Posts Tagged ‘By Sharyn L. Decker’

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

SMOKE IN THE BOYS ROOM

• Police responded to Centralia Middle School about 10:40 a.m. yesterday and arrested two teenage boys for allegedly setting fire to a plastic light cover in the boy’s bathroom. Further details were not readily available, however, according to Riverside Fire Authority, there was no actual fire and firefighters were not summoned to the Johnson Road school. The two were booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center for first-degree arson, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AUTO THEFT

• A light blue 2012 Ford Focus was stolen from a driveway at a residence on the 3000 block of Skate Creek Road North in Ashford sometime between 4 p.m. on Sunday and 11 o’clock yesterday morning, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It has a license plate of AGL 0040, the sheriff’s office reported this morning. There is no suspect information, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

TAVERN ALTERCATION

• Morton police reported yesterday they are continuing to investigate a report of an assault made on Wednesday about an incident that might have occurred the previous weekend at the Bucksnort Pub.

THEFT

• An officer was called on Thursday afternoon about a burglary to an apartment at the 300 block of Westlake Avenue in Morton. Police reported yesterday the victim believed someone entered the home a day or two before and took a number of unspecified items.

• Tire rims were reported stolen yesterday morning from behind a business on the 1000 block of West Main Street in Centralia, according to police.

• Centralia police took a report yesterday that someone stole a wallet from a vehicle at the 1100 block of Woodland Avenue in Centralia. It occurred sometime since Saturday evening, according to police.

VANDALISM OR BAD PARK JOB

• Chehalis police called about 11 a.m. yesterday to a complaint someone slashed two tires on a vehicle on Northwest Florida Avenue noticed rub marks, as opposed to punctures, on both tires on the curb side, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with a suspended license, shoplifting, DUI; responses for burglar alarms, misdemeanor thefts, disturbances; complaints of disorderly dogs … and more.

News brief: Gun wielding thief steals purse from driver

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Updated at 2:20 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Centralia police are investigating an overnight robbery in which a motorist said she was approached at gunpoint at the 100 block of Harrison Avenue.

Officers called about 12:15 a.m. were told the female was inside her vehicle when a male with a pistol demanded her purse.

She handed it over and he fled to a maroon sedan then left the area, according to the Centralia Police Department.

Police Sgt. Brian Warren said the victim actually knew the man and they were meeting; although Warren didn’t know the details about why.

The victim was not hurt, according to police.

Information from her led police to a residence in the Logan district of Centralia where they arrested Anthony F. Johnson as well as Kaylie J. Longmire. Longmire was driving the car, Warren said.

A gun has been recovered and officers are searching the home this afternoon, according to Warren.

Further information still to come.

Kayla Croft-Payne: Family of missing girl questions link to modeling website

Monday, April 29th, 2013
2013.0428.shelbi.crofttwo_2

Shelbie Croft watches her helium balloons snag in a tree at the edge of Penny Playground.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Her mother, father, two little sisters, two aunts, two cousins, three girlfriends and three people who didn’t know her came together on Sunday, all for Kayla Croft-Payne, the Lewis County girl who vanished three years earlier.

Still, they have more questions than answers about what happened to the then-18-year-old.

“I talk to detective Callas two times a month, he promises she won’t become a cold case,” her father Thomas Payne told the small group.

Payne, formerly of Longview traveled from his new home north of Seattle to a vigil held at Penny Playground in Chehalis yesterday. The day marked three years since his daughter last logged on to her MySpace internet account. She was reported missing a few days later by a girlfriend who lived with her south of Chehalis.

“We won’t let her become a cold case,” her aunt, Karen Hinton said. “We need people to tell us what they know.”

Hinton has found a spark of hope for answers as she’s begun to question who was the photographer her niece met online who arranged to take pictures of her so she could create a modeling portfolio.

She found the potential clues simply by looking at Croft-Payne’s Facebook page, she said.

“Her last entries are, I’m going to a photo shoot, I can’t wait to get my portfolio done,” Hinton said.

2010.0616.kayla.myspace

Kayla Croft-Payne

Hinton has connected with a Vancouver, Wash.-based group called National Women’s Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation (NWCAVE). It’s president and co-founder has taken up the cause to bring media attention to the case.

Early last month, NWCAVE’s Michelle Bart contacted numerous members of the press to describe how Croft-Payne is one of three young women around the country who posted photos and information about themselves on the same modeling website and left for modeling only to never return home.

Bart is concerned certain photographers may be using the ModelMayhem website to prey upon women.

Bart says she learned Croft-Payne went missing after she went to meet with a photographer she met there. Hinton said she’s passed the information to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and a detective has promised to follow those leads.

She’s encouraged, but at the same time discouraged it wasn’t investigated previously.

“I don’t know how this was overlooked by the police for so long,” Hinton told the gathering yesterday. “It’s beyond me.”

The vigil was, as promised, informal. Bart shared with the group the need to keep Croft-Payne’s face and name in the public eye.

A moment of silence was shared when  6-year-old Shelbie Croft set free a small cluster of helium balloons for her sister into clear, but cool skies. They were caught by the branches of the first tree along the expected route.

Ashley Smith traveled from her home in Spanaway to remember her friend with others yesterday. She’s 20 years old now, but three years ago she was a 17-year-old Lewis County girl who was with Croft-Payne 24 – 7, she said.

They lived together in a trailer off Newaukum Valley Road, between Chehalis and Napavine.

“I don’t know what to think anymore,” Smith said. “I don’t want to think the worst.”

She’s heard the various rumors and  doesn’t seem to give any more weight than the others. Maybe her friend was made to pay off someone’s drug debt, as in sex trafficking, she said. Maybe her friend overdosed on drugs, and someone got scared and hid her body, she said.

But Smith said the website ModelMayhem didn’t ring a bell to her, and she thought it would if her friend was using it.

“She was really into, wanted to be a model really bad,” Smith said.

Croft-Payne wasn’t headed to meet a photographer when she disappeared, Smith said.

The photo shoot was in Bellevue and it was about two weeks earlier, Smith said. The two of them were headed up there together, she said, but various circumstances, including their lack of a ride, caused it to fall through.

“The night she went missing, we were together,” Smith said.

Smith said she and Croft-Payne were at a friend’s house in Onalaska. Another friend came to pick her up, to give her a ride to her boyfriend’s, she said.

“She told me she was going to Manny’s house,” Smith said.

All of the possibilities that come to mind are unpleasant, Smith said.

“It’s hard to think of pleasant ones, given the crowd we were hanging with,” she said.

•••

Read background on Kayla Croft-Payne, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, April 29th, 2013

BAD BOYFRIEND

• A 32-year-old Chehalis man was arrested on Saturday after items he allegedly stole from his girlfriend were found at a Chehalis pawn shop. A deputy was contacted on Friday by the 32-year-old woman from the 100 block of Skinner Road in Napavine who said not long after she began a relationship with Raymond G. Denault, he took several rings and fishing poles from her home, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Denault was booked into the Lewis County Jail for theft, trafficking in stolen property and burglary, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

HOME BURGLARY

• A deputy was called about 5 a.m. on Saturday about a break-in to a home on the 2400 block of Salzer Valley Road outside Centralia where five tool boxes, a trimmer and a carton of cigarettes were stolen, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office has two suspects, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

• Someone threw a rock through the front window of a home on the 400 block of Coal Creek Road outside Chehalis, went inside and stole a safe, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said the burglary was reported on Sunday night and said it’s unknown what the safe contained.

LAKE SIDE THEFT

• A deputy responded to the Lion’s Club Campground on Front Street in Mineral on Saturday for a report a 15 horse power motor was taken from a boat belonging to a Puyallup man and to the same place the day before where a Tacoma man said someone cut a cable and stole a $1,000 Honda generator which had been attached to his trailer.

DRUGS

• A 44-year-old Centralia man as arrested for possession of methamphetamine about 10 a.m. on Saturday at the 1300 block of Delaware Avenue in Centralia. Keith A. Obrist was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Centralia police were called about 4:45 a.m. yesterday to the 2000 block of Borst Avenue where an individual said he observed someone inside his car – which he got a picture of –  who then ran off into the park.

FUEL STOLEN

• Centralia police took two reports on Saturday night of theft of gasoline from vehicles at the 2800 block of Russell Road.

VANDALISM

• Police were called to the 800 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia just after 9 o’clock yesterday morning to take a report someone had slashed a children’s’ inflatable pool its owner had just spent three days setting up.

• Chehalis police were called yesterday evening to an address on Saunders Way to a report someone had slashed a soft-sided hot tub, deflating it. The loss is estimated at as much as $2,000, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Someone spray painted graffiti on the skateboard ramps at Riverside Rotary Park on the 700 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia, something which was discovered on Saturday morning.

WRECK

• A female driver struck the back end of a parked vehicle on Southwest 13th Street near Penny Playground in Chehalis about 10:15 a.m. yesterday which caused her car to roll onto its side, according to police. There were no serious injuries, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

WHEELS OFF THE ROADWAY

• A 32-year-old Centralia man was cited for wheels off the road when his vehicle failed to negotiate a curve, rolled onto its driver’s side and then back up onto its four wheels at the 2500 block of Salzer Valley Road outside Centralia on Friday. A deputy called about 4:40 p.m. to the scene noted the 2007 Toyota Yaris sustained major damage but the two occupants declined aid, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for driving with suspended license, warrant, DUI; responses for family disputes, bar dispute, non-injury, minor injury – including hit and run – collisions, misdemeanor theft, misdemeanor assault, burglar alarms, found wallet, found bicycle; complaints loud music, erratic drivers … and more.

Three years later: Gathering set in Chehalis for missing Kayla Croft-Payne

Saturday, April 27th, 2013
2011.0319.kayla.main

Kayla Croft-Payne hasn’t been heard from since April 28, 2010

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A vigil will be held tomorrow afternoon in Chehalis to mark the three year anniversary of the disappearance of Lewis County teen Kayla Croft-Payne.

Family and friends will gather at 2 p.m. at Recreation Park in Chehalis. Members of the general public and families of other missing persons are welcome, according to Michelle Bart

“We just want to get the word out not to forget Kayla,” Bart said.

Croft-Payne was 18 years old and living in a trailer between Chehalis and Napavine on April 28, 2010 when she last logged onto her MySpace internet account. She was reported missing on May 5 by a friend who hadn’t seen or heard from her for several days.

When the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office investigated, detectives followed tips up into Pierce County, and down into Cowlitz County, saying the last place they could verify she was seen was a trailer park in the Toutle area.

Croft-Payne’s aunt, Karen Hinton, who lives in the Portland area, connected a few months ago with a Vancouver, Wash.-based group called National Women’s Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation (NWCAVE), and together they have pursued information about Croft-Payne meeting a photographer online as she created a modeling portfolio.

Her last postings on her Facebook account talk about how she couldn’t wait to get her portfolio done and that she was going to a photo shoot, Hinton said.

It’s a path the sheriff’s office is now beginning to examine, Hinton said.

Croft-Payne had posted a profile on a website called Model Mayhem, as did at least two other missing girls, according to Bart of NWCAVE.

Bart said the Sunday afternoon vigil will be informal, and include an update on the case.

Read background on Kayla Croft-Payne, here
•••

What: Vigil for Kayla Croft-Payne
Where: Recreation Park, Penny Playground in Chehalis, 221 SW 13th St.
When: 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. Sunday April 28, 2013

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

ELECTRICAL ISSUE SUSPECT IN CENTRALIA FIRE

• A man, a woman and their three dogs escaped a fire last night in their home on the 300 block of Big Hanaford Road outside Centralia. Firefighters called about 8 p.m. found flames breaking through the floor of the single-wide mobile home and put a stop to it fairly quickly, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Capt. Scott Snyder said the occupant saw smoke near a heat register and contacted the trailer park’s manager. The damage to the home is repairable, but Red Cross was contacted to help the couple with temporary accommodations, Snyder said. They suspect an electrical problem but the cause is under investigation, he said.

STOVETOP FIRE STOPPED WITH FLOUR

• Firefighters helped evacuate smoke from an apartment yesterday morning after cooking oil on a stove boiled over at the 1600 block of Johnson Road in Centralia. Firefighter Jesse Berry said the occupant did the right thing, putting flour on the flames instead of water.

PORK PILFERING

• Centralia police were called yesterday afternoon about the theft of a ham. The incident was captured on surveillance video at a grocery store on the 500 block of South Tower Avenue, according to police. A department spokesperson said he didn’t have all the details of how someone managed to get out the door with a ham. “They probably hid it, cause you’d be noticed if you just carried out a ham,” Officer John Panco said. “But I don’t know how big the ham was. It could have been a little one you could just throw in your purse.”

VANDALISM

• Police were called about 6:10 p.m. yesterday after a basement door was discovered kicked in at the 1500 block of Crescent Avenue in Centralia.

• Someone removed the lug nuts from the wheel of a vehicle at the 300 block of South Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday morning.

• Centralia police responded yesterday morning to a slew of graffiti postings around town. Some of the spray painting was red, some was black and it was found on buildings, walls and a fence at the 300 block of South Tower Avenue, the 500 block of North Tower Avenue, the 1100 block of Johnson Road and the 700 block of North Washington Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department.

WRECK

• Firefighters responded late yesterday afternoon to a two vehicle collision at the northbound onramp to Interstate 5 in south Chehalis. The injuries to the occupants of a pickup truck and a car were minor, nobody went to the hospital, according to the Chehalis Fire Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrant, driving with suspended license, underage drinking; responses for a stolen purse, fender benders  … and more.

Lewis County jury convicts Centralia gang member of assault on teen

Friday, April 26th, 2013

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A jury took less than an hour today to convict accused gang member Joshua Rhoades as charged, for a roughly 30 to 40 second fight earlier this year on a Centralia street in which a 17-year-old boy was knocked unconscious.

Rhoades, 32, told police he was the one who got jumped, after three young men rushed his car at South Tower Avenue and Cherry Street the night of Jan. 31.

The trial in Lewis County Superior Court began Wednesday. A panel of six men and six women began deliberations about 2:15 p.m. today.

Prosecutors said Rhoades jumped out of a car, flashing gang signs and asking the teen and his friends if they knew who he was and if they were  rival “Nortenos”. The teenager Dustin McLean testified on Wednesday that Rhoades held a closed knife in his fist as he struck him.

The brief brawl included two of Rhoades’ companions as well as at least two of the three boys. McLean said he was hit well over 20 times.

Rhoades was convicted of second-degree assault, with a deadly weapon enhancement and a so-called aggravator that the incident was intended to enhance Rhoades’ affiliation in a street gang. The finding means he faces the possibility of getting sentenced to the maximum of 10 years in prison.

Police say the Centralia resident belongs to the LVL and goes by the street name Spooker.

Defense attorney Chris Baum argued that at worst the conduct was misdemeanor assault, as he described in closing statements the mark or abrasion on the teen’s face didn’t amount to substantial bodily injury.

One of the other participants, Michael J. Daily, 25, was also charged with second-degree assault but has made a deal with prosecutors, according to Baum.

Judge James Lawler handled the case.

Rhoades will be back before a judge next Thursday to set a date for sentencing.

News brief: Clean out your medicine cabinet, maybe save a life

Friday, April 26th, 2013

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

After collecting more than 1,000 tons of expired and unwanted prescription medications at previous events over the past three years, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will hold a national drug take back day tomorrow.

In Rochester, containers of old meds can be dropped off between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

The idea is to prevent abuse, addiction and even death from theft, diversion, accidental ingestion and misuse, according to the DEA.

The number of people across the country abusing prescription drugs is higher than than those using cocaine, heroin and hallucinogens combined, officials say. The majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet, according to surveys of users.

They can be delivered tomorrow to the collection site at the ROOF Community Resource Center in Rochester on the corner of U.S. Highway 12 and Bend Street  SW, according to the sheriff’s office.

In Lewis County, four local drop off sites were established late in 2010.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Updated at 7:34 p.m.

HIT AND RUN

• Just before 1 a.m. today, a Centralia police officer noticed a parked vehicle with significant damage that appeared fresh at the 300 block of Harrison Avenue. A suspect vehicle was located a few blocks away, but officers are still investigating to figure out who the driver was, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FUNNY MONEY

• An officer was called to Chehalis City Hall yesterday afternoon about the receipt of two counterfeit $20 bills. They were taken into evidence, according to police.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Police were called about 4:15 p.m. yesterday to the 700 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia regarding two tool boxes taken from a van in a carport there.

VANDALISM

• Police were called to a restroom at the Fairway Shopping Center on South Gold Street in Centralia yesterday for graffiti in which someone posted an individual’s name and phone number and suggesting folks call to tell that person to tell them to tell Obama to keep his filthy hands off other people’s guns.

WRECKS

• Centralia police and aid responded to a rear end collision at noon yesterday at the 700 block of West Main Street in which the rear window of one of the vehicles was broken out by its driver’s head. He was treated by medics, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

• A driver escaped without serious injuries when his vehicle left U.S. Highway 12 just east of the Mayfield Lake bridge, hit the ditch and rolled up onto its top yesterday, according to Lewis County Fire District 8. Firefighters called just before 5 p.m. said the lone occupant declined treatment.

• A collision around 6:15 a.m. on southbound Interstate 5 near the Napavine interchange blocked the left lane and shoulder for a period of time this morning, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. A Toyota pickup ran into the median causing minor damage to the truck, something that seemed to have followed the driver suffering a medical problem, according to Lewis County Fire District 5. A trooper started CPR which medics continued all the way to Providence Centralia Hospital, District 5 Firefighter Brad Bozarth said. The Washington State Patrol reported that Michael E. Seifert, 61, of Onalaska, died. His truck scraped along the jersey barrier for approximately 600 feet before coming to a stop, according to the state patrol.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for misdemeanor assault, warrant; reports of misdemeanor theft, parking lot fender benders; responses for burglar alarms, suspicious circumstances … an individual who called to report a threatening note found on her car while she was inside Wal-Mart regarding leaving her dog in the vehicle … and more. (Looks like it’s nearly the end of a practically drama-free week around Lewis County.)

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Updated at 7:04 p.m.

SKILLET ATTACK REPORTED

• Centralia police were called just after 11 p.m. yesterday to the 3000 block of Borst Avenue where a woman said her 18-year-old daughter hit her with a frying pan. The daughter was not located and the investigation continues, according to the Centralia Police Department. Sgt. Kurt Reichert said the victim had a minor bruise on her cheek.

ALLEGED BONG-SMOKING BABY’S MOTHER IN TROUBLE

• Centralia police yesterday arrested the mother accused of giving her toddler a hit off a bong for violating a protection order. Rachelle L. Braaten, 24, is free on bail pending trial in the case that caught the attention of a worldwide audience with a cell phone video last month that prosecutors claim shows her allowing her 2-year-old to smoke marijuana from a water pipe. Braaten is prohibited by court order from contacting the boy, but officers were tipped off about 9 p.m. yesterday she was at the home on the 1400 block of Delaware Avenue in north Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department. She was discovered hiding in a closet, Sgt. Kurt Reichert said. Braaten was arrested and then released.

ATTEMPTED BREAK-IN

• A deputy was called about 8:15 p.m. yesterday to the 100 block of Pinkerton Road in Ethel following the discovery someone had pried a lock off a door to a garage-shop building. The person taking care of the property for its owner thought it had occurred sometime after April 13 and didn’t believe anything had been stolen, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

‘SURVIVORMAN’ IN LEWIS COUNTY WILDERNESS AREA

• The missing survivalist thought to be lost in  the Capitol Forest is alive and well in a wilderness area near Morton, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office. The Lacey man was dropped off in the woods last Thursday by his wife, according to kirotv.com, and a search was conducted when he didn’t return home on Monday. The sheriff’s office notes via Twitter, that Scott Garrow said he left of his own free will.

SUPER FIRE DEPARTMENT GAINING TRACTION

• Effective immediately, Riverside Fire Authority Chief Jim Walkowski will oversee the Chehalis Fire Department as well as his own in Centralia. Walkowski said his board of commissioners last night approved the agreement, already given the thumbs up by officials in Chehalis. Chehalis’s Chief Kelvin Johnson retired this week after five years at the helm.

ANOTHER ARREST MADE IN ADNA SHOTGUN CASE

• The Raymond woman who authorities say concocted the plan that led to a shotgun incident in an Adna parking lot last week has been arrested. Amalia L. Copp was booked into the Lewis County Jail yesterday afternoon after she was apprehended in Pacific County. Prosecutors allege an acquaintance of hers fired at a car being driven by her ex-boyfriend outside at the 76 station on state Route 6 the morning of April 16. Gilbert Borquez, 36, was arrested two days later and then charged with first-degree assault, drive by shooting, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of an illegal firearm. Copp, 43, faces identical charges. Court documents state she was trying to get back her rental car from her ex-boyfriend who stole it. A judge this afternoon ordered her held on $100,000 bail. Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead said she masterminded the plans, and that even though Gilbert Borquez fired the sawed off shotgun, Copp is charged as an accomplice. Halstead  declined to say if the alleged victim and vehicle have been located, answering this afternoon with a “maybe.”

ALSO FROM THE COURTHOUSE

• Prosecutors have made an offer for a plea arrangement to the pair of brothers arrested in January after a marijuana growing operation was discovered in their Seminary Hill Road home. Zeshawn H. Hasnani, 27, and Sohail Hasnani, 24, allegedly sold their product to medical marijuana dispensaries and have been jailed since their Jan. 10 arrest. Defense attorney Douglas Hiatt told a judge today the offer was conveyed to the men and they’d be contemplating it over the next week. The brothers and their lawyers were in Lewis County Superior Court this afternoon for a review hearing. They are scheduled to appear before a judge again next Thursday afternoon.

BONUS QUOTE OF THE DAY

• “You’ll see me in court.” – Angry parting words to a judge from a woman unhappy with his ruling on her request this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended licenses; reports of stolen bicycles; responses for burglar alarms, reports of misdemeanor assault, landlord-tenant issues … and more.

Trial in Centralia gang beating opens with testimony from teen victim

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 17-year-old Rochester boy testified today he was fighting for his life when he was jumped by purported gang member Joshua Rhoades and two others in Centralia in late January.

Dustin McLean said he saw a 4-inch closed knife in Rhoades’ fist, was pulled to the ground by a female, punched by a taller white guy and then beaten and kicked.

“I was hit well over 20 times,” McLean said.

The Centralia College student was the first witness in the trial that began today in Lewis County Superior Court in Chehalis. Rhoades, 32, is charged with second-degree assault.

Deputy Prosecutor Joely O’Rourke contended in opening statements the teen was minding his own business walking to the store at night with friends when a car carrying a trio of strangers stopped near them at Fuller’s Market on South Tower Avenue looking for trouble.

O’Rourke told jurors the reason for the attack was to further Rhoades’ (aka Spooker) affiliation in the street gang, LVL.

Prosecutors have alleged in charging documents that Rhoades jumped out of a green Ford Taurus flashing gang signs, asking the teen and his friends if they were  rival “Nortenos” as he held a knife; and that he initiated a fight in which the 17-year-old was knocked unconscious.

Defense attorney Chris Baum cross examined McLean, questioning how he could possibly positively identify a knife in the dark that was held in a closed hand, why he told police he didn’t want aid and why he told a doctor he wasn’t knocked out.

Twelve jurors plus one alternate, comprised of six men and seven women, are hearing the case that is set to continue into the end of the week. Judge James Lawler is presiding.

•••

For background, read “Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup – ALLEGED GANG MEMBER DENIES BEATING TEEN” from Thursday February 7, 2013, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

FRAUD ATTEMPT ON ELDERLY WOMAN

• Chehalis police were called yesterday afternoon by a woman who said her mother went to Western Union at Shop ‘N Kart to wire money to an impostor who had phoned and said he was her grandson being held at a police department until he could pay the repair bill following a rear end collision he caused. “Her children were able to catch it before the transaction, thank goodness,” detective Sgt. Gary WIlson said. Wilson called it a typical scam, which is widespread and nearly cost the woman who is in her 80s $1,885.

THEFT FROM FRONT PORCH

• Two old wooden bar stools were removed from a front porch at the 200 block of North Diamond Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police at mid-morning yesterday.

OTHER THEFT

• A tool box was reported stolen yesterday afternoon from the 500 block of South Silver Street in Centralia.

• Centralia police took a report about 12:40 a.m. today of a wallet stolen from a locker at a health club at the 2000 block of Borst Avenue.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police were called again yesterday morning to the 100 block of Virginia Drive regarding vehicle tire issues. This time a subject reported their tire was slashed.

NOT AN ASSAULT

• Chehalis police were called just before 7 p.m. yesterday to an alley off of Southwest Lewis Street where a witness thought they saw a male hit a female with a car, knocking her down. The female told an arriving officer he tried to drive away, she got her hand hung up in the car and fell in a mud puddle, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Nobody was arrested.

NO ROOM AT THE INN, OR THE POLICE DEPARTMENT

• Chehalis police were called about 3 o’clock this morning from a  registered sex offender at a downtown bus shelter who said he was kicked out of where he had been staying, was very cold and inquired if he could sleep at the police station. Detective Sgt. Gary WIlson said he didn’t know how this particular call turned out but said officers commonly attempt to find a shelter or organization which can assist in those cases.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, misdemeanor theft; responses for disputes, burglar alarms; complaints of harassment; vehicle tire punctured, barking neighbor dogs … and more.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Updated at 6:59 p.m.

DRUG BUST AT CHEHALIS HOUSE

• A 36-year-old Chehalis man was arrested at his home yesterday morning following an ongoing investigation into drug sales. A half dozen law enforcement officers arrived about 9 a.m. with a search warrant at the single family residence on the 500 block of Southwest William Avenue, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Three individuals were detained but police arrested only Jonathan A. O’Connor, for multiple counts of delivery of methamphetamine, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said. The case regarding his 36-year-old girlfriend is being referred to prosecutors for evaluation of a possible charge of conspiracy to deliver drugs, Wilson said. Officers found minimal amounts of suspected meth, but confiscated packaging materials and scales, which suggest drug dealing, according to police.

THEFT OF CRIME STOPPERS SIGN

• Someone stole the Crime Stoppers sign right off its posts in Morton. It was near the 400 block of Second Street and police are looking for tips as to where it is now. Chief Dan Mortensen asks anyone with information to call Lewis County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-748-6422.

GARAGE AND TOOL LOOTING

• A weed eater, a power saw and motorcycle gear were reported missing yesterday from a garage on the 200 block of North Oak Street in Centralia. The theft occurred sometime during the previous couple of days, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police were called about 1:50 p.m. yesterday regarding tools missing from the front porch of a residence on the 800 block of Woodland Avenue in Centralia.

CAUGHT INSIDE VACANT HOME

• Centralia police arrested two women yesterday afternoon for allegedly breaking a window and entering an unoccupied home on the 200 block of West Magnolia Street. The 22-year-old and the 48-year-old were booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree burglary, but both were released without charges today pending further investigation.

BOOZE RUNS

• A 48-year-old woman was caught just before noon yesterday trying to steal a bottle of vodka from a store on the 500 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia and then later around 8 p.m., a pair of males each shoplifted an 18-pack of beer from a business on the 1300 block of South Gold Street, according to the Centralia Police Department.

WRONG PEDAL PROBLEM

• Police officers were called about 7:25 p.m. yesterday to the 1200 block of Johnson Road in Centralia after a driver inadvertently stepped on the gas pedal while backing up and ended up hitting a vehicle, a travel trailer, a garage and two fences, according to the Centralia Police Department. The driver’s injuries were minor, according to police.

THOSE SNEAKY DEVILS

• Centralia police were called at 7 a.m. yesterday to the 100 block of Virginia Drive where a female said someone was deflating the tires on her car. They were called back to the same area just before 2 o’clock this morning where a male discovered someone had let the air out of one if his tires.

LEADERSHIP CHANGE AT RURAL CHEHALIS FIRE DISTRICT

• Longtime volunteer firefighter Jim Martin was recently sworn in as an interim commissioner for Lewis County Fire District 6. The 41-year-old rural Chehalis resident ran unsuccessfully for the position in 2011. Martin said he replaces Greg Pulver, who resigned his post to work outside the area. When he ran against now-Commissioner Kirk Johnston in 2011, the two men indicated neither would be very upset if the other won, as they shared many of the same views on how to run the department. Martin says he plans to run in November for a permanent six-year-term. He said he intends to continue as a volunteer firefighter-EMT. “My main focus is steering, to help steer, the district in the future, as one of three commissioners,” he said.

FLAMES LIGHT UP WINLOCK SKY

• A 30-foot long fifth wheel trailer burned last night south of Winlock and the cause is under investigation. Firefighters from four departments were called to the 9:15 p.m. call to a back field northwest of the intersection of state Route 505 and North Military Road, according to Lewis County Fire District 15. “It was fully involved when we got there,” District 15 Firefighter-EMT Patrick Jacobson said this morning. State Route 505 was shut down for about 30 minutes, because of the large number of fire trucks, he said. Nobody was living in the trailer and nobody was injured, Jacobson said. It didn’t seem suspicious, he said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault; responses for burglar alarms, fender bender, found drug paraphernalia, noisy neighbors; complaints of disputes … and more.

2013.0422.winlockfifthwheel.second_2

Fifth wheel trailer burns in Winlock / Courtesy photo

News brief: Blaze destroys Littlerock business

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013
2013.0423.littlerockfire_2

A cinder block building burns behind the remaining structural pieces of a different building, which was destroyed by fire many years ago.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

An early morning fire gutted a former mill in Littlerock.

About 25 firefighters responded to the call just after 5 a.m. to the 6500 block of 128th Avenue Southwest, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.

The roof of the large cinderblock building collapsed and a live power pole ignited, according to department spokesperson Lanette Dyer.

“Nothing in there is salvageable,” Dyer said.

Dyer said the 40 foot by 60 foot structure was a wood mill at one time and she believes it is currently used for welding and some type of fabrication. She didn’t know the name of the business.

Crews remain on the scene cooling the debris down with water and expect to be there all day, she said.

The cause is unknown, but didn’t appear suspicious, she said.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Updated at 6:56 p.m.

SHOE BOX SCARE AT CENTRALIA CITY HALL

• Police shut down a portion of North Pearl Street in Centralia after a small box was discovered sitting on a sidewalk next to City Hall, specifically outside police department offices, at about 9 a.m. this morning. Bomb technicians from the Washington State Patrol were summoned, who X-rayed what Police Chief Bob Berg said he thought was a shoe box, finding it empty. Nobody was evacuated, but personnel moved to a different part of the building, Berg said. The chief said it was sitting atop an access grate. The street was reopened about 11:45 a.m.

FIREFIGHTERS EVACUATE CHEHALIS MOVIE THEATER

• Firefighters summoned last night about a smokey haze inside the movie theater in Chehalis searched the building and finally discovered the transformer that feeds a neon sign above the concession stand had shorted out. Employees suspected it was the popcorn machine and didn’t evacuate the building until after firefighters arrived, according to Chehalis Fire Department Capt. Rob Gebhart. The call to the Midway Cinemas on Northeast Hampe Way came about 8:30 p.m., he said. After a manager noticed the sign wasn’t illuminated, crews found the charred wiring, Gebhart said. Gebhart said workers asked movie-goers in each of the theaters to exit the building, and estimated some 50 customers waited outside for 10 to 15 minutes before they were allowed back in. Gebhart said it was odd in that the incident didn’t trip the circuit breaker, but an electrician was going to come out today.

REALLY? ON VOICE MAIL?

• A 27-year-old Winlock man was jailed on Friday after he allegedly left voice messages for his girlfriend of five years following their break up saying he would kill her and dispose of her body where it wouldn’t be found. Ross C. Lawrence was contacted and arrested for felony harassment, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

BUSTING IN TO THE MASONIC TEMPLE

• Chehalis police were called just after 7 a.m. yesterday when someone observed a subject break through the front door window of the Masonic temple on the 100 block of West Main Street. Arriving officers searched the building and found a trail of blood – presumably from a glass cut – leading out the back door, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Nothing was taken, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said.

SNEAKING INTO GIRL’S HOUSE

• Police were called about 7 p.m. on Saturday when someone saw a subject crawl through an upstairs window at a neighbor’s home on the 600 block of Southwest Pacific Avenue in Chehalis. Officers caught a 15-year-old boy coming back out the window, police said. It was his former girlfriend’s house, nobody was home at the time and the teenager was booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center for burglary. Detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said he didn’t know what the teen was doing there.

GLENOMA BURGLARY

• A deputy was called about 1 p.m. on Saturday to the 7500 block of U.S. Highway 12 in Glenoma where someone had gone into a mostly empty residence and stole a blanket, pillows, a fishing vest, jumper cables and a Garth Brooks CD collection, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

COINS, CURRENCY MISSING FROM CENTRALIA HOME

• A 45-year-old Centralia man called the sheriff’s office to his home on the 1500 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia on Friday afternoon after discovering someone had got into his gun safe and stolen numerous collectible currency and coins, including a Kennedy half dollar. No forced entry was found into the residence or the safe, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is estimated at $500.

DRUGS

• A 31-year-old Centralia man was arrested in Centralia on Friday in connection with an ongoing Chehalis Police Department investigation into alleged drug dealing. Joseph L. Nickols was booked into the Lewis County jail for delivery of drugs and also possession of a controlled substance because he had a patch of Fentanyl – a potent pain medication –  without a prescription, detective Sgt. Gary WIlson said.

ALLEGED VANDALS CAPTURED

• Centralia police arrested three teenage boys after they were caught spray painting graffiti on a business at the 1900 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia yesterday afternoon. Further details were not readily available.

GRILL TAMPERING

• Centralia police were called about 3:50 a.m. today to the 500 block of North Pearl Street where an unknown subject apparently had entered a fenced area, turned on the propane to someone’s gas grill and then left.

WRECK

• A 17-year-old Mossyrock girl escaped with minor injuries when  she lost control of her car on the 400 block of Salmon Creek Road, traveled down an embankment, impacted a tree and landed on its top on Friday night, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The girl said it happened about 9 p.m. and she walked home, according to the sheriff’s office. Her Ford Focus was totaled, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. She was cited for wheels off the roadway and will likely be in trouble for driving with a suspended license, the sheriff’s office reported.

FROM THE COURTHOUSE

• The man who found himself shot when he confronted a resident inside an unlocked rural Chehalis home one night in February has pleaded guilty and apologized for what he did. Brian L. Creed, 51, was high on methamphetamine when he encountered an armed and just-awakened young man inside the manufactured home on the 400 block of Highway 603 west of Chehalis, according to authorities. Court documents say 24-year-old Joshua Norman ordered Creed out, but Creed charged him, Norman fired his 40 caliber handgun and then Creed tackled Norman on February 10. Norman held him at gunpoint until deputies arrived. Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Shane O’Rourke said Norman and his wife didn’t attend Friday’s court hearing in Lewis County Superior Court, but Creed read aloud a statement in which he told them and the court he was sorry. He pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary, although O’Rourke indicated it still wasn’t exactly clear what Creed’s intentions were for entering a stranger’s home. Creed, who was shot in the abdomen and hospitalized for about 10 days, was sentenced to just shy of three years in prison. He was also sentenced to 90 days for a separate second-degree trespass. He has two past convictions for felony theft and two more for misdemeanor theft.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants; reports of shoplifting; responses for burglar alarms, suspicious circumstances, a high school student who was “verbal” to staff at the school; complaints of loud neighbors, a woman’s child’s grandparents harassing her on Facebook … and more.

Frosty’s burglary suspect denies entering through boarded up window, taking $15,000 from safe

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The 37-year-old homeless man accused of pedaling a bicycle to Frosty’s Saloon and Grill in Napavine for an overnight burglary in which some $15,000 was stolen from a safe the week before last has pleaded not guilty.

Lonzo W. Lawson remains in the Lewis County Jail pending trial, held on $100,000 bail.

Prosecutors allege Lawson recently learned from a cell mate at the jail – a Frosty’s employee – there would be a large amount of cash inside and was told the layout of the tavern. A board covering a broken window was pushed out and a knife was apparently used to pry open the office door.

When Lawson was arrested April 12 at a motel in Chehalis, police found he had a new computer, cash and other new merchandise, according to charging documents. He was high on heroin and with two women who were using drugs with him, prosecutors allege.

According to charging documents, he told two acquaintances of his plan and shared some of the money with them. One man told police the money was spent on drugs, clothing and at the Lucky Eagle Casino. At least $800 was recovered.

Lawson, who was described by police as a transient with no known connections to the West Front Street establishment, denied any involvement.

A stocking cap found on the floor when an employee arrived for work the morning of April 9 was taken for DNA testing.

Lawson was charged on Monday with first-degree burglary, first-degree theft, two counts of trafficking in stolen property and possession of heroin; he pleaded not guilty on Thursday.

His trial was scheduled for the week of May 27.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

CHARGES FILED IN GAS STATION SHOTS FIRED CASE

• Bail was set at $100,000 for Gilbert Borquez after prosecutors filed charges in connection with Tuesday’s events outside an Adna gas station. Borquez, 36, told detectives he accidentally fired his sawed off shotgun into the ground when he and a group of others from Raymond were attempting to get a stolen car back from someone. Borquez on Friday was charged with first-degree assault, drive by shooting, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of an illegal firearm. Prosecutors state in charging documents that a 911 operator was told one of the males fired a shotgun at a newer four-door vehicle. The participants and victim had fled by the time law enforcement officers arrived to the morning mayhem at the corner of Highway 603 and state Route 6.

BREAKING AND ENTERING

• A 45-year-old Centralia man was arrested last night after he was caught inside a vacant building at the 400 block of South Iron Street taking unspecified property. Brian H. Jones was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police took a report on Friday morning of someone breaking into a house under repair at the 1200 block of Delaware Avenue in Centralia and posting graffiti.

• Someone broke into an empty garage on the 500 block of South Silver Street in Centralia and left with a wheelbarrow from the yard, according to a report made to police on Friday.

MISSING TRUCK

• A black Chevrolet S10 was stolen from the backyard of a home on the 500 block of East Maple Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 1 a.m. yesterday. It has a license plate of B20781K, according to the Centralia Police Department.

K9 FINDS WANTED SUBJECT UNDER BRUSH

• Police dog Lobo was called in to track down a wanted person just after 7 p.m. on Friday in the area of North Tower Avenue and East Third Streets in Centralia. Michael E, Bicker, 27, of Centralia, was located hiding under bushes behind a business on B Street and booked into the lewis County Jail, according to police.

OOPS

• Police called to the 1500 block of Windsor Avenue in Centralia for a dispute over a laptop computer late Friday afternoon discovered it was stolen. Officers will be working with Amtrak police to get it back to its rightful owner, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VEHICLE PROWL

• A shopper at the Centralia Outlets off Lum Road returned to their vehicle to find someone had broken in and stolen a backpack and two Xbox 360 game systems just after 9 p.m. on Friday, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police took a report from a citizen yesterday that someone had broken out a window at the Borst home in Fort Borst Park.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants; reports of misdemeanor thefts … and more.

Mother of dead Centralia 2-year-old admits some responsibility in case

Friday, April 19th, 2013
2013.0419.beckyheupelpleaguilty_2

Becky Heupel watches while her lawyer confers with the deputy prosecutor during her court hearing today.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Koralynn Fister’s mother pleaded guilty today to her role in the circumstances that led to the Centralia toddler’s death.

Becky M. Heupel’s short term live-in boyfriend James Reeder has been convicted of the abuse, sexual and otherwise, that led to the child dying last May, but Heupel today agreed to pay with prison time for not acting on clues something was amiss.

“Guilty,” she answered when asked by the judge.

And when Judge James Lawler concluded all his questioning and pronounced the 31-year-old guilty of criminal mistreatment in the second degree, she began to dab at her eyes with a tissue.

Heupel was free to leave after the 30 minute hearing in Lewis County Superior Court. Her sentencing won’t take place until next month.

Prosecutors haven’t suggested the mother of two participated in any way or witnessed the 25-year-old unemployed boyfriend harming the 2-year-old girl in the weeks before she died. In fact, Deputy Prosecutor Shane O’Rourke confirmed today there was no evidence she did.

If there was, she would have been facing the same kind of sentence as Reeder, O’Rourke said.

But when Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer charged the mother last month, Meyer said spoke of Heupel’s inaction.

Meyer said he believed Heupel put her relationship with her new boyfriend ahead of the well-being of her child, ignoring warnings from others he was abusive and ignoring injuries on Koralynn she said would have prompted her to call police if they were on someone else’s child.

Koralynn died on May 24 of head injuries and drowning; Reeder told police he found her face down in the bathtub when he stepped out to get a towel. Heupel and her 4-year-old daughter had left the house about two and half hours earlier.

Reeder had moved into the household only about 10 weeks earlier. Prosecutors have said he suggested parenting duties be divided up and as a result, he spent a significant time alone with the little one, changing her diapers and giving her baths.

Prosecutors indicated a lengthy list of injuries, some old and some new found on the child’s body, such as palm-sized pieces of skin missing from her buttocks, signs of penetration, bruising, a missing toenail and more.

Last May, after Reeder’s arrest, Prosecutor Meyer called it the worst case of child abuse and neglect he’d seen in his career.

Heupel’s attorney, Paul Strophy, said today his client did see some injuries, but not any that suggested to her sexual abuse was occurring. In the final weeks, Heupel didn’t see Koralynn’s private areas, he said, adding that he believed her.

He suggested Reeder was a predator.

“On the surface, in her presence, he appeared very attentive, a good father figure,” Strophy said.

He offered to take a more hands on approach, and she appreciated it, he said.

“Obviously she now feels like she didn’t do enough and didn’t see the signs” Strophy said. “Had she known or realized what was going on, she would have put a stop to it, or got help from law enforcement.”

O’Rourke today said Heupel saw the injuries, or should have. Anybody who’s a regular parent would have, he said.

“There has to be some recognition, the fact that when you’re a parent, you watch out for this,” O’Rourke said.

Attorneys on the two sides have agreed to recommend a so-called exceptionally high sentence, but only by one day. They will suggest to the judge she go to prison for a year and one day.

Today, when Judge Lawler queried Heupel, and asked if she realized he would still be free to impose the maximum penalty of five years, she faltered.

“No,” Heupel said.

Her response prompted a 10 minute recess, during which she and Strophy left the room to talk alone.

It was after their return, and Heupel agreeing with the judge she understood that he pronounced her guilty.

She admitted to second-degree criminal mistreatment – recklessly creating an imminent and substantial risk of death or great bodily harm by leaving her child in Reeder’s care.

She will be sentenced on May 16.
•••

For background, read “Koralynn Fister: Dead toddler’s mother pleads innocent to putting little one in harm’s way” from Friday March 22, 2013, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, April 19th, 2013

TEMPER TANTRUMS

• A 31-year-old man was arrested yesterday after deputies were called about someone breaking windows at the Mineral Post Office. The suspect, David J. Otis located in Morton, said he was having a bad day, and admitted to throwing a rock and an ash tray at the building, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The Mineral resident was booked into jail for second-degree malicious mischief, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The damage is about $1,000, according to Brown.

• A 28-year-old man was arrested yesterday evening for assaults after deputies were called to the 100 block of Sunflower Lane in Onalaska. Eric C. Neilson, of Toledo, had gone to his mother’s home to pick up rent and allegedly swung a metal fence post a driver’s side window of a vehicle and broke out the rear window with a rock as well as shoved and punched people there, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Neilson was located down the road and told deputies he “wanted his money,” Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to Brown.

THEFTS OF WIRING

• Centralia police were called about 1:30 p.m. yesterday to a vacant residence on the 1000 block of South Pearl Street where someone had broken in and ripped out wiring and fixtures.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said this morning deputies took reports of pieces of copper ground wire stolen from multiple utility poles along the 2100 block of Cispus Road in Randle and also the 200 block of Mineral Road South. The loss to Lewis County PUD is more than $4,500, according to the sheriff’s office.

VEHICLE VERUS BICYCLIST

• A 23-year-old woman on a bicycle was struck by a vehicle which then drove away yesterday at the 400 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia. Police, called about 4 p.m., say the back tire on the bike was hit causing her to spin around. Her injuries were minor, according to the Centralia Police Department.

WRECK

• Centralia police were called just after 8 a.m. yesterday to Fremont Avenue and North Pearl Street where a motorist struck the rear of one of four vehicles which were stopped in a line. Injuries were minor, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor assaults  … and more.

Sawed off shotgun found near Adna gas station, one arrested

Thursday, April 18th, 2013
2013.0418.gilbert.borquez.shotgun_2

Gilbert Borquez waits for a judge in a Chehalis courtroom this afternoon.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – If what Gilbert Borquez says is true, two vehicles full of people from Raymond were trying to help a female get back her rental car – containing $500 and all her belongings – from her ex-boyfriend who stole it, when a sawed-off shotgun accidentally discharged outside an Adna gas station on Tuesday.

Amalia Copp concocted a plan to get the ex, Paul Martin, to meet someone at the 76 station on state Route 6 for a drug deal and they would rush up and take back her rental car, Borquez told detectives.

But Martin in his Nissan drove off erratically; and then Borquez gave chase in his silver Hyundai but got stuck in the ditch, the story goes.

One of the group ran for the nearby fields and two males along with Copp left in a silver Jeep Cherokee, according to the interview as described in court documents. The Jeep was stopped by a trooper farther west on state Route 6, but the occupants denied any involvement, and were released.

Borquez, 36, was booked into the Lewis County Jail last night, and appeared in court this afternoon.

Prosecutors asked he be held with no bail, as the details get sorted out.

He was arrested by the sheriff’s office for drive-by shooting and first-degree assault, but Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey today said he could see probable cause to hold him for second-degree assault, as well as a weapons violation because of the pistol-grip sawed off shotgun.

“I’ll give you till 4 o’clock tomorrow (to charge him), Brosey said this afternoon.

The Lewis County segment of the saga began about 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday with a 911 call about someone firing a shotgun outside the gas station at the intersection with Highway 603. Then two, or three, vehicles fled the area, with one subject on foot who was finally tracked that afternoon along the Chehalis River.

Borquez told detectives that when they arrived at the gas station and he saw Martin had a handgun, he retrieved his shotgun from his vehicle, according to court documents.

He said he fired one round into the ground, which was accidental, the documents state.

Today, Borquez was taken back out the area to assist in recovering the shotgun. He’d said he had thrown it into the brush across the street from where his car was stuck, according to court documents.

Defense attorney Bob Schroeter argued unsuccessfully for only $10,000 bail, noting it seemed like an inadvertent release of a shotgun into the ground.

There is no allegation anyone was shot.

According to court documents, detectives tracked down Borquez by asking law officers in Pacific County about a short, stocky Hispanic male with tattoos on the left side of his neck and face who was known for involvement with the three stopped in the Jeep. That was the description given by witnesses at the scene.

A witness from the gas station picked his photo out of a montage, according to the documents.

According to Borquez, the plan was hatched on Tuesday morning, when Copp and three males arrived at his home in Raymond asking for help.

She said she’d rented a 2012 Nissan Altima because she’d been kicked out of her father’s house the night before, and everything she had was in the car when her ex-boyfriend took it, Borquez told detectives.

Borquez is scheduled to return to court tomorrow afternoon when, if charges are filed, his bail will be set.

Robert R. Ogilve, 42, who was booked Tuesday afternoon  remains in the jail on a  warrant from the state Department of Corrections.

The Pacific County resident told detectives he just wanted a ride into town from a friend, and the next thing he knew he found himself at a gas station near Chehalis where there was a dispute and someone firing a shotgun, court documents state.

•••

For background, read “Dispute, gunshot draws law enforcement to state Route 6 intersection” from Tuesday April 16, 2013, here