Posts Tagged ‘news reporter’

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, May 6th, 2016
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•••

BURGLARY CHEHALIS

• A snow board, snow skis and a weed eater were discovered missing from a detached garage on the 400 block of Southwest 15th Street in Chehalis yesterday afternoon. An entry door had been damaged and the break-in was believed to have occurred sometime during the previous two days, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

THEFT, THEFT, THEFT

• Centralia police were called about 1:50 p.m. yesterday to the 1500 block of Delaware Avenue where mail was stolen from a mailbox but later found in a nearby alley.

• More third-degree thefts reported in Centralia yesterday, all over all day including money from a wallet at 300 block of East Pine Street; cell phone at 900 block of South Scheuber Road; bicycle from 900 block of Woodland Avenue; clothing, more clothing and a butane torch from 1400 block of Lum Road.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police were called about 5:45 a.m. today about tires getting slashed on a vehicle parked at the 300 block of Northwest Chehalis Avenue.

• Centralia police yesterday referred a case involving a juvenile for a charge of third-degree malicious mischief in connection with graffiti spray painted onto a wall at the 1000 block of North Pearl Street.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• All participants suffered minor or no injuries in a three-vehicle chain reaction rear-end collision yesterday at the 1100 block of West Reynolds Avenue in Centralia, according to Riverside Fire Authority. The wreck involved a large pickup truck, a small passenger car and larger service truck, the fire department reports.

• Police are looking for a 21-year-old Centralia motorist after he eluded officers yesterday afternoon following an attempted traffic stop at Southwest Cascade Avenue at Sixth Street in Chehalis. Police pursued the red 2002 Kia Spectra to the area of 20th Street but terminated the chase because of safety concerns, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The incident began about 2:24 p.m., according to police. The department says Steven N. Romero has outstanding warrants for second-degree theft of a motor vehicle and fourth-degree assault.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespass, shoplifting, protection order violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, hit and run, civil issue, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street, little grass fire along Interstate 5 … and more, among 155 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 6:45 a.m. today.

Cause for Cenex fire will be undetermined

Thursday, May 5th, 2016
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Just one side of the office-storage building remained standing on Monday afternoon at Cenex.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Whatever clues might have existed as to what ignited the Cenex building in Chehalis burned up in the fire, according to the fire chief.

Fire investigators spent the past two days exploring the scene at the 100 block of Northwest State Avenue, just north of Main Street.

“The damage was so extensive, they could not determine the cause,” Chehalis Fire Department Chief Ken Cardinale said today. “We were dealing with 2000 degree temperatures.”

The business was closed when flames were reported about 10:34 p.m. on Sunday.

Approximately 30 firefighters from four departments battled the blaze that mostly consumed the office-storage building, dealing with ongoing explosions of the contents.

The building held numerous  55-gallon drums of lubricating oil among other petroleum products, according to Cardinale.

Cenex includes a gas station, but the business also provides bulk delivery of various fuels including propane. Crews worked through the night keeping cool the numerous liquefied petroleum gas tanks on site to prevent them from exploding.

Cardinale said investigators spoke to workers and also to the individual who first reported the fire.

No problems had been reported by the company with its building, such as electrical issues, but the initial caller was able to say the fire at first was seen at the southwest corner of the building, according to the chief.

Investigators focused around that area, but didn’t find anything, the chief said.

A common aspect of fire investigations would be to take samples or have a dog sniff for accelerants, but the building contained mostly hydrocarbons, so that wasn’t an option, according to Cardinale.

An estimated dollar loss won’t be available until after the private contractor finishes cleaning up the surrounding area next week, Cardinale said.

At one point during the fire, the department stopped putting water on it and allowed it to burn, to reduce the amount of contaminated run off.

Cardinale said the adjacent dirt field should be cleaned up by tomorrow, but the contractor will be working next week on cleaning up culverts as well as a retention pond next to Interstate 5.
•••

For background, read “Fire claims Cenex in Chehalis” from Monday May 2, 2016, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, May 5th, 2016
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•••

BACKPAGE.COM ENCOUNTER ENDS WITH VIOLENT ROBBERY

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports this morning they booked an individual into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree robbery in a case in which 53-year-old Chehalis man invited an “escort” to his home but was attacked, tied up and pistol whipped by two males who arrived with her. The victim was bound at the wrists and ankles while numerous valuables were stolen from his residence on the 900 block of Logan Hill Road, including televisions, his wallet, his cellphone and laptop computer, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. Brown said it happened last Friday, but the man didn’t report it until the following day. Property found in a vehicle seized by Chehalis police after a shoplifting incident led to Natrone Bostick, 19, of Lakewood, according to Brown. Charges may be forthcoming for the two individuals who were with Bostick when he was arrested on Tuesday, Brown said.

DRUGS, GUNS FOUND AFTER SHOPLIFTING INCIDENT

• Three people detained by troopers on Interstate 5 near milepost 68 following a suspected shoplifting incident at Home Depot in Chehalis on Tuesday afternoon were arrested for various offenses including organized retail theft. Chehalis police were called about 3:45 p.m. about an incident at the 1700 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue, according to the Chehalis Police Department. After their vehicle was impounded and searched, police found firearms, drugs, paraphernalia and other items, including property believed to have been taken in a burglary, according to police. Booked into the Lewis County Jail were Samath L. Hem, 23, Tacoma; Natrone D. Bostick, 19, of Lakewood; and Alicia R. Chester, 21, from Tacoma, police department spokesperson Linda Bailey said.

BREAK-IN CENTRALIA

• Centralia police were called about 8:25 a.m. yesterday to take a report of a burglary to a building on the 2700 block of West Reynolds Avenue. Food and other items were discovered missing but a complete list has not yet been provided, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AUTO THEFT

• Chehalis police called just after 9 o’clock yesterday morning about an abandoned vehicle behind a laundry business on the 800 block of South Market Boulevard discovered 1994 Geo Metro had been reported stolen out of Centralia. The car was impounded, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• A white 2000 Ford F250 pickup truck containing tools and logging equipment was stolen from an apartment complex at the 1700 block of Van Wormer Street in Centralia, according to a report made on Tuesday to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It’s license plate reads C65594B, according to the sheriff’s office.

DRUGS

• A 29-year-old man picked up for a warrant was allegedly found with a baggie containing 1.5 grams of suspected methamphetamine in his wallet on Tuesday evening. When deputies contacted Shamus D. Gilligan on South Gold Street in Centralia, he allegedly gave them a false name, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Gilligan, from Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office.

UNRULY INDIVIDUAL ARRESTED

• A 31-year-old Packwood resident was arrested for interfering with a health care facility and third-degree malicious mischief after police were called about 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday on the 1000 block of Kresky Avenue in Centralia. Adam M. Roberts was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police were called just after 6 p.m. yesterday regarding a gun stolen from a vehicle at the 2000 block of Borst Avenue.

• A firearm was reported stolen from a parked vehicle about 8:40 a.m. yesterday at the 500 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia.

SEX CRIME INVESTIGATION

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday they arrested a 24-year-old Centralia resident for allegedly having sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old from Winlock. The alleged incident took place about two weeks ago and authorities were notified last Thursday, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputies contacted Jon C. Zammito at his home on Tuesday, arrested him for third-degree rape of a child and booked him into the Lewis County Jail, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

SUSPICIOUS MATERIALS CHECKED ON BY POLICE

• It wasn’t a meth lab found in a deceased relative’s Chehalis apartment, but it was various household chemicals that appeared to have been assembled for the purpose of making meth, the Chehalis Police Department said this morning. An officer called on Monday about the find at the 200 block of Southeast Washington Avenue reports none of it was mixed together or processed in any way and the reporting party was given contact information for organizations that deal with those kinds of things, department spokesperson Linda Bailey said today.

ASSAULT IN COURTROOM FOLLOW UP

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said yesterday morning it is recommending charges of assault and intimidating a witness for defendant Dominic L. Combs, who when he saw his father enter the courtroom during Combs’ trial jumped from his seat and head butted the the 63-year-old man. Combs, 28, was on trial in Lewis County Superior Court on Monday for felony harassment and other charges. Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said Combs was handcuffed and wearing belly chains at the time and was detained at the entryway to Judge James Lawler’s courtroom by security and police. A mistrial was declared and the Centralia man was brought before another judge yesterday where they scheduled a date of May 23 to re-do the trial.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Centralia police were called about 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday for a hit and run at the Johnson Road and Borst Avenue where a victim reported he was brushed by a car as he was walking onto the roadway. He fell back causing cuts to his hands, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, third-degree theft, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license, immoral communication with minor; responses for alarm, dispute, hit and run, suspicious circumstances … and more, among 154 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 6:20 a.m. today.

Twin Star Credit Union robber gets reduced sentence

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016
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Michael A. Lar, right, confers with defense attorney David Arcuri in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 63-year-old repeat bank robber described as courteous and very literate spent about 30 minutes this morning engaged in oral arguments on his own case before Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt.

Michael A. Lar didn’t win on the point he made, but his life sentence was reduced to 18 years and six months.

“Mr. Lar, I have to tell you, you are the most confounding defendant I have had in my career,” Hunt said. “You are incredibly intelligent, very well-mannered and a violent criminal.”

Lar has multiple convictions for bank robbery, the earliest one local prosecutors could find was as far back as 1982.

According to Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Sara Beigh, Lar was released from prison in 1995, convicted again and released in January 2008.

He was arrested in January 2010 after an attempted robbery at Twin Star Credit Union in Centralia on South Gold Street.

Two employees arriving for work found a man who’d gotten inside by breaking a window. A responding police officer was able to pull one woman to safety and fired two shots before an hours-long standoff.

Police surrounded the bank, but after hiding in nearby bushes nearly 12 hours, a wounded Lar called a taxi and headed to Olympia, where he was arrested the same night, according to court documents.

After his trial in Lewis County Superior Court, Lar was found guilty of first-degree attempted robbery, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree burglary.

He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release, based on the so-called three strikes law. However, last year the state Court of Appeals reversed the sentence, saying his previous federal convictions were not comparable to “most serious” convictions under Washington law.

He appeared in court today, represented by Centralia defense attorney David Arcuri.

The discussion focused on how many points Lar had given previous convictions, for the purposes of computing the sentencing range that should apply.

Arcuri told the judge Lar wanted to make a legal argument, representing himself with Arcuri standing by.

He said his client was very well versed in the matter before the court.

“Mr. Lar knows the law about as well as any lawyer could,” Arcuri said.

Judge Hunt allowed it, noting his own experience showed him Lar was very learned in the area.

Lar cited case law addressing whether his two federal bank robbery convictions were comparable to state convictions, for the purposes of determining his “points.” Arcuri stepped back from the defense table, returning to help turn pages for the handcuffed defendant.

Judge Hunt ultimately agreed with Beigh however.

Hunt imposed 140 months for the  first-degree burglary, 222 months for first-degree kidnapping and 120 months for first-degree attempted robbery, all to be served concurrently.

Among the other orders were no contact with the victim and some $493 restitution to the credit union.

At the end of the hearing, Arcuri handed the judge notice of Lar’s intent to appeal.
•••

For background, read “Life sentence overturned for Twin Star bank robber” from Tuesday April 21, 2015, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
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•••

Updated

GARAGE FIRE UNDER INVESTIGATION

• Firefighters were called to the 900 block of Southwest Cascade Avenue in Chehalis about 6 p.m. yesterday when flames were seen on the outside corner of a detached garage. Nobody was home and it’s not known how it started, according to the Chehalis Fire Department. The fire was quickly extinguished by members of Lewis County Fire District 6 who responded to assist and arrived on scene first, Fire Capt. Casey Beck said.

POSSIBLE METH-MAKING UNCOVERED

• Chehalis police were called yesterday by an individual who found what she thought were remnants of a meth lab when she was cleaning out a deceased relative’s apartment at the 200 block of Southeast Washington Avenue. An officer was to make contact with the Washington State Patrol and further information is not yet available, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

SPREADING NAKED PICTURES

• A teenage girl reported to her probation officer yesterday in Chehalis that nude photos of her were being distributed around by others. An officer is investigating, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

BURGLARY AND THEFT

• A coat and a cell phone were listed as missing following a residential burglary at the 500 block of South Ash Street in Centralia last night, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police were called about 12:20 p.m. yesterday to the 700 block of South Gold Street in Centralia about the theft of a firearm from a residence, according to the Centralia Police Department.

STOLEN CAR

• Centralia police were called just after 11 a.m. yesterday about the theft of a 1994 Honda Accord from the 1700 block of Providence Lane sometime in the previous two days, according to the Centralia Police Department.

LOTS OF DRUGS

• Acting on an anonymous tip, drug detectives joined with community corrections officers and paid a visit yesterday to an individual on active supervision they suspected may have recently received a “shipment” of methamphetamine on Gish Road in Onalaska. Scott E. Ridgley, 55, was arrested after he allegedly failed a UA and a community corrections officer opened a safe in his bedroom and located approximately three ounces of meth, 135 oxycodone pills, about $20,000 and other items, according to charging documents. While there, members of the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team contacted Larry E. Ridgley, 38, who reportedly arrived riding a dirt bike without a helmet, placed him under arrest for driving with a suspended license and found about an ounce of meth when they searched him, according to the court documents. Larry Ridgley said he found the meth while out looking for rocks. He was charged today in Lewis County Superior Court with possession of meth. He was allowed release on a $10,000 signature bond. Scott E. Ridgley was charged with possession of meth with intent to deliver, possession of oxycodone with intent to deliver and possession of hydromorphone. His bail was set at $20,000. Charging papers indicate that during a search of the home, law enforcment found about 17 ounces of dried marijuana.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A 39-year-old Winlock man escaped serious injury in a rollover collision last night along the 600 block of Winlock-Vader Road. Deputies called about 11 p.m. noted Clayton F. Gish had contusions and after he was examined at the hospital, he was booked into the Lewis County Jail for driving under the influence, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. His 2005 Jeep Liberty was totaled, according to the sheriff’ office.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants; responses for alarm, dispute, vandalism, civil issue, shoplifting, hit and run, runaway teen, suicidal person, suspicious circumstances … and more, among 154 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 5:45 a.m. today.

News brief: A bit less than three years shaved from Centralia man’s sentence

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
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Joshua Rhoades, right, confers with his attorney Don Blair today in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A former Centralia man was sentenced again this morning for a 2013 assault case in which the appeals court said the judge should not have imposed time outside the standard sentencing range.

Joshua Rhoades was convicted by a jury of second-degree assault for a fight on a Centralia street in which a 17-year-old boy was knocked unconscious. Rhoades, then 32 years old, was given nearly the 10 year maximum, believed to be allowed because of a special gang finding by the jury.

The Washington State Court of Appeals Division II last year concluded prosecutors didn’t give Rhoades adequate notice of the aggravating circumstance they alleged. The case was sent back to Lewis County Superior Court.

Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead this morning asked Judge James Lawler to give Rhoades 70 months, the high end of the stand sentencing range.

Defense attorney Don Blair offered reasons he hoped the judge would go lower. Blair said his client has undertaken a series of courses while incarcerated.

Neither lawyer handled the case when it went to trial.

Judge Lawler said he couldn’t entirely ignore the efforts Rhoades has made in bettering himself.

He imposed a new sentence of 65 months along with a 12-month enhancement for a deadly weapon. He also ordered that Rhoades would be on community custody for 18 months after his release from prison.
•••

For background, read “Wrong “gang aggravator” gets Centralia man new, shorter sentence” from Wednesday February 4, 2015, here

News brief: Teen motorcyclist hurt in crash near Adna

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A wreck that injured a teenage boy on a motorcycle on state Route 6 late this afternoon is blamed on inattention.

Troopers called just before 5 p.m. to the scene near Curtis Hill Road found Michael A. Jasa, 17, from Winlock, ran into the back of a car that had stopped for traffic, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Jasa was wearing a helmet and was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the state patrol. The investigating trooper described his 1986 Honda MX4 as totaled.

The driver of the 2013 Nissan Rogue, Thomas J. Hornbeck, 36, from Curtis, was reportedly unhurt.

Jasa was to be cited a violation of the basic speed rule, according to the state patrol.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, May 2nd, 2016
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•••

CHILD ASSAULT

• A 32-year-old mother was arrested on Saturday for third-degree child assault after a deputy followed up on a referral by Child Protective Services of a 9-year-old boy with large bruises on his middle back an upper arm in Toledo. Finola B. Erickson, of Chehalis, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. She also had an outstanding warrant for fourth-degree domestic assault for which she was booked, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said this morning.

MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT

• Centralia police were called about 7:35 p.m. on Saturday about the theft of a white 1994 Geo Metro from the 300 block of South Tower Avenue. It has a license plate of AQA 6560, according to the Centralia Police Department.

SHOPLIFTING

• Chehalis police were called about 10:45 a.m. on Friday to the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue where they were told someone tried to return merchandise and was unable to and then allegedly left, came back, picked a beard trimmer kit from the shelf, put it in a bag and tried to return that with a receipt dated April 14. Two people were arrested for return of a stolen item, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Booked into the Lewis County Jail were Brent A. Harner and Morgan I. Hite, both 26 years old and from Centralia, according to police. Lewis County prosecutors declined to file the felony charges and advised to forward the cases for Chehalis Municipal Court for charges of third-degree theft, department spokesperson Linda Bailey said.

SHERIFF’S OFFICE: NEAR TRAGEDY

• Nobody saw it happen but a 12-year-old boy was found laying face down in a field after crashing an ATV on Saturday. A deputy responding to the 5:09 p.m. call to assist at the 100 block of Highland Valley Road in Morton found the boy could not feel his touch when he checked his arms and legs, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The child said he had pain in his back. The sheriff’s office later learned the child regained feeling and movement after he was loaded into an ambulance and was discharged about 11 p.m., Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. Brown said the boy was riding a 2001 Suzuki King Quad 300, an ATV which the manufacturer recommends not be ridden by anyone younger than 16 years old.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, vandalism, civil issue, hit and run, misdemeanor theft, disorderly persons, suicidal person, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street  … and more, among 115 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Many witnesses, included convicted murderer, expected for John Booth’s attempt to undo life sentence

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Two days of court hearings begin tomorrow morning on convicted triple murderer John A. Booth Jr.’s motion to vacate his life sentence.

Booth was convicted for the August 2010 fatal shootings on Wings Way in Onalaska of David West Sr., 52, David “D.J.” West Jr., 16, and Tony Williams, 50. West Sr.’s girlfriend, Denise Salts, survived a gunshot wound to her face. Prosecutors said he was collecting a drug debt.

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John Allen Booth Jr.

The former Onalaska resident denied the shootings, but was given a mandatory sentence of life without the possibility of release under the “three strikes” law following his December 2011 trial in Lewis County Superior Court.

The hearings are scheduled to begin in Lewis County Superior Court at 9 a.m. before Judge Richard Brosey.

Among the many witnesses Booth, through his lawyer, is expected to call to the stand is Robert J. Maddaus Jr., formerly of Rochester, who is similarly serving a life term in prison.

Maddaus was convicted earlier in 2011 for the first-degree murder of Shaun Allen Peterson. Peterson died handcuffed and shot on an Olympia street early on Nov. 16, 2009, in what prosecutors said was a weekend of threats and attempts by Maddaus to recover pounds of missing methamphetamine.

Maddaus was transported to the Lewis County Jail on Friday morning.

Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher said Booth has subpoenaed a lot of witnesses, including many employees of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

The burden is Booth’s to make the case to the judge on his motion, Meagher said.

Booth is represented by court assigned defense attorney Erik Kupka. He contends eavesdropping on inmates in the jail  jeopardized his rights to confidential communications with his lawyers.

The motion to vacate the judgement and sentence is based on court rule 7.8.

Meagher said he thinks this could be Booth’s final appeal.

“We beat his appeal, we beat his personal restraint petition, we beat another motion he made,” Meagher said. “I think this is his last hurrah.”

•••

For background, read “Judge to hear convicted triple murderer John A. Booth’s motion in May” from Wednesday April 13, 2016, here

Probe into unspecified “organized crime” nets local resident eligible for deportation

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Chehalis business owner has pleaded not guilty to local charges related to using an alias following a search by local, state and federal agencies of his warehouse, his home and several vehicles.

A sheriff’s detective began looking into Champion Greens located on Northwest West Street in Chehalis based on information that arose pursuant to an investigation by multiple agencies into organized criminal activity in Washington state, according to court documents.

Both the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office said the case involved an ongoing investigation, which they have not commented on.

Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead declined to say what type of organized crime was being looked into or what law enforcement agencies were doing the looking.

Elvis A. Matias-Lopez, 34, of Chehalis, is charged in Lewis County Superior Court with three class C felonies and is free on a $10,000 unsecured signature bond.

Halstead said he believes Matias-Lopez is Guatemalan.

The current charges relate to Matias-Lopez allegedly registering to vote, possessing two guns without the required alien firearm license and using the name Elvis A. Matias-Lopez for over 10 years, according to court documents.

Matias-Lopez pleaded not guilty on Thursday in Lewis County Superior Court to first-degree criminal impersonation, false declaration as to qualifications as a voter and alien in possession of a firearm without an alien firearm license.

He hired Centralia lawyer Don Blair after his April 20 arrest.

Charging documents in the case don’t reveal the nature of the organized crime being investigated, they only state a Lewis County sheriff’s detective became aware of Champion Greens because of that investigation, back in September 2014.

Champion Greens is a forest products foraging business consisting of a large cinder block structure, with multiple loading bays and “ample” storage area on Northwest West Street in Chehalis, according to the documents.

Law enforcement decided to conduct surveillance which continued regularly until last October on Matias-Lopez, his business co-owner, Champion Greens and his residence, according to court documents.

According to court documents, the sheriff’s office found Matias-Lopez was illegally in the country and eligible for deportation.

Another deputy learned from Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Oregon that Matias-Lopez had previously informed them he’d legally changed his name in the Guatemalan court system, but in February, inquiries showed no evidence of Jose Matias-Lucas changing his name, according to court documents.

Search warrants were secured on April 19 and the following day, served with the assistance of local, state and federal agencies.

Items were seized which included but not were limited to documents showing Matias-Lopez’s “dominance and control” of the various structures and vehicles, receipts, bank drafts, inspection forms, a voter registration card, a  12-gauge shotgun, a Ruger LCP and ammunition, according to the court documents.

Prosecutor Halstead, who is handling the case in Lewis County Superior Court, said late last week he “cant’ answer that” as to whether any indications of organized criminal activity were found during the searches.

A phone call seeking comment from Matias-Lopez’s attorney was not returned.

The three alleged violations of state law each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison. His trial is scheduled for the week of July 11.

News brief: Randle woman’s death remains under investigation

Friday, April 29th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Authorities have released no new information regarding the death of a Randle woman on Tuesday night.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said today it’s an active death investigation, and they are waiting to find out what caused it.

Candy Core, 46, was unresponsive when deputies and aid arrived after being called about 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday to Peters Creek Road North in Randle. CPR was performed and she was transported to Morton General Hospital where she was pronounced dead, according to authorities.

Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said the next day it was kind of an unusual situation, but Brown revealed nothing further.

Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod indicated this afternoon he won’t know what caused Core’s death until he gets the results from toxicology tests. That can take 10 to 12 weeks, according to McLeod.

Core was one of three individuals at a Mossyrock area home a week ago when 61-year-old James C. Long allegedly barged in the back door with an ax. She and her husband Gerald Core were staying the night with Long’s girlfriend because the girlfriend knew he was getting released from jail and was worried.

There’ no indication in the court documents from that case anyone was injured other than Gerald Core, who had marks on his arms as well as his chest, presumably from fighting Long back out of the house.
•••

“News brief: Death of Randle resident under investigation” from Wednesday April 27, 2016, here

Man released from jail with no charges in connection with Centralia cat death

Friday, April 29th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Lewis County prosecutors did not file any criminal charges today against the 24-year-old man arrested last night for allegedly killing a cat in north Centralia.

Kyle B. Burke was booked into the Lewis County Jail for  animal cruelty, but released today.

“The whole thing is kind of murky,” Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher said this afternoon.

Centralia police interviewed several individuals, including children, when they responded to the apartment complex on the 100 block of Virginia Drive yesterday evening. Police reported this morning they were told Burke killed the cat with a knife, but Burke denied that.

“Somebody was very cruel to this animal,” Meagher said. “But I can’t say for sure it’s this guy.”

At some point, the cat was dropped from a second-floor balcony, he said.

“In this case, there seemed to be some evidence, when police talked to all the kids, it could have suffered terrible injury at the hands of a kid,” Meagher said. “And possibly he was putting it out of its misery.”

Prosecutors don’t have the feline’s body for evidence, because for whatever reason, police didn’t pick it up, Meagher said. Although he indicated that wasn’t the primary cause no charges were filed

He said when they looked over everything, there just was not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Burke intentionally was cruel to the cat.

Meagher said his office may be talking further with Centralia detectives about the case next week.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, April 29th, 2016
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•••

Updated at 3:08 p.m.

MAN JAILED IN CONNECTION WITH CAT DEATH

• Centralia police arrested a 24-year-old man last night for allegedly killing a cat. Officers called about 7:45 p.m. to the 100 block of Virginia Drive were told by several individuals that Kyle B. Burke took a knife to the pet, according to the Centralia Police Department. Burke when contacted denied it, but was booked into the Lewis County Jail for animal cruelty, according to police. Police say he is from Puyallup. He is tentatively scheduled to go before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court this afternoon. However, prosecutors declined to file the felony charge and he was to be released from jail.

BURGLARY, BURGLARY, BURGLARY

• Centralia police were called about 7:10 p.m. yesterday regarding a burglary to an apartment at the 700 block of G Street. Taken were electronics, a chainsaw, a fireplace electric heater and a Craftsman tool set, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called just before 1 p.m. yesterday for a residential burglary at the 1100 block of North Washington Avenue. Missing was a television, a Playstation 3 and movies, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Morton police were contacted yesterday morning by an individual who reported a firearm was missing from the 1000 block of Crystal Way. She believed it was stolen back in September when she left her house unlocked for individuals who were working on the property to be able to use the bathroom, according to the Morton Police.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning that someone broke in to a detached garage at the 800 block of North Military Road in Winlock and stole more than $700 worth of tools. It happened between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, according to the sheriff’s office. Among the missing property is a a Stihl brush cutter, a Stihl blower head, two cordless drills and an impact hammer, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

MORE THEFT

• An officer was called just before 9 a.m. yesterday to the 800 block of South Pearl Street to take a report of a stolen purse.

• An individual reported a BBQ stolen from the 200 block of Main Avenue in Morton on Wednesday. The estimated value is $100, according to the Morton Police Department.

• Centralia police were contacted about 4:15 p.m. yesterday about the theft of a debit card from the 700 block of North Tower Avenue. The card had already been used to withdraw money from the victim’s account, according to the Centralia Police Department.

•  A 19-year-old Winlock resident was arrested yesterday for second-degree theft and possession of heroin in a case associated with the 100 block of North Iron Street in Centralia. Police say Kendall B. Steveson admitted to taking the wallet of a friend while he was sleeping and using the money to buy heroin. Steveson was booked into the Lewis County Jail,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police were called yesterday by an individual reported a vehicle prowl that occurred during the daylight hours on April 19 at the 300 block of Northwest Chehalis Avenue. Medication was stolen from the unlocked vehicle, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

VANDALISM

• A deputy was called to the 12000 block of U.S. Highway 12 in Packwood following the discovery that three tires on a vehicle were flattened and had been cut. It happened sometime between  9:30 p.m. on Tuesday and 8 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is $800.

LONG TREK ENDS IN MORTON

• Officers responded to the 500 block of Adams Avenue in Morton at about 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday to a report of a mentally disabled male that had walked from Burien to Morton without shoes. He was dehydrated and had multiple blisters on his feet but but otherwise in good health, according to the Morton Police Department. Police contacted mental health authorities and his family, according to police.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, trespassing, probation violation, protection order violation, misdemeanor assault, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more, among 125 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Indoor carnival to raise money in honor of the Tower children

Thursday, April 28th, 2016
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By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS –  For those who would like to help honor the memory of the Tower children who lost their lives last month in a Centralia house fire, a family fun day is set for Sunday.

The proceeds will benefit scholarships for children to go to Camp Cispus.

The event at the Northwest Sports Hub in Centralia runs from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Attendees will find carnival games, a magician, a balloon artist, a bouncy house, face painting and even a chance to learn to draw comics, said one of the organizers Amanda Berg.

Sue Tower, their mother, is a friend of hers, she said.

“A fun day, to come out and honor the kids,” Berg said.

Benjamin, 12, Madeline, 10, and Samuel Tower, 7, didn’t make it out of their split-level home on Ham Hill Road during a nighttime fire on March 4. Their mother told investigators she woke up in her lower level bedroom to a sound and tried to make it to her children on the top floor but couldn’t.

Ben went to Camp Cispus last year, and as a sixth grader, was very much looking forward to the springtime school trip to the east end center.

“The memories created last a lifetime,” Sue Tower wrote in a post on Facebook. “If parents can’t come up with the money it sometimes falls on the teachers and administrators reaching into their personal funds to help support.

“I know my children would be honored to know that all children – their friends would be able to go with out any financial stress.”

Berg said a silent auction will be held from noon until 1:30 p.m.

The cost for Sunday’s event is $5 per person or $20 for a family of five. Lunch isn’t covered, but will be available.

A dinner fundraiser was previously scheduled for Saturday night, but is being moved to October, according to Berg.

The Northwest Sports Hub is at 701 Allen Way, near Borst Park in Centralia.

A joint investigation into the cause of the blaze is being conducted by the Centralia Police Department and Riverside Fire Authority. No results as to the cause of the fire have been released, nor have the coroner’s findings as to the cause and manner of the three deaths.

For further information on the fun day, check its Facebook page

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, April 28th, 2016
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WOMAN CONNED OUT OF $200,000

• A Chehalis resident in her early 70s reported to police yesterday that she was victimized by someone who phoned her to tell her she’d won a large sum of money; the loss in total was $200,000, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The caller told her she had to pay a “coverage cost” to ensure her winnings were delivered, according to police. The individual collected personal information from her and continued to call the woman back over a period of a few months, department spokesperson Linda Bailey said. The woman came in to the police department to report what happened, but the most police could do was provide her with crime victim information. “Since she had no information we could go off of, we don’t have any way we can do more,” Bailey said. The department’s word of advice for all is, if you’re told you’ve won a prize and you need to pay anything to get it, then it is a scam.

BREAK-IN CENTRALIA

• Centralia police responded to an approximately 2:30 a.m. call today for a residential burglary at the 500 block of East Main Street.  A stereo system and speakers were stolen, according to the Centralia Police Department.

MISSING CAMERAS

• Police were called about 8:10 a.m. yesterday to the 600 block of Centralia College Boulevard to take a report of the theft of cameras.

HARASSMENT

• Chehalis police are forwarding a case to the city prosecutor for consideration of a harassment charge connected with a 57-year-old neighbor at the 600 block of Southeast Dobson Court. An individual contacted police yesterday afternoon, and was the second alleged victim of the same woman, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The complaint involves gossiping and spreading rumors, according to police.

PROWLING

• Centralia police were called just after 8 p.m. yesterday to the 2900 block of Mount Vista Road where the window on a vehicle was broken out. Just after 1 a.m. today, an officer took a report of a window frame to a vehicle being damaged at the 2700 block of the same road, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, driving under the influence; responses for dispute, hit and run, trespassing, barking dog, civil problem, suspicious circumstances … and more, among 161 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Alleged Mossyrock ax assailant held on $50,000 bail

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The 61-year-old Mossyrock man arrested for first-degree assault for allegedly breaking through the back door of his house wielding an ax and a screwdriver last week has been charged with second-degree assault and other offenses.

James C. Long had been released from jail a few hours earlier and a court order prohibited him from having contact with his girlfriend at the Naylor Road home. She had friends staying overnight because she feared his return, according to authorities.

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James C. Long

Charging papers allege Long assaulted Gerald Core who said he was able to fight Long back out of the house, as Long tried to hit him and stab him with the implements. Core also told a deputy that when Long hopped in a brown pickup to leave, he backed up so fast Core had to jump out the way to avoid being struck.

The truck had been loaded up with household furniture earlier in the day, some of which spilled out onto the road.

When deputies caught up with Long on U.S. Highway 12, early last Friday morning, he told a different version of events.

His arraignment is scheduled for tomorrow in Lewis County Superior Court.

Long was involved in an incident earlier this month, in which he was arrested after an hours-long standoff during which he  allegedly fired multiple rounds out of his house, on Naylor Road, including after deputies arrived. He was charged in Lewis County District Court with fourth-degree assault, reckless endangerment and third-degree malicious mischief, all misdemeanors.

Bail for that case was set at $10,000 and he was ordered to have no contact with his girlfriend.

He was charged on Monday in Lewis County Superior Court with two counts of second-degree assault, first-degree burglary and violation of a court order.

His temporary defense attorney told the judge on Monday afternoon he had no felony convictions in his background when bail was addressed. Judge Richard Brosey set his bail at $50,000.

Attorney Joely O’Rourke also said Long had lived in Lewis County for seven years and was currently unemployed.

Charging documents in his new case indicate Long denies assaulting anyone and denied being at the house, but told a deputy he had permission to go to the property to retrieve his belongings.

The documents offer the following information:

Long appeared intoxicated when law enforcement caught up with him about 2:30 a.m. on Friday on U.S. Highway 12 near then Silver Creek Grange.

He told deputies that earlier he had arrived to the bottom of the hill and yelled out to the Naylor Road residents he was there and they were loading up the truck with his property. He contended Core got into the truck, drove it down to him at the bottom of the hill and that Core jumped out and began to attack him with two axes.

Long exhibited “obvious signs” of intoxication.

When the sheriff’s deputy spoke with Core, he noticed fresh marks on his arms that were bleeding and several marks in his sternum and chest area.

The same deputy interviewed Core and his wife Candy Core, who had been staying the night. They said they had been sitting in the living room when they heard what they thought was the brown pickup truck being started up.

They said they looked out the window, saw Long walk by toward the door and Gerald Core went to the back door to intercept him. That’s when Long allegedly broke in, with the three-foot long ax and the screwdriver.

The 53-year-old girlfriend was sleeping during the incident.

Long’s arraignment is set for 8:40 a.m. tomorrow.
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For background, read “Sheriff’s Office: Mossyrock man returns home from jail, with ax” from Friday April 22, 2016, here

News brief: Death of Randle resident under investigation

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Sheriff’s detectives are conducting a death investigation involving a woman from Randle today.

Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said this morning it’s kind of an unusual situation so they are not releasing much information.

Deputies and aid were called to the 100 block of Peters Creek Road North in Randle last night, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

The woman was not responsive, CPR was performed and she was transported to Morton General Hospital where she was pronounced dead, Brown said.

“We’re not sure what we have,” Brown said.

The investigation is continuing today and Brown said she hoped to learn more later this afternoon from detectives.