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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Updated at 8:14 p.m.

TWEEKING WITH A TORCH

• A 35-year-old man was jailed last night for trespass after he, reportedly high on meth, went to his cousin’s Onalaska property waving around a burning torch saying the flame was from heaven and he needed to deliver it to their grandmother. The grandmother is dead, according to the 30-year-old woman from the 200 block of Burchett Road who called 911, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning. Lance J. Myhre was found around 10:30 p.m. on timber property in the area owned by his father and arrested for second-degree trespassing, according to the sheriff’s office. Myhre is from Onalaska but currently homeless, according to the sheriff’s office.

SUSPECT IN DV UNLAWFUL IMPRISONMENT PICKED UP

• Police arrested a 27-year-old man this morning at a Centralia residence on Johnson Road who was wanted for an incident two weeks ago in which he allegedly went into his ex-girlfriend’s home – who had a no contact order against him – roughed her up and held her against her will all night long. He also allegedly took her cell phone when he left on Feb. 20, according to the Centralia Police Department. Officers recognized Manuel Arceo-Garcia when they went to another Johnson Road residence this morning on an another matter and took him into custody, Sgt. Stacy Denham said. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree robbery (regarding the phone) and unlawful imprisonment, Denham said.

FRAUD

• A Centralia resident in his 20s reported to police yesterday he lost his wallet and discovered someone used his debit card to purchase DVDs or similar items, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 42-year-old man from Algona notified Centralia police yesterday morning someone used his credit card at the 1200 block of Mellen Street.

LEWIS COUNTY FILES CHARGES ALLEGING MORE THAN $14,000 IN IDENTITY THEFT CASE

• The 37-year-old man wanted in Lewis and Cowlitz counties who was found cold, tired and too weary to walk out of the woods near Kelso last week has been charged with using another man’s identity to rack up more than $14,000 in spending at three businesses in Chehalis. Charles R. Reece was picked up by Cowlitz County deputies late at night a week ago Monday after a resident reported hearing someone hollering for help, according to the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office. He said his name was Jonathan Benson, but deputies concluded by his tattoos he was Reece, according to authorities. The Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office on Friday filed charges including nine counts of forgery, identity theft and theft against Reece, in connection with allegedly using the name of Gregory Gaertner to get get credit – and then spending thousands of dollars – in January at Home Depot, Sears and Chehalis Rentals, according to charging documents. He was treated for minor injuries from being lost in the woods and then booked into jail for his outstanding warrants, according to the sheriff’s office.

OTHER THEFT

• Centralia police are looking for a 27-year-old homeless man they say stole shoes from the Nike store at the 100 block of West High Street yesterday. Sgt. Stacy Denham said Christopher D. Buck is wanted for a burglary as well.

• Gym bag containing identification and cell phone was stolen while a female was working out at the the 2000 block of Borst Avenue, according to a report made to the Centralia Police Department about 4:40 p.m. yesterday.

• Police were called about 9:45 a.m. yesterday to the 200 block of Railroad Avenue in Centralia to take a report of a stolen large chain and binder from a “lowboy” utility trailer.

NOT A THEFT

• The gold wedding band reported missing from one of the Lewis County coroner’s deceased individuals in January turned out not to be stolen at all, just somewhat lost. The county sent a check last week to reimburse the wife of the man who was wearing the ring when he was brought to the Chehalis facility for a planned autopsy, according to Paulette Young, who handles claims against the county. The ring was not returned to her, so she filed a report with police. The man’s hands were never “unbagged” so the ring went with him when he was cremated, Young said today.

AND MORE …

• And, as usual, calls such as report of a bike stolen in Centralia, a bike found in Chehalis, misdemeanor vandalism, responding to an accidental trip of an alarm, questions about vehicles parked where they shouldn’t be, fender benders and complaints about children – playing in the road, on the roof of a car, and shooting a pellet gun …

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News brief: One convicted, but case of Chehalis bar fight with two women, brass knuckles and knife may not be over

Monday, March 4, 2013 at 7:55 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Whether the victim of a stabbing who allegedly initiated a fight using brass knuckles last month outside a Chehalis bar will face criminal charges for her role remains to be seen.

Ashley Stewart, 22, suffered numerous knife wounds at the hands of now-24-year-old Lena A. Castillo.

Castillo pleaded guilty last week in Lewis County Superior Court to second-degree assault, following a deal in which prosecutors said she had a self defense claim. She was sentenced to six months in jail.

Prosecutors said Stewart started the short brawl, approaching Castillo and striking her twice outside Garbe’s bar on Northwest Chehalis Avenue. She admitted she used a pair of brass knuckles, Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead said when Castillo was sentenced.

Brass knuckles are illegal to possess.

Halstead said possession is a misdemeanor but assault with a dangerous weapon could be second-degree assault as well.

Prosecutors are looking into it, Halstead said.

“Now that that case is over, we just have to look at other angles,” he said.

Chehalis police called it mutual combat after they were called on Jan. 12 to the scene and arrested Castillo.

Authorities said the disagreement was related to a male the Centralia women both previously had a relationship with.
•••

For background, read “No trial for Chehalis bar fight that included knife, brass knuckles, two women” from Wednesday February 27, 2013, here

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News brief: Trial for Lewis County museum embezzlement case may be unnecessary

Monday, March 4, 2013 at 7:18 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Instead of a trial as expected this week for the former director of the Lewis County Historical Museum arrested after the discovery the endowment fund of more than $460,000 was drained, attorneys are attempting to work out a plea deal.

“We’re hoping we can resolve it by Thursday,” Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead said today.

Deborah Sue Knapp, 53, was charged with multiple counts of first-degree theft in December 2011.

Prosecutors alleged Knapp routinely issued herself extra pay through payroll draws and used the museum debit card for personal expenses.

She is scheduled to appear before a judge on Thursday when attorneys plan to either have a deal in place, or schedule a new trial date, Halstead said.

Knapp has pleaded not guilty and is free on an unsecured bond.

•••

For background, see “Prosecutor: Former museum director gave herself thousands of dollars in fraudulent payroll draws” from Friday December 30, 2011, here

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, March 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm

IMPROPERLY ASSEMBLED HANDGUN LED TO SELF-INFLICTED WOUND IN VADER

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said this morning the accidental gunshot wound in Vader on Friday as a 53-year-old man was attempting to remove a slide from his handgun occurred because the Ruger 40 caliber pistol was improperly assembled. The father had the muzzle in his left hand and the slide and barrel would not come off, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The bullet went through his hand and flying pieces of bone or wood struck his 12-year-old son, leaving the boy with minor injuries to his arm and abdomen, Brown said. The father was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with what the sheriff’s office said on Friday were not life threatening injuries.

SUV STOLEN

• Chehalis police were called about 9:30 p.m. on Saturday regarding a tan colored Yukon SUV that disappeared from the the park and ride lot on West Main Street sometime after about 9 a.m. It has a license plate reading 938 ZZZ, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

FIGHT BREAKS UP BEFORE POLICE ARRIVE

• Chehalis police were called about 1 a.m. on Saturday when a caller said as many as 10 people were fighting outside Garbe’s Bar on the 300 block of Northwest Chehalis Avenue. When the officer arrived, there was no fight going on and nobody was arrested, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

ASSAULT AT JUVENILE FACILITY

• Chehalis police were notified about 6:30 a.m. today of an alleged assault at Green Hill School. The victim decided they did not want police to pursue it, according to police.

THEFT OF MONEY

• Police took a report yesterday afternoon regarding the theft of an unspecified amount of money at the 1300 block of View Avenue in which a family member is a suspect, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police took a report of the theft of what was described as a small amount of money yesterday from the 1000 block of Eckerson Road in Centralia.

• Centralia police were called about 7:30 p.m. yesterday when a business on the 800 block of Harrison Avenue found a counterfeit $20 bill while counting their till.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Snacks and a radio were missing after a vehicle prowl on the 500 block of Woodland Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 6:30 p.m. yesterday.

• Chehalis police were called on Sunday morning by an individual who said while he was inside Sunbird Shopping Center on North National Avenue for about a half an hour, someone got into his vehicle and made off with binoculars, rolled quarters, small tools and other items.

WRECK

• A 17-year-old driver was reportedly uninjured when he ran off the road, rolled his vehicle and collided with a tree on Friday morning west of Winlock. A deputy called about 9:45 a.m. to milepost 8.3 on King Road cited the Chehalis teen for speeds too fast, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

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News brief: Centralia taggers caught red (and black) handed

Monday, March 4, 2013 at 10:39 am

Updated at 3:07 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Centralia police caught a pair of teenagers overnight believed to responsible for a spree of leaving gang-style graffiti on well over 20 businesses and other buildings around town.

An officer passing by a vacant building on South Tower Avenue saw spray painting that hadn’t been there just a few minutes prior, Sgt. Stacy Denham said. The paint was wet, he said.

Two males from Centralia, an 18-year-old and a 15-year-old, were subsequently located and detained.

Denham said they had paint on their hands, red, black and he believed also gold.

Edgar Ramirez-Dado was arrested for second-degree malicious mischief and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department. However, later today he was released without charges pending further investigation.

The case involving his juvenile companion was referred to prosecutors for charging.

Police say there is a third suspect, known to them, still outstanding. The investigation is continuing today, Denham, said.

A little more than a week ago, police arrested two other young men for allegedly spray painting over existing gang graffiti, one of whom said he did it because he hates gangs, because they give the city a bad name.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 11:38 am

DRUG DEAL RIP OFF

• A 20-year-old man called Centralia police on Friday night to say he was robbed, that someone assaulted him and stole $140 from him. When it was all said and done, it turned out he wasn’t assaulted but apparently did lose $10 to a person he was trying to buy marijuana from according to police. Exactly what happened and where wasn’t clear since the victim wasn’t being truthful, according to Sgt. Stacy Denham. He couldn’t remember the name of the seller, so that person probably won’t be pursued, Denham said.

BREAK-IN CENTRALIA

• Police were called about 2 p.m. yesterday when the back door of a home on the 900 block of Woodland Avenue in Centralia was found kicked in. Nothing appeared to have been taken, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police took a report yesterday evening that someone entered a vacant residence on the 500 block of Hunt Street and stole two drills, sometime during the previous month.

MISSING TRAILER

• Someone stole a black utility trailer from the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 9 a.m. yesterday.

MISSING ICE MACHINE

• Centralia police took a report about scrap ice machine stolen from behind a business on the 700 block of North Tower Avenue on Friday afternoon.

MISSING BACKPACK

• Someone stole a backpack containing a laptop computer and clothing from the 100 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 8 p.m. on Friday.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police were called about 11:30 a.m. yesterday to the 300 block of West Pine Street where a vehicle had been tagged with spray paint. There is a suspect who lives out of town, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Someone painted a yellow swastika onto a vacant building on the 300 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday morning.

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News brief: Mass cash and drugs seized in Centralia

Friday, March 1, 2013 at 2:11 pm
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Courtesy photo by Centralia Police Department

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Centralia police seized pounds of methamphetamine and bundles of cash yesterday morning when they made two traffic stops around 9:40 a.m., one in town and the other north of Centralia on Old Highway 99 in south Thurston County.

Two local men were arrested.

Members of the Centralia Police Department Anti Crime team were working with drug detectives from the Tacoma area, according to Officer John Panco.

Both vehicles were impounded.

In the door panels of a silver Toyota FJ Cruiser, police found more than $110,000 in currency, according to Panco. In the Ford Explorer, a plastic bag containing numerous pounds of meth was discovered, Panco said.

Arrested were Ascencion Ortega Garcia, 34 of Centralia, and Venacio Bastian Tolentino, 37 of Rochester, according to the Centralia Police Department. Both are citizens of Mexico, according to Panco.

The arrests grew out of an ongoing investigation, according to police.

Panco said he understood the men were booked into the Thurston County Jail.

Panco said police are not releasing any more details at this time.

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Courtesy photo by Centralia Police Department

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Breaking news: Gunshot injury in south Lewis County

Friday, March 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Updated at 1:19 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 53-year-old man is being airlifted after a gunshot accident during target practice with his 12-year-old son near Vader.

Deputies were called shortly after 12:30 p.m. to the 200 block of Telegraph Road.

“They had some sort of problem with the gun and were trying to fix it when the man was shot in the hand,” Cmdr. Steve Aust said. “It was a ‘through and through’.”

The boy was standing nearby when it happened and got some scrapes, possibly from getting hit with bone fragments from his father, Aust said.

Aust said the hand injury itself is not life threatening, but there were concerns about the amount of blood loss.

Just two days ago, a 40-year-old man accidentally fired a 9 mm bullet through his hand and into his wife’s thigh outside a shopping center in Chehalis.

Police said the Rochester resident had just purchased a new holster and was putting his gun inside it in the parking lot at Sunbird Shopping Center.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, March 1, 2013 at 11:27 am

Updated at 6:50 p.m.

WARRANT SEARCH TURNS UP MISSING COMPUTER

• A 34-year-old Centralia woman was jailed after police served a search warrant yesterday at her home on the 400 block of South Silver Street. According to Centralia police, they found a stolen laptop computer and methamphetamine. Maria E. Zuniga was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

PROWLER JAILED

• Police arrested a 50-year-old Centralia man for vehicle prowl and a warrant following contact with him about 5:45 p.m. yesterday at the 100 block of West Street in Centralia. Alan R. Moody was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

POLICE: REPEAT OFFENDER

• A 23-year-old man arrested overnight for stealing a car in Chehalis told police he’d just gotten out of prison for vehicle theft, according to police. Officers saw a car go into a parking lot at Ace Hardware on the 700 block of South Market Boulevard around 2:15 a.m., at about the same time they learned the 1991 Mazda 626 had been stolen from the 1500 block of National Avenue, according to the Chehalis Police Department. They contacted a man walking away and arrested him. Kevin C. Huey, of Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to Officer Linda Bailey.

BURGLARY WINLOCK AREA

• A deputy took a report yesterday of a burglary at the 500 block of Winlock-Vader Road in which several pieces of antique jewelry were stolen as well as a Honda 2000-watt generator. The theft occurred during the daytime on Monday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is estimated at $2,300, according to the sheriff’s office.

DRUGS MISSING

• Pain medications were reported stolen yesterday from the 900 block of South Schueber Road, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called just before 4 p.m. yesterday by an individual who said her pain meds were stolen, although she wasn’t certain where from. The case is being referred for further investigation.

FRAUD

• Centralia police were called about 4:15 p.m. yesterday to the 200 block of Tilley Road where an individual said they learned from their bank that two other people are using their social security number. The matter is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

PORCH THEFT

• Chehalis police were called late yesterday afternoon about a FedEx package believed to have been delivered that morning to Northeast Boistfort Street that was gone by the time the expected recipient got home.

MISSING MUSICAL INSTRUMENT

• A trombone accidentally left at the train station in Centralia was nowhere to be found when its owner returned yesterday afternoon to check, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AIRPORT PROWLER

• Morton police say they are investigating if any items are missing after a call last week about someone possibly rummaging through open hangers at the airport.

OVERTURNED BOAT ON MAYFIELD LAKE

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a man in his 40s for boating under the influence after he and his passenger were retrieved from Mayfield Lake this afternoon. A deputy responding just after 3 p.m. to a call about an overturned boat learned that a passersby helped rescue the pair in the area of Ike Kinswa park, according to the sheriff’s office. Timothy L. Smith, the boat’s operator who is from Renton, said his 44-year-old passenger was on the bow of the boat urinating and when he moved, it shook the boat so much he tumbled into the water, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. Then Smith tried to pull him out, flipping the craft, Brown said. Both were hospitalized for hypothermia or possible hypothermia, according to the sheriff’s office.

WOMAN SAYS SHE LOST TODDLER

• An employee at K-Mart in Chehalis contacted police about 7:20 p.m. yesterday to let them know they’d gotten a phone call from a woman who said she forgotten her 3-year-old child at the store earlier. A search of the premises didn’t turn up any unattended children, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Further details were not readily available.

DISORDERLY TRIO

• Chehalis police responded to a complaint about 12:20 a.m. today that three males were sitting at the bus stop on North Market Boulevard with drinks in their hands and were spitting and peeing everywhere. No arrests were made.

WRECK

• A Rochester man was one of two people injured when his car was rear ended by a motor home and shoved into a semi truck on southbound Interstate 5 yesterday near Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Troopers called about 1:25 p.m. to the scene reported Jason L. Miller, 33, of Rochester, was driving a Chevrolet Cavalier that was impounded when he was transported to St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood. He was treated and has been released, according to a hospital spokesperson. The cause of the collision remains under investigation, according to the Washington  State Patrol.

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Read about March trial set in Lewis County for man charged in attack at Montesano courthouse …

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Aberdeen) Daily World reports the trial will be held in Lewis County for Steven Daniel Kravetz, accused of shooting a deputy and stabbing a judge in the Grays Harbor County courthouse last March.

News reporter Brionna Friedrich writes defense attorney David Arcuri told Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey yesterday he will argue his client has diminished capacity in a trial scheduled for March 25.

Read about it here

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News brief: Sawmill fire extinguished in Centralia

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 12:56 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Firefighters spent three hours this morning dousing smoldering sawdust at a Centralia mill.

Crews responded about 8:50 a.m. to a fire alarm at Sierra Pacific in the Port of Centralia’s industrial park on Kuper Road, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

“We ended up having a fire in  the bag house, where all the sawdust from the mill goes,” Fire Capt. Greg Schwartz said.

A pair of employees were already using an on-site hydrant and spraying water on the structure, he said. Schwartz described the bag house, or hopper, as a very large metal container outside the main building.

“It was one of these long, drawn out procedures to get it cooled down to be able to access the panels,” Schwartz said.

With workers’ assistance, firefighters were able get the panels open to hose down the contents of the hopper, he said.

Nobody was injured.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 12:15 pm

TRASH BAG BANDIT STRIKES AT RALPH LAUREN

• Centralia police were called abut 11:10 a.m. yesterday to the Centralia Outlet Mall on the 1400 block of Lum Road after a male filled a garbage bag with about 60 pieces of clothing from the Ralph Lauren store and ran out the door. He waited until nobody was looking, but images were captured on security video, Sgt. Carl Buster said. It was mostly packaged shirts, according to Buster.

GIRL THUGS

• Three strangers who knocked on a woman’s door on the 900 block of K Street in Centralia accusing her of owing money broke a window out of her car as they left yesterday afternoon, according to police. An officer called about 4:15 p.m. was told one of the women was an adult and the other females were younger, according to police. Sgt. Carl Buster said one of them told her she owed her mom $100. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT

• Police were called about 5:20 p.m. yesterday about welding tools and a cell phone missing from the 200 block of Silver Street in Centralia. The suspect is possibly someone she knows, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police a report about 8:50 p.m. yesterday of the theft of money and medication from the 1200 block of Alder Street.

DRUGS

• An 18-year-old Centralia resident was cited yesterday for possession of marijuana after police contacted him about 3:45 p.m. at Pioneer Way and Johnson Road in Centralia. John J. Piper was then released, according to police.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police took reports of several vehicles getting “egged” yesterday morning on Northeast Adams Avenue and then later in the day on Southwest Fifth Street.

• A deputy was called yesterday to Claquato Cemetery on the 100 block of Stearns Road west of Chehalis where sometime since Tuesday a vehicle apparently left the roadway and ran down about 12 feet of hedge.

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No trial for Chehalis bar fight that included knife, brass knuckles, two women

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 8:14 pm
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Lena A. Castillo pleads guilty to a lesser charge today in connection with stabbing another woman outside a Chehalis bar.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The 24-year-old Centralia woman who pulled out a knife after she was assaulted by another bar patron last month accepted a plea deal in which she will spend six months in jail.

Lena A. Castillo was charged with first-degree assault after the January 12 fight outside Garbe’s in Chehalis; the 22-year-old victim was treated for six stab wounds.

But today in Lewis County Superior Court, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead said second-degree assault was the more appropriate charge.

“Had this gone to trial, she would have had a self defense claim,” Halstead told the judge.

Halstead said surveillance video shows Ashley Stewart was the primary aggressor, that she approached Castillo, she struck Castillo twice and then they “basically grabbed each other by the hair.” The fight didn’t last very long, Halstead said.

Stewart admitted she picked up a pair of brass knuckles she found sitting on a table and then used them in the short brawl, according to Halstead.

The end of the video showed the victim on the ground, on her back with Castillo on top of her continuing to stab her, he said.

“We all know you can’t bring a gun or a knife to a fist fight,” Halstead said.

Defense attorney Michael Underwood called it a “sucker punch” and said it galled him Stewart could claim to be the victim.

His client just reacted, Underwood said. Her head was pulled down and she was hit from behind, he said.

However, had she gone to trial and lost, she faced as long as 10 years in prison, he said.

“I think, from her perspective, she’d say I’d like to go to trial, but you’ve got a 2-year-old child and a 4-year-old child who would teenagers when she got out,” Underwood said.

Castillo pleaded guilty this afternoon to second-degree assault. She chose not to address the court when the judge inquired.

She didn’t know brass knuckles were used, according to her lawyer. Halstead said she suffered a scratch to the back of her neck, although police previously said she suffered some bruising on her head.

Brass knuckles are illegal to possess. The knife was described as a small lighter-knife combination with a double-edged blade.

Stewart was treated for four stab wounds to her stomach and one to each leg and was expected to make a full recovery.

Stewart told police she’d been jumped previously by Castillo and other women; the disagreement was related to a male they both previously had a relationship with, according to Halstead.

Because Castillo has no prior felonies, the standard sentence under state law has to be between three and nine months.

Both attorneys asked Judge James Lawler to give her six months.

“It’s one thing to react to getting punched,” Lawler said. “It’s another to pull a knife out and start sticking somebody.”

And then he agreed to sentence Castillo to six months in jail, with credit for 46 days already served.

Lawler ordered her to pay about $2,400 in fees, get one year of so-called community custody upon her release and have no contact with Stewart for 10 years.
•••

For background, read:

• “Centralia woman charged in bar fight stabbing” from Monday January 14, 2013 at 9:47 p.m., here