Posts Tagged ‘news reporter’

Decades old child sex crime case for Ricky Riffe on calendar for next week

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Prosecutors have offered a deal to convicted murderer and former Mossyrock resident Ricky Riffe if he pleads guilty to charges he raped and molested his then-9-year-old step-daughter in the mid-1980s.

Riffe, 55, is already serving a sentence of nearly 103 years, following his conviction last fall in the 1985 kidnapping, robbery and murders of Ed and Minnie Maurin, an elderly Ethel couple.

He was arrested in mid-2012 in the old case, and extradited from his longtime home in King Salmon, Alaska back to Lewis County where he was found guilty after a six-week trial.  Early last year, while he was in the jail waiting for his murder trial, prosecutors filed charges accusing him of sex crimes, saying new information came to light during the Maurin investigation.

Riffe appeared in Lewis County Superior Court this afternoon, where lawyers were expected to confirm if they are prepared for the trial which is scheduled for next week.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer told the judge there had been an offer made by his office, but he understood Riffe’s attorney hadn’t yet conveyed it to or discussed it with his client.

Meyer didn’t disclose what the deal consisted of.

Seattle-based defense attorney John Crowley couldn’t attend the hearing, but represented his client via speakerphone.

Crowley began to explain he was involved in two trials in Eastern Washington, and while he was there, meant to visit Riffe in prison to discuss the offer. But then he learned Riffe had already been put on a bus back to Lewis County, he said.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt was stern, cutting the lawyer off before he could request a postponement.

“We’ve gone out of way to preserve dates for you,” Hunt said.

Hunt told him he expects either the trial to begin on time next week, or if a plea deal is reached, then a plea must made before that date.

Riffe has denied any sexual contact with the girl, according to charging documents.

Meyer said the trial is set to begin next Thursday and could last five days.


For background, read “Battle continues between Ricky Riffe, Lewis County prosecutors” from Friday January 3, 2014, here

And, “Attorneys dispute statute of limitations rules on surprise child sex charge for Maurin double murder defendant” from Saturday February 23, 2013, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, April 24th, 2014


• Firefighters in Chehalis rescued a dog yesterday that stumbled into a deep culvert, partially filled with water on former farmland. Police, firefighters and the city animal control officer were called just before 10 a.m. to the area west of Interstate 5 and north of the car dealership on Northwest Louisiana Avenue. Police said a man maybe in his 60s was walking his dog when it took off into the brush and trees and dropped into a hole, probably part of an abandoned irrigation pumping system. “There was water, I don’t know how deep the water was,” Community Services Officer Angie Elder said. The medium-sized shepherd mix could be seen paddling about 10 feet down, she said. A ladder was lowered into the opening – which was less than three feet wide – and it disappeared below the surface, she said.  One firefighter was able to lean down into the hole while another held onto him, and lasso the canine with a catch pole, she said. After he was pulled up, he seemed fine, other than being cold and wet and having a small cut near his eye, she said. “When he popped out, he was up and ready to go, he ran back to the pickup truck,” she said.


• At least two boxes of rifle ammunition were missing from a garage on the 1800 block of Taylor Street in Centralia following a burglary which was reported to police around 5 p.m. yesterday.

• Centralia police took a report about 9 a.m. yesterday from the 1400 block of Harrison Avenue regarding cash stolen from a parked vehicle.


• Another case of someone using someone else’s social security number to file a tax return was reported to Centralia police yesterday, from an individual at the 1400 block of Joyce Lane.

• An individual called police from the 2800 block of Russell Road in Centralia around 2 p.m. yesterday regarding fraudulent charges discovered on her debit card.


• A 29-year-old Pe Ell resident was arrested last night for possession of methamphetamine and third-degree theft following contact with an officer at the 500 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia. Steele E. Gove was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarms, disputes, collisions on city streets, hit and run … and more.

Morton teen pleads not guilty to assaulting mother with knife

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The 15-year-old Morton boy arrested last week after allegedly stabbing his mother will remain locked up as his case proceeds, a judge ordered yesterday.

The teen was taken to the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center in Chehalis following the incident at the family home on April 14.

He appeared before a judge yesterday morning for his arraignment, in the same building in Lewis County Juvenile Court. He is charged with second-degree assault.

His only words spoken during the short hearing were “Yes, your honor” and “not guilty”.

The boy is represented by Centralia attorney David Brown. Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Nelson is handling the case.

According to charging documents, the teen and his mother argued when he wanted to walk his girlfriend home from school, he overheard his mother laughing about him and he told police he’d had enough.

The documents describe wounds on the mother’s arm, leg and chest, as well as a knife about 14 inches long.

Rhiannon Foister, 35, was released from Harborview Medical Center in Seattle last Wednesday and is home recovering, Morton Police Department Police Chief Dan Mortensen indicated earlier this week.

Brown said the next steps for him are investigating the case.

The offense carries a possible penalty of 15 to 36 weeks of incarceration, Brown said.

A fact finding hearing, similar to a trial, Brown said, is scheduled for May 20.


For background, read “Morton mother recovering from stabbing, teen son remains locked up” from Thursday April 17, 2014, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Updated at 6:41 p.m.


• A 55-year-old Chehalis woman who responded to a text message purportedly from her credit union found herself a theft victim, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Department spokesperson Linda Bailey said the woman had previously received a text message from WSECU telling her of a problem with her account and that she needed to call right away. She called and gave them all her banking information, Bailey said. She contacted police yesterday to report approximately $2,000 was stolen from her account, Bailey said. An officer took a report and gave her a case number so she could complete her paperwork for the bank, Bailey said.


• A deputy took a report yesterday morning of a brown 1990 Chevrolet pick truck stolen from the 2100 block of Taylor Street in Centralia. The 24-year-old owner said when he woke up about 7 a.m., the vehicle was gone, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The four-wheel drive truck valued at about $3,000 was taken sometime after 8 p.m. the night before, according to the sheriff’s office. Its license plate is B62616V, Chief Criminal Deputy Stacy Brown said.


• Several firearms were among the items stolen from a storage unit at the 800 block of North Tower Avenue, according to a report made to Centralia police yesterday.


• A deputy took a report yesterday from the 300 block of Brown Road East regarding about $850 worth of power tools that went missing between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. last Friday. The victim suspects an individual that he knows and the case is under investigation, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Centralia police took a report from the 1200 block of Marion Street about 9:25 a.m. yesterday of a toolbox stolen out of a carport.


• Chehalis police took a report on Monday morning from the 100 block of Northeast Hillside Drive that mail was stolen from a mailbox. The victim found its door open and the inner locking door open as well, and no mail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• A former Chehalis resident picked up by police in Seattle yesterday was ordered held on $50,000 bail following information revealed last month by his now-5-year-old son he was raped while the family lived at the Chehalis Avenue Apartments about two years ago. Norman P. Gastfield was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail, charged in Lewis County Superior Court today with rape of a child in the first degree. Charging documents indicate the child’s mother contacted police on March 12, the same day the boy told her of something had happened in the past. A forensic interview was then conducted, during which the boy said his dad also let him watch “corn” and there were naked girls, as well as threatened to kill his mother if he told, charging documents state. Charging documents allege the incident occurred sometime between Jan. 1, 2012 and April 1, 2013. The family has since moved away and are separated or divorced, according to authorities. Gastfield had an address in Port Angeles, although police said he was most recently living as a transient in Seattle. His arraignment is scheduled for May 1, where he will be represented by court appointed attorney David Arcuri.


• Police were called about 7:30 p.m. yesterday regarding a razor found stuck in a tire as it was getting repaired from a Ford Explorer which had been parked at the 700 block of Northwest St. Helens Avenue in Chehalis.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license; responses for shoplifting, semi truck into a ditch … and more.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Updated at 8:04 p.m.


• A deputy responding about 7:40 a.m. yesterday to a burglary at Jarvis Truck Sales on the 100 block of Barnes Drive outside Toledo discovered someone forced their way through a door into a shop building and quite likely used pry bars they found there to remove a cash register from an office area. Missing is $515 cash, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Also missing are the pry bars and 31 feet of battery cable, Chief Civil Deputy Brown said.


• Law enforcement officers yesterday urged Oakville residents to lock their car doors when they’re parked, after an overnight spree of vehicle prowls this weekend. Several people were victimized between Saturday night and Sunday morning and in all cases, they involved unlocked vehicles, according to the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office. It happened on Main, West Oak and Eagle streets. The loot included stereos, iPods, flashlights tools and clothing, according to Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate. Uniforms from Jack-in-the-Box, including their jackets, are among the garments now on the street. Shumate urges everyone not to leave valuables in plain view, and to lock up.

• Centralia police took a report about 11:30 a.m. yesterday about a backpack stolen from out of a vehicle on Hemlock Street.

• A deputy took a report yesterday about someone getting into an unlocked vehicle at the 100 block of Mineral Hill Road and leaving with a Washington driver’s license, various credit cards and $230 cash,  according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It happened sometime between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Sunday, according to the sheriff’s office.


• A deputy was called about 4:30 p.m. yesterday to the 1900 block of Rice Road outside Chehalis to take a report of possible fraud in connection with someone using someone else’s identity to obtain a State Farm insurance policy, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The case is under investigation.

• In Morton, police are investigating the fraudulent order of 1,000 ink pens by someone in a business’s name without permission. The $469 situation was reported to the Morton Police Department on Friday.


• A 51-year-old Centralia man discovered sleeping in a “container” overnight at the 200 block of East Third Street was cited for trespassing and then released, according to the Centralia Police Department. Officers have previously told Keith A. Smith not to come back there, according to police.


• A seatbelt violation spotted by a trooper on Interstate 5 north of Chehalis violation led to the arrest of a passenger for open alcohol containers and also of the driver who was impaired by unspecified drugs yesterday morning, according to the Washington State Patrol. It was about 11:40 a.m. when Walter Sutter, 45, of Chehalis was pulled over for failing to properly wear a safety belt, according to the state patrol. When questioned, Sutter said the two open containers belonged to Jeramy Shepard, his 38-year-old traveling companion from Longview, Trooper Will Finn said. Shepard had multiple outstanding felony warrants from Eastern Washington, according to Finn. And observations of Sutter prompted the trooper to conduct roadside test and ask for a drug recognition expert to evaluate him further, resulting in a driving under the influence arrest, Finn said. Both were booked into the Lewis County Jail.


• A former Toledo man was in court yesterday facing a charge of vehicular assault in connection with Friday’s three-vehicle wreck at a Longview intersection that sent his pickup truck onto the patio of a McDonald’s restaurant, injuring a diner, according to The (Longview) Daily News. Reporter Barbara LaBoe writes that Joshua Paul Goble, 30, is believed to have been high on stolen pain pills when he ran a red light, striking a motorcyclist and a truck before traveling across a sidewalk and through landscaping striking several tables and chairs. LaBoe said Goble was described by police as transient but gave officers a Toledo address.


• Officers received a call for help after a resident in the 100 block of Division Avenue in Morton reported finding a snake had slithered up the sink drain into the home. Morton police responded about 3:35 p.m. on Friday to assist. The reptile was located and removed, according to the Morton Police Department.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license; responses for dispute,  suspicious circumstances, hit and run, shoplifting; complaints of door-to-door salespeople … and more.

Centralia police: Dealer of ecstasy busted again

Monday, April 21st, 2014

A Ford Excursion stretch limousine awaiting auction is one of four vehicles confiscated now by Centralia’s special Anti-Crime Team from suspected drug dealer Jai J. Bhagwandin.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 29-year-old man arrested last month by Centralia drug officers for allegedly selling  ecstasy was arrested again after two informants working with police reportedly bought $200 worth of  ecstasy from him in the parking lot at Spiffy’s restaurant south of Chehalis.

Jai J. Bhagwandin, 29, was taken into custody on Friday, apprehended by law enforcement officers after he drove away following the encounter. He appeared in Lewis County Superior Court this afternoon, charged with one count of delivery of a controlled substance.

His bail was set at $100,000.

The judge was told he retained a lawyer in his previous case, but ran out of money so qualified for a public defender.

Bhagwandin has 11 pending drug offense counts in Thurston County, the judge was told.

It was March 6 when Centralia’s special Anti-Crime team seized three vehicles, cash and drugs from a Lacey home following an investigation into suspected suppliers to numerous local drug dealers.

A search of that residence turned up about two pounds of hallucinogenic mushrooms, six ounces of suspected hash, five pounds of packaged marijuana, some prescription pills and less than a pound of MDMA, also known as ecstasy or Molly, according to police, as well as a large amount of U.S. currency stored in seal-a-meal packaging.

Bhagwandin now resides in Onalaska where his mother works as an alternative health care provider; his father was present in court today, defense attorney Bob Schroeter said as he appealed for lower bail.

Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead said further charges were expected as roughly a pound of marijuana was located in Bhagwandin’s Subaru Legacy following his recent arrest.

His arraignment  is scheduled for this coming Thursday.

Teen accuses school bus driver of rape

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Richard L. Crumbliss is directed to the defendant’s table during a bail hearing in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – An Onalaska school bus driver is jailed following his arrest for allegedly raping a teenage relative in her bed during spring break.

Bail was set over the weekend for 43-year-old Richard L. Crumbliss at $750,000. A different judge today reduced the amount to $100,000.

Crumbliss appeared in Lewis County Superior Court this afternoon, shackled at his hands and waist, for the bail hearing.

Temporary defense attorney Bob Schroeter in asking for a lower bond noted his client is a volunteer firefighter and also a part time substitute bus driver.

“But, he’s no longer doing that,” Schroeter said as he described how the Onalaska resident’s financial situation qualified him for a court-appointed lawyer.

Charging documents describe a deputy responding on Thursday to speak to the teenage girl, at the behest of a victim’s advocate.

Deputy Susan Shannon was told the girl came home drunk on April 9 and three times during the night, Crumbliss came into her bedroom, while her mother was home and still up and awake during the first two alleged encounters.

Shannon was still investigating when Crumbliss phoned 911 to report the girl had run away, according to charging documents.

According to the court documents, without solicitation, he told the deputy the girl had accused him of rape and he hadn’t seen her since the night before.

He called the girl a huge fibber and worried about his reputation as an officer of the fire department, according to the documents.

The girl told authorities she’d overheard both he and her mother calling her a liar about it.

Deputies subsequently searched the home, and Crumbliss and his wife offered that they had collected the girls underclothes from that night and saved them, the documents state.

He also told the deputy he is never alone with the girl, his wife is always present because about two and half months earlier he was accused of a different sexual assault, according to the documents. He was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail on Friday morning.

Judge Richard Brosey this afternoon was told the girl has been taken into protective custody.

Brosey ordered Crumbliss, if he makes bail, to have no unsupervised contact with minor females; and further ordered his spouse may not be the one to supervise any contacts.

Centralia lawyer David Arcuri was appointed to represent him.

Crumbliss is charged with two counts of third-degree rape of a child and one count of first-degree incest. His arraignment is scheduled for Thursday.

The girl also told authorities, according to charging documents, that when she was 12, he gave her vodka mixed with strawberry drink while she traveled with him in his semi truck and he sexually abused her in the sleeper. He denied the accusation, but admitted giving her strawberry vodka, charging documents state.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Updated at 12:49 p.m.


• Chehalis police were called about 12:40 a.m. today to the 500 block of Northeast Adams Avenue where a 23-year-old woman said two people had shoved their way into her apartment and assaulted her. The woman told officers her dog was barking and she opened her back door when a female pushed her way in and started hitting her in the face, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The victim was able to escape to a neighbor’s place where she called 911, department spokesperson Linda Bailey said. Police looked around and interviewed the woman, but no arrests have been made, Bailey said this morning. A cell phone and a wallet are missing now from her home, Bailey said. The incident is still under investigation.


• The sheriff’s office is investigating an incident in which someone apparently intentionally tried to burn up a 24-year-old man’s car while he was at work in Chehalis. Deputies responding about 1:20 a.m. on Friday to the 1700 block of Bishop Road learned the victim went outside during a break and found smoke pouring from his vehicle, which was parked next to a loading dock, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said this morning. A window had been broken and there was a strong odor of an unspecified flammable liquid, according to the sheriff’s office. The fire left the backseat and the interior of the 2000 Ford Focus charred, causing more than $1,000 damage, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Brown said there is no indication why someone would have targeted the man.


• A fire that began in a garage on Rayburn Road southwest of Napavine early yesterday did an estimated $10,000 damage but nobody was injured. Firefighters were called at about 7:10 a.m., according to Lewis County Fire District 5. The blaze was contained to the garage and prevented from spreading to the home, and a fire investigator called to look into it, Firefighter Brad Bozarth said.


• Centralia police were called about 10:45 p.m. on Saturday to the 200 block of North Tower Avenue where witnesses said several people were fighting and one of them fell into a window and broke it. Those involved fled the area and an investigation is underway, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• A 44-year-old Chehalis area resident was arrested after a Saturday night call to the 100 block of Sanderson Road where a 5-year-old boy with bruises on his buttocks said he was “whipped” by his mother’s boyfriend. James M. Waltenburg was booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree child assault, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It appears the child was struck with a bare hand, but a spanking becomes an assault if it causes more then temporary or “transient” pain, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.


• Deputies spoke with a 54-year-old woman from Cinebar on Saturday evening who said her husband threw a chunk of firewood at her car as she was leaving, breaking the windshield and denting a fender. He was upset, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office is asking prosecutors to charge the 51-year-old Cinebar man with third-degree malicious mischief, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.


• A deputy called about 9:20 a.m. on Saturday regarding electrical wiring stripped from a barn at the 1300 block of Silverbrook Road in Randle contacted a 22-year-old local resident walking toward the property and arrested him for an outstanding warrant and suspect he was involved in the theft. The sheriff’s office says Adam I. McGowen was wanted by the state Department of Corrections in connection with a case of a previous drug violation. McGowen was booked into the Lewis County Jail for his warrant, and prosecutors are being asked to also charge him with second-degree burglary related to the wiring, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• A 26-year-old Kelso man was arrested yesterday after he allegedly stole a truck from the 1200 block of West Chestnut Street in Centralia and was followed by its owner to Chehalis where police caught up with them. Officers responding to the approximately 11:15 a.m. call arrested Thomas N. Joy for vehicle theft. Chehalis police said when Joy was stopped at the 700 block of West Main Street, he attempted to get into a car occupied by two women and a baby which pulled up and the women were arrested as well. Stacy A. Anderson, 38, Kelso, for possession of methamphetamine and Teresa M. Lock, 24, from Kelso, for an outstanding warrant,  according to police. All were booked into the Lewis County Jail. Anderson was to be released with no charges filed, pending further investigation.


• Centralia police were called about 5:15 p.m. on Saturday regarding missing items from a shed at the 500 block of South Pearl Street. The total loss has yet to be determined, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Someone stole cash and a leaf blower from the 2400 block of Seward Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police on Saturday afternoon.


• Centralia police were called just before 9 p.m. on Saturday by an individual at the 600 block of North Pearl Street regarding a text received that indicated the reporting person’s debit card had been canceled. The warning came from a bank the individual doesn’t have an account with, according to the Centralia Police Department. A couple from Chehalis called police on Sunday night after getting a text telling them to call a number to reactivate their WSECU card, although they had no account there, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The sheriff’s office reports its aware of numerous potential victims who got similar texts over the weekend and it is clearly a scam. Sheriff’s office advises people not to respond, and asks that folks pass the word along to teens and young adults as well as older people who could more easily fall for it.


• A 12-year-old boy was seriously injured yesterday when he was tossed off his bicycle onto his head coming down a hill in Centralia. Firefighters and medics called around 2 p.m. to East Locust Street found the child had been riding with friends and wasn’t wearing a helmet, according to Riverside Fire Authority. He was knocked out although he regained consciousness but suffered numerous injuries, including suspected bleeding on his brain, according to Firefighter-Paramedic Jade Gross. The boy was bundled up and transported to Providence Centralia Hospital and transferred to Mary Bridge Childrens’ Hospital in Tacoma, according to Gross.


• Two people were hospitalized and four treated at the scene following a head-on collision Saturday night at the 3600 block of Jackson Highway south of Chehalis. Responders answering a call about 11:30 p.m. found both vehicles totaled and suspect one driver was intoxicated. The sheriff’s office says the 24-year-old Centralia man was traveling north in the southbound lane and the 29-year-old Mossyrock woman driving an SUV attempted to swerve out of the way but the vehicles met head on. The sheriff’s office said there were no serious injuries, only abrasions. The 1999 Ford expedition was also carrying two children, ages 10 and 12, from Mossyrock, along with two other adults, from Winlock. When a deputy interviewed the driver of the 1999 Saturn at the hospital, his breath smelled of intoxicants, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Cesar Hernandez-Martinez, 24, is facing a charge of driving under the influence, but deputies are waiting result from a blood sample, according to Brown.

News brief: Sheriff’s Office wants your drugs

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

For anyone who wants to do their part in helping take a bite out of prescription drug abuse, the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office is offering to help take old meds off your hands.

On April 26, the public can drop off containers of expired and unwanted medications 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.

The event takes place between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The idea is to prevent theft, diversion, misuse, abuse, accidental ingestion, addiction and even death, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The number of people across the country abusing prescription drugs is higher than than those using cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and inhalants combined, officials say.

Boy Scouts will be at the location to discuss crime prevention and prescription drug abuse, as part of an Eagle Scout project aimed at raising awareness among teens and young adults, according to sheriff’s Lt. Greg Elwin.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, April 19th, 2014


• Beware if you get a phone call informing you you’ve won $2.5 million and that you can redeem your winnings by first mailing off a $480 cash card from Wal-Mart to cover the taxes for the IRS, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It appears to be a scam and one local woman contacted law enforcement after she received at least four such calls from someone identifying themselves as a representative of American Cash Rewards, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said yesterday. She was told James Washington would be presenting the reward, Brown said. Fortunately the woman didn’t believe the caller. The sheriff’s office offers its oft-repeated advice, “If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.”


• Two young men were arrested this week for an assault last month at a party in Centralia that left a 19-year-old male with a broken jaw. Police arriving at  about 12:45 a.m. on March 16 to the 500 block of East Maple Street observed numerous males running from the area, found blood spattered around the front door and learned a 19-year-old Centralia resident had been struck numerous times as well as kicked in the face while he was on the ground, according to authorities. A witness told police Cole T. Rife, 18, had come to the gathering and was trying to pick a fight with anyone who would fight him and turned his attention to Logan Crump, according to charging documents. Crump initially didn’t care to press the matter, until after the following day when he got medical treatment and discovered he had a fractured mandible, charging documents state. Crump told police Rife phoned him and apologized. Rife, a rural Chehalis resident, was arrested and went before a Lewis County Superior Court judge on Tuesday, charged with second-degree assault. His temporary defense attorney Bob Schroeter said he’d known the W.F. West High School graduate since he was a kindergartner. Judge James Lawler allowed Rife to be released from jail pending trial on a $10,000 unsecured bond, co-signed by Rife’s father. Then on Thursday, Tyler L. Burk, 19, of Rochester, was arrested for second-degree assault in the same case, according to the Centralia Police Department. He was scheduled to go before a judge yesterday afternoon, and subsequently released from jail.


• The former Chehalis resident locked up for 160 years for a Yakima County gang-related incident reached out to local prosecutors from prison to request they bring him to Lewis County to face a judge in connection with a drive-by shooting from the summer of 2010 in Chehalis.


Andrew Morales-Loberg

Andrew Morales-Loberg, now 22, was charged after the incident on Southwest William Street, and a $500,000 arrest warrant issued, but he was never apprehended by local police. At the time, police said someone in a red Chevrolet Blazer fired a round from a pistol that struck a parked vehicle while four people were standing near it. Morales-Loberg was transferred from prison last week to the Lewis County Jail. He appeared in Lewis County Superior Court Thursday for his arraignment. Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said the case was being revisited at the defendant’s request. “He wrote us a letter, asking that the matter be taken care of,” Meyer said. The prosecutor said he didn’t know why, but did know outstanding matters can affect what programs inmates are eligible for. Morales-Loberg was among four LVL gang members sentenced in the fall of 2012 to more than 100 years in prison for shooting up an inhabited trailer in the town of Outlook in retaliation for a previous shooting. Nobody was injured there, nor in the William Street shooting, which police said was related to drugs and money. Three other individuals were also charged with drive-by shooting from the Chehalis case, but those charges were dismissed against all three. Morales-Loberg is represented by attorney Sam Groberg. He entered a plea of not guilty. A review hearing was scheduled for May 1, and a trial set for the week of June 2. The earliest he can be released from prison in the Outlook case, with good behavior, is Christmas Eve in the year 2165, according to prosecutors.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license; responses for collisions on city streets … and more.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, April 18th, 2014


• Centralia police were called about 5:10 p.m. yesterday by a woman on a cell phone asking for help from a wooded area south of the hospital on South Schueber Road. Once she was located, she was taken to the hospital to be evaluated as she seemed disoriented, according to the Centralia Police Department. Few details were being released this morning. Officers are still investigating how she ended up where she did, and what happened, Sgt. Kurt Reichert said.


• Police were called to Providence Centralia Hospital about 7 p.m. yesterday regarding two employees allegedly assaulted by a patient. One had a concussion, according to the Centralia Police Department. The case involving a 23-year-old Centralia resident is being forwarded to prosecutors with a recommendation of charges of third-degree assault, according to police.


• A 55-year-old Winlock man was arrested after he reportedly fled officers attempting to contact him in the area of the 1100 block of South Schueber Road in Centralia around 1 p.m. yesterday. Centralia police say Steven M. Yoke abandoned his car after a short distance and ran away, but was apprehended by officers with assistance from a police dog. The sheriff’s office wanted to talk with him about an assault case, according to the Centralia Police Department. Yoke was booked into the Lewis County Jail for eluding, according to police.

• Centralia police were called about 5 p.m. yesterday by a motorist who said they were rear-ended at Harrison Avenue and Galvin Road by a Honda car that didn’t stop. Police were told the victim followed the bronze-colored vehicle to the area of Foron Road where its driver indicated he had a warrant for his arrest, and left again,  according to the Centralia Police Department. Police were given a license plate number for the suspect car.


• Police were contacted yesterday by a business on the 600 block of West Main Street in Centralia regarding missing money. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called about 6 p.m. yesterday to the 200 block of South Diamond Street where the resident reported money missing from an account. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• A 34-year-old Winlock woman who allegedly kicked a door and damaged a  $500 guitar belonging to her live-in boyfriend was arrested early yesterday morning for disorderly conduct and third-degree malicious mischief. Deputies responding about 2:50 a.m. to the 200 block of Burnett Road booked Kara R. Jones-Pierce into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• Police were called about 2:20 p.m. yesterday regarding a vehicle prowl at the 1000 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia.


• Deputies took to the water to rescue a stranded boater last night on the Cowlitz River near the 2200 block of Spencer Road in Salkum. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and firefighters responded about 9:15 p.m. because the 56-year-old Tacoma man had engine trouble and drifted about 100 yards downstream from the boat launch at Barrier Dam but the bank was too steep for him to get to the shore, according to the sheriff’s office. He had managed already to drop off a passenger, who called 911, according to the sheriff’s office. Members of Lewis County Fire District 8 provided lighting for the area and deputies using their boat picked the man up, according to responders.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting; responses for misdemeanor assault, attempted scam via email, little dog nipping a small child, collisions on city streets; complaints about neighbors … and more.

Morton mother recovering from stabbing, teen son remains locked up

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The 15-year-old Morton boy locked up for allegedly stabbing his mother told police he was upset, that she’d laughed about him twice to other people that afternoon and he’d had enough.

She told him to get a towel to wrap around her arm, and he did, according to court documents. But after 35-year-old Rhiannon Foister went downstairs to the living room, fell beneath a table and told him to get her something to put on her wounds, he told her no, that he wanted her to hurt like he had for the past 15 years, the documents state.

And the teen walked out the door to stand in the driveway to wait for police.

Morton Police Department Police Chief Dan Mortensen said he was called around 3:35 p.m. Monday to the home at the 800 block of Overlook Drive in the East Lewis County town. The boy told the chief he stabbed his mother and so he was handcuffed and put in the back of a patrol car, according to the documents.

His brother and sister were home when it happened. Foister was transported to Morton General Hospital and then flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for additional treatment.

A hospital spokesperson said yesterday morning Foister was listed in satisfactory condition.

The teen was booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center, and charged on Tuesday with second-degree assault.

A juvenile court judge at a detention hearing the same day ordered him held at least until his arraignment next Tuesday, according to Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher.

That’s also when a trial date and pre-trial hearing will be scheduled, Meagher said.

Court documents, based on the police reports, indicate the police chief recovered a knife about 14 inches long which the boy said he’d gotten out of the kitchen.

Mortensen told Meagher the mother had five to seven stab wounds, including  one to her chest, but he had yet to get a full statement from her.

The documents give the following account, mostly from the 15-year-old’s conversation with police:

The boy said he’d called his mother from school, to ask if he could walk his girlfriend home from school and then walk the rest of the way home, but she said no, she’d pick him up and did so.

That upset him, and then his mother was talking with another mother, and laughing about him not being able to walk his girlfriend home, he told police.

“She said he was going to be turned in to his juvenile probation officer for violating his conditions of release,” the boy related.

Once they got home, the two continued their disagreement, and after he went upstairs to his room, he could hear his mother talking on the phone to someone else, laughing and saying she was going to call his probation officer, he said.

The boy told police he’d had enough.

He went into the living room and told his siblings to leave, because he and his mother were going to have serious conversation.

He asked his mother to walk to her bedroom, where she sat down on the bed and they faced off.

“(He) stated he pulled out the knife and wanted to scare her and show her how serious he was,” court documents state. “He stated he hadn’t intended to stab her with it, only to scare her.”

His mother said go ahead and stab her, if that’s what he was going to do, the boy related to police.

The teen paused and began crying, but after encouraged by the officer to continue, said he lunged at his mom and stabbed her in the arm. She moved away, and he stabbed her in the leg. They continued yelling at each other.

“He added he knew what was happening but was also kind of blacked out,” the documents state.

The siblings came to see what the yelling and screaming was about, and they all ended up back down stairs.

Mortensen describes he and a deputy responding, and arriving to find one juvenile throwing items around the porch saying he was going to kill the boy for stabbing his mother, seeing a pool of blood around Foister’s feet, and then a girl who helped the chief put direct pressure on a towel on Foister’s leg while he spoke with a 911 dispatcher to get aid.

The teen told the chief his probation was for smoking pot and truancy.

The boy told police he went outside to wait for police, and also said he didn’t want to remain inside and watch his mother bleed out.

Chief Mortensen on Tuesday morning described the reason for the assault only as “family issues, apparently”.

The boy is represented by Centralia attorney David Brown.

He’s 15, so he will not automatically sent to adult court, according to Meagher.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, April 17th, 2014


• Deputies arrested a 22-year-old Onalaska man last night wanted on a felony warrant when they found him hiding under a blanket in a back bedroom at the 300 block of Maple Maple Crest Drive in Onalaska. Deputies following up on information Aaron M. Fickett was at the residence arrived and were also told he was suspected of stealing a motorcycle earlier that morning, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The Honda CR80 which had been taken from a garage at the 100 block of Fred Plant Road was subsequently found, with Fickett’s help, parked in the woods, according to the sheriff’s office. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail for the warrant and for second-degree burglary, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The motorcycle was returned to its owner, she said.


• It was the smell of marijuana wafting from the open window on the vehicle ahead of a patrol car at a Centralia stop sign last night that got the officer’s attention, but then the female passenger with a pipe in one hand, a lighter in the other and blowing smoke from her mouth provided clues as well, according to police. It was about 10:30 p.m. at Belmont and Harrison avenues and two of the six occupants of the vehicle were in trouble before it was over, according to the Centralia Police Department. Hannah L. Baker, 20, from Tenino, for underage and in-public use, according to Sgt. Kurt Reichert. Another passenger, 22-year-old Kody R. Posey, of Centralia, for suspected delivery of marijuana, Reichert said. “Handing someone a loaded pipe, or selling them a bag of dope, it’s delivery,” Reichert said. All were released and the cases are being forwarded to prosecutors for further action, he said.


• A 21-year-old Centralia man was arrested yesterday for second-degree theft and trafficking in stolen property in connection with jewelry that belonged to a family member. Police called about 7:30 a.m. to the 100 block of Haliday Road booked Michael R. Weems into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Chehalis police took a report yesterday of what appeared to be a window shot by a BB gun at the 800 block of Southwest 18th Street. Police were told it occurred sometime in the previous few days, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• A 15-year-old student at Winlock Middle School was arrested after he allegedly spit in a teacher’s face and proceeded to throw a desk around a classroom yesterday. Deputies called about 4 p.m. yesterday found the boy had calmed down somewhat, but done more than $750 worth of damage, including to a “white board” and the desk, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said the teacher was wearing a spit guard because he had spit before, and she at first ignored the spitting. However, she exited the room when he picked up the desk, according to Brown. He reportedly threw the desk around the room, as many as 20 times, according to the deputy’s report. The student was taken to the Lewis County Juvenile Justice Center and booked for malicious mischief and faces two possible counts of fourth-degree assault for allegedly spitting twice, according to Brown. Further details were no readily available.


• A 16-year-old Centralia girl ended up with a possible back injury when she wrecked her car yesterday evening at the 100 block of Jeffries Road west of Chehalis. A deputy arriving after the approximately 5:30 p.m. accident was told she was traveling too fast around a corner, causing major damage to her 2007 Acura, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The driver is to be cited for traveling too fast for conditions, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants; responses for alarm, graffiti, collisions on city streets… and more.

Centralia’s new fire chief will be old chief

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Assistant Fire Chiefs Rick Mack, left, and Mike Kytta, watch the board vote to promote Kytta to the top post at Riverside Fire Authority.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CENTRALIA – Assistant Chief Mike Kytta will replace outgoing Chief Jim Walkowski at Riverside Fire Authority, the department that protects Centralia and it surrounding area.

The move came this evening when the agency’s board of commissioners accepted Walkowski’s resignation and voted to appoint the Fords Prairie resident to the top spot.

“Thank you for the opportunity, it’s an honor to assume that position,” Kytta responded. “I’m looking forward to working with the board, the labor unit, the volunteers and most importantly the community.

“I’m optimistic we will find a way to preserve services for the community.”

Kytta, 54, was chief for a decade of the former Lewis County Fire District 12 which completed a merger with the Centralia Fire Department under Walkowski’s leadership.

Kytta voluntarily stepped down to minimize potential conflicts as that process moved along with the hiring of Walkowski from outside the area.

He was honored by his peers statewide in 2006 with a “Chief Award” in part because of that move, which the Washington State Association of Fire Chief’s called his uncommon commitment to doing the right thing for the public.

Now however, facing a steeply declining budget, the organization has cut firefighter positions this year. It was poised to trim the trio of top officers down to two, when Walkowski accepted a position earlier this month in the Spokane area. He will remain at Riverside through the end of this month.

Kytta, a Centralia native, was a 16-year-old Explorer Scout when he began as a volunteer firefighter. He has 38 years of experience, the past 17 as a full time firefighter.

He has his work cut out for him.

Because of a changing landscape regarding the collection of property taxes, Riverside is operating with an annual budget of about $3.9 million, compared with $4.6 million last year.

It is on track to lose six paid personnel this year, to meet that budget.

The board is planning to ask voters in August for what’s called an excess levy, to prevent next year’s revenue from dropping to $3.1 million, a scenario the department’s leaders say would mean a much different service level for fires and medical calls.

Kytta has grave concerns about explaining the need to the public, without coming across as threatening.

On the promotion, he says:

“It’s exciting, in that I am optimistic,” he said. “I have very deep concerns if we’re not able to earn the public’s support on the levy.”

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014


• Several vehicles were reported broken into at the 200 block of West Oakview Avenue in Centralia yesterday.

• Chehalis police were called about 8 o’clock yesterday morning about two unlocked vehicles parked on the street along the 500 block of Northeast Avenue that someone rummaged through. Some change was missing, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• A laptop computer and school supplies were among the valuables stolen from a parked car at Northeast Washington Avenue near North Street in Chehalis, according to a report made to police about 1 p.m. yesterday.

• Someone disabled the alarm on a vehicle and then stole an iPod from Inside at the 1900 block of Ahlers Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 9:15 a.m. yesterday.


• Police were called at 11 a.m. yesterday regarding the theft of $120 from the boy’s locker room at W.F. West High School in Chehalis.


• Police were called about 12:30 p.m. yesterday regarding the theft of a package stolen from a porch on the 2800 block of Russell Road in Centralia.


• A 38-year-old woman reported to police yesterday her service dog was stolen when the Jeep she was sometimes living in was stolen from in front of a home of the 400 block of East Plum Street in Centralia. Police were told it happened back on March 21 and she was able to find the vehicle last Friday at Roberts Road south of Chehalis,  but the animal was gone, according to the Centralia Police Department. It’s described as a longer-haired white canine, but isn’t a seeing-eye dog, Sgt. Kurt Reichert said.


• A 40-year-old Centralia woman was arrested last night when she was discovered sitting on the middle console between the driver’s and passenger seats of a vehicle and intoxicated, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy encountering Libby R. Downer around 10:35 p.m. on the side of the road at the 2500 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia concluded although Downer wasn’t observed in the vehicle while it was moving, that she had been turning around, according to the sheriff’s office. The keys in the ignition and it was in drive, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. She was booked into the Lewis County jail for being in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence, Brown said.


• A 23-year-old motorist who allegedly crossed the centerline at a curve on a Centralia Street overnight and collided with a vehicle in the oncoming lane was arrested for driving under the influence. Offices responding about 2:20 a.m. today to the area at Mellen and Alder street found that Trevor L. Smith also was driving with a suspended license, according to the Centralia Police Department. The other driver had a possible injury, according to police. Smith was  booked in to the Lewis County Jail, according to police.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespass, driving with suspended license, driving under the influence, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarm, shoplifting and other misdemeanor theft, collisions on city streets including unoccupied school bus at the 600 block of Centralia College Boulevard in which police say nobody was hurt, county road in which a 16-year-old boy, distracted by a girl, drove over a curb and into a mailbox … and more.

Pe Ell’s town marshal quits following DUI arrest

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Pe Ell Mayor Spencer Nichols, head of table, advises the town council not to speak about any personnel matters


By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

PE ELL – The tiny west Lewis County town of Pe Ell is without a police force once again, days after its sole law enforcement officer was arrested for driving under the influence, less than two months into the job.

Town Marshal Anthony K. Corder resigned yesterday, and the situation has one community leader calling upon Pe Ell to dissolve its status as a town, saying it’s a sign it can’t afford to operate.

“Look at the history of the officers we’ve had,” Town Councilmember John Penberth said.

The previous marshal Steve Dawes was on the job about a year, before leaving a few months ago, according to Penberth.

Penberth suggested to the town council last night it could consider bankruptcy or it could think about becoming unincorporated

“We’re advertising for certified police officers, but because of our budget, we’re not getting certified people,” Penberth said. “That in itself shows we don’t have adequate funding to be a municipality.”

He indicated the alternative of paying $65,000 a year to the sheriff’s office for the services of one deputy is unaffordable.

Corder, 27, was hired in mid-February with no previous law enforcement experience. He was the only applicant.

The former Marine was commissioned as town marshal on Valentines Day and had yet to attend the state training academy. His pay for the part time job was $1,500 a month.

He turned in his resignation yesterday, according to Mayor Spencer Nichols.

Penberth’s remarks went largely unanswered, coming during a council meeting dominated by agenda of an upcoming spring cleanup and talk by volunteers on how to coordinate the annual parade.

The mayor, and the town’s legal counsel, cautioned council members not to speak of personnel matters.

One among the audience of 21 individuals suggested cutting the wages of the town clerk-treasurer, because she earns more than anyone who lives in Pe Ell. Town Councilmember Kristi Milanowski asked about utilizing volunteer reserve officers.

Mayor Nichols indicated such a program can only be set up by a paid town marshal.

Following the less than hour-long meeting, Nichols said he has put together a notice for the local newspaper that Pe Ell is accepting applications for the job.

Their preferred applicants will be already commissioned and state certified, or at least willing to become certified. Starting salary will be based on experience.

The deadline to apply is May 12.

Nichols declined to answer further questions about Corder’s short tenure, with the town attorney apologizing.

“We can’t comment on personnel matters while an investigation is going on,” Allen C. Unzelman said.

Because Corder not yet attended training to become a state-certified law enforcement officer, his police powers were limited to inside the city limits in the town with a population of 630.

For background, read “Pe Ell’s town marshal pleads not guilty to driving under the influence” from Saturday April 12, 2014, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Updated at 6:14 p.m.


• A 26-year-old Centralia woman who overdosed on heroin yesterday morning was revived by medics and a 25-year-old Rochester man was jailed for allegedly supplying her with the drug. Police and aid responding to a 7:10 a.m. call to the 300 block of North Diamond Street in Centralia found she was not breathing, her heart had stopped, according to the Centralia Police Department. The department’s special Anti-Crime Team investigated and arrested Christopher C. Lee, for delivery of heroin, according to police. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail. Riverside Fire Authority personnel say calls for drug overdoses are more frequent than serious auto accidents or even heart attacks in the Centralia area. “Heroin overdoses, I bet we don’t go three weeks between those types of calls,” Fire Capt. Scott Snyder said. Capt. Casey McCarthy, who is also a paramedic, said it’s not just heroin, but various types of prescription drugs such as pain killers as well, the kind that slow down important body functions like breathing. For heroin, medics can give an injection of what’s called Narcan, to reverse those affects and that can help, he said. As of today, the Lewis County Coroner’s Office has seven cases from this year alone in which they are waiting for the results of toxicology tests and Coroner McLeod predicts most of those will come back with a result of accidental death from drugs.


• Police were called about 8 a.m. yesterday to the 600 block of West First Street in Centralia about a car stolen during the night. Missing is a white 1992 Honda Prelude with a license plate of 687 WHW, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called yesterday to the 2100 block of North National Avenue where an auto repair business in the Yard Birds complex reported someone had gotten inside multiple vehicles. Nothing seemed to be missing but damage suggested someone was trying to steal a vehicle, according to the Chehalis Police Department. An officer learned the break-ins happened on Saturday morning, according to police.


• A 50-year-old man from Port Orchard contacted the sheriff’s office after the discovery someone had gotten into a shed on his vacation  property at the 400 block of Larson Road in Silver Creek. Taken was an old non-operation Stihl chainsaw in its case, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The break-in was reported on Saturday night; it’s unknown when it took place, according to the sheriff’s office. The loss is estimated at $250.


• A woman called police yesterday morning after someone lifted her wallet while she was shopping at Wal-Mart on the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue in Chehalis. The purse was in her shopping car and she walked away, and subsequently discovered the billfold was gone, detective Sgt. Gary WIlson said.


• A found wallet turned into Chehalis police yesterday was returned to its owner; everything except the cash remained, according to police.


• Chehalis police were called to the 500 block of Northeast Jefferson Avenue about 10:30 a.m. where someone had gotten into an unlocked vehicle during the night and stole a cooler and a purse. About an hour later when taking a report of another vehicle prowled on the same block, an officer recovered the items and returned them to the first victim, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• A 46-year-old homeless man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine last night after an officer driving down the street recognized the pedestrian as a wanted person. Dale A. Drew was detained in the area of the 200 block of West Main Street about 9 p.m. and had a smoking device in his pocket with material that field tested positive for the drug, according to the Centralia Police Department. He was booked in to the Lewis County Jail, according to police.


• Firefighters were called about 1:45 p.m. yesterday to an Adna area residence where an individual using a weed burner – a torch-like tool – got too close to the house. Flames caught some of the plastic vapor barrier beneath the modular home on McLaughlin Road, but there was no damage, according to Lewis County Fire District 6.


• A 24-year-old Olympia driver was issued a ticket for failing to yield the right of way when he began to cross Highway 603 west of Chehalis, pulling out in front of a pair of motorcycles traveling about 50 mph up the highway, both of which wrecked. It happened about 3:30 p.m. yesterday at Shorey Road, sending at least one person to Providence Centralia Hospital. Lewis County Fire District 6 Chief Tim Kinder said the first motorcycle T-boned the 2013 Toyota Corolla. The driver of the second motorcycle laid his bike down, according to Kinder. The Harley Davidson and Yamaha motorcycles were carrying two couples from Castle Rock and Kelso, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. said. Chief Ciivl Deputy Stacy Brown described the injuries to the riders as injuries to arms, a hand and pain to neck and shoulders.


•  A 33-year-old woman jailed after a scuffle with store security in Centralia yesterday evening found herself in extra trouble when a search at the jail turned up a hypodermic needle in her vagina. Police responding about 7:30 p.m. to the 500 block of South Tower Avenue arrested Michelle M. O’Connell saying when she was confronted by security about shoplifting, she refused to give the merchandise back and a fight ensued. She was booked for second-degree robbery as well as a warrant, according to the Centralia Police Department. Later, following the discovery from a strip search at the Lewis County Jail, she was also booked for introducing contraband to the facility. Police said she is from Tenino. The sheriff’s office lists her as a Chehalis resident. O’Connell was not charged with robbery, as a judge did not find probable cause for that offense. However, when she appeared in Lewis County Superior Court this afternoon, she found herself charged with bail jumping for neglecting to arrange electronic home monitoring or report to jail for a previous case, according to Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher. As for a possible criminal charge on contraband, Meagher said they were waiting on that. He didn’t offer further detail.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence; responses for misdemeanor theft, concern about harassment, complaint of children picking blossoms from plum trees … and more.

News brief: Morton mom stabbed, teen son arrested

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 15-year-old Morton boy is locked up after allegedly stabbing his mother multiple times yesterday.

Police Chief Dan Mortensen said he was called around 3:30 p.m. yesterday to the home where the two live at the 800 block of Overlook Drive.

He didn’t know the condition today of the 35-year-old woman, he said.

“When I saw her, she was in the ER at Morton, getting prepared to be airlifted to Harborview,” he said. “She was conscious and talking.”

The teen was booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center for second-degree assault, he said.

He described the reason for the assault as “family issues, apparently”, but said he is early into the investigation.

Neither name was released.