Posts Tagged ‘news reporter’

Bail set at $50,000 for Adna man arrested after getaway from court officer

Friday, December 19th, 2014
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Phillip A. Pinotti sits at the defendant’s table during his bail hearing in Lewis County Superior Court.

Updated

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Twenty-two-year-old Phillip A. Pinotti was brought before a Lewis County Superior Court judge yesterday, facing three serious charges following his flight from a misdemeanor warrant arrest – and a gunshot – earlier this week in Centralia.

The left side of the Adna resident’s face was speckled with red marks, presumably from the shattered glass of his car window when a court security officer fired at him outside the Chronicle building, on West Maple Street.

A bullet was found on the front passenger seat of his blue Subaru; there was a cut in the fabric of the headliner inside the car, similar to a bullet entry point, according to court papers.

Pinotti was charged yesterday with first-degree assault, third-degree escape and tampering with evidence. He allegedly tried to run down the court security officer with his car following a short foot pursuit out of court, that ensued as he was being taken into custody, and then had friends hide his car in his own garage.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer asked a judge yesterday afternoon to hold Pinotti in jail pending trial on $200,000 bail.

Meyer noted the defendant has shown the steps he’s willing to take to avoid coming to court.

Defense attorney Joely O’Rourke told the judge she understood he would have some concerns, but that Pinotti has lived in Lewis County since he was 14 years old and has “absolutely no felony history”.

Judge Richard Brosey set bail at $50,000.

Pinotti had gone to Centralia Municipal Court on Tuesday morning on a charge of driving under the influence. While there, the judge discovered he had a warrant from Chehalis Municipal Court and ordered him taken into custody. That’s when he bolted and managed to evade police for almost 24 hours.

According to charging documents, when he was located yesterday morning at a friend’s home on Bishop Road in Chehalis, he exited the room with his hands visible, and provided Lewis County Sheriff’s Office detective Dan Riordan a handwritten note indicating he was sorry for the incident.

He reportedly admitted to running from the officer saying he wanted to avoid going into custody because he wanted to see his girlfriend.

Charging documents offer details about how he got away and about how he allegedly attempted to assault the court security officer using his vehicle as a weapon.

According to the allegations:

After Pinotti broke free and fled the building, Centralia Municipal Court Officer Steve Howard gave chase, across Pearl Street, west to the next block.

Pinotti’s Subaru was parked on the south side of Maple Street, next to the sidewalk outside the Chronicle, behind another car.

“As Pinotti got into his car, and the officer took position near the front driver side of the vehicle. The officer had his weapon drawn and gave Pinotti direct orders to stop. The defendant entered the vehicle.

“According to the officer, the vehicle lunged forward, and, at that time, the officer discharged his firearm.”

Pinotti placed his car in reverse, drove backwards at a high rate of speed, and fled the area.

Four of Pinotti’s friends also went before a judge yesterday afternoon, accused of helping him hide.

Eighteen-year-old Miguel V. Martinez and 22-year-old Kayla Burleson rode together with Pinotti that morning to go to court, as they all had hearings, but Burleson was sick, so she and Martinez were outside and may have witnessed the escape, according to court papers. Prosecutors indicate they met up with him in the area and then took the car, drove it to Pinotti’s in Adna and parked it in his garage.

The two, who live in Centralia, were each charged today with first-degree rendering criminal assistance and tampering with evidence.

Prosecutor Meyer asked Judge Brosey to hold Burleson on $50,000 bail, but he set it at $10,000.

“Now that I see what’s actually charged, I think that’s appropriate,” Brosey said.

Martinez’s bail was set at $50,000, the same as his bail in an ongoing case of his, because he failed to show up to a drug treatment facility in Vancouver, as ordered.

Burleson reportedly told police that when she found Pinotti, he was slumped over in the driver’s side of his car holding a towel to his face. Martinez said that was at the “penny candy” store. She told deputies he grabbed a backpack and another bag, saying he didn’t want to leave his drugs in the car, court papers state.

Detective Riordan was given information by an un-named person or persons who said Pinotti was picked up from Martinez’s home in Centralia and driven to the LaBree Road area outside Chehalis, hiding under a blanket on the floorboard of the vehicle, according to the documents.

It was just before 9 a.m. on Wednesday when Riordan knocked on the door at the 1600 block of Bishop Road and asked Jaelynn N. Pluard, 22, and her boyfriend, Krystofer M. Yates,19, where Pinotti was.

Pinotti gave himself up.

Pluard and Yates were each charged yesterday with first-degree rendering criminal assistance, and are going to be represented by private attorneys.

Meyer asked they be held on $50,000 bail, but the judge set it at a more modest $5,000 for Pluard and $10,000 unsecured for Yates.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said Yates was booked also on a drug offense, as suspected heroin was found in his wallet, but charging documents provided by the prosecutor don’t reflect any drug charge.

Centralia police and sheriff’s deputies together on Tuesday pursued tips to locate Pinotti, and charging documents suggest sheriff’s detective Riordan is the lead on investigating the alleged crimes of the five young people.

Separately, Centralia Police Department Chief Bob Berg said he requested the actions of court security Officer Howard be investigated by the multi-county shooting review team. The police department said primary responsibility for that would be assumed by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

It’s the third time this year a Centralia officer has fired at someone. The other two instances were fatal, one in which the suspect-victim held a knife and the other with a handgun.

They stemmed from incidents, separately, of an attempt to contact a “suspicious person” and with the the shoplifting of a burrito.

Officer Howard has a limited commission and handles courtroom security for the city. The retired California Highway Patrol officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the shooting investigation.

According to Pinotti’s criminal charging documents, Howard indicated that he fired his weapon in fear for his safety, because Pinotti’s vehicle was being used as a weapon against him.

Pinotti’s charging documents also indicate, that as Pinotti sped backwards on Maple Street heading west and away from the scene, his driver’s side window fell out of his car and was found laying on Maple Street.

In previous officer-involved shootings, Prosecutor Meyer has analyzed the findings from the multi-county shooting review team to make a decision about whether the officer’s use of deadly force was justified or criminal. In the most recent instance, Meyer said an officer must have probable cause to believe that the person “poses a threat of serious physical harm to the officer.”

The next step has been for the police chief to convene an internal use of force review board, to help him conclude if the officer followed department policy.

It appears Howard drew his weapon to prevent Pinotti from driving away.

One witness who said she watched the escape from where she was parked across Maple Street from Centralia Municipal Court said she was surprised to learn later a shot was fired. She didn’t hear one, Sarah Gee of Toledo said.

“The problem is, in no way, shape or time did the kid go forward,” Gee said. “The vehicle never moved forward.”

Gee said she was sitting in her car when she saw “the kid” pull away from the court security officer, through the glass doors of the municipal building.

The 25-year-old said she watched who she later learned was Pinotti run outside, at first into the street, then back to the sidewalk and then down the block to the north side of the Chronicle building, with the guard following.

Gee said she stepped out of her car and watched.

“I could hear a commotion, but I couldn’t see, because the first car blocked my view,” she said of the vehicle parked in front of the Subaru.

Next, she saw “the kid” at his driver’s door and the officer standing in the middle of the street, she said.

She described the officer as taking a “drawing stance” and pointing his gun at the car.

“I saw the kid speed down the middle of the road backwards,” she said. “And flip into the Rollerdrome lot and take off.”

Gee said she had given Jaelynn Pluard a ride to court that morning, and was just waiting for her outside. They left after 10 or 15 minutes, she said. She said she doesn’t know Pinotti.
•••

For background, read “Five jailed in connection with Pinotti’s attempt to stay out of jail” from Thursday December 18, 2014, here

Local sellers on Facebook robbed of items by “customers”

Friday, December 19th, 2014

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Four young people have been arrested after two instances of “buyers” snatching and running off with items from individuals selling through Facebook.

A 20-year-old woman who arranged to meet up with a purported buyer at W.F. West High School after dark on Monday night lost a gold necklace and matching bracelet to a male she only knew as “Tyler Frank Best”.

The night before, a 16-year-old boy was going to sell  a bicycle frame to an acquaintance on Southwest Chehalis Avenue, when a male he did not know approached him, grabbed the bike and threatened him with brass knuckles.

In both cases, the victims noticed a white car nearby, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

Officers suspected 19-year-old Andrew Gastfield was involved as that was who the 16-year-old boy intended to meet near Thorkbekes, according to police. And the boy said after the incident, he followed the male through a field and saw him put the bike in the white car; and also saw Gastfield was one of two or three other people in the vehicle as it passed, according to court documents.

By Tuesday night, Chehalis Officer Matt McKnight had set up a Facebook account under a fictitious name, and arranged to meet Gastfield to purchase a cell phone, according to police.

Charging documents say police waited in Wal-Mart’s parking lot. Detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said the meet took place at K-Mart.

Gastfield said he’d be in a white T-Bird and when it arrived, officers arrested a 16-year-old girl, a 17-year-old boy, 19-year-old Gastfield, and the driver, 24-year-old Matthew B. Meyer, according to authorities.

Charges of robbery and theft are pending for each of them, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

Said Wilson: “I want people to be leery of these meetings.”

“Meet in a well lit, if not daylight, at least crowded, places,” he said.

When McKnight searched Gastfield, he found in his pocket a yellow gold necklace and matching bracelet, according to court documents; and in Meyer’s car, police found a set of brass knuckles.

Not all of the suspects were booked that night, and not all of them were present at each of the two robberies, according to Wilson. But he suspected if they’d have continued, someone would have gotten hurt.

“They were starting to have fun with it,” he said. “(And eventually), either they’re going to do something, or they’re going to meet up with the wrong person.”

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, December 19th, 2014

BURGLARY CHEHALIS

• Police were called about 12:30 p.m. yesterday regarding a break-in to an apartment on South Market Boulevard in Chehalis. Further details were not available.

FOUND MAIL

• Centralia police report they responded about 10 a.m. yesterday where numerous pieces of mail were discovered strewn along Ham Hill Road. Most of the pieces had addresses on Seminary Hill Road, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• Two people were arrested after suspected methamphetamine was found in a vehicle following a traffic stop on the 100 block of Jeffries Road west of Chehalis at about noon yesterday. Brian M. Hull, from Chehalis, and Deana Morris, 44, from Onalaska, also had protection orders against each other,  according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. They were booked into the Lewis County Jail for possession of meth, according to the sheriff’s office.

• A 25-year-old Mossyrock resident was arrested for possession of heroin, and methamphetamine as well as outstanding warrants after contact with an officer about 12:40 a.m. today at Cherry and South Silver streets in Centralia. Cabel J. Binion was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 20-year-old Centralia man was arrested for a warrant and for possession of marijuana at the 400 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia yesterday. Emanuel Torres-Ramirez was booked into the Lewis County Jail following contact with an officer about 6 p.m., according to the Centralia Police Department.

BOY AND CAR COLLIDE

• A 10-year-old boy was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital to be checked after a bicycle versus vehicle collision yesterday afternoon in Centralia. Police and aid responding just after 3 p.m. to North Pearl Street at Oakview Avenue found the child was riding across the street and basically ran into the car, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license; responses for dispute, suspicious circumstances … and more.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

CASHIER VACANCY AT WAL-MART

Wal-Mart noticed some of its cash registers were short money and called Chehalis police yesterday who arrested a now-former employee. Police were told there were suspicious transactions such as loading up debit and credit cards, as well as cash missing. according to the Chehalis Police Department. Arrested for second-degree theft was John S. Williams, 37, of Chehalis, according to police. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail. Detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said it appears the loss adds up to $1,492. Williams was taken before a judge this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court where temporary defense attorney Joely O’Rourke noted he is currently unemployed, so he qualified for a court-appointed attorney. Williams has no criminal history and was allowed release on a $5,000 signature bond.

POLICE: STOLEN GOODS FOUND IN STOLEN CAR, A HONDA

• A 25-year-old Centralia man who hopped out of the stolen car he was driving, ran into a house and hid behind a dryer was ordered held on $100,000 bail yesterday. Victor L. Hicke had an outstanding warrant for failing to appear for a court hearing on a pending burglary charge as well as a warrant for a pending theft of a motor vehicle matter, according to Lewis County prosecutors. It was about 9 a.m. on Tuesday when Chehalis Police Officer Warren Ayres was doing a random check of license plates and realized the 1996 Honda Prelude in front of him at a stop sign was stolen out of Vancouver, Wash., according to court documents. Ayers at first was told Hicke ran in the front door and out the back door of the house on the 700 block of Southwest Pacific Avenue, but subsequently located him, according to charging documents. Hicke was allegedly in possession of what was described as a large amount of suspected methamphetamine, and the car contained numerous items such as car stereos, phones and bank cards, suspected to be stolen, according to police. Two cards belong to victims of vehicle prowls and officers are looking into other prowls and burglaries to locate the owners, according to charging documents. Hicke was arrested for three offenses on Tuesday and on on Wednesday he was charged with the same offenses: possession of s stolen vehicle, second-degree possession of stolen property and possession of methamphetamine.

TRIO BOOKED FOR OUTLET MALL THEFT

• Police called about 3:10 p.m. yesterday to a report of a theft of apparel including several jackets from the Helly Hanson at the Centralia Outlets ended up arresting three people for felony organized retail theft. A suspect vehicle was stopped on Interstate 5 near Toledo, with several stolen items inside, according to the Centralia Police Department. Booked into the Lewis County Jail were Andrew S. Keith, 28, and  Shauna M. Sprague, 34, both of Rainier Ore.; and Bryan Schneider, 29, of Kelso, according to police.

COLLISIONS

• The Washington State Patrol blames inattention on a rollover accident on Interstate 5 yesterday evening adjacent to the new Mellen Street northbound offramp. Weston Masteller, 20, from Centralia, swerved to the right to avoid traffic and left the roadway, according to the state patrol. Firefighters responding about 6 p.m. say witnesses saw the Toyota 4Runner roll two to three times before coming to rest on its side. Masteller suffered cuts and abrasion, that appeared to be minor but was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to responders. Troopers were to issue a citation for wheels off the roadway.

• No one was injured when a semi truck struck the rear of a Volvo station wagon, which ran into the back of a Honda Civic, which was shoved into a Toyota Corolla yesterday afternoon on Interstate 5 in Centralia. Troopers called about 4:40 p.m. report damage to all four vehicles. It happened in the northbound lanes south of the Harrison Avenue interchange, according to the Washington State Patrol. The three cars were stopped for traffic so the 71-year-old truck driver from British Columbia was to be issued a citation for violation of the basic speed rule, according to the state patrol. The state patrol described the truck as a 2014 Peterbilt tractor and the fire department described it as a cargo van.

• None of the three teenage occupants of a Toyota Corolla were injured when the driver lost control at a corner, crossed the roadway and hit the opposite ditch and a utility pole backwards last night. A deputy responding about 8 p.m. to the 2700 block of Highway 603 outside Winlock reports the car had major rear end damage, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 17-year-old driver from Chehalis was cited for speeds too fast for conditions, according to the sheriff’s office.

• A 20-year-old Toledo woman said the road was slick after she lost control of her truck, hit a mailbox and a tree and came to rest in a ditch yesterday afternoon outside Toledo. Deputies responding to the 600 block of Smokey Valley Road about 3:30 p.m. noted she was not hurt, but her 2001 Ford F250 was totaled, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Citation: speeds too fast for conditions.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, protection order violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for disorderly person, suspicious circumstances, motorcycle accident … and more.

Five jailed in connection with Pinotti’s attempt to stay out of jail

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Four young people are now locked up for reportedly helping hide the 22-year-old Adna man, who drew gunfire from an officer as he fled arrest for a misdemeanor warrant in Centralia.

Phillip A. Pinotti faces a first-degree assault charge for allegedly trying to run down a court security officer with his car following a short foot pursuit out of Centralia Municipal Court on Tuesday morning.

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Phillip A. Pinotti

The driver’s side window of Pinotti’s blue Subaru was shattered, but Pinotti’s injuries were limited to cuts on his face from the glass, according to authorities. He sped away and while his car was located that afternoon inside his garage in Adna, he wasn’t found until yesterday morning, at a residence on Bishop Road in Chehalis.

Deputies yesterday morning also arrested the resident of the home, Krystofer M. Yates, 19, and Yates’ girlfriend, Jaelynn N. Pluard, 22, who allegedly hid Pinotti. Both were booked into the Lewis County Jail for rendering criminal assistance.

Yates was additionally booked on a drug offense, as suspected heroin was found in his wallet, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

How and when Pinotti got to Bishop Road is unclear. Where he was for almost 24 hours is unknown.

But court documents give some ideas of how he managed to get out of Centralia and evade multiple officers who converged following the morning incident on West Maple Street – which took place between Centralia City Hall, where both the municipal court and police department are housed, and the next block to the west outside The Chronicle building.

Two of Pinotti’s Centralia friends were arrested the same afternoon at his home, also for rendering criminal assistance.

Eighteen-year-old Miguel V. Martinez and 22-year-old Kayla Burleson gave varying versions to law enforcement officers of what transpired.

One version has Tuesday morning beginning with the three of them driving together in Pinotti’s car to Centralia, as they all had court.

Martinez and Burleson appeared in Lewis County Superior Court before a judge yesterday afternoon  but no charges were filed. Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher asked the judge to continue to hold them in jail because the investigation was not complete.

Centralia Municipal Court security Officer Steve Howard was’t scheduled until this morning to be interview by detectives about his role, Meagher told the judge. Police Chief Bob Berg has said Officer Howard fired one shot, and it entered the vehicle.

Meagher’s declaration of probable cause to hold the pair, offered some details about the time period immediately following the escape from court.

It appears Burleson was sick and vomiting and didn’t attend her court hearing, but she and Martinez were across a parking lot in an alley just north of the Chronicle, according to the document.

The two either did or did not see Pinotti entering his vehicle and fleeing, but Martinez said they walked to the penny candy store north of there and met up with Pinotti, according to the document.

Martinez said he drove the car with Burleson in it to Adna, the document states.

Pinotti and his four friends are all scheduled to appear this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court, to face whatever charges are filed.
•••

For background, read “Adna resident wanted for attempt to run down court officer located in Chehalis” from Wednesday December 17, 2014, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Updated at 8:46 p.m.

VIOLENCE IN CHEHALIS

• A 36-year-old Chehalis man was arrested last night after police were called to the 600 block of Southeast Dobson Court about a dispute. Officers responding to the approximately 8:40 p.m. call report Christopher R. Looman resisted and kicked one of them and booked him into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Looman was charged today with third-degree assault and released from jail on a $5,000 signature bond.

VIOLENCE IN ONALASKA

• Deputies are looking for an Onalaska resident who reportedly held a box knife to his neighbor’s cheek when the neighbor returned a dog that had been on his property. Deputies responding about 12:30 p.m. on Monday to the 100 block of Tammie Lane were told by the 65-year-old victim that his neighbor’s dog continuously runs onto his property and that when he tried to return it to Roderick D. Johnson, Johnson was in his driveway yelling for him to leave his property, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 65-year-old man told Johnson he wanted his leash back, and Johnson took the leash off, but then held the blade of a folding box knife to his face, the victim said. The victim said he was in fear of being cut and did not move, but Johnson cut him anyway, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The victim said he yelled for help and someone stepped in between the two and took the knife away. Brown said she didn’t know who it was that stepped in, but deputies were not able to locate that person or Johnson. Johnson is wanted for second-degree assault, Brown said. The 65-year-old man’s cut was superficial and did not require medical attention, according to Brown.

THEFT

• A 29-year-old Centralia man was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle yesterday when a police officer ran the license plate of a car parked off Southwest Cascade Avenue in Chehalis and discovered it was stolen. Timothy M. Arms, was booked into the Lewis County Jail and charged with the same offense today. In court this afternoon, the judge noted his mother had reported it stolen after they traded vehicles several months ago and he would not give it back.

• Someone stole propane tanks and a battery from the front of  travel trailer at the 200 block of West Sixth Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police on Monday morning.

DRUGS

• A 36-year-old Olympia man was arrested yesterday after he allegedly shoplifted at Wal-Mart and was subsequently located with suspected methamphetamine. Police called about 4:30 p.m. to Northwest Louisiana Avenue found Jesse R. Clark at the Twin City Town Center and booked him into the the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• A 25-year-old Winlock man was arrested for possession of a controlled substance about 9:30 a.m. yesterday when he was found to be driving with a suspended license in the third degree on the 3600 block of Jackson Highway south of Chehalis. A deputy allegedly found prescription medication, methadone, that did not belong to him, according to authorities. Matthew R. Istre was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s office. He was charged as such today and released on a $5,000 signature bond.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police took a report about 6:30 a.m. yesterday regarding a vehicle prowl at the 800 block of South Tower Avenue. A car stereo was stolen along with a  wallet containing credit cards, identification and other items, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• At about 5 o’clock yesterday morning police were called to the 1100 block of Brotherson Road in Centralia where someone had prowled a vehicle which was locked and parked near a residence, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Someone broke into a car on the 100 block of Southwest Alfred Avenue in Chehalis and cut the cord that powered the interior lights, according to a report made to police on Monday morning.

• A second vehicle was reported prowled on the 100 block of Southwest Alfred Avenue in Chehalis on Monday morning in which the thief stole a watch, a Nintendo, a cell phone and other items, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called Monday afternoon regarding a vehicle prowl at the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue.

PIPE BOMB

• A Lewis County Jail inmate worker picking up garbage along the 1100 block of Salzer Valley Road in Centralia today found a home made explosive device, drawing the Washington State Patrol Bomb Squad. The work crew supervisor looked at the object that appeared to be a pipe bomb and called 911, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies responded about 12:20 p.m. and then the road was closed off for about 15 minutes when the experts arrived and detonated it, according to the sheriff’ office. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said its unknown how long the device had been on the side of the road, who left it there or why.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, robbery, shoplifting, harassment, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, disputes, vandalism, suspicious circumstances … and more.

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Found explosive device before. / Courtesy photo by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

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Found explosive device after. / Courtesy photo by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

News brief: Laura Hickey gets slight modification to sentencing order

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014
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Laura Lynn Hickey waits for the judge to arrive in Lewis County Superior Court today.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The actual hearing took less than two minutes, but seven friends and family of the former Centralia woman who cut off her premature newborn’s head in 2011 showed up to see her in court today.

Laura Lynn Hickey was back in Lewis County Superior Court from the Washington Corrections Center for Women at Purdy, to go before the same judge who sent her away for 30 years.

The Washington State Court of Appeals recently affirmed her sentence, but ordered a passage stricken from the findings of fact and conclusions of law document which was incorrectly recorded following her conviction.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer asked Judge Nelson Hunt today to enter an amended order. Hunt did.

The issue was related to language indicating her exceptional sentence was in part because the child suffered from methamphetamine intoxication. In the plea deal, Hickey stipulated to an aggravating factor that the victim was particularly vulnerable because of its age only.

Hickey, who was about halfway through her pregnancy, told authorities she unexpectedly delivered into a toilet and ended the baby’s life with a serrated kitchen knife as he was trying to take a breath. Her lawyer said she viewed it as a mercy killing.
••

For background, read: “Centralia mother who decapitated premature newborn back in court for technical issue” from Tuesday December 9, 2014, here

Shot fired by officer, misdemeanor defendant flees court to avoid jail

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
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Sheriff’s deputies wait for a search warrant after finding suspect’s car at his rural Chehalis home.

Updated at 3:54 p.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CENTRALIA – Police are looking for a 22-year-old man who sped away after a court security officer fired a round into his driver’s window this morning near Centralia City Hall.

Phillip A. Pinotti was being taken into custody at Centralia Municipal Court when he slipped away from the officer, ran down the street, got into a car and apparently drove toward the officer, according to the Centralia Police Department.

“We do not know if the individual was hit,” Police Chief Bob Berg said, meaning the escapee.

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Phillip A. Pinotti

That took place just before 10 a.m.

At about 1 p.m., Pinotti’s sport utility vehicle was found in the garage of his residence on Clinton Road in Adna. But Pinotti was not there.

“There were two individuals at the house, we’re talking to them now,” Lewis County Undersheriff Rob Snaza said as deputies waited for a search warrant.

Pinotti is now wanted for first-degree assault and felony escape, according to Berg.

Berg said he asked the sheriff’s office to investigate because it involved one of his own employees.

Several patrol vehicles from both the sheriff’s office and the Centralia Police Department were at the scene on the 200 block of Clinton Road this afternoon. The roadway was blocked by a trooper, at state Route 6, about five miles west of Chehalis.

Snaza said he believes the home belongs to Pinotti’s parents, but they were not present.

“We’re continuing our investigation, and following leads,” Snaza said.

According to Berg, Pinotti came to court this morning for an arraignment on a charge of driving under the influence. The judge noticed he was wanted on a misdemeanor warrant for failing to appear in Chehalis Municipal Court, in connection with a third-degree theft, Berg said.

The judge ordered court security Officer Steve Howard to take Pinotti into custody for the Chehalis warrant, which he began to do just outside the courtroom, according to the chief.

“As officer Howard is handcuffing him, that’s when he bolts,” Berg said. “He’s running down the street, with officer Howard in pursuit.”

Berg said they ran west to the next block, and Pinotti got into a dark blue sport utility vehicle parked on Maple Street next to the The Chronicle.

“According to the officer, the individual gets in the car, starts it, puts the car in drive and comes toward the officer,” Berg said.

The court security officer advised him to stop, but he didn’t, according to police.

Officer Howard fired one shot, Berg said.

The vehicle backed down the street, into the drive at the Centralia Rollerdrome, and headed away.

“He drove away at a very high rate of speed,” Berg said. “The last I saw, he turned at the stop sign.”

The street was closed for about an hour, he said.

Berg said they found a casing but not the bullet, so they know the bullet entered the car. They believe it shattered the driver’s side window. It’s unknown if Pinotti was struck by the bullet or injured.

Officer Howard has a limited commission and handles courtroom security for the city, according to Berg. He is a retired California Highway Patrol officer.

Centralia Police Department spokesperson Officer Patty Finch indicates Howard has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.

The shooting incident will be investigated by the multi-county shooting review team with primary responsibility assumed by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, according to Finch.

It’s the third time a Centralia officer has fired at someone this year. The other two instances were fatal.

Berg was confident Pinotti would be located. His criminal history is not extensive or violent, he said.

“He knows we know who he is, I think he just made an extremely poor decision,” Berg said. “Fight or flight.”

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Centralia Police Department Chief Bob Berg describes how the wanted man fled outside Centralia City Hall on West Maple Street this morning.

 

The new gun law, Lewis County style

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Updated

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS  – Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer won’t be applying the letter of the law regarding the recently enacted Initiative I-594 – requiring expanded background checks for firearm sales and transfers – among otherwise law abiding citizens.

However, give or sell a gun to someone prohibited from possessing one, and he will take action.

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Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer

Meyer, in a joint news release issued yesterday with Lewis County Sheriff-Elect Rob Snaza, said the broad language and vague definitions of the new law have given rise to many questions and concerns.

Each man offered a brief written statement, attached to their summary of the main provisions of I-594.

The measure which passed in November applies currently used criminal and public safety background checks by licensed dealers to all firearm sales and transfers, including gun shows and online sales, with specific exceptions. It went into effect Dec. 4.

“The Lewis County Prosecuting Attorney Office will not make criminals out of the hardworking citizens of Lewis County,” Meyer states. “Where I-594 attempts to criminalize every-day activities, I, in the exercise of my prosecutorial discretion, will not charge individuals with these types of violations.

“At the same time, make no mistake I will hold accountable those who, in violation of this initiative, knowingly put guns in the hands of criminals.”

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Sheriff-elect Rob Snaza

A first offense is a gross misdemeanor. Subsequent offenses are a class C felony. Meyer is responsible for all felony prosecutions in the county, and for misdemeanor and gross misdemeanors in cases from the sheriff’s office, the state patrol and some other police departments.

Regarding the gun shows regularly held at the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds where sales have traditionally been made by both licensed firearm dealers and private citizens, Meyer said he presumes the organizers will make sure proper processes are followed.

An example Meyer gave yesterday, in a brief interview, of what he won’t pursue involve transfers of a gun in some cases.

He spoke of innocent activities such as if a person and their brother-in-law went target shooting and used each others weapons.

The law provides exemptions to background checks, among them are transactions involving gifts between immediate family members as well as antique firearms as defined by applicable law.

Meyer said he views the new law as applying to even temporary transfers such as handling a firearm for inspection, for consideration of purchase or stocking store shelves. But he’s not interested in prosecuting those types of activities, he indicated.

His example of what he is interested in pursuing related to selling or giving a gun to a felon.

As for going after a person who sells or gives a firearm, without the checks, to someone who subsequently uses it in a crime, he said he would be looking at situations on a case by case basis.

Meyer noted he can’t give legal advice to individual citizens and recommended anyone with questions should consult their attorney.

The new law does not change the definition of a firearm. It does mean any sales or transfers must be completed through a licensed dealer, according to Meyer.

The prosecutor said he has not seen any cases involving it yet, and thinks the RCW will be called “Unlawful transfer of firearms.”

I-594 passed statewide with 59 percent of the vote. In Lewis County, 67 percent of voters rejected it.

Sheriff-elect Snaza, in his formal statement, reminds the public he is a strong proponent of the second amendment and notes the “significant” impact of  I-594 on law abiding citizens.

He states that each of these cases will be considered by his office in regard to both the spirit and the letter of the law.

However, his office’s enforcement strategy doesn’t appear to include proactively seeking out violations, or making arrests, according to his statement. He’ll let the prosecutor decide.

“(Our strategy) will be to thoroughly investigate those cases reported to us, and file these cases with the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office, when appropriate,” Snaza stated.

This morning Snaza pointed out the majority of Lewis County residents oppose the new law, which he said he believes has good intentions, but is vague.

“We don’t have all these resources to go after every person breaking the law,” Snaza said.

“Personally, I think this law is unconstitutional,” he said. “We’ll do what we can.”

•••

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS OF I-594, from Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer

WHAT IS A “FIREARM”?*
A “firearm” is a weapon or device from which a projectile or projectiles may be fired by an explosive such as gunpowder. This includes tools such as a concrete nailer that is gas or powder-actuated.
*I-594 did not change the definition of a firearm.

WHO IS SUBJECT TO BACKGROUND CHECKS UNDER I-594?
All purchasers or transferees of firearms are subject to background checks unless the purchase or transfer is specifically exempted by state or federal law.

WHICH SALES AND TRANSFERS ARE SUBJECT TO I-594?
All sales or transfers occurring in whole or in part in Washington State, including sales and transfers through dealers, at gun shows, online, and between unlicensed persons, are subject to the background check requirements of I-594.

WHAT IS A TRANSFER?
A “transfer” means the intended delivery of a firearm to another person without payment or promise of payment, including gifts and loans. This includes a “temporary” transfer (including the handling of a firearm for inspection, consideration of purchasing, stocking of store shelves, etc.).

HOW MUST A SALE OR TRANSFER BE ACCOMPLISHED UNDER I-594?
Any sale or transfer of a firearm where neither party is a licensed firearms dealer must be completed through a licensed firearms dealer in compliance with the following requirements:
1. The seller or transferor must physically deliver the firearm to the dealer. The seller or transferor may remove the firearm from the dealer’s premises while the background check is being conducted, but the firearm must be physically delivered back to the dealer prior to the completion of the transaction.
2. The purchaser or transferee must complete, sign and submit all federal, state, and local forms needed for processing the background check.
3. The dealer must process the transaction in the same manner as he/she would in a sale or transfer of a firearm from his/her inventory. The dealer must comply with all applicable federal and state laws.
4. If the purchaser or transferee is ineligible to possess a firearm, the transaction cannot proceed and the dealer must return the firearm to the seller or transferor.
5. The dealer may charge a fee for facilitating a sale or transfer that reflects the fair market value of the administrative costs incurred.

WHAT TIMING REQUIREMENTS APPLY TO A PURCHASE OR TRANSFER UNDER I-594?
A dealer may not deliver a firearm to a purchaser or transferee until the earlier of:
1. The completion of all required background checks if the purchaser or transferee is not ineligible under federal or state law to possess a firearm; or
2. Ten (10) business days have passed since the dealer requested the background check, except this period is sixty (60) calendar days for a pistol transfer if the purchaser or transferee does not have a valid Washington state driver’s license or identification card or has not been a resident for the previous ninety (90) days.

ARE ANY TRANSACTIONS EXEMPT FROM THE BACKGROUND CHECK REQUIREMENT?
The following transactions are exempt from the background check requirements established by I-594:
1. Bona fide gifts between immediate family members, which is limited to spouses, domestic partners, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, first cousins, aunts, and uncles;
2. Sales or transfer of “antique” firearms, as that term is defined by applicable law;
3. Sales or transfers by or to law enforcement and corrections agencies, and to the extent the person is acting within the course and scope of his or her employment or official duties, law enforcement and corrections officers, active members of the military, and federal officials;
4. Receipt of a firearm by a federally licensed gunsmith only if the firearm is received for purposes of service or repair.

ARE ANY TEMPORARY TRANSFERS EXEMPT?
The temporary transfer of a firearm is exempt when:
a. Necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to the transferee, if the transfer lasts only as long as needed and the transferee is not prohibited from possessing firearms by applicable law;
b. It is between spouses or domestic partners;
c. It occurs at an established shooting range authorized by the local governing body and the firearm is kept at all times at the range;
d. It occurs at a lawful organized firearm competition or performance and  the firearm is possessed exclusively at the competition or performance;
e. It is to a person under eighteen (18) years of age for lawful hunting, sporting, or educational purposes while under the direct supervision of a responsible adult; or
f. It occurs while legally hunting if the transferee has completed all required training, holds all required licenses or permits, and is not prohibited from possessing a firearm.

WHAT IF THE FIREARM IS INHERITED?
Acquisition of a firearm, other than a pistol, by inheritance is exempt.
In the case of acquisition of a pistol by inheritance, the transfer is exempt for the sixty (60) days following the transfer by operation of inheritance. However, upon the expiration of the sixty (60) day period, the person must either have lawfully transferred the pistol or must have contacted the Washington Department of Licensing to notify that department that he or she has possession of the pistol and intends to retain possession of the pistol, in compliance with all federal and state laws.

WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING THE NEW LAW?
A person who knowingly violates the background check requirements is guilty of a gross misdemeanor for a first offense and of a Class C felony for each subsequent offense.
Each firearm sold or transferred in violation of the background check requirements is a separate offense.
A Class C felony conviction for this offense is included in the definition of “serious offense” for purposes of the crime of unlawful possession of firearms.

WHAT ABOUT THE SALES TAX ON SALES OR TRANSFERS OF FIREARMS?
The retail sales tax does not apply to the sale or transfer of a firearm between two unlicensed persons if they have complied with all required background checks.

DOES THE DEALER HAVE TO COLLECT THE USE TAX ON THE TRANSACTION?
Keeps the requirement for firearms dealers to collect sales or use tax from the transferee on interstate firearms transfers by a licensed dealer.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Updated

THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS STOLEN FROM CHEHALIS WOMAN

• An elderly Chehalis resident is out about $23,000 after someone tricked her into believing she’d won a lottery and a car. Police called on Friday found the 81-year-old had been contacted about two weeks earlier and told she was the winner of $2.5 million, according to the Chehalis Police Department. She was told she needed to pay for taxes and the vehicle registration and sent money to individuals supposedly in Florida, Ohio and Maine, detective Sgt. Gary WIlson said. WIlson said the department can contact police agencies in those areas to see if they could track down the perpetrators, but the names given are likely fake. He was not optimistic about solving the theft. “There’s really very little we can do about this,” he said. He repeated advice police give about  the various scams, such as people calling and saying you’re a winner, threatening you with arrest or that your grandson needs bail money. “Don’t send money to people, no matter what,” he said.

POLICE OFFICER PUNCHED

• A suspected shoplifter who reportedly punched an arriving police officer in the face was arrested last night. Police responded to the Twin CIty Town Center on Northwest Louisiana Avenue about 9:30 p.m. and when the officer asked the suspect for his identification, he was struck in the cheek, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The officer took a step back, told him he as under arrest and tased him, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said.Both were taken to the hospital to be checked out, according to police.  Booked into the Lewis County for third-degree assault was William M. Eaton Jr., 36, from Chehalis, Wilson said.

BREAK-IN CHEHALIS

• Someone burglarized a downtown Chehalis business and stole about $300 during the night over the weekend. Officers responded to an alarm about 2 a.m. yesterday to a vape shop on the 500 block of Northwest Pacific Avenue and found someone forced open the ]front door. No arrest was made, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

GARAGE BURGLED

• Someone got inside an unsecured garage on Southwest Cascade Avenue in Chehalis and stole a camping airbed, according to a report made to police yesterday morning.

AUTO THEFT

• Chehalis police were called about 2:30 a.m. yesterday to Southwest William Avenue where someone had stolen a 1996 Honda Civic. The sliver-gray car has a license plate reading AEL 3752,  according to the Chehalis Police Department. It happened sometime after 10 p.m., according to police.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Chehalis police were called about 7:20 a.m. today regarding a vehicle prowl on Southwest First Avenue in Chehalis.

OUTBUILDING BURNS

• Firefighters called about 2 p.m. yesterday to a fire at the 16000 block of Case Road in Rochester found a shed fully engulfed in flames. Flames spread to some nearby trees but nobody was hurt, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority. The fire was extinguished and crews cleared shortly after 3 p.m., Lt Rob Smith said.

COLLISION

• A motorist was airlifted from the Chehalis-Centralia Airport overnight after a single-vehicle wreck on the 1500 block of Bishop Road in Chehalis. Firefighters called about 2:15 a.m. to the scene near Maurin Road found a significantly damaged sport utility vehicle in the ditch and the 32-year-old man driving with serious injuries, Lewis County Fire District 6 Firefighter Steven Busz said. Responding deputies found that Joshua B. Breault’s vehicle had struck a garbage can, a utility box and a mobile building, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It appears the driver said he fell asleep, and sustained a head injury and a possibly broken leg, detective Sgt. Dusty Breen said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrant, trespass, shoplifting, resisting arrest, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, disputes, robbery, harassment, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

News brief: Defendants finally arraigned in Vader toddler death

Friday, December 12th, 2014

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

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

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

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Jasper Henderling-Warner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For background, read:

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

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

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

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Updated at 5:23 p.m.

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THAT …

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

VEHICLE PROWL

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

FROM THE COURTHOUSE

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

COLLISION

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

AND MORE

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

Windstorm passes through

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

Updated at 11:28 a.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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