By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – Six years after being locked up for life, former Centralia resident Thomas L. Pleasant wrote a letter to a judge in Lewis County asking for help.
He didn’t want help getting out, he just wanted a warrant quashed.
Pleasant said he robbed a church and its pastor and then two women, all in Cowlitz County. He took a plea on three armed robberies and second-degree assault and accepted the sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, he wrote.
“I have no appeals or any action of ever being released, and I am okay with this,” Pleasant wrote.
He explained that inmates in his position are allowed limited privileges and those with outstanding warrants must deal with them before some jobs and some education are made available to them.
He mentioned he owes some $10,000 in fines, that he’s sorry to his victims and that he has maybe 20 more years left to live.
“Drugs completely ruined my life,” Pleasant wrote.
“It’s a short amount of time to pay back what I can,” he stated. “I am humbly asking the honorable courts to quash my warrant so I may seek help in doing what I can to get right.”
The arrest warrant was issued in September 2008 from Lewis County, after he was apprehended for his Cowlitz County spree.
The charges: first-degree robbery and first-degree rape for the July 16, 2008 hold up at the Subway sandwich shop in Chehalis, in which he confessed to tying up the female worker with an electrical cord and putting her in a walk-in cooler. He denied sexually assaulting her.
Lewis County filed the charges, but never pursued them.
It appears from Pleasant’s court file his letter from August 2014 went unanswered. He sent a second letter this past September, making the same request.
He warned that his life would be in danger if he has to face a charge of rape, as in, a serious “beat down” or stabbing, especially from young inmates trying to gain a reputation, he wrote.
Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead responded in December, by getting a judge to order Pleasant be transported from Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen to the Lewis County Jail.
Halstead said the case was revived because prosecutors are required to bring people back if they ask to have a warrant quashed.
Pleasant appeared before a judge finally a week and a half ago.
“We didn’t quash it,” Halstead said. “We’re going forward with the case.”
Pleasant pleaded not guilty last week in Lewis County Superior Court to first-degree robbery and first-degree rape. A trial date was set, but a review hearing was also scheduled for this Thursday.
The now-50-year-old is represented by Centralia attorney Don Blair.
“Mr. Blair was hoping we could resolve it right away,” Halstead said, acknowledging “resolve” means some sort of plea deal.
For background, read “Chehalis case from 2008 sandwich shop robbery, rape revived” from Friday February 26, 2016, here