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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.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 3:04 pm

DRUGS

• A 65-year-old Oakville man was arrested outside Wal-Mart in Chehalis overnight for a warrant and possession of methamphetamine. It was about 12:40 a.m. and an officer recognized Gerald Cayenne, according to the Chehalis Police Department. He was taken to the hospital to be cleared for apparent intoxication and then booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

• Police arrested a 50-year-old Centralia man for warrants and also alleged possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute yesterday afternoon in connection with an address on the 1700 block of Harrison Avenue. The suspect was booked into the Lewis County Jail after contact with officers about 2:30 p.m., however, prosecutors declined to file charges. Further details were not readily available.

• A 14-year-old girl was arrested for alleged possession of marijuana and misdemeanor assault yesterday afternoon after contact with police at the 1500 block of South Gold Street in Centralia. She was booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A case involving a 14-year-old boy contacted at the 900 block of Johnson Road in Centralia yesterday afternoon will be referred for potential charges of possession of marijuana and prescription pills, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Police were called yesterday morning to the 1700 block of North National Avenue in Chehalis regarding a passenger window broken out a freight truck at the Sunbirds Shopping Center.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants; responses for alarms, misdemeanor  theft, suspicious circumstances, other collisions such as sliding on ice into a ditch and tree, possible chicken neglect … and more.

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Driver pinned beneath vehicle in rollover wreck off Interstate 5

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 1:02 pm
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Firefighters used a type of high-pressure air bag to lift a 2000 Dodge Neon off of its driver. / Courtesy photo Lewis County Fire District 2

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Centralia man was hospitalized this morning after his car flew off of Interstate 5 near Vader, tumbling across a frontage road and landing on top of him.

It appeared Marco Ortiz-Garcia was ejected through the sun roof of his Dodge Neon, responders said, but it came to rest with its wheels down.

“The driver was talking to us from underneath the car,” Lewis County Fire District 2 Chief Grant Wiltbank said. “He was pinned, but not being crushed.”

Troopers and aid were called about 6:40 a.m. to the scene just north of the Gee Cees Truck Stop. The car had been traveling southbound and spun out before running down an embankment to the west, through a fence and stopping on the other side of Foster Creek Road, according to responders.

He was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital to be treated, Wiltbank said.

The car was totaled. The wreck was blamed on speed. Ortiz-Garcia, 27, was cited for second-degree negligent driving, according to the Washington State Patrol.

“He was very lucky; my goodness he was lucky,” Wiltbank said. “Somebody who goes through that kind of a crash normally does not walk away.”

About an hour later, a pickup truck hit a patch of ice about a quarter mile south of there and rolled, landing on its side, according to Wiltbank.

That driver was extricated after firefighters cut out the windshield, and suffered mostly bumps and bruises, Wiltbank said. He declined to got to the hospital.

Lewis County Fire District 6 was called later this morning to a rollover accident on Jackson Highway near Marys Corner. The driver was treated and released at the scene, according to Chief Tim Kinder.

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Mass amount of meth, heroin located at Chehalis area residence, four arrested

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 11:35 am
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One gallon freezer bag containing methamphetamine is among drugs confiscated yesterday outside Chehalis. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Updated at 1:07 p.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Law enforcement officers seized more than $200,000 worth of drugs yesterday from a house south of Chehalis, arresting four individuals.

The raid about 12:30 p.m. at a house on the 2500 block of Jackson Highway yielded both brown powdered heroin and methamphetamine, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

A one-gallon freezer bag which was located was nearly filled with chards of meth some as long as a Sharpie felt pen.

“Those are the biggest crystals I’ve ever seen in my career,” sheriff’s Chief Criminal Deputy Gene Seiber said.

The more than two and half pounds of meth is estimated to have a street value of some $200,000. Nearly 150 grams of heroin discovered inside the home is valued at almost $12,000, according to the sherif’s office.

The Lewis County Regional Crime Task Force and the sheriff’s office SWAT team assisted the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force in serving the search warrant.

Lewis County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Rob Snaza praised the partnership between agencies as being vital to getting drugs off the streets.

“”We recovered a large amount of meth and heroin (yesterday) which made a positive difference in our community,” Snaza said in a news release this morning.

Arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for possession with intent to deliver were:

• Randall D.  Mauel, 42, of Chehalis
• Ryan G. Mauel, 37, of Chehalis
• Jonathan R. Stajduhar, 34, Chehalis
• Tesa M. Hanks, 34, of Centralia

Hanks and Stajduhar are to be released without charges pending further investigation.

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Brown powdered heroin located at Chehalis area residence. / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, December 9, 2013 at 7:04 pm

KID PORN ARREST

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports a 33-year-old Toledo area resident was arrested for possession of child pornography. Sgt. Rob Snaza said this morning a deputy responded on Friday evening to the 200 block of Boone Road where a woman had said she suspected Henry R. Holsinger had such material, the sheriff’s office got a search warrant for a computer leading to Holsinger’s arrest. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail on Friday, according to the sheriff’s office. Snaza said the images apparently were circulating on the Internet.

GRAND MOUND ROBBERY SUSPECT LOCATED

• A 20-year-old Montesano woman was arrested today for the robbery last week of a clerk at the AM/PM store in Grand Mound. Deputies responding on Wednesday night to the store on the corner of U.S. Highway 12 and Old Highway 99 were told the pony-tailed female with a multi-colored scarf over her face told the clerk to hand over cash or be shot. Sheena Gillham was booked into the Thurston County Jail today for first-degree robbery, according to Thurston County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Ken Clark.

RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning someone broke into a home on the 800 block of Highway 603 west of Chehalis and stole more than $2,500 worth of jewelry sometime between 1:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Friday. A police dog was called after deputies responded about 9 p.m., but the case remains under investigation, according to the sheriff’s office.

• About $80 in loose change was reported missing from a home on the 2500 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy contacted on Friday was told the burglary happened sometime between Nov. 22 and Nov. 25, Sgt. Rob Snaza reported this morning.

BARN THEFT

• A deputy was called on Saturday to the 800 block of Jackson Highway South near Toledo regarding a theft from a barn. Among the scrap metal missing sometime from the night before was a transmission from a 1939 Chevrolet pickup truck and as much as 60 feet of aluminum wire, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Centralia police were called about 9 a.m. yesterday regarding a chainsaw missing from a trailer at the 800 block of South Tower Avenue.

• Chehalis police responded about 4 p.m. on Friday after a woman at the Lewis County Mall discovered a stranger sitting in her car rifling through the glove compartment. The victim said she had parked outside the Sears package pickup are and was only going in for a moment and when she returned, the dark-haired man wearing a knit beanie cap was in her driver’s seat, according to the Chehalis Police Department. He reportedly casually got out and walked towards Yard Birds, police said. The man was not located and the only item missing was an insurance card, Officer Linda Bailey said.

CHIMNEY FIRES

• Firefighters were called to chimney fires today on N Street in Centralia and on the 100 block of Centralia-Alpha Road southeast of Centralia. Neither turned out bad but the incidents follow an early Sunday morning blaze in which a family of five south of Napavine lost their house and everything inside it when a fire started next to a chimney. The cause of that fire is under investigation, but it prompted a fire investigator to emphasize just how important it is to make sure chimneys are in good working condition and cleaned regularly. In both of today’s incidents, it took just a little bit of spray or steam to finish putting out the fires inside the fireplaces.

COLLISIONS

• A 25-year-old pedestrian was struck by a vehicle about 8:15 p.m. yesterday at West Plum and South Pearl streets in Centralia but the injuries were such the man was treated at the hospital and then subsequently booked into the Lewis County Jail, Centralia police reported this morning. Arriving officers discovered Daniel J. Alvarado was wanted on a warrant, and found he was in possession of suspected methamphetamine, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Two women were hospitalized after one of them lost control on the ice and crossed into the oncoming lane on U.S. Highway 12 about seven miles west of Morton today. Troopers called about 10:10 a.m. report that Bambi L. Church, 36, of Silver Creek, and Amanda A. Meekhof, 50, of Packwood, were both transported to Morton General Hospital. Church’s Dodge Dakota pickup and Meekhof’s Toyota Rav4 were both towed from the scene, according to the Washington State Patrol. Church was cited for going too fast for conditions, according to the state patrol.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, driving drunk, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarms, shoplifting, suspicious circumstances, other collisions, citation issued to a motorist who allegedly shined a flashlight into the windshield of a patrol vehicle traveling behind him on U.S. Highway 12 in the dark … and more.

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Sheriff’s office: Ryderwood resident shot by roommate

Monday, December 9, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Updated at 3:24 p.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 69-year-old man who drove himself to a Vader restaurant after sustaining a gunshot wound to his abdomen is recovering at a Tacoma hospital.

His 43-year-old female roommate has been arrested for first-degree assault.

The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded about 4:40 a.m. to a Ryderwood home after receiving 911 calls from both John Stiller and Linda Cochran.

He said his roommate shot him and he was trying to get out of the house; she said she had just shot somebody inside her house, according to the sheriff’s office.

Stiller was able to leave, get into his vehicle and drive himself to the Little Crane Cafe in Vader where he was met by aid and a deputy, according to responders.

He was airlifted to Tacoma General Hospital where underwent surgery, the sheriff’s office reported this afternoon. The (Longview) Daily News reports the sheriff said the injuries did not appear to be life threatening.

The sheriff’s office stated Cochran stayed on the line with the 911 dispatcher who advised deputies the woman continued to shoot randomly; however Cochran was talked out of of the residence and taken in to custody without incident, according a news release from the sheriff’s office.

It’s unknown why she shot him, but appears she may be dealing with some mental issues, the sheriff’s office said.

Stiller was shot with a hunting rifle believed to be owned by Cochran, the sheriff’s office said.

He is sedated but will remain in the hospital during this initial recovery stage, the sheriff’s office reported this afternoon.

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House fires break out in Napavine, Littlerock

Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Napavine area family lost everything in a house fire this morning, except their lives.

Crews called about 5 a.m. to the 300 block of Raubuck Road found fire in the front room of the two-story house and extinguished it, according to Fire Investigator Derrick Paul.

Two adults and four children escaped safely, according to Paul.

“There were working smoke detectors throughout the house, that’s what woke the parents up,” Paul said. “The fact is smoke detectors quite possibly saved the lives of all those kids.”

A pet dog was evacuated as well, according to Lewis County Fire District 5. The parents were treated at the scene for minor smoke inhalation, according to Paul.

Five fire departments battled the blaze, according to District 5.

Paul said the the fire damage was confined to the front room, although the rest of the house sustained heavy smoke damage.

It appeared the blaze began next to the chimney, Paul said. A fire had been left burning overnight in a fireplace insert, their only source of heat, he said.

After everyone had cleared the scene, part of the family returned and called 911 about 9:45 a.m. when they saw smoke, according to Paul.

“This time there was fire throughout the residence,” he said. “Basically, it burned to the ground.”

It’s undetermined what caused the second fire, but it’s a possibility an unextinguished ember flared up, Paul said.

“That sort of stuff does happen, nobody wants it to happen, we try real hard to make sure it doesn’t happen,” he said.

Paul said the Red Cross is assisting.

He also noted he wanted to emphasize that especially this time of year when the cold weather has more folks burning in fireplaces, that chimneys should be checked.

Earlier this morning, multiple occupants of a two-story house southwest of Littlerock escaped another house fire.

Crews were called about 3:40 a.m. to the 13900 block of Vue Street Southwest, according to West Thurston Fire Authority.

While there were smoke detectors, an overnight guest was awakened to smoke before they went off and found fire in the laundry room, Chief Robert Scott said.

Five fire departments responded to assist. Flames had extended into the roof in one area, the attic space of the second floor and over the garage, according to Scott.

The home was left with smoke and soot damage to most of the second floor, Scott said.

In that case, one male was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and a minor burn to his hand, Scott said. Five or six people escaped the fire, he said

The cause is under investigation.

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A house in the Bordeaux area southwest of Littlerock caught fire this morning. / Courtesy photo by Robert Scott

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 8:05 am

SUSPICIOUS FIRE NEAR ETHEL

• Firefighters were called about 3:30 a.m. today when a car parked at a residence on the 200 block of Larmon Road caught fire. It was fully involved when crews arrived; they extinguished it, according to Lewis County Fire District 5. Assistant Chief Jeff Lee said the vehicle had apparently been sitting for awhile unused. The cause is under investigation, Lee said.

WARRANT ARREST

• Police responded overnight to the area off the 1200 block of Rush Road near Napavine after an individual ran from a traffic stop. Centralia’s police dog Lobo was summoned around 1 a.m. and after a short track, captured 32-year-old Raymond D. Faure with his teeth, according to the Centralia Police Department. Faure was wanted on at least one warrant from Centralia, according to police. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

BURGLARY

• Centralia police were called about 6 p.m. yesterday regarding someone breaking into a garage at the 400 block of West Magnolia Street.

WRECKS

• Centralia police responded to five non-injury collisions before noon yesterday, all related to traveling too fast in the snow, according to the Centralia Police Department. Sgt. Kurt Reichert said there was about a half inch of snow in town that had iced over.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, December 6, 2013 at 11:09 am

OOPS

• A 53-year-old Rainier woman was arrested overnight when she returned after a disagreement to property on the 1600 block of Big Hanaford Road outside Centralia, found the gate closed and locked and drove her Mercedes Benz through it, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff’s Sgt. Rob Snaza said Tammie M. Frost previously owned the property and thought she still had rights to it. It happened about 12:30 a.m., Snaza said. Frost was booked into the Lewis County Jail for hit and run, third-degree malicious mischief and second-degree trespass, according to the sheriff’s office.

THEFT

• Centralia police were called about 10 a.m. yesterday to the 800 block of North Tower Avenue regarding someone going into a fenced area and stealing a winch for a vehicle.

• Centralia police were called just after 3 p.m. yesterday to the 1300 block of Alexander Street to take a report of stolen medications.

DISORDERLINESS

• A 60-year-old homeless person was arrested and jailed yesterday evening for allegedly aggressively pan handling, getting into traffic and yelling at passersby near the 1000 block of Harrison Avenue. Danny L. Howard was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VEHICLE ACCIDENTS

• A 48-year-old log truck driver from Kelso was unhurt but issued a citation yesterday morning when at a corner on the 500 block of Twin Oaks Road west of Chehalis his trailer flipped onto its side emptying its load. Jeffrey Jacobs said the trailer went into the ditch and he tried to pull it out by accelerating but that didn’t work, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Rob Snaza said. It happened about 7 a.m. The road was closed for a time and Jacobs was cited for speeds too fast for conditions, according to Snaza.

• Firefighters were called about 1:30 p.m. yesterday to a vehicle burning on Interstate 5 northbound just south of the exit 88 interchange in Grand Mound. They extinguished the fire, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority. Nobody was hurt.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrant, shoplifting; responses for alarms, misdemeanor theft, dispute, someone using someone else’s social security number … and more.

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Remains of car near milepost 87 on Interstate 5. / Courtesy photo by Washington State Patrol

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Child assault charged in case of 4-year-old Winlock boy

Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 8:16 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Prosecutors yesterday filed two charges of second-degree child assault against the boyfriend of the mother of a 4-year-old boy who was brought to the hospital over the weekend with various injuries including bruises on the outsides of his legs he said he got from “knife hand” spankings.

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Ryon T. Connery

Ryon T. Connery, 31, was arrested after a deputy on Saturday spoke with the child and his grandparents at Providence Centralia Hospital and then his mother and Connery at the Winlock area home.

The boy had been brought to the emergency room to be looked at after he was dropped off at his great grandmother’s house that morning.

Connery went before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court on Monday, where he was ordered held on $75,000 bail and prosecutors were given two more days to file charges. At the time, the defense attorney said the boy was currently with his other parent.

He was brought before a judge again yesterday when the charges were filed.

The offense carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

According to charging documents, the boy said he got spanked because he had been breaking “house rules”, including stealing food.

The documents allege the following was learned by the investigating deputy:

The child explained the rug burn on his nose came from when he fell on his face trying to get away from a spanking, an abrasion on his face happened when Connery hit him on the leg and it knocked him over so that he struck his face on the floor.

The child’s mother admitted her son had been made to do wall squats, push ups and being sprayed by a hose at the same time and she knew he’d dropped a weight on his finger – which was broken. She told the deputy the scrapes on his face were from falling down.

But she denied the child was dunked in the outdoor pool and was not aware of the injuries on his chest and back.

When asked what his mother did while he was getting punished, the boy told the deputy she would just watch.

The youngster also had swollen ankle that appeared to have been burned or infected.

The sheriff’s office says the mother and Connery live near Winlock. A document in the court file indicates a Chehalis address for Connery.

The mother said she and Connery have been in a dating relationship about four months.

Connery is represented by Centralia lawyer David Arcuri.

His arraignment was scheduled for today.

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Unemployed man who robbed Chehalis bank says he’s sorry

Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 5:18 pm
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Jerrell S. Redmill , in orange, represented by attorney David Arcuri, faces a judge who accepted his remorsefulness for robbing Chase Bank.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The 54-year-old bank robber whose worst past crimes were mischief and disorderliness when he was in his early 20s apologized to the court yesterday and said he was truly ashamed.

Jerrell S. Redmill was in Lewis County Superior Court to be sentenced following a plea deal in connection with this past spring’s incident at Chase Bank in Chehalis. His wife, son and two grandchildren sat in the benches behind him as he spoke.

“Desperate or not, I’m responsible for what I did,” Jerrell S. Redmill.

The Kelso resident has been locked up in the Lewis County Jail since May 21, when after he handed a teller a note demanding cash, he got into his PT Cruiser and headed south on Interstate 5.

After he was pulled over by law enforcement officers who followed him into Cowlitz County, money was falling out of his shorts pockets, dropping onto the ground.

Centralia defense attorney David Arcuri appealed to the court to treat his client leniently, noting the crime was very desperate conduct out of a desperate situation related to injuries and being unable to work.

What Redmill did was clearly second-degree robbery, it just happened to take place at a bank which made it first-degree robbery, Arcuri said. Which is what Redmill pleaded guilty to.

The difference between the two in terms of penalty, would be a few months in the county jail or around three years in prison, according to the lawyer.

In Redmill’s case, he faced a sentence of something between 31 to 41 months of incarceration.

Judge James Lawler indicated to Redmill he didn’t doubt his sincerity.

“I’ve seen a lot of people come before me,” Lawler said. “I accept that you are one of the few that are truly remorseful.

“I will accept the deal and I will impose the low end of the range, 31 months.”

The little more than $1,000 the Kelso man gained from the robbery was recovered when he was arrested, on the ground outside his car and the rest on the driver’s side floor.

The same bank on South Market Boulevard was robbed in March of last year, by a pair of local men who got away briefly with less than $2,500 from Chase, moments after a failed attempt at the nearby Twin Star Credit Union – which keeps no cash in its drawers.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 1:23 pm

JEWELRY STOLEN

• Centralia police were called about 11:20 a.m. yesterday to a business on the 200 block of North Tower Avenue after a customer asked to see some jewelry and then walked out of the store with it, according to the Centralia Police Department. The subject was a male with red hair, according to police.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Centralia police responded about 3:45 a.m. today when a citizen on the 1000 block of Elm Street spotted someone breaking in to their neighbor’s car. Police say Robert L. Huey, 24, tried to run but was apprehended by officers. Huey, a Centralia resident, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for vehicle prowl and an outstanding warrant, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police took a report yesterday from the 1200 block of Marion Street in Centralia that someone had stolen unspecified items from a travel trailer sometime since Sunday.

CHEHALIS MAN IN HOT WATER

• A 20-year-old Chehalis resident is accused in recently filed court papers of stealing nearly $200,000  worth of expensive sink faucets from home improvement stores in Snohomish County, according to The (Everett) Herald. Joseph T. Littlefield is believed responsible for multiple thefts from various locations over time, according to Herald writer Scott North.

COLLISION

• A 75-year-old driver was uninjured but cited after he reportedly fell asleep, crossed over the centerline of Jackson Highway and struck a parked car. It happened about 9:30 a.m. yesterday on the 2100 block just south of Chehalis, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The front ends of both vehicles sustained major damage, Sgt. Rob Snaza said. Gary L. Griffin was issued a citation for second-degree negligent driving, according to Snaza.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, shoplift in which suspect allegedly opened a box of ice creams bars and put two of them down the front of his pants; responses for alarms, suspicious circumstances, disruptive customers, other misdemeanor thefts, dispute between housemates over the heater thermostat; complaint that ATM did not dispense the requested cash … and more.

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News brief: Littlerock taxidermy business burns

Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 10:11 am
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Firefighters extinguish a fire at a Littlerock business this morning. / Courtesy photo by Robert Scott

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A taxidermy shop in Littlerock went up in flames overnight and crews are on the scene investigating the cause.

The fire was well underway by the time neighbors woke up and called 911 about 4:30 a.m., according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority. Arriving firefighters found a fully involved structure fire, according to Chief Robert Scott.

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

The building is a total loss, he said. Scott said there are only two walls left standing from the medium-sized building. Nobody was hurt, he said.

Scott said he’s assuming there is a substantial loss of contents, but the owner is away and he has not yet spoke with him.

The blaze destroyed a pickup truck parked next to the business as well, according to Scott.

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News brief: Female thief threatens to shoot Grand Mound clerk

Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 9:04 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Deputies are looking for a pony-tailed woman who robbed the Grand Mound AM/PM store last night and fled south on Old Highway 99 in a dark-colored mid-sized sedan.

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 11:30 p.m., the woman entered the store and ordered the clerk to put all the money in a bag or the clerk would be shot. No gun was actually seen, but the clerk complied and the woman left on foot toward U.S. Highway 12 where she got into a car, according to Sgt. Ken Clark.

The woman used a multi-colored scarf to cover up her face, Clark said.

The store is at the intersection of U.S. Highway 12 and Old Highway 99, just west of Interstate 5.

The subject is described as a white female approximately 5-feet 7-inches tall and weighing 120 pounds, according to the sheriff’s office.

She wore her light-colored hair pulled up in a pony tail and a dark baseball cap with light trim and an unidentified emblem on its rim, according to Clark. She was wearing blue jeans, white shoes and a dark waist-length jacket.

The suspect vehicle is believed to be a black 2000 to 2004 model Chevrolet Impala with a spoiler attached to the trunk lid, according to the sheriff’s office.

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Alleged Lewis County Oxycodone dealer charged with organized crime

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 9:26 pm
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Forrest E. Amos is facing a third strike charge related to alleged illegal large-scale sales of prescription pain meds from both inside and outside prison.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A local man who has been on police radar since 2010, first for being involved in questionable medical marijuana, then for allegedly becoming a prolific dealer of Oxycodone and working as an informant at the same time, now stands accused by Centralia police of leading organized crime.

It’s a class A felony with a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Forrest E. Amos, 30, is in the Lewis County Jail, facing 26 varied criminal charges that encompass activities which date back to the spring of 2011 and authorities say continued in prison this year while he served a 12-month sentence he secured with a plea deal.

Centralia police’s Anti-Crime Team Sgt. Jim Shannon said he picked up Amos as he was released Monday from Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen and took him into custody.

Yesterday, in Lewis County Superior Court, prosecutors requested the former Napavine area man be held on $1 million bail.

“To reflect the direct threat he poses,” Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Eric Eisenberg said. “Even behind bars, he wasn’t really controllable.”

Eisenberg also asked the judge to prohibit him access to a telephone while in the jail.

Defense attorney Bob Schroeter indicated that amount was excessive, calling the allegations apparently sour grapes from a falling out.

“The state used my client, trusted him,” Schroeter said. “And now apparently, they don’t feel that way anymore.”

Amos’s alleged drug trafficking organization from inside prison walls came to light in June when Centralia police revealed an investigation that spanned four counties and caught up to some 20 individuals including a nurse practitioner named Sharol Chavez, whose medical records and other documents were seized in Tumwater and Aberdeen.

Chavez, who allegedly supplied thousands of Oxycodone pills to Amos, is under federal investigation, according to charging documents in his case.

At the time, police said intercepted prison phone conversations and surveillance of the ensuing drug deals led to various arrests, and they were nearing the end of their local investigation.

For Amos, who first went to prison for a violent drug robbery committed when he was 16, a conviction on the main charge of leading organized crime would be a third strike.

His arraignment is scheduled for tomorrow.

More to come.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 10:08 am

Updated at 2:48 p.m.

HOLIDAY HEIST

• Someone stole a 7-foot long blow up wiener dog wearing a red sweater and hat from a yard on the 400 block of Southwest Cascade Avenue in Chehalis during the night, according to a report made to the Chehalis Police Department yesterday morning. “This happens every holiday season,” Officer Linda Bailey said referring to the theft of outdoor Christmas decor. “Some people are like the Grinch.” The dog is brown, according to Bailey.

ASSAULTS

• Deputies yesterday arrested a 37-year-old man at the 400 block of Byham Road in Winlock in connection with an incident the evening before at the 100 block of Lacey Lane in Toledo where he allegedly threatened and assaulted his estranged girlfriend. Nashaun T. Hummond, from Toledo, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for harassment, fourth-degree assault and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Centralia police said yesterday they arrested a 29-year-old Centralia man at the 500 block of East Main Street the night before after he allegedly choked his girlfriend. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree assault, a felony, but prosecutors referred the case to municipal court for consideration of a misdemeanor charge instead.

• Chehalis police were called to Green Hill School about 8 p.m. on Saturday following an assault on a staff member in which he may have sustained a broken nose. The case involving a 17-year-old student-inmate was referred to prosecutors for a charge of third-degree assault, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

BREAK-INS AND OTHER THEFT

• A deputy was called about 3 p.m. yesterday to a residential burglary at the 100 block of Curtis Hill Road west of Chehalis in which a large wall-mounted grandfather clock and assorted jewelry was stolen. It happened sometime after 10 a.m., according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday someone broke into an Onalaska area home and stole three guns and two televisions as well as a digital camera. It happened at the 600 block of Jorgensen Road sometime between Friday and Monday, according to the sheriff’s office. Among the missing items are a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, two handguns and a 38-inch Samsung TV, Sgt. Rob Snaza said.

• Someone forced open the front door to a home on the 500 block of South Iron Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 6:30 p.m. yesterday. Nothing appeared to be missing or disturbed, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police arrested a 25-year-old Winlock woman who allegedly shoplifted about $335 worth of goods from Safeway grocery on the 1100 block of South Market Boulevard on Sunday afternoon. Carley T. Ridley told an officer she realized she didn’t have enough money for what she wanted, was cited and then released, Officer Linda Bailey said.

DRUGS

• A 51-year-old homeless woman was arrested about 9:40 p.m. on Monday for possession of methamphetamine by Centralia police. Kelly J. George was booked into the Lewis County Jail after contact with an officer at the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police called just before 4 a.m. on Saturday about a dispute in connection with a location on West Main Street and a residence on the 200 block of Northwest State Avenue ended up arresting a 26-year-old Chehalis man for possession of methamphetamine. Seth T. Lloyd was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department. His bail was set on Monday at $20,000.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Chehalis police were called about 7:30 p.m. on Friday to the 100 block of Alfred Street in Chehalis after an individual saw the dome light of his car on and chased away a suspected prowler.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police were called about noon yesterday to take a report of a brick thrown at the windshield of a car on the 500 block of South King Street.

FROM THE COURTHOUSE

• Bail was set at $10,000 yesterday for the employee of the UPS distribution center in Chehalis accused of stealing and reselling shipped merchandise. Roland E. Camps, 40, from Winlock, is charged with multiple felony counts in connection with nine missing boxes of cell phones, meant to be delivered to Fred Meyer and Game Stop, according to charging documents. The former Navy sailor from Everett was employed by UPS beginning two years ago, according to lawyers. He has a 2002 conviction for identity theft and misdemeanor theft convictions from 2001, according to Lewis County prosecutors. His attorney told a judge yesterday the husband, coach and father of school-aged children has resided in the Pacific Northwest since his release from the U.S. Navy. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office yesterday said Camps’ arrest also involved missing video games and equipment, but the charges filed did not reflect anything other than 80 Samsung and Apple iPhones. According to charging documents, sheriff’s detective Bruce Kimsey was contacted by UPSD security and subsequently found some of the stolen phones had been activated across the country; then Kimsey spoke with a Lewis County man who said he purchased his from Camps for $100 in September. Camps allegedly told the detective he sent some to a family member on the East Coast to be sold over the Internet. Sheriff’s Sgt. Rob Snaza said the losses are estimated at between $50,000 and $100,000. Charging documents value each phone at $549 to $649. Camps’ arraignment was scheduled for Dec. 12.

COLLISIONS

• A police pursuit of a stolen fire department command vehicle ended in Tenino last night with spike strips and the $50,000 SUV totaled. Police responded about 10 p.m. when the 2006 Ford Expedition vanished from outside the Olympia Fire Department’s downtown station, where it was parked with the keys left in the ignition while its driver went inside briefly, according to the Olympia Police Department. It was spotted by Tumwater police speeding on Capitol Boulevard but would not pull over, according to a police spokesperson. Spike strips disabled the SUV at Old 99 and Sussex Avenue in Tenino which then slid off the road causing the damage, spokesperson Laura Wohl said in a news release. The driver, a 26-year-old homeless man, was not hurt, according to Wohl. He was booked into the Thurston County Jail for eluding as well as malicious mischief, she stated.

• A 67-year-old Longview driver was hospitalized after her car ran off of U.S. Highway 12 a mile west of White Pass went over an embankment and struck a tree yesterday. Troopers called just before noon report Susie M. Gipson was transported to Morton General Hospital. Her 2007 Ford Focus was towed. The wreck was blamed on inattention.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, probation violation, driving with suspended license, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarms, shoplifting and other misdemeanor theft, dispute, suspicious circumstances, possibly missing Oxycodone, out-of-control teenager, minor and non-injury collisions, hit and run; complaint of neighbor’s loud music, smoke bomb tossed into a pile of leaves … and more.

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Riffe maintains innocence in face of sentence of more than a century for Maurin murders

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 8:35 pm
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Ricky Riffe, in red, listens as the judge pronounces his sentence of 1,234 months in the 1985 slayings of Ed and Minnie Maurin.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – All for a lousy $8,500, the judge said.

An elderly couple taken from their home, probably at gunpoint, and then made to withdraw cash from their bank before getting shot in their backs and tossed in the brush like garbage.

“There is no justification, mitigation or excuse for that type of conduct,” Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey pronounced to the courtroom this afternoon.

And then he sentenced Ricky A. Riffe to just shy of 103 years in prison.

Riffe, 55, unshaven and outfitted in red jail garb and shackles, didn’t appear to change his expression as Brosey gave him everything prosecutors asked for. And they had asked for the everything they could.

Today’s hearing in a fairly packed courtroom ends a trial that came nearly three decades after Ed and Minnie Maurin were found dead on a logging road outside Adna days after vanishing from their Ethel farmhouse.

Brosey acknowledged that if the defendant’s younger brother were still alive, he would likely be facing the same fate. Brosey alluded to the belief of some that the former Mossyrock men were not the only people involved in a crime that shook the community in December 1985.

The judge called it commendable the old case was brought to trial, and commendable the tenacity shown in pursuing it by Minnie Maurin’s now-87-year-old son, Denny Hadaller.

Hadaller and his sister both addressed the court today.

The retired logging contractor and former county commissioner told the judge it will soon be 28 Christmases his family has had to live with what happened and it may take generations for the healing.

“The safety and trust of the family and Lewis County citizens was violated,” Hadaller said.

The Mayfield Lake area resident wondered aloud how anyone could be so cruel, act with such malice, killing and leaving the bodies in the forest to the elements and wild animals.

“I also miss visiting with my mother and my step dad,” he said. “All the great grandchildren were not able to know them.”

Ed Maurin was 81, his wife Minnie was 83 years old when their lives ended.

Hadaller’s sister Hazel Oberg’s hand shook as she followed the words she read from a yellow legal pad.

Oberg spoke of finding a job at a cannery when she was just in the eighth grade, and continuing to work ever since. There were jobs to be had back in the mid-1980s, she said.

“It has been very difficult to understand why anyone would take another’s life to get their money,” Oberg said.

Actually, the first to address the court was Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer.

Meyer said there is not a sentence long enough to request for what was the most heinous crime he has seen in his career.

“I can’t emphasize enough how much the defendant has earned the sentence the state is recommending,” he said.

When it came time for Riffe’s defense attorney John Crowley to appeal to the judge, he instead said his client directed him to read his prepared statement.

He has no remorse for anything he did not do, Crowley said.

Riffe believes the Maurin’s lives were stolen from them, as has been his by virtue of this trial, Crowley continued.

“That’s why he makes no apologies whatsoever,” Crowley said.

Crowley repeated what his own thoughts were after the jury returned guilty verdicts in mid-November, following a six week trial.

“Mr. Riffe does not understand how the witnesses can look themselves in the face,” he said.

He contended that no fewer than 10 of them of them testified to something different than what they told investigators in the beginning.

His client expects to be back in the courtroom again within 18 months, Crowley said.

Riffe, when asked by the judge if he had anything to say, replied simply no.

When asked if he had any questions about his rights of appeal, said “No sir.”

As he was escorted away, two spectators called out, “Burn in hell.” A brief round of applause broke out.

Riffe, a resident of King Salmon, Alaska since the late 1980s, who was arrested in July of last year, was sentenced for seven felonies, from murder and robbery, to kidnapping and burglary. All were first degree. There were also special verdicts finding aggravating factors allowing for exceptional sentencing.

He had been charged as the principal player or as an accomplice, and only the jury knows exactly what it believed occurred and what Riffe’s role was. The only eye witness was one individual who briefly saw Ricky and John Gregory Riffe inside the Maurin’s Chrysler Newport with the couple on U.S. Highway 12.

Each count of first-degree murder, from the statutes in 1985, had a standard sentencing range of 240 months to 320 months. The other offenses came with long but somewhat shorter terms.

Meyer had asked for the top of the standard range for each of them, and asked for them to be served consecutive to each other. Judge Brosey agreed. They added up to 1,234 months.

Brosey also agreed to numerous fines and fees, and a date in the future to discuss restitution such as the $8,500 and burial expenses. Riffe, through his lawyer, said he wouldn’t attend.

His former step-daughter also spoke to the court briefly, directing her comments to the man who married to her mother the same year as the slayings.

Shelly Lev said she wished he’d be man enough to say what he and his brother did to this family.

“Because you know you did it,” she said.

Riffe still faces a trial scheduled for this coming February, based on charges filed earlier this year that he raped and molested his then-9-year-old step-daughter in the mid-1980s.

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Denny Hadaller, center, and his sister Hazel Oberg listen to sentencing proceedings for the murder of their mother and step father from the front row.

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Ricky A. Riffe leaves the courtroom after being given nearly 103 years in prison.

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Denny Hadaller leaves the courthouse.

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News brief: Chehalis UPS worker jailed following ongoing theft probe

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 10:37 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A part-time employee at the Chehalis distribution center for UPS was arrested yesterday for allegedly stealing and re-selling thousands of dollars worth of cell phones and other merchandise.

Roland E. Camps, 40, from Winlock, was booked into the Lewis County Jail after he went into the sheriff’s office for an interview, following an investigation that began early last week, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Among the stolen goods were an unspecified number of Apple iphones and Samsung cell phones as well as video games and equipment, according to sheriff’s office spokesperson Sgt. Rob Snaza

“We’re still in the process of seeing how much is missing,”  Snaza said this morning.

Snaza said Camps loaded trucks at the parcel delivery service’s location on the 100 block of Hamilton Road south of Chehalis.

According to Snaza, a security supervisor contacted the sheriff’s office after they figured out phones were missing from the Chehalis center.

“They were finding out some stolen phones had been activated,” he said.

Snaza said the losses at this point are estimated at between $50,000 and $100,000 and could go back as far as from Aug. 9.

Camps was arrested and booked for first-degree theft and first-degree trafficking in stolen property.

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Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, December 2, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Updated at 6:33 p.m.

BOYFRIEND ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED CHILD ABUSE

• A Winlock area man was arrested over the weekend after the 4-year-old child of his girlfriend was brought to Providence Centralia Hospital with bruises and other injuries he said he got because had been breaking “house rules” and stealing food. The boy had been brought to the emergency room to be looked at after he was dropped off at his great grandmother’s house on Saturday morning and told a deputy the bruises on the outsides of his legs were from the boyfriend giving him “knife hand” spankings, the abrasion on his nose was from when he fell on his face trying to get away from a spanking and also that the boyfriend made him get in a pushup position while spraying him with a hose, according to a declaration of probable cause. Ryon T. Connery was arrested for second-degree child assault at the home he shares with the child’s mother, a woman who said they had been dating about four months, according to the document. Connery was not charged, but a Lewis County Superior Court judge this afternoon ordered him held up to 72 hours on $75,000 bail while prosecutors gather more information. The boy told the deputy his broken finger happened when he was made to hold a weight over his head and dropped it, according to the allegations.

HOLIDAY WEEKEND WRECK WRAPUP

• Police and aid were called about 3 p.m. on Friday after a car sideswiped a building on the 800 block of West Main Street in Centralia and ran into a sign for a business a block away. No arrest was made, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 51-year-old Winlock man sustained possible internal injuries when his pickup truck ran into an embankment on the north side of Koontz Road at North Military Road on Wednesday night and is being investigated for possible driving under the influence, according to the  Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Responders said two people were transported to the hospital after the approximately 8 p.m. wreck.

• A 63-year-old Winlock man sustained minor injuries when he veered off the 100 block of Nelson Road near Winlock and struck a tree on Wednesday evening, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The Ford Taurus was described as totaled. The driver is being investigated for possible driving under the influence, Sgt. Rob Snaza said. Responders said two people were transported to the hospital after the approximately 7 p.m. single-vehicle collision.

• A 22-year-old Winlock resident was reportedly unhurt but totaled his pickup truck when he lost control while passing on a corner near the 1400 block of King Road and rolled it onto its top on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Michael A. Ryan was cited for second-degree negligent driving, according to the sheriff’s office.

• A 36-year-old Chehalis driver was reportedly uninjured when his pickup truck slid on ice and onto its top in a ditch on the 600 block of big Hanaford Road outside Centralia on Thursday evening. The Ford F350 was totaled, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

MOSSYROCK CONFRONTATION ENDS IN ARREST

• A 37-year-old Mossyrock man was arrested following a struggle yesterday morning when he was contacted by law enforcement officers at the 700 block of Williams Street in Mossyrock. Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Rob Snaza said deputies responded with Morton police about 9:30 a.m. in connection with an investigation regarding a domestic incident in Morton and that Anthony C. Burchfield was arrested for resisting arrest. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail, also for warrants out of Snohomish County, according to Snaza.

BREAK-IN CENTRALIA

• Centralia police were called about 1 p.m. yesterday about a possible burglary at a vacant building on the 700 block of South Tower Avenue. A window had been broken but nothing appeared to be missing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

THEFT OF FOOTWEAR

• Three males between the ages of 19 and 22 from out of town were arrested for allegedly stealing shoes from the Centralia Outlets at the 100 block of West High Street in Centralia early on Friday morning.

STOLEN VEHICLE

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports this morning that a truck was discovered stolen from the 400 block of state Route 505 near Toledo last Monday. When the 61-year-old victim returned after being away, his 1999 Dodge Ram was not in the driveway where it had been left, according to the sheriff’s office. It has a license plate reading B71475X, according to Sgt. Rob Snaza.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Sometime between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, someone broke into a pickup truck parked along Forest Service Road 74 near Mineral and stole tools as well as hunting and fishing equipment, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

VANDALISM

• Police took a report about 10 a.m. on Saturday of tires slashed on a car at the 200 block of West Second Street in Centralia.

FIRE CALL AT JAIL

• There were no flames but there were alarms and light smoke when firefighters were called about 4 a.m. yesterday to the Lewis County Jail. It was a mechanical malfunction related to the elevator motor, according to the Chehalis Fire Department. The facility on Chehalis Avenue near Main Street was not evacuated, Fire Capt. Casey Beck said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license, trespass, driving under the influence, misdemeanor assault, misdemeanor theft; responses for minor and non-injury collisions, hit and run, 911 call that turned out to be a child playing with a telephone, over-imbibing Thanksgiving day guest … and more.