were called to a home on the 2800 block of Russell Road about 3:30 p.m. yesterday where a resident said they had returned home and found their computer stolen. A door had been unlocked, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT

• Someone stole an American flag from outside a business on the 1100 block of Mellen Street in Centralia during the night, according to a report made to police yesterday.

MAYBE A THEFT

• Centralia police were called yesterday morning to an “adult living facility” on the  900 block of South Schueber Road where a resident claimed money was stolen from their room, according to the Centralia Police Department. Sgt. Stacy Denham said officers get these types of calls fairly often. Sometimes patients forget they’ve spent their money, never had the money, or in some cases it is actually stolen, he said. In this situation, the person who has made many previous reports that turned out to be deemed unfounded said they were missing $5, he said.

GUN POSSESSION

• Ryan W. Osborne, 27, of Morton, was arrested yesterday in Morton for unlawful possession of a firearm when he was contacted by police who were investigating an incident from this past spring in Centralia. The case involved a possible robbery that may have been a drug deal issue when an Olympia woman said her purse was taken at gunpoint early on April 30, according to Sgt. Stacy Denham. Denham said police don’t necessarily think Osborne was directly involved but suspect he was connected to some portion of it. He was booked into the Lewis County jail.

POLICE: WOMAN IN TROUBLE FOR BEING DRUNK IN COURT

• A 22-year-old Onalaska woman was arrested yesterday afternoon when she showed up to court intoxicated, in connection with a previous DUI, according to the Centralia Police Department. Police Sgt. Stacy Denham said the Centralia Municipal Court judge remanded her into custody because one of her conditions of release included no drinking. Ericka B. Dukeshire-Pogue was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, sex offender failing to register address; responses for alarms, sounds of gunshots or fireworks, lost purse, stolen wallet, other misdemeanor theft, receipt of possible counterfeit $20 bill, syringes found in a parking lot, syringes found on a sidewalk, concerned citizen regarding children playing on railroad tracks … and more.

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Read about man dead after Maytown wreck …

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 11:50 am

Updated a 2:23 p.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Olympian reports a single-vehicle fatality collision on Interstate 5 at the Maytown northbound exit yesterday may have been related to a medical issue.

News reporter Chelsea Krotzer writes the male driver was alone in the SUV and speed was believed to be a factor.

Trooper Guy Gill reported the off ramp was closed around 4 p.m. for the investigation.

Theodore E. Reich, 84, of Portland, was deceased at the scene of the multiple rollover accident, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Read about it here

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News brief: Morton woman assaulted, forced to flee arriving law officers

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 10:37 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 41-year-old Packwood man was arrested at gunpoint yesterday after he allegedly forced his companion at knife point to drive toward Randle, while being pursued by sheriff’s deputies.

The 22-year-old woman from Morton, whom he was dating, was finally able to escape their vehicle near Kiona Creek Road and run to the safety of a nearby patrol car, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

It happened around 3 p.m. beginning at the Glenoma Grocery, on the 8000 block of U.S. Highway 12.

Zachery H. Bynum was booked into the Lewis County Jail for multiple offenses, according to the sheriff’ office. The young woman was taken to Morton General Hospital with cuts, bruises and scrapes, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

Brown said it started with a call to the grocery about a fight, when a man was seen forcing a woman into the driver’s seat of a truck, choking her and slamming her face into the steering wheel. How they came to be together at the store, Brown said she didn’t know.

When law enforcement arrived, he allegedly forced her to drive away, heading east on U.S. Highway 12, holding a large knife – described as a mini machete – to her neck, according to the sheriff’s office.

After their pickup truck ran over spike strips set out about four miles down the road, a struggle ensued but the woman managed to get away, according to Brown.

Brown said Bynum was uncooperative and combative and finally taken into custody after a Taser was deployed. He was booked for first-degree assault, first-degree kidnapping and eluding, she said.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 7:36 pm

BIG OOPS

• Police were called to a home on the 100 block of Second Street in Morton when a couple returned home shortly after 1 o’clock in the morning to find a stranger passed out on their living room floor. They woke him up and told him to sit on the couch while they called police, which he did, according to the Morton Police Department. Chief Dan Mortensen said the 52-year-old Tacoma man had been drinking and was trying to get to his motel when he entered the home. It happened early Sunday morning. An officer removed David W. Ross from the residence, cited him for criminal trespass and directed him to his proper lodging, according to the chief.

ASSAULT

• A 24-year-old Longview man was arrested in Randle yesterday for second-degree assault for allegedly putting his older brother into a headlock until he couldn’t breathe while the pair were at a convenience store on the 100 block of U.S. Highway 12 on Sunday evening, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. When he was detained, Johnathon R. Fisher was found to be in possession of syringes, a pipe and suspected heroin so he was booked for a drug violation as well as assault  according to the sheriff’s office.

BURGLARY

• Centralia police took a report about 9:40 a.m. yesterday of a laptop compute stolen from a residence on the 600 block of South Gold Street.

FAKE MONEY

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning that two people who allegedly passed counterfeit money at two stores in Randle have been arrested. Michael W. Reddick, 27, and Miranda W. McDaniel, 25, both of Centralia, were identified as suspects from the incidents that occurred between July 7 and July 8, according to the sheriff’s office. They were interviewed at the jail sometime after July 10 where they were being held on unrelated warrants, and bookings for four counts of forgery were added to their offenses, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

CUTTING GAS LINES

• An officer was called just before 1 p.m. yesterday to the 200 block of West Reynolds Avenue in Centralia where someone had stolen fuel by cutting the “filler tubes” on three vehicles, according to police.

• Chehalis police took a report yesterday morning of someone cutting the fuel filter hose on a vehicle to steal gasoline while it was in parking lot “C” at the 100 block of Northeast Boistfort Street.

ROAD RAGE

• Chehalis police were called about 2:15 p.m. yesterday to the parking lot at Wal-Mart by a pair of motorcyclists who said a pickup truck driver followed them yelling at them because he thought they had cut him off. There was talk of a gun being shown, but police said the truck driver left before an officer arrived and no gun was found. Nobody was arrested.

WRECK

• Lewis County Fire District 6 was called about 5:30 p.m. yesterday to the area off Pattee Road where a young man on a dirt bike had run into a tree. He was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital with a broken leg, according to Firefighter Mike Goodwillie.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, misdemeanor assaults; responses for alarm, damage to a shed door, non injury collisions, suspicious circumstances; reports of hypodermic needle laying at the entrance to an alley, poop found on the hood of a car, dogs that won’t stop barking … and more.

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Blaze at Chehalis apartment building spreads to neighboring house

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 8:53 am
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Flames shoot from a Chehalis apartment building on Northwest West Street and Rhode Island. / Courtesy photo by Lorena Perez

Updated at 10:09 a.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A three alarm fire chased several people from a Chehalis apartment building and a house next door early this morning with one man hospitalized for smoke inhalation.

Firefighters are still on the scene at Northwest West Street and Rhode Island, around the corner from Kaija’s garden store.

The walls of the older two-story wood structure still stand, but ladder trucks continued to pour water on its roof where flames could be seen.

The blaze broke out around 4:30 a.m. At 8 a.m., Fire Chief Walkowski said the best they could figure was eight individuals were in the building and two others in the one and half story house to its west.

Fifty-five-year-old Ken Jacaway was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital. Walkowski said others declined aid.

“We took a look at them, they were all good to go,” Walkowski said.

Twelve-year-old Rionna Harris said she looked out from her second-story bedroom window across the street and saw an orange glow and flames coming from the west side of the building. She woke her parents up.

“I just heard a bunch of pops, like gunshots going off, and a lady hollering,” Tony Harris said.

Harris said by the time he got outside, several of the apartments’ inhabitants were standing on the street.

The box-shaped building has four apartments, in a neighborhood of older and very close together homes.

“A lot of these houses are old, ours was built in 1908,” Annette Harris said. “I don’t know how old that is.”

Norma Taylor said she’s lived in the apartments ground level unit for about a year. She said she heard a lot of noise on the stairs, but nobody came to wake her up.

“Our bedroom’s right there, I looked in the bathroom and the wall was on fire,” she said.

Taylor, 55, said she has a cat that hadn’t yet been found.

She said she thinks eight people total live in the building.

“By the time we got out, there was one cop car,” she said. “We could account for everybody.”

Walkowski, who is chief of Centralia’s Riverside Fire Authority and recently took over as chief for the Chehalis Fire Department, said 47 firefighters from eight departments – from as far away as Olympia – responded.

“When we arrived, it was pretty much fully involved,” he said.

Thirty-six-year-old Tim Brandner, who was staying at his girlfriend’s house, said he was already awake when he realized the building next door was burning.

Katie Laverell said she grabbed her iPad, her dog and some clothing she had laid out for work.

“When I seen the blinds started melting on the inside, I said, we gotta go,” Brandner said.

Laverell, 24, is among those being helped by the Red Cross this morning.

She looked toward her house, not knowing when she might go back or what was lost.

Jacaway was released from the hospital and back on the street corner with Taylor before the fire hoses even shut down.

He said he was okay.

“We’re both here, that’s the best,” Jacaway said. “Everyone got out.”

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Firefighters from Chehalis, Centralia and six other departments responded to the early morning fire.

Katie Laverell, with her dog Samson, talks with a Red Cross worker as her boyfriend Tim Brandner looks on.

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Witnesses said the fire jumped from the apartment building, on the right, to the single-family house next door, on the left.

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Nearly 50 firefighters battled the morning fires on West Street in Chehalis.

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News brief: Mossyrock’s Chief Stamper leaves department

Monday, July 15, 2013 at 7:43 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Mossyrock Police Chief Jeremy Stamper has resigned, taking the one-person department down to none.

Jeannette Miller, city clerk for the central Lewis County town of some 750 people, said the city council has not yet decided how it will proceed. The mayor only notified the council last week, she said.

They have placed an advertisement for a new chief however, Miller said today.

Mossyrock Mayor Tom Meade said at the end of June he had full confidence in his chief, even though the chief’s wife had secured a protection order against her husband a month earlier.

Four days after the temporary order was put into place by the court for a year, Stamper’s wife Shannon Stamper filed a request for it to be withdrawn. It was terminated on July 1.

Miller said the chief’s last day was July 6, and he had given his two week notice more than two weeks before that.

He’s moving out of the state, she said.  He was hired by the city in 2003.

Jeremy Stamper didn’t return a phone call seeking comment.
•••

For background, read:

• “Mossyrock police chief’s wife cancels protection order” from Monday July 1, 2013, here

• “Mossyrock police chief contesting protection order” from Friday June 28, 2013, here

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News brief: Police surround Centralia home after husband carries gun into wife’s bedroom

Monday, July 15, 2013 at 6:36 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CENTRALIA – Some neighbors were evacuated and others asked to stay in their homes during a gun scare incident today at a house in a Centralia retirement community.

It ended with a man in his 70s dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound and his wife taken to the hospital for a precautionary examination, according to police.

Officers were called about 12:40 p.m. to Stillwaters Estates near Providence Centralia Hospital where a caregiver stepped out of the house to call 911 after the man made a statement about a gun and walked into his wife’s bedroom with a rifle, according to police.

Centralia Police Department spokesperson Officer John Panco said in a news release the man had possibly made threats to harm his wife.

Because of the weapon, SWAT team members were called in and officers made repeated but unsuccessful attempts to contact the couple, Panco said.

Finally, around 3 p.m., officers entered the home on the 100 block of Hawthorne Lane and found the man dead, Panco said. The wife was not shot or harmed, according to Panco.

Panco said he did not know which of the couple was under the care of a caregiver. He said he did not know why the man would have killed himself.

Police didn’t heard the gunshot, Panco said.

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News brief: Sheriff’s office looking into Winlock area death

Monday, July 15, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Updated

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The death of a 62-year-old man found in a barn in the Winlock area yesterday is under investigation.

It appears to have been an accident, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said the sheriff’s office found him about 4 p.m.

The barn with cattle in it at the 300 block of Meier Road belongs to the deceased, according to Brown.

Brown said the death does not appear suspicious, nor do they suspect any foul play. The sheriff’s office is waiting for an autopsy to confirm what they think occurred, she said.

Update: Kenneth Crocker, a former mayor of Winlock, apparently died from a heart related situation.

Brown said it initially appeared he may have struck his head while loading up some cattle. Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod said the cause of death is cardiac dysrhythmia.

Crocker served the city of Winlock for more than a decade, beginning in 1982 with two terms as a council member and then as the elected mayor until the end of 1993, according to City Clerk Tedi Curry.