Posts Tagged ‘By Sharyn L. Decker’

News brief: Defendants finally arraigned in Vader toddler death

Friday, December 12th, 2014

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Vader couple accused in the death of a 3-year-old boy they were caring for pleaded not guilty yesterday in Lewis County Superior Court.

Danny and Brenda Wing were charged in early November with homicide by abuse or, in the alternative, first-degree manslaughter; each are charged as either the principal or accomplice.

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Jasper Henderling-Warner

The toddler, Jasper Henderling-Warner, died from what the coroner called chronic battered child syndrome.

Jasper died on Oct. 5, an evening when Brenda Wing called 911 to their home and said he wasn’t breathing. His 21-year-old mother had allowed the couple to care for her son for a period of time described by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office as several months while she was homeless, traveling and looking for work.

The Wings gave conflicting accounts to detectives of the child’s final weekend.

Their trials were scheduled for the week of Jan. 26, before separate judges.

Danny A. Wing, 26, is represented by Todd Pascoe, a defense lawyer from Vancouver, Wash. Brenda A. Wing, 27, is represented by Seattle-based attorney John Crowley.

Ordinarily, a person has a right to be arraigned within 14 days, but they waived that right while they worked out hiring their lawyers.

The remain held in the Lewis County Jail, on bails set at $500,000 and $200,000 respectively.
•••

For background, read:

• “Defendants in Vader toddler death case postpone arraignments again” from Thursday December 4, 2014, here

• RCW 9A.32.055: Homicide by abuse, here

• RCW 9A.32.060: Manslaughter in the first degree, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Updated at 5:23 p.m.

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THAT …

• Centralia police responded about 1 o’clock this morning to the 1200 block of Mellen Street where an individual said they gave a friend a ride to store and when he arrived, he discovered $100 missing from his wallet. The friend entered the store and then ran out the back door, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Chehalis police were called about 8:40 a.m. yesterday regarding a car prowl on Southeast Washington Avenue.

FROM THE COURTHOUSE

• Former Centralia resident Laura Lynn Hickey appeared in court briefly yesterday to set a date for a hearing  on an issue that stems from a decision from the Washington State Court of Appeals regarding her 2012 second-degree murder conviction of her prematurely born infant. Hickey is serving 30 years in prison but is back in Lewis County so the court can strike language from her judgement and sentencing documents referencing the baby suffering from acute methamphetamine intoxication. Hickey was 25 years old and about halfway through her pregnancy when she used a serrated knife to cut off her baby’s head  as it was trying to take a breath after she unexpectedly delivered it into a toilet. The three-member panel concluded in its Oct. 10 decision her conviction stands, but the document must be revised. The hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. next Wednesday in Lewis County Superior Court.

COLLISION

• Two people were injured including a 40-year-old Rochester resident in a two-car wreck on state Route 507 about three miles south of Yelm yesterday morning. Troopers responding approximately 7:20 a.m. determined Corey R. Tribble, 40, from Rochester was traveling northbound and collided with an oncoming Toyota Tercel in the southbound lane, according to the Washington State Patrol. The Tercel’s driver, Kenneth T. Brackett, 51, of Rainer, was transported to Harborview Medical Center, according to the state patrol. Tribble was booked into the Thurston County Jail on suspicion of vehicular assault, the state patrol reports. His Honda Accord was impounded. The cause of the collision is under investigation.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, misdemeanor theft, collision on city street .. and more.

Windstorm passes through

Friday, December 12th, 2014
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The aftermath: Barn, tree on Logan Hill. / Courtesy photo by Robin Williams

Updated at 11:28 a.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Onalaska was hit pretty hard with wind last night, keeping the fire department busy removing trees from roadways.

Power in the area was knocked out and remains that way this morning, according to Lewis County Fire District 1.

“Responders watched lawn chairs blow across the roads and flags coming off (their poles),” Fire Chief Mark Conner said this morning.

No injuries have been reported, but Conner said a tree fell on a house on state Route 508 near Carlisle Avenue. He assumed the residence was unoccupied, because nobody requested the fire department for it, he said.

It was a relatively quiet night for firefighters at the North Pearl Street station in Centralia, where the highest wind gust was recorded at 35 mph, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

The National Weather Service recorded gusts as high as 46 mph at the Chehalis-Centralia Airport.

Just before 9 p.m., the Washington State Patrol asked area residents to just stay indoors until the storm passed, because of the number of trees falling onto state routes.

One close call occurred about dinnertime, just east of Onalaska beyond Parnell Road, according to Conner.

A UPS truck was forced off the road when a maple tree fell in front of it, Conner said.

“I think maybe a few branches hit it and it went into the ditch,” he said.

State Route 507 north of Centralia was shut down for hours overnight because of trees and power lines on the ground.

Centralia City Light which serves about 10,000 customers responded to power outages from around 4:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. Roughly 1,200 were affected at different times, but all service has been restored, according to Line Superintendent Rick Evans.

The latest information from Lewis County PUD’s website – at 3:30 a.m. – shows power outages in places such as around Big Hanaford Road, around U.S. Highway 12 to Mayfield Lake and roads in the Chehalis area.

However, PUD spokesperson Corenne Moses said at midmorning, while she didn’t have a “head count” of the number of customers without electricity, they have several power lines down still.

“We hope to get the greater Onalaska-Salkum area up by noon,” Moses said.

Utility crews responded to calls through the night all around the county and are still working, she said.

Moses reminds members of the public whose power is out to unplug their electronics, to prevent possible damage when their electric service is restored.

The National Weather Service cautions that the increased risk of landslides continues through today, because of the rainfall in recent days.

PUD customers who want to report an outage may call 360-748-9261 or 1-800-562-5612

Customers of Centralia City Light may report an outage by calling 330-7512 during business hours or 736-7040 after hours.

News brief: Police chief in Centralia stepping down

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Centralia Police Chief Bob Berg is retiring this spring, and a search for his replacement is already underway.

Berg, 63, whose law enforcement career began in Centralia in 1972, moved on to other jobs and then returned as chief in early 2004.

He is retiring in May, according to the city’s human resources director, Candice Rydalch.

The pay for the head of the department with 31 commissioned officers in Lewis County’s most populated city is being advertised as between about $100,000 and $122,000.

Rydalch said yesterday they have already begun a nationwide search.

Applications are being accepted through the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs  through Jan. 8.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

PEDESTRIAN WITH WALKER HIT BY TRUCK

• An elderly woman using a walker was struck by a small pickup truck on a dark county road early this morning. Firefighters called about 5:10 a.m. to the 500 block of Logan Hill Road in Chehalis said the 84-year-old victim said she had ankle pain, but other than that, she fared very well. Lewis County Fire District 6 Firefighter-EMT Kyle Iswald said he believed she was just out for a walk. The woman was transported by ambulance to Providence Centralia Hospital, Iswald said.

CAR VERSUS SCHOOL BUS

• Firefighters called to a collision involving a passenger vehicle and a school bus about 3:05 p.m. yesterday at Johnson Avenue and  Southwest 16th Street in Chehalis concluded no one was injured. The front end of the car impacted the side of the bus, according to the Chehalis Fire Department.

BURGLARY DOTY

• Someone got into a residence on the 100 block of Doty Street and stole assorted coins and US Cellular WiFi tablet, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The break-in happened sometime between 7 a.m. on Tuesday and 5 p.m. yesterday, according to the sheriff’s office.

DRUGS

• A 24-year-old Chehalis woman was arrested for possession of methamphetamine last night after contact with an officer at the 1000 block of Harrison Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department. Natasha A. Grubb was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, protection order violation, driving with suspended license, driving under the influence of drugs; responses for disputes, suspicious circumstances, collisions on county roads .. and more.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

WIRE HEIST

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports this morning it is checking with neighboring businesses on the 100 block of Ribelin Road in Chehalis to look for clues to the theft of $4,000 worth of copper wire from Sound Wood Products. The victim reported someone kicked in a gate to his fenced area sometime between Friday and yesterday and stole a spool of 400 feet of the wire, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputies are hoping to find video surveillance images of the incident, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. Brown says anyone with information wishing to remain anonymous or to earn a reward can contact Lewis County Crime Stoppers.

AUTO THEFT

• Chehalis police were called about 9:20 a.m. yesterday regarding a 1991 Acura Integra stolen overnight from the 300 block of Southwest Third Street. The car had already been found three hours earlier in Thurston County, minus its four tires and wheels, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

EASY PROWL

• Chehalis police took a report of a someone snatching a purse from a vehicle yesterday while the victim was helping her companion into a clinic on Bishop Road. She left the car door open and when she returned, her purse was gone, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, drug violations, driving under the influence; responses for alarms, dispute, possible fraud, suspicious circumstances … and more.

Morton’s Officer Perry Royle passes away

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014
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Perry Royle
1960 – 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Morton Police Officer Perry Royle died yesterday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He was 54.

Royle was on duty a week earlier when he suffered an unspecified medical issue, summoned help and and then lost consciousness at the hospital.

A procession of law enforcement officers from various agencies accompanied Royle’s body back to Lewis County yesterday evening, ending at Brown’s Funeral Chapel in Chehalis. A candle light vigil was planned in Morton.

Royle had been with the department since 2002, and was Chief Dan Mortensen’s only officer.

Morton Police Department Clerk Michelle Matchett said Royle’s family, and Chief Mortensen, were with him when he passed.

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Courtesy photo by Jim Hill Photography

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

BUSINESS BURGLARY

• Chehalis police responded yesterday morning to a burglary at an automotive shop on the 100 block of North Market Boulevard. A cash box was taken as well as money from Christmas trees being sold on the honor system, according to the Chehalis Police Department. There was no signs of forced entry, according to police. The loss was more than $700, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police were called just before 7 a.m. today to a vehicle prowl on the 200 block of Southwest William Avenue.

• Centralia police took a report of a vehicle prowl yesterday that occurred last Thursday at the 1000 block of Mellen Street in Centralia.

“JOHN DOE” BOOKED

• Centralia police arrested a male this morning for no driver’s license and no identification. The approximately 4 a.m. encounter at the 200 block of South Tower Avenue led to the unidentified male getting booked into the Lewis County Jail as “John Doe”, according to the Centralia Police Department.

NOT CHICKEN LITTLE

• Chehalis police were called about 1 p.m. yesterday when something fell from the sky onto a car at the 100 block of Northwest Chehalis Avenue. It was a piece of roof torn off a building by a passing vehicle that caught an overhead wire, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said this morning he wasn’t sure if the offending vehicle was located.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, probation violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, misdemeanor assault, harassment by classmate, a man bleeding from the head who said he fell down, a drunk man in pajama pants and rubber boots banging on an apartment door,  collision on city street, collision on county road … and more.

News brief: Speed possibly contributed to fatality on Centralia-Alpha Road

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The wreck that killed 25-year-old Dustin N. Meyer on Centralia-Alpha Road southwest of Chehalis on Saturday night remains under investigation, but the sheriff’s office believes speed may have been among the factors involved.

Meyer was northbound at a righthand curve when his car left the roadway and hit a tree, spun around and then struck a second tree, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

It happened near Senn Road just before 9 p.m.

The Centralia man was wearing a seatbelt but died at the scene of multiple blunt force injuries, according to authorities. He was driving a Hyundai Sonata.

The Washington State Patrol assisted deputies in investigating the collision, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

CORRECTION: This has been updated to correctly reflect the middle initial of Meyer’s name. Erroneous information was initially provided by the Lewis County coroner.

•••

For background, read “Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup – FATAL WRECK” from Sunday December 7, 2014, here

Centralia mother who decapitated premature newborn back in court for technical issue

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – An appeals court says its enough that a 25-year-old Centralia woman used a kitchen knife to end the life of her severely premature infant after she gave birth, and the fact it did or didn’t have drugs in its system won’t change her 30-year-sentence.

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Laura Lynn Hickey

Laura Lynn Hickey pleaded guilty to second-degree murder almost three years ago, in Lewis County Superior Court and was sent off to prison. She’s back in the Lewis County Jail for an expected hearing on an issue that stems from the October decision from the Washington State Court of Appeals.

It was an early March morning in 2011; neighbors had phoned 911 after hearing calls for help coming from Hickey’s home at the Peppertree Motor Inn and RV Park on Alder Street. She was taken to the hospital where at first she said she’d had a miscarriage, and then police found the decapitated newborn in a Tupperware container under the kitchen sink of  her fifth-wheel trailer.

At sentencing, Hickey’ lawyer asked the judge to give his client about 12 years in prison, for what she viewed as a mercy killing when her approximately 21-weeks-along fetus was unexpectedly delivered into a toilet. Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer recommended 80 years, saying it was a crime so heinous, she should lose the ability to “walk among us.”

Attorneys disagreed if the infant boy was far enough along he could have survived outside the womb.

Because Hickey not only admitted guilt, but stipulated to an aggravating factor the victim was particularly vulnerable, the judge could have imposed a sentence all the way up to life in prison. The standard sentencing range for the crime was between about 12 years to 20 years.

At the time, the woman apologized, cried and told the judge said she would accept whatever sentence he gave her. But her appeal attorney appealed the exceptional sentence.

Her lawyer contended the trial court violated Hickey’s Sixth Amendment rights as articulated in Blakely v. Washington, by making findings the victim was particularly vulnerable not only because of age, but because of drug intoxication

The three-member panel concluded in its Oct. 10 decision that Judge Nelson Hunt’s finding was incorrect, and sent the case back to Lewis County so the reference to methamphetamine intoxication could be struck from the findings.

The appeals court however, affirmed the exceptional sentence of 30 years.

One of the reports submitted to Lewis County Superior Court, from a psychologist, noted both Hickey and the victim had significant amounts of methamphetamine in their blood stream at the time of the offense. Another, from the autopsy stated the infant suffered from acute methamphetamine intoxication.

Neither Hickey’s appeals attorney or the appeals court suggest the information is untrue, only that it should not have been considered at sentencing.

Prosecutor Meyer indicates Hickey is scheduled to go before a judge at 2:15 p.m. on Thursday, although the actual hearing may take place at a later day.

•••

For background, read:

• “Centralia woman gets 30 years for decapitating premature infant” from Wednesday February 22, 2012, here

• “Laura Hickey pleads guilty to killing her premature infant” from Tuesday February 7, 2012, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Updated at 2:51 p.m.

MAN ARRESTED AFTER SON INJURED

• A 29-year-old Glenoma man was arrested on Friday after a deputy responded to White Pass Elementary School where a 5-year-old boy said his father had dropped him on his head the evening before. Paul A. Leggett said he’d picked his son up by the feet and ankles to get him to stop jumping on the couch, a form of discipline he said he uses because the child is afraid of heights, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Leggett said however, he didn’t know how the boy struck his head, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The child on Friday said his head still hurt and he had a bump on the back of it, Brown said. Leggett was booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree child assault and a warrant for contempt of court, according to Brown. He is not being charged with the felony pending further investigation.

GUNS AND JEWELRY MISSING

• Chehalis police are investigating a burglary to a house on the 200 block of Southwest Lewis Street in which the victim is missing jewelry and firearms. It’s not clear yet when the valuables were taken, but the report was made on Saturday, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Deputies are looking for who it was that pulled more than 100 feet of guard rail, including 15 posts, from the ground and left it all in the middle of a county road east of Centralia. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said this morning nothing at the scene on the 300 block of Centralia-Alpha Road suggested a collision.

• Centralia police took a report about 1:15 p.m. yesterday of a window that got broken on the 800 block of South Pearl Street.

FROM THE COURTHOUSE

• Two men arrested by Centralia police on Saturday were released from jail with no charges filed. Ernesto Monrroy-Hernandez, 37, of Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree assault, for allegedly assaulting two officers as they tried to take him into custody. Edward K. Gonzalez, 21, of Centralia, was arrested for second-degree robbery domestic violence in connection with an afternoon call to West Plum Street. The Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office today declined to file those charges.

FROM THE APPEALS COURT

• A Centralia man locked up for thirty years lost his appeal last week of his first-degree murder conviction. Weston G. Miller, age 30 last year when he was sentenced for the shooting death of 43-year-old David Wayne Carson, contended insufficient evidence existed to find he acted with premeditation and made other arguments, according to the opinion filed by the Washington State Court of Appeals. The three-member panel of justices disagreed in their filing last Tuesday. Miller’s attorney said his client was delusional and preoccupied with people being after him, being in danger.

WRECK

• A 41-year-old driver and a 12-year-old girl were injured this morning when the car in which they were traveling was rear-ended by a Toyota Corolla on U.S. Highway 12 in Salkum. Troopers responding just before 8 a.m. report everyone was seat belted but both vehicles were totaled. Ronald L. Rosenberg as westbound but stopped for traffic when his Jetta was struck, according to the Washington State Patrol. Trisha F. Day, 43, of Mossyrock, was to be cited for a violation of the basic speed rule, according to the state patrol. Day was reportedly uninjured. The injured, both from Chehalis, were transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the investigating trooper.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants,  trespass, misdemeanor theft, misdemeanor assault,  driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, dispute, vehicle into ditch … and more.

•••

CORRECTION: This has been updated to correctly reflect the gender of the child in the car accident.

Read about former POW, lawyer, from Winlock dies on Veterans Day …

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A hero to every boy from Winlock, whose longing for Christmas during his years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam prompted the small town to decorate itself as such for his July 1973 homecoming has died.

Edward W. Leonard, a highly decorated veteran who grew up in Winlock, was shot down on Memorial Day and passed away last month on Veterans Day, two of those “boys” related as they recalled a childhood idol.

He became a lawyer and lived in Astoria and then was was mayor of Ilwaco, Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey said.

Another of those who went in the practice of law, Dana Williams, spoke of Leonard being honored with a medal rarely given.

“Eddie was a hero to every kid from Winlock, including me,” Williams said.

The Chinook Observer writes that Leonard spent five years as a POW, three and a half of those years in solitary confinement.

Brosey said Leonard and now Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., were in adjacent cells at the so-called Hanoi Hilton.

His obituary says the former Air Force pilot was 76 years old when he died in Portland, Ore. on Nov. 11. Internment and military services will be in the spring at the Air Force Academy in Colorado, according to the obituary published Nov. 25, in the Chinook Observer.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

FATAL WRECK

• A 25-year-old driver lost his life on Centralia-Alpha Road southeast of Chehalis last night when his car struck a tree, according to Lewis County FIre District 6. Firefighters were called at 8:50 p.m.  by a motorist who had to drive to her parents house to call 911, because of no cell phone service, Firefighter Mike Goodwillie said. It happened just before Senn Road, on a very dangerous stretch of Centralia-Alpha, Goodwillie said. It appeared as though he spun out, and the driver’s compartment impacted a large tree down an embankment, he said. He was the only occupant in the vehicle. Goodwillie said the family whose phone was used previously lost their son in a wreck on that road, and he himself can recall two other fatal accidents in the area.

CAR VERSUS BUILDING

• Firefighters were called about 8:20 p.m. yesterday to the 600 block of St. Helens Avenue in Chehalis where a car ran into a house. The vehicle sustained significant front end damage and the woman driving was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital with a broken leg and facial lacerations, according to the Chehalis Fire Department.

POLICE ASSAULTED

• A 37-year-old Centralia man was was arrested about 7 p.m. yesterday after he allegedly assaulted two officers who were trying to take him into custody. It happened at the 600 block of Jefferson Street, according to the Centralia Police Department. Ernesto Monrroy-Hernandez was booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree assault, according to police. Details about why police were initially detaining Monrroy-Hernandez were not readily available.

DOMESTIC INCIDENT

• A 21-year-old Centralia resident was arrested for second-degree robbery domestic violence yesterday in connection with a 2 p.m. call to West Plum Street. Edward K. Gonzalez was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

WTH?

• Centralia police were called just before 2 p.m. yesterday to the 200 block of North King Street because someone had stolen a dead house plant from the front porch of a home.

NOT-SO-FUNNY MONEY

• An officer took a report yesterday afternoon from a business on the 100 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia about a $5 bill which had been altered to look like a $100 bill.

VANDALISM

• Someone scratched the pain on a vehicle and slashed all four tires at Washington Avenue and Pear Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 1:15 p.m. on Friday.

• Someone threw a rock and broke a window at the 300 block of North Gold Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police on Friday morning.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants,  trespass, disorderly conduct, driving under the influence; responses for domestic misdemeanor assault … and more.

News brief: Centralia woman jailed for alleged rape of girl

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 37-year-old Centralia woman was arrested on Thursday on a $100,000 warrant for rape of a child.

Chrystal G. Munoz-Rosales was booked into the Lewis County Jail, following an investigation that began in mid-September when the Centralia Police Department was given information from Child Protective Services regarding a 16-year-old girl.

Charging documents describe allegations of ongoing sexual abuse in a household Munoz-Rosales shared with her live-in boyfriend and his children.

Lewis County prosecutors allege in the documents Munoz-Rosales coerced the girl into giving her oral sex once when the girl was 9 years old and another time when she was 15.

A Centralia police detective interviewed the girl and her siblings, one of which said Munoz-Rosales would let the girl “work off being grounded” by performing chores and giving foot massages and back rubs, which occurred in the older woman’s room, according to the documents.

No physical violence is alleged.

The charge for the earlier instance, first-degree child rape, carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. The charge for the more recent instance, third-degree child rape, carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Munoz-Rosales has no prior felony convictions, according to the documents filed by Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Sara Beigh.

Munoz-Rosales remains held on $50,000 bail.

Flashlight at Centralia arson scene incriminates ex-husband

Friday, December 5th, 2014
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James R. Johnson appears before a Lewis County Superior Court judge for a bail hearing.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A judge ordered bail set at $100,000 for a retired logger accused of a starting a fire at the house where his ex-wife and best friend were sleeping.

James R. Johnson, 65, was arrested near his rural Chehalis home this week for the June 1 blaze that heavily damaged the home on the 900 block of B Street in Centralia.

Police were suspicious of Johnson from beginning, according to charging documents.

Clint Brown said he awoke to the smoke alarm and when he opened his back door, he saw flames and smelled a very strong odor of gasoline. He closed the door, woke up Tamara Johnson who’d just recently moved in with him, and they got out uninjured.

Police were told James Johnson had been at the home just three days earlier, kicking on the door, making threats and demanding to speak with his ex-wife.

Officers visited his home and while he claimed he had not gone anywhere all night, the engine on a Chevrolet Aveo there was still warm, charging documents state.

He told the officer he and Tamara Johnson had been divorced since the 1990s, but retained and on-again off-again relationship that had ended a week before, according to the documents.

Police were told by his daughter he was upset about his ex-wife dating his friend, and he had been threatening to hurt himself.

A flashlight found at the scene was finger printed and tested, and late last month, Centralia Police Department detectives were notified it carried a DNA profile that matched James Johnson’s, according to the documents.

Johnson was charged yesterday with one count of first-degree arson.

He was brought before a judge yesterday afternoon, outfitted in red jail garb, handcuffed and shackled at his wrists and ankles.

Preliminary defense attorney Joely O’Rourke requested just $20,000 bail, noting the defendant owned Jim Johnson Logging for 25 years, has 12 grandchildren and his felony history is a quarter century old.

“He has very strong ties to the community, he’s known about the allegations since June,” O’Rourke told the judge in an attempt to show how unlikely a flight risk he would be.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Mark McClain noted Johnson had previous federal convictions for passport fraud and conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey sided with McClain out of concern for public safety.

As the bail hearing moved to the question of any orders of no contact orders, O’Rourke told the judge her temporary client and his ex-wife, whom he’s known for 38 years, are together again.

“Since this allegation, he has reconciled with the alleged victim,” O’Rourke told the judge. “They’re living together.”

Judge Brosey said he didn’t care, and issued a no contact order between the two.

James Johnson has retained defense attorney Shane O’Rourke.

His arraignment is scheduled for next Thursday.
•••

For background, read “Breaking news: Ex-husband jailed for arson, in Centralia house fire” from Wednesday December 3, 2014, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Updated

SHERIFF’S OFFICE: BURGLARY SOLVED WITH SECURITY IMAGES

•  Jefferey A. Petrich, 36, of Centralia, already in jail from an incident earlier this week at the 700 block of Salzer Valley Road in Centralia, has now been arrested for an August break-in at another Centralia home, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports this morning. Images from a neighbor’s surveillance camera at the 100 block of Tri-Mountain Lane showed a male and Petrich’s vehicle, according to the sheriff’s office. Missing in that case was an estimated $500 worth of jewelry, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

FROM THE COURTHOUSE

• A Winlock resident was arrested yesterday for child molestation after a teenage girl told a friend who told a teacher about something that occurred when she was 9 years old. Centralia police, notified earlier this year, interviewed the now 15-year-old with her mother and then yesterday arrested Dustin L. West in Chehalis, according to authorities. Charging documents state the detective was told the girl’s step-father had a friend over one night who was sleeping or watching television in the living room while everyone else was asleep. The girl said she told West she wasn’t feeling well, and her parents’ bedroom door was locked, so she laid down on the couch with him, where he groped inside her pants and put her hand inside his pants, the documents state.  West, 27, was charged today with first-degree child molestation and remains held in the Lewis County Jail on $100,000 bail. His arraignment is scheduled for Thursday.

COLLISIONS

• Nobody was injured when the driver of a Toyota Prius rear-ended the city of Chehalis animal control officer’s vehicle yesterday morning. The officer was stopped for traffic at State Street and making a right turn onto Chamber of Commerce Way, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Three patients were hospitalized after a glancing near head-on collision on Old Highway 99 in Grand Mound yesterday afternoon. Firefighters called about 2:50 p.m. to the scene in front of the Great Wolf Lodge treated one man and two women from a pair of mini vans and transported them to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants,  obstructing, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for harassment, shoplifting, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

Defendants in Vader toddler death case postpone arraignments again

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Vader couple charged in the October death of a toddler they were caring for didn’t get arraigned today as expected but did appear before a judge briefly this afternoon.

Danny A. Wing, 26, and Brenda A. Wing, 27, were arrested early last month and remain in Lewis County Jail on bails set at $500,000 and $200,000 respectively.

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Brenda A. Wing

It appears unsettled who will be their lawyers.

The couple were represented at their Nov. 10 bail hearing by two lawyers retained in anticipation of possible charges after three-year-old Jasper Henderling-Warner died from what the coroner called chronic battered child syndrome.

The attorneys had asked to delay the hearing where they would make their pleas until today – to see if arrangements could be made about legal representation on the criminal charges – , but this afternoon, those proceedings were postponed again.

Brenda Wing told the judge she will be represented by Seattle-based attorney John Crowley, but it was taking a bit of time for her parents to work out the money to retain him.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey agreed to wait one week.

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Danny A. Wing

Danny Wing was joined this afternoon by Vancouver-based lawyer Todd Pascoe.

Pascoe asked the judge to set over his client’s arraignment one week, in part because the wife’s was rescheduled and also because of a rules of professional conduct issue.

When Danny Wing blurted out his lawyer was set up by his wife’s family, Pascoe asked him to stay quiet.

Judge Brosey queried Danny Wing, to ensure he was satisfied with waiting until next Thursday afternoon. He said he was.

The Wings are each charged as either the principal or accomplice with homicide by abuse or, in the alternative, first-degree manslaughter.

The coroner concluded from healing fractures, numerous bruises and an autopsy Jasper died from ongoing physical abuse.
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For background, read “Defendants in Vader toddler death case want out of jail until trial” from Monday November 10, 2014, here