Sheldon J. Hardy, 40, of Chehalis, is charged with first-degree assault in connection with a Sunday incident with a knife on Southeast Dobson Court in Chehalis.
By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – Both men stabbed in separate incidents in Chehalis over the weekend are listed in satisfactory condition at a Seattle hospital while their two alleged assailants remain held in the Lewis County Jail.
Michael Bylsma, 25, suffered a single stab wound to his chest on Saturday afternoon in the driveway of the home on Southeast 16th Street where he lives with his friend Kevin A.R. Dawkins.
Authorities say the two argued and fought while out to pizza at lunchtime and resumed the dispute as soon as they returned home.
The victim in Sunday’s late afternoon incident outside an apartment complex on Southeast Dobson Court, 19-year-old Andres F. Santiago, sustained a wound to his chest and a laceration across his lower lip, according to charging documents.
It happened during an alteration witnessed by several others, apparently over something said to Santiago’s 17-year-old pregnant girlfriend, charging documents indicate.
Sheldon J. Hardy, 40, who told police he’d told authorities he’d been drinking and done a few lines of methamphetamine, told police Santiago charged him, court documents state. Police described the two as neighbors.
Hardy was charged yesterday with first-degree assault and ordered held on $250,000 bail. Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey said he’d set it at $50,000 over the weekend, but after hearing more of the allegation’s details and learning Hardy’s criminal history, he would increase the amount.
Dawkins, 24, who appeared before the judge during the same late afternoon hearing, is held on $100,000 bail. He is charged with second-degree assault.
Second-degree assault carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison; first-degree assault can mean lifetime incarceration.
Exactly why the two cases didn’t produce the same charge isn’t clear.
Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher one of his co-workers filed one of the cases and a second co-worker filed the other.
“Not all stabbings are equal,” Meagher said.
Recently hired Deputy Prosecutor Mark McLean mentioned to the judge Dawkins’ significant criminal history, noting two recent felonies and offenses such as burglary and theft.
In Hardy’s case, McLean listed seven past felony convictions such as drugs and forgery as well as two for third-degree assault going back as far as 1996.
In both cases, the weapon used was described by police as a kitchen-like knife with a blade of approximately four inches.
Both victims were treated at Providence Centralia Hospital.
Bylsma was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle on Saturday. Airlift was unavailable because of weather on Sunday so Santiago was transported there by ambulance.
Charging documents in Saturday’s incident don’t relay what Bylsma and Dawkins argued about, but cite a witness as saying the pair went into the residence on 16th Street for a short period and came back out yelling at each other.
David Graves, who had taken them to Sahara’s Pizza before the incident, told police he watched Bylsma walking backwards down the driveway with Dawkins walking towards him, and he saw Dawkins punch Bylsma in the chest and then drop a knife on the ground and leave the area, charging documents state in a two-page summary.
The five pages outlining why prosecutors believed they had probable cause for the charge in Sunday’s case don’t reveal a specific reason for the disagreement between Hardy and Santiago either.
One witness tells police Hardy came outside and said something to the 17-year-old girl that Santiago could hear and Santiago approached the two. Hardy was yelling at her as the two men came together and Hardy took up a fighting stance, the documents state.
The documents alleged Hardy took a swing and Santiago stopped fighting, and while his hands were down, Hardy hit him again in the face, both blows apparently with a knife in hand.
Another witness said he yelled at the suspect, who stopped what he was doing, charging documents state.
Fellow resident Michelle Gibson took Hardy back to his apartment and was yelling, “I told you guys what would happen,” charging documents state.
Gibson told police Hardy had exhibited behavior and violence issues in the past, once pulling a knife on her, according to the charging documents.
She said she thought his behavior on Sunday afternoon was because he’d been evicted earlier that day, for similar issues, according to charging documents.
Both men in both cases will go before a judge on Thursday for their arraignments.
For background, read “Breaking news: Young man hospitalized after stabbing in Chehalis” from Sunday March 16, 2014, here
Kevin A.R. Dawkins, 24, of Chehalis, is charged with second-degree assault in connection with a Saturday incident with a knife on Southeast 16th Street in Chehalis.