Posts Tagged ‘news reporter’

News brief: Sheriff’s Office: Centralia father gives baby boy cut lip, nose

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 28-year-old Centralia man was arrested yesterday for allegedly giving his 6-month-old baby a cut lip and other facial injuries when he struck the child because it was crying.

Jon M. Parker was booked into the Lewis County Jail yesterday afternoon after he was located at a bus stop in Centralia, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said the baby boy was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital two weeks ago by its grandmother. Parker had brought the infant to her Centralia home to be babysat, according to Brown. The alleged assault occurred previous to that, on Ives Road where Parker was staying, Brown said.

Deputies called to the hospital on Nov. 1 because of suspected child abuse weren’t able to find Parker until yesterday, according to Brown.

According to the sheriff’s office, Parker was upset because the baby was crying and hit him three times in the head while holding him, leaving him with severe bruising to his face, a bump on his head, a cut lip and a cut on the bridge of his nose.

The baby has been released into the custody of its grandmother. Parker was booked for second-degree assault of a child.

“I think the baby’s doing fine, I don’t know that there are any permanent injuries,” Brown said this morning.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012


• Chehalis police took a report yesterday from a male patient at a drug and alcohol treatment center on Southeast Washington Avenue about alleged sexual misconduct. The patient said when a staff member searched him by patting him down, more than the items in his pocket were touched, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The case remains under investigation.


• Chehalis police took a report yesterday of costume jewelry and foreign money taken from a box inside an unlocked garage on Northeast Adams Avenue. The victim thought the burglary had occurred the day before, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• Centralia police arrested a 21-year-old man early this morning for alleged vehicle theft and hit and run. Officers called around 4:10 a.m. to the area of Harrison Avenue and N Street found the vehicle in the roadway and concluded its driver fled on foot, according to the Centralia Police Department. A suspect – the brother of the vehicle owner – was found a few blocks away and identified by witnesses, according to police. Jacob D. Mielitz, of Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police. Further details such as what Mielitz ran into were not readily available.

• A red 2004 Hyundai Accent was reported stolen yesterday morning from the 200 block of Southeast Washington Avenue in Chehalis. It’s owner said it was taken sometime between 1 a.m. and 8 a.m., according to Sgt. Brian Hickey. It has a license plate of 716 YZZ, Hickey said.

• A white 1998 Toyota Tacoma pickup was discovered missing from a business on the 400 block of West Reynolds Avenue in Centralia yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy called yesterday morning learned that sometime since Nov. 2, someone entered through a gated area behind Rason Marine, according to the sheriff’s office. The truck has a white canopy, decals on the doors saying “Rason Marine” and a license plate reading B74391H, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. There was also a chainsaw in the truck, according to Brown.


• A deputy took a report yesterday afternoon from a woman on Devereese Road outside Chehalis who said she discovered someone stole from her by using her credit card number online five times for an amount totaling $468.10,  according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• A 59-year-old Centralia man was arrested about 2:30 p.m. yesterday for trespass at the 1000 block of E Street in Centralia. James K. Hayes was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• A laptop computer was reported stolen yesterday from the 600 block of Centralia College Boulevard, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Chehalis police were called about 7 a.m. today regarding car prowls on the 800 block of Southwest 20th Street and then called again soon after about another prowl on the 2100 block of Southwest Olympic Drive.

• A laptop computer case with prescription medications inside as reported stolen from a vehicle parked on the 100 block of West Main Street in Chehalis yesterday. The prowl apparently occurred sometime overnight, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Centralia police took a report about 11:20 a.m. yesterday of a wallet and unspecified medication stolen from a vehicle parked on the 400 block of West Main Street.


• Centralia police say an officer arrested a 16-year-old boy last night for driving under the influence of marijuana. The arrest was connected with an officer contact just after 8 p.m. at the 600 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department. The teen was cited and then released to his parent, according to police.

Former owners of Morton horses charged with animal cruelty

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Terry L. Simmons, left, and his wife Joanne M. Simmons, listen to attorneys when they go before a Lewis County Superior Court judge.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Morton couple has been charged with animal cruelty in connection with their horses which were seized in September by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Joanne M. Simmons, 65, and Terry L. Simmons, 58, said they were shocked to find notice of criminal charges in their mail when they returned home today from out of town.

Sheriff’s deputies and county code enforcement workers visited the property on the  800 block of state Route 7 numerous times before finally taking nine of their animals in late September, describing them as dehydrated and severely malnourished, according to court documents.

“They came and acted like they were trying to help,”  Joanne Simmons said after appearing briefly before a judge.


Courtesy photo by Lewis County Sheriff’s Office

The couple said they are Kiger Mustangs, descended from wild horses and are built unlike ordinary horses. Some they had “rescued”, they said.

“We were in the process of giving them away because we had too many,” Terry Simmons said this afternoon. He noted finding good homes takes some time.

The couple said their animals got quality feed, but county authorities say differently.

During one visit, a code enforcement employee noted four bales were placed so the horses had to fight to eat, and the  smaller horses were being trampled, according to charging documents.

“A few had bandages,” the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office wrote.

They are each charged with six counts of first-degree animal cruelty, an allegation that with criminal negligence the animals were starved or dehydrated which caused substantial physical pain that lasted long enough to cause considerable suffering. Those are felonies.

They are also charged with two counts of second-degree animal cruelty, alleging at the very least they knowingly allowed them to live in conditions that caused unnecessary pain. Those are misdemeanors.

The couple appeared before Judge James Lawler this afternoon; he allowed them to remain free on $5,000 signature bonds.

Temporary defense attorney Bob Schroeter told the judge they didn’t qualify for court-appointed attorneys, as Terry Simmons earned $8,000 a month with the Boeing Co.

The charges filed on Oct. 29 in Lewis County Superior Court offer some of the following details in their allegations:

In April, a deputy responding to a complaint of horse malnourishment noted some of the animals looked thin, but not in distress.

The following month, the county code enforcement supervisor and the animal shelter manager observed one of the horses in the field had protruding rib and hip bones. At that time, Joanne Simmons told them the skinny horse normally got grain, but they were out it.

In mid-September, a code enforcement employee visited again and said she could see rib and hip bones on many of the horses.

A week later, when a deputy and a veterinarian showed up, the Simmons allowed the animals to be examined.

The vet checked 18 horse and found some of them scored very low on a scale to document their well-being.

Horse number 707 suffered from chronic malnutrition; it was said to be three years old but appeared as though it were a yearling, Dr. Patricia Arnold noted.

One that was extremely underweight was likely pregnant, another had a chronic cough, a four-year-old was the size of a yearling, she reported.

A 27-year-old that scored a one on a scale of one to five was seriously emaciated and dehydrated. It was euthanized with the consent of the Simmons.

The sheriff’s office said it didn’t appear the couple really understood how bad of condition they were in.

Nine horses were taken from the Simmons on Sept. 30, according to charging documents. The sheriff’s office said at the time the removal of the horses occurred on Sept. 28.

The couple this afternoon said they’ve owned horses since the 1980s.

They knew the 27-year-old horse was dying of old age, they said. The time just hadn’t been quite right yet to put her down, according to Simmons.

Five private groups – Dwelly Farm, Hope for Horses, Pasado’s Safe Haven, Good Life Stables, Hooved Animal Rescue of Thurston County – and the Lewis County Animal Shelter assisted in the removal and foster care of the horses.

The sheriff’s office said at the time of the seizure that donations of feed and grain were needed and could be made to the shelter.

The Simmons arraignments are scheduled for Nov. 21.

For background, read: “Authorities impound nine malnourished horses from Morton couple” from  Monday October 1, 2012, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012


• Chehalis police were called yesterday afternoon about a burglary at the 1000 block of Southwest William Avenue. Among the valuables stolen sometime during the previous two to three weeks were wedding rings, a garnet necklace, a ruby necklace and $300 in change, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• An estimated $750 in cash and checks was reported missing from a business on the 100 block of South Market Boulevard in Chehalis on Friday morning. There were no signs of forced entry, according to Sgt. Brian Hickey.


• A burglary to a garage was reported Sunday from the 100 block of Maple Place in Packwood in which numerous items including three sets of old golf clubs, a skill saw and classic neon beer signs were missing. The victim, a 51-year-old Yakima man, said it happened sometime after Sept. 1, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• Centralia police were called about 10:10 a.m. on Sunday to the 1000 block of South Tower Avenue where a woman said her estranged husband had threatened to shoot her. Police are looking for the man, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• A 42-year-old Toledo man was arrested late Friday night after he allegedly picked up a pistol during a family argument. A deputy called just before midnight to the 5500 block of Jackson Highway learned the man didn’t take it out of its holster or point it anyone, but Lloyd W. Swanson was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail. He is a convicted felon and not allowed to possess firearms, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.


• Chehalis police took a report for informational purposes only on Friday when they were told a “severely special needs” student at W.F. West High School told other students he was mad at a teacher and was going to bring a rifle to school. Police Sgt. Brian Hickey said he believed the teen was suspended from school.


• An 18-year-old Centralia man was cited for reckless driving about 9:15 p.m. on Sunday after a minor collision on the 1600 block of Military Road in Centralia, according to police. Alex S. Jacot allegedly provided false information to the responding officer, according to the Centralia Police Department. The case involving his unnamed 16-year-old passenger was referred to prosecutors for a possible charge of allowing an unauthorized person to drive, according to police.


• An officer was called just before 6 a.m. today to Southwest Gails Avenue in Chehalis to a report a brick had been thrown through a vehicle window overnight.

• The side window was broken out of a vehicle parked on the 100 block of Southwest Third Street in Chehalis, according to a report made to police abut 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.


• A boy and his friends extinguished toilet paper found burning in a restroom at Penny Playground in Chehalis on Saturday, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• … as well as various misdemeanor assaults, shoplifting incidents, warrant arrests and protection order violations.

News brief: Centralia girl finds stranger in her bedroom, man arrested

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Updated at 6:32 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 22-year-old man is jailed after he allegedly snuck into a Centralia home and then into a 12-year-old girl’s bedroom and groped her before she got away from him.

It happened about 11:10 p.m. Sunday on the 1600 block of Windsor Avenue, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said the intruder put his hands down her shirt and pants, but she escaped into the living room to tell an adult.

The adult confronted the man who appeared intoxicated, and asked him what he was doing, Brown said. He answered: “Trying to get some,” according Brown.

The intruder left before deputies arrived. A suspect was subsequently located and arrested for attempted rape of a child and burglary.

Brown indicated the suspect, Eduardo E. Barro-Cellesino, was a stranger to the family and had entered through an unlocked back door.

Prosecutors this afternoon charged  Barro-Cellesino instead with attempted child molestation in the second degree and burglary.

He was ordered held on $75,000 bail and will be arraigned on Thursday.

Lewis County owner of seized foxhounds charged with 66 misdemeanors

Monday, November 12th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Prosecutors filed criminal charges against the 79-year-old Dryad woman from whom dozens of foxhounds were seized last month.

The 65 dogs which included 18 puppies were living in what authorities called deplorable conditions, most seemingly well enough fed but in kennels which were overrun with feces and breeding amongst themselves.


Nancy Punches

Two of the animals are fox terriers – the rest foxhounds – belonging to Nancy Punches who resides on River Road.

Multiple charges were filed on Friday in Lewis County District Court in Chehalis. Punches will receive a summons to appear in court for an arraignment.

One dead puppy was found when numerous animal control employees, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and at least one non-profit rescue group rounded up the canines on October 19.

The following day, at least three puppies were euthanized because of positive tests for Parvo Virus, and five of the 17 dogs taken to  Pasado’s Safe Haven in Snohomish County tested positive for a parasite called Giardia which is deadly to puppies, according to charging documents.

Punches said in an interview she didn’t intend for the animals to multiply, but their fencing had deteriorated. Authorities said they did not think she was selling them.


Punches’ dog kennel Oct. 19, 2012

The longtime breeder of show dogs admitted she realized it was bad, saying the situation got away from her as she works long hours out of town – and that it’s hard to find good help.

According to Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher, the law doesn’t necessarily protect someone who has good intentions.

Punches is charged with 65 counts of second-degree animal cruelty, alleging at the very least she knowingly allowed them to live in conditions that caused unnecessary pain.

She is also charged with one violation of another state law regarding dog breeding: keeping more than 10 dogs who are able to reproduce in enclosures without meeting certain conditions regarding sanitation, lighting, fire safety measures, protection from extreme temperatures, and being kept separate from other animals with whom they’re not compatible.

All are misdemeanors with a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail or a $5,000 fine or both.

Three of the foxhounds are survivors of the December 2007 flood when Punches lost her home and 16 champion show dogs to the Chehalis River.

A foxhound named Hawk saved himself, while two of them were five-week-old pups she placed in a styrofoam shipping container when floodwaters inside her home rose to within inches of her ceiling. Punches nearly lost her own life as well.

Punches said last month she refused an offer from the Lewis County Animal Shelter in which she could get back four of the dogs if they were fixed as long as she signed away rights to the rest of the dogs. She said they are valuable to the breed.

Punches couldn’t be reached for comment this weekend.

Charging documents describe that on the day the animals were confiscated, a deputy could not see the floor of some kennels because the water, mud and feces was so deep.

A veterinarian there that day said the unsanitary conditions subjected the animals to contagious viral and bacterial diseases which would or could cause considerable suffering, according to the charging documents.

The documents also allege the following:

In the indoor kennel building, the deputy found four dogs standing on top of garbage, mud and feces.

In one pen, eight nine-week-old puppies had no overhead shelter, and appeared very thin. Four of them were lethargic, one had diarrhea and one was dead.

The veterinarian at  Pasado’s Safe Haven noted several of the dogs had minor wounds and she saw signs of signs of abuse, including a strong fear of humans.

Punches had described some of them as “unsocialized”.

Lewis County does not require kennels to be licensed but does prohibit individuals from keeping more than 50 unaltered dogs, although there is no limit on the number of puppies.

State law requires breeders with more than 10 unaltered dogs to meet certain conditions.

For background, read: “Aged flood survivor loses her stock of prize-winning canines for the second time” from Sunday October 21, 2012, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

Updated at 9:36 p.m.


• A pair of Winlock residents were arrested last night for possession of methamphetamine with intent deliver after a traffic stop on Roe Road in Winlock. Officer Steve Miller and his partner Misha – the drug sniffing Belgian Malinois – searched the vehicle and found scales, baggies, a pipe and suspected meth, Police Chief Terry Williams said. Zachery E. Torres, 23, and Jessica D. Church, 23, were booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to Williams. “This was a good score,” Williams said, noting everything fell together.


• Firefighters were called about 10 p.m. yesterday to a home on the 1000 block of Elm Street in Centralia where flames from a fireplace escaped and burned some furniture. Logs too long for the fireplace were being used, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Firefighters used minimal water to put it out, removed the burnt wood and ventilated the smoke from the house, Capt. Tim Adolphsen said. Nobody was injured, according to Adolphsen.


• Centralia police are investigating a burglary to a business at the 1200 block of Harrison Avenue. An officer responding about 4:15 a.m. yesterday noted the lock on a door had been broken, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• A 34-year-old Centralia woman was arrested for first-degree negligent driving as well as hit and run regarding an incident on the 600 block of J Street in Centralia last night. Alexandria Carmel-Snyder was cited and then released, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Someone rummaged through a vehicle parked inside a locked fenced compound on the 1700 block of Lum Road in Centralia, police learned just before 5 o’clock this morning.

• A stereo faceplate was stolen from an unlocked vehicle parked on the 200 block of West Magnolia Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police on Friday afternoon.

• Centralia police took a report of a car prowl about 9:40 a.m. on Friday in which someone took a new pair of shoes from an unlocked vehicle on the 100 block of West Magnolia Street.

• Centralia police took a report about 6:40 a.m. today regarding a window smashed out of a vehicle on the 1100 block of Mellen Street.

News brief: One hurt in crash near Tenino

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

Updated at 1:07 p.m. and 6:06 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 50-year-old Rochester woman was critically injured in a single-vehicle collision just west of Tenino last night in which her truck struck a fence.

Troopers called just before 7 p.m. to Old Highway 99 near Mima Acres Road found the 2002 Toyota pickup in a field, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Colleen L. Stuart was traveling westbound when her truck left the roadway to the right striking a fence, according to the state patrol. She was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to Trooper Guy Gill.

The cause of the collision is under investigation.

There were no indications of alcohol or drug involvement, nor of excessive speed, Gill said. There were no witnesses, he said,

Stuart was struck in the head and neck by a fence board, he said.

“The chances of survival after that happens are very slim,” Gill said. “With these types of injuries, the chances are very slim.”

As of 12:26 p.m. today, she was still listed in critical condition by the hospital, according to Gill.

A Rochester woman with the same name, age 49, survived a collision that killed three others almost a year ago on Brooklyn Road in Grays Harbor County. It’s not clear if it’s the same woman.

Update: Gill reported at 5:48 p.m. today that Stuart passed away today.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, November 9th, 2012


• Chehalis police were called about 3 p.m. yesterday regarding an unresponsive man sitting in a vehicle in the middle of the street on the 100 block of South Washington Avenue. Eric M. Myhre, 27, of Centralia, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance when pills were found in his pocket, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Myhre was also arrested for being in physical control of a vehicle under the influence, according to police. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to Officer Linda Bailey.


• A 28-year-old man was arrested yesterday afternoon at the Centralia Outlets on Lum Road after he allegedly stole a $100 wallet from the Coach store and then tossed it over a fence as officers arrived to confront him and his companions. Police were called about 3:50 p.m. after an employee checked security footage after feeling suspicious about a group of shoppers, according to the Centralia Police Department. Jose Rentria Hernandez, of Fresno, Calif. was booked into the Lewis County Jail for obstruction and third-degree theft, Officer Angie Humphrey said. “His friends were like appalled, they were not happy with him,” Humphrey said.


• Chehalis police were called to Wal-Mart yesterday afternoon when security footage turned up someone walking out of the store with a computer system and two home surveillance systems, according to police. The person had apparently left with the items on Tuesday without paying, according to police.


• Chehalis police were called about 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday to a report a man left Safeway on South Market Boulevard with an unpaid-for half gallon of Jack Daniels whiskey. No arrest was made, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• Police and aid were called about 3:15 p.m. yesterday when an SUV ran into a semi truck at the 3000 block of Galvin Road in Centralia. It destroyed the front end of the SUV but the 30-year-old driver declined aid, according to responders. “He said he was not injured,” Riverside Fire Authority Capt. Greg Schwartz said. “Probably quite surprised, but not injured.” However, the driver Steven M. Mullins, of Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for an outstanding warrant, according to police.


• Firefighters were called to Centralia’s Oakview Elementary School about 9:40 a.m. yesterday for an overheated laminating machine. Smoke from the same piece of equipment on Monday morning sent the students outside and drew firefighters. The school thought they had the problem solved, according to Fire Capt. Greg Schwartz. “They’re taking that machine out of service,” he said.


• Toledo and Winlock firefighters and medics called to a possible seizure along side Interstate 5 near Vader this morning found a state DOT worker in cardiac arrest, according to Lewis County Fire District 2. They were able to successfully resuscitate the 42-year-old man who was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to Fire Chief Grant Wiltbank. He was transferred to a hospital in Olympia for further treatment, Wiltbank said.


• The Olympian reports a “down on his luck” 54-year-old transient is accused of robbing a Yelm bank of a single $20 bill on Wednesday, leaving the building, lighting a cigarette and waiting for police to arrest him. Read more here

Breaking news: Winlock man admits he touched girl in campground restroom

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Reginald L. Juntunen pleads guilty to child molestation in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Winlock man accused of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl in a Mossyrock area campground restroom pleaded guilty this afternoon following a deal that will give him a sentence of 25 years to life.

Reginald L. Juntunen, 24, was arrested this summer after he was identified through DNA as a suspect in the unsolved case from September 2007.

Juntunen admitted he had sexual contact with the girl when asked by Judge Richard Brosey what he did  that constituted first-degree child molestation.

His mother, father and sister left the courtroom without comment after the brief hearing.

The Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office initially charged him with first-degree rape of a child, but altered the allegations early on to include “or in the alternative, first-degree child molestation.”

At the time, Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Joely O’Rourke said it was a precaution in case there were discrepancies in the victim’s statement.

The victim just turned 13.

O’Rourke said it was a good outcome in the case and the girl was “really happy” when she learned he would plead guilty.

Chehalis defense attorney Chris Baum said it’s a stiff penalty, but his client faced the possibility of “quite a bit more time” if he went to trial and lost.

Juntunen also pleaded guilty today to unrelated charges from incidents that took place this year; a burglary and selling stolen jewelry.

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 12.

“Suspect pleads not guilty to modified charges in Mossyrock sexual assault of girl” from Friday Aug. 3, 2012, here

Centralia slaughterhouse fight involved meathook and boning knife

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Sabino Gomez-Barriga, right, consults with his attorney Bob Schroeter via an interpreter in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Bail was set at $250,000 for the man who allegedly stabbed a co-worker in the throat at a wholesale meat business in Centralia.

Sabino Gomez-Barriga, 35, is jailed and facing a charge of first-degree assault after the incident on Wednesday morning on the 1700 block of Airport Road.

The victim, 21-year-old Jorge Juarez of Centralia, remained in a critical care unit, prosecutors said yesterday.

According to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, it began as an argument between the two men and quickly turned physical. What the disagreement was over hasn’t been disclosed publicly.

Aid crews were summoned about 11:10 a.m. on Wednesday to what they initially were told was an accident and they requested an airlift for the patient, according to Riverside Fire Authority. About 20 minutes later, police from multiple agencies were dispatched, but Gomez-Barriga had fled on foot, charging documents state.

An airplane from the state patrol flew over the area and a tracking dog requested but by about 1 p.m. Gomez-Barriga was located at the San Juan Arms Apartments downtown Chehalis, according to authorities.

Gomez-Barriga said it was an accident and that he got a ride back to his apartment because he was scared, charging documents say.

The Five Star Beef Company alongside Interstate 5 was previously a slaughterhouse called The Beef Shop and before that was Midway Meats. The weapon was described as a sharp boning knife.

Gomez-Barriga spoke with his attorney through a Spanish interpreter when he went before a judge yesterday afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.

Deputy Prosecutor Shane O’Rourke asked for $500,000 bail arguing a danger to the community and a flight risk.

When police arrived, the suspect was getting into a vehicle saying he was on his way to dinner in Olympia, O’Rourke told the judge. “We think otherwise,” he said.

Defense attorney Bob Schroeter requested $50,000 bail, noting his client has no criminal history and has lived in Chehalis for three years.

“I’m confident there is a lot more to this story that we don’t realize,” Schroeter said. “Especially given the language barrier here.”

Charging documents describe what the sheriff’s office learned from another worker who witnessed the alleged attack.

Juan Lopez said he was working inside the building with the two men when a verbal confrontation began, charging documents state.

They go on to give the following account: Lopez said Juarez struck Gomez-Barriga in the face with his fist and then Gomez-Barriga grabbed a metal meat hook, using the blunt end to begin jabbing Juarez in the abdomen.

Juarez backed away, but Gomez-Barriga grabbed a sharp boning knife that is used at work and stabbed Juarez directly in the throat.

The younger man put his hand on his throat, but when he removed it to open a door and leave, blood started to spurt everywhere.

When Gomez-Barriga was interviewed by a sheriff’s detective and an officer fluent in Spanish, he admitted there was an incident in which his co-worker was injured.

Gomez-Barriga contended he was flailing to try to stab a third person who was holding him from behind when he accidentally stabbed Juarez.

When asked why he didn’t call for help after he was punched or why he escalated to using a deadly weapon, Gomez-Barriga responded there were women at work and he didn’t want to “look like a kid in front of them.”

Riverside Fire Authority Capt. Terry Ternan said people were putting direct pressure on the victim’s wound when aid arrived and he was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital.

On Wednesday, the sheriff’s office said the victim was in critical condition, but yesterday morning sheriff’s Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said his injuries were no longer believed to be life-threatening.

The sheriff’ office initially reported Juarez’s age as 30, but yesterday said he was 21.

Charging documents presented in  court yesterday afternoon say Juarez survived his surgery at Providence, but remained intubated, unable to speak and not able to give a statement.

Gomez-Barriga will be back in the courtroom next Thursday to make his pleas.

Toledo driver gives new meaning to ‘over the river and though the woods’

Friday, November 9th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 39-year-old Toledo motorist was rescued after he was stranded as long as two hours this morning when he missed a stop sign in the fog and launched his vehicle off the road, over a creek and into several trees.

It happened at Grimes and Evans roads northeast of Toledo.

The man, whose name was not released, was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to Lewis County Fire District 2.

He suffered several traumatic injuries but was alert and oriented when he was found, Fire Chief Grant Wiltbank said.

Wiltbank said it appeared the man had been traveling south on Grimes Road at a fairly high rate of speed when he came to stop sign at the T-intersection.

“He proceeded to glance off several trees and vault over a 20-foot (wide) creek,” Wiltbank said.

The vehicle, so badly damaged the chief couldn’t say what it was, came to rest about 50 feet off the road. Wiltbank wasn’t sure what time the accident occurred.

“He said it took him an hour to find his cell phone, in the dark,” Wiltbank said. “The car was destroyed around him and he was hurt.”

The man called a family member who called 911 about 6:15 a.m., he said.

Responders waded across the approximately three-foot deep icy cold creek to carry him back on a stretcher, the chief said.

It was too foggy for a helicopter, so a plane with medics picked him up at the Centralia-Chehalis Airport to fly him to Seattle.

Wiltbank said despite the injuries, it looks like it turned out miraculously well.

“If he had not found his cell phone and somebody did not know he was missing, the outcome would have been different,” he said.

Top cops: Recreational marijuana rules not yet in place

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Well sure, Initiative 502 has passed but don’t think you can walk down the street and light up a bowl without getting arrested.

For starters, the new law regarding marijuana won’t take effect for 30 days, according to Centralia Police Chief Bob Berg.

And rules have to be written, Chehalis Police Chief Glenn Schaffer said.

“The questions are going to be confusing for people and the police,” Schaffer said yesterday. “We’ve been talking about it from a law enforcement perspective all day.”

The police chiefs of the two largest cities in Lewis County indicate they will be getting guidance from their legal advisors and / or other state and federal authorities.

Sheriff Steve Mansfield is looking to the county prosecutor and a communication from the Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington for answers.

Its article disseminated yesterday indicates that as of Dec. 6, it will be legal under state law for individuals 21 or older to possess as much as one ounce of marijuana.

But it will be more than a year before licenses are issued to growers, distributors and retailers, according to the Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington.

However, the sheriff says: “It is business as usual for us until all this gets finalized.”

The decisions about felony charges, and for misdemeanor crimes when the arrests come from the sheriff’s office and the state patrol in Lewis County are made by the elected prosecutor.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer yesterday morning met with the prosecutor in Thurston County on the topic and is studying the issue.

“We’re going though our analysis, figuring out the impact on us,” Meyer said.

There are still more questions than answers.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and Meyer isn’t certain the feds won’t play a role in how or whether the changes unfold.

“I suspect the federal government will step in and maybe issue an injunction,” he said.

The former defense attorney even hinted some police agencies may choose to continue to view marijuana as illegal.

“The way Arizona as a state enforced federal statutes in the immigration issue,” he said.

Mansfield said he’s disappointed, but as the elected sheriff, he serves the people.

“Lewis County said they don’t want this, but it’s statewide,” he said, referring to the preliminary ballot tallies.

Only 44 percent of Lewis County voters favored the measure, while 55 percent of voters throughout Washington said yes to I-502.

“If the law says this is what we’ll do, this is what we’ll do,” Mansfield said.

For further information:

• Chief Schaffer shared a summary to legislators that shed some light for him. Read it here

• “What’s next for pot use in Washington? It’s a bit hazy” from The Olympian on Wednesday November 7, 2012, here

• “Pot legal Dec. 6, ‘jury is out on what happens’ after that” by The Seattle Times on Wednesday November 7, 2012 at 9:14 p.m. and November 8, 2012 at 3:52 p.m., here

• “Inquiries about pot production, sale flood two state agencies” from The Olympian on Thursday November 8, 2012, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, November 8th, 2012


• A deputy was called about 2:40 a.m. yesterday after a fire at the 600 block of Silverbrook Road in Randle where it appeared someone threw some type of gasoline soaked material onto the side of a motor home parked there. A neighbor used a fire extinguisher and the damage was limited to scorching of the paint,  according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The motor home belongs to a female from Eatonville, according to the sheriff’s office.


• Police were called about 10:40 a.m. yesterday to a burglary at a home on the 400 block of Ash Street in Centralia. The resident said missing was jewelry, money and prescription meds, according to the Centralia Police Department. A door had been left unlocked, according to police.


• A deputy took a report yesterday afternoon from the 100 block of Young Road in Randle about a missing beige-colored diesel heating stove. The owner of the rental home arrived yesterday to find the front door unlocked and the stove missing, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The last tenants had moved out a month ago, according to the sheriff’s office.


• A 25-year-old Centralia resident was arrested for possession of methamphetamine overnight after an officer found suspected meth inside a handbag, according to Centralia police. Terry N. Couch was booked into the Lewis County Jail after contact with an officer about 1 a.m. on the 1000 block of Eckerson Road, according to the Centralia Police Department. It’s not clear from a summary of the incident why a police officer was looking through someone’s handbag.

Remains discovered on Joerk Road in Randle finally ID’d as missing local woman

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Skeletal remains found in Randle last year have been positively identified as a woman who disappeared from her Randle home about a mile and a half away several months before.

Trisha McKenzie-Fire

The Lewis County Coroner’s Office said this morning they are those of 58-year-old Trisha McKenzie-Fire.

The determination was made through a joint effort by a forensic anthropologist in King County and a local dentist who specializes in making identification through teeth, according to Coroner Warren McLeod.

McKenzie-Fire was reported missing by her live-in boyfriend in April 2011. Kent Anderson said he woke up one morning and she was gone from their home on Silverbrook Road, although she left her purse behind. Human remains were found the following September in a field on Joerk Road in Randle.

The cause and manner of her death remain under investigation, according to McLeod.

Anderson has since died. McLeod said all efforts to locate and notify McKenzie-Fire’s next-of-kin have been unsuccessful

For background, read: “Breaking news: Human remains found in Randle” from Monday Sept. 26,  2011, here

Judge says no to prisoner’s self-crafted motion to dismiss Morton homicide conviction

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Jack Silverthorne is unrepresented in Lewis County Superior Court as he asks a judge to dismiss his manslaughter conviction.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The 21-year-old sent off to prison last year after admitting he fatally punched a 16-year-old Morton boy in the head was back in court yesterday, asking to be set free.

Jack A. Silverthorne, now 22, filed a motion in Lewis County Superior Court from his cell at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Eastern Washington.

“It’s based on he’s never been in trouble before, and he was encouraged to take the plea,” his mother Kathryn Silverthorne said.

Silverthorne said her son rightfully ought to have been convicted of something less than he was, but didn’t understand, and just did what his defense attorney told him to do.


Austin King

The Renton resident was arrested in November 2010 in connection with the death of Austin King that summer.

The 16-year-old vanished from his family’s home in the Tilton River Mobile Home Park early on June 23 and was the subject of a month-long search headed up by volunteers. His body was found some 10 miles away off a logging road outside Morton.

Silverthorne was staying with his grandmother in the trailer park and was one of two “buddies” Austin was with the last time Austin’s mother saw her son alive.

Since there was no trial, the details of exactly what happened or why were never revealed in court. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office believed there was a fight about a girl.

Pursuant to a plea agreement, Silverthorne pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter – recklessly causing the death of another person – and was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison, the high end of the standard sentencing range for the crime.

He sat before Judge James Lawler yesterday afternoon without an attorney.

The hearing was brief. Silverthorne’s mother and sister were the only spectators in the Chehalis courtroom.

Yesterday was the first time she’d seen her son since he was sentenced early last year, his mother said. He was almost unrecognizable, she said. Since he was locked up, her son has lost a huge amount of weight, she said.

Kathryn Silverthorne said she understands the weight loss is due to medication prescribed after he was diagnosed in jail or prison with bipolar disease.

Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher objected to the self-crafted motion.

Lawler denied the motion, but noted it was more appropriately filed with the state Court of Appeals as a personal restraint petition. The judge certified the documents to be filed as such.

Outside the courtroom, Meagher said Silverthorne has the right to file the petition, that basically asks to be let out of prison.

But Meagher wasn’t optimistic about that happening.

Personal restraint petitions are usually something filed after someone is found guilty, Meagher said.

“But he pled guilty,” he said.


For background, read “Morton teen homicide case ends with guilty plea” from Saturday May 7, 2011, here

Breaking news: Worker critical after stabbing at Centralia meat plant

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office says deputies were searching for a 35-year-old man after he stabbed a co-worker in the neck at the Beef Shop on Airport Road this morning.


Sabino Gomez Barriga

It happened about 11:30 a.m., according to Brown.

The victim is in critical condition at Providence Centralia Hospital, she said.

The suspect, Sabino Gomez Barriga of Chehalis, fled the scene on foot shortly after it occurred, according to Brown. He was taken into custody and is enroute to the Lewis County Jail, according to Brown.

Brown says little is known about the victim at this time. Deputies are waiting for an interpreter to arrive at the hospital to learn more about what occurred, she said.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012


• A burnt out bulb on a license plate and failing to use a turn signal caught the attention of a Centralia police officer on patrol early this morning, leading to the arrest of a driver with a load of what appeared to be freshly cut telecommunications wire in the bed of a vehicle. Kim R. Evans, 54, of Chehalis, was allegedly driving with a suspended license and initially gave an different name to the officer during the approximately 3:30 a.m. traffic top on the 1000 block of Mellen Street, according to the Centralia Police Department. Officer Angie Humphrey said police didn’t know where the wiring came from. “We are investigating right now, trying to find the source of that,” Humphrey said this morning. Evans was booked into the Lewis County Jail for obstruction, according to police.


• Chehalis police were called about 3:40 a.m. today after two males pushed a shopping cart full of merchandise out a fire exit at Wal-Mart. An officer was told they were wearing black hoodies and got into a teal-colored Honda Civic or Accord  that fled northbound, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Police will review surveillance tapes to see what they can find, Sgt. Brian Hickey said.


• Police were called about 7:30 p.m. yesterday after a resident returned to her apartment on the 900 block of North Tower Avenue and discovered the door opened, items inside moved around and several DVDs missing.


• Someone stole two Stihl chainsaws, a Craftsman metric wrench set, a battery charger and other tools from a shop on the 100 block of Middle Fork Road outside Chehalis, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 46-year-old resident who reported the theft yesterday said it happened sometime between Sept. 21 and last Thursday, according to the sheriff’s office.


• A pistol stolen out of Pierce County turned up at a local business on the 800 block of West Main Street in Centralia yesterday, according to police. The discovery was made because pawn shops report certain items that they get to police, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• A misdemeanor assault was investigated involving two juveniles yesterday at the 800 block of Eshom Road in Centralia. Further details were no readily available.


• A 24-year-old Centralia man was arrested for a warrant and possession of methamphetamine after being spotted by an officer about 8:25 p.m. walking along the 100 block of West Center Street in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department. Brian M. Williams was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012


• The damage this time is in the neighborhood of $20,000 as thieves struck again at Lakeside Industries in Centralia. An officer called about 11:45 a.m. yesterday to the 2000 block of Johnson Road learned someone cut wiring from numerous pieces of industrial equipment at the business, according to Officer Angie Humphrey. In this case, they may have been spooked because two large rolls of wire were set aside as though ready to be loaded up but were left, Humphrey said. The officer asks anyone with any information about the thefts to call 911 or Lewis County Crime Stoppers.


• Chehalis police were called around noon yesterday by a man with a complaint someone outside Safeway was displaying a political sign showing a picture of Barack Obama with a Hitler mustache. Not a crime, according to Chehalis police. “Basically the officer told him it was freedom of speech,” Sgt. Brian Hickey said.


• Someone broke into a Chehalis home and stole three televisions, three laptops, three other computers, cell phones and a security safe. An officer called 5:15 p.m. yesterday to the residence on the 300 block of James Street noted a door may have been kicked in and a window was broken, according to the Chehalis Police Department. It seemed to have occurred over the weekend, according to Sgt. Brian Hickey.


• An officer took a report about 8:30 a.m. yesterday regarding pills missing from various bottles of prescription medications at a home on the 1000 block of F Street in Centralia. Among the pilfered drugs were morphine, Oxycontin and Lorazepam,  according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Centralia police were called around 12:20 p.m. yesterday to the 2600 block of Eureka Avenue about damage to the gas line on a vehicle.

• The sheriff’s office is looking for information about someone spray painting graffiti at Onalaska school’s baseball field dugouts over the weekend. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said this morning the vandalism was reported on Sunday and must have happened sometime after 6 p.m. on Friday. The damage will cost $500, according to Brown.


• Centralia police called to a convenience store on the 1200 block of Mellen Street for reports of a man “freaking out, running around and being weird” discovered the subject sitting in the driver’s seat of a stranger’s car about 2:15 p.m. yesterday. Michael Stedham, 23, was allegedly uncooperative with officers who tried to detain him. The Centralia resident was arrested for obstructing and vehicle prowl and was taken to the hospital for a mental evaluation, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Children were evacuated from Centralia’s Oakview Elementary School about 11 o’clock yesterday morning and fire department summoned. “It wasn’t actually a fire but smoke from an overheated laminating machine,” Riverside Fire Authority Capt. Erik Olson said.