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On the Record with Pierce County Prosecutor:

Man Charged With Murder

       from James Lynch
      March 27, 2018


     TACOMA, WA – Today Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Robert M. Reynolds, 27, with one count of murder in the first degree. Following an argument, Reynolds allegedly shot and killed his cousin, Sam Boren, 24, at a Puyallup home Sunday night.
     Reynolds told police, “I know I’m a killer, but I don’t feel like a murderer.”
     Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the home on 97th Ave. Ct. E. in Puyallup
regarding a shooting. Reynolds and a witness that was present at the time of the shooting were detained and questioned.
     The witness told detectives that he, Reynolds, and Boren smoked a joint together and were grappling in the back yard. Once they finished grappling, they went into the bathroom to wash their feet. Reynolds and Boren got into an argument in the bathroom.
     The witness said he attempted to calm Reynolds and Boren, and they eventually made their way downstairs. Reynolds grabbed a pistol, however, and tension began to increase.
     Reynolds told the witness to get behind him because  the witness was not safe, as Boren was here to hurt one of them. Reynolds then told Boren to get on his knees, Boren ran at Reynolds who opened fire.
     After the initial shots, which only wounded Boden, the men  started to fight again. The witness ran for the door as there were more gun shots.
     After the gun shots stopped, the witness came back inside. He saw that Boren was bleeding, but still alive. Boren said he needed to get to a hospital. He got up, and moved towards them. Reynolds then unloaded the magazine into Boren.
     Reynolds told detectives, “I’m pretty sure I put over eight shots in his head.”
     According to the witness, Reynolds claimed that the devil was trying to possess Boren’s body.
     Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty b
eyond a reasonable doubt.

 



Man Shoots and Kills Mother - No Charges Filed...

        from James Lynch
       March 14, 2018


      TACOMA, WA – Today Prosecutor Mark Lindquist announced no charges will be filed against Julian Anderson-Randle for the shooting death of his own mother, Rhonda Randle. Anderson-Randle, 28, shot and killed his mother, who was 63, after mistaking her for an intruder. He has no criminal history.
      After weighing the evidence, the circumstances surrounding the shooting, and discussing the case with the victim’s family, Prosecutor Lindquist made the decision not to charge Anderson-Randle.
     “There is a time for accountability and a time for compassion,” said Prosecutor Lindquist. “Homicide Chief Jared Ausserer and I met with the family Tuesday. After listening to them and considering all the circumstances, we believe this shooting was a horrible accident. Criminal charges would not serve any constructive purpose for the community.”
     On March 11, Anderson-Randle called 911 from his home on East N Street in Tacoma. Anderson-Randle said he killed his mother. He was hysterical and screamed that his mother was dead and that he shot her.
     When officers arrived, the front door was slightly open and officers could hear Anderson-Randle’s voice inside yelling and screaming. Mr. Anderson-Randle said, “Oh my God… I shot her… she’s dead… mom… I killed my mom! I thought I was being robbed.”
     After officers got Anderson-Randle to come out of the house, Ms. Randle’s body was found just inside the front door. She had been shot multiple times.
     Anderson-Randle told investigators he heard someone on his front  porch. He thought that person was trying to break into his house, so he opened fire to protect himself and his home. Only after shots were fired did Anderson-Randle realize who he shot. He immediately called 911.
     Mr. Anderson-Randle, who is in custody on suicide watch, will be released today.

 



Man Charged with Murder and Assault

       from James Lynch
       March 13, 2018

     TACOMA, WA – Today the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office charged Troy Joe Chute, 42, with murder in the first degree and assault in the first degree. Investigators say Chute shot and killed Jacob Nicholas, 34. Chute also shot Cassandra Harris, 36, in the foot.
    “This is another unfortunate example of a trivial dispute escalating needlessly into violence,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.
     On March 12 at about 3:30 in the morning, officers were called to a home on East Pioneer Way in Orting after reports of a shooting. When they arrived, they spoke with a witness who said his friend, Cassandra Harris, had been shot in the foot by “Troy,” later identified as Troy Chute. The witness explained Chute also shot Jacob Nicholas.
     Officers located Harris, who had an apparent gunshot wound to her foot. Harris, before being treated for her injuries, reported that Chute shot Jake Nicholas and then shot her in the foot. She described the gun Chute used as a rifle with wooden grips.
     Harris told officers that Chute came unexpectedly to the “treehouse” where she and Nicholas were. She said Chute climbed up with a gun. There was an argument between Nicholas and Chute over a motorcycle, and Chute shot Nicholas in the chest and Harris in the foot.
     Officers went to the area of the “treehouse” along the riverbank. They found an inflatable raft covered in what appeared to be blood.
     The “treehouse” had been burned, but human remains and a rifle were located. Detectives reported that the burned remains were those of Jacob Nicholas, and that Nicholas sustained a single gunshot wound to the chest.
     Deputies noticed Chute walking on the west side of the river to an area with a steep hillside. SWAT contacted Chute and took him into custody.
     Bail was set at $2,000,000.
     Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
 



Man Arraigned for Charges from Two Rapes...

        from James Lunch
       March 5, 2018


     TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office arraigned Antoine Joseph Perry, 28, on rape, kidnapping, assault, and unlawful imprisonment charges.
     “If you have been a victim of sexual assault or have information about a sexual assault, please report it to law enforcement,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.
      In 2017, the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office charged Perry with first degree rape, kidnapping in the first degree, second degree rape, assault in the second degree, and unlawful imprisonment in connection with two separate incidents. At the time of charging, the defendant was in custody in Thurston County awaiting a trial for second degree rape, first degree kidnapping, third degree rape of a child, and second degree assault. He has since been transferred to Pierce County.
      The first incident occurred on June 28, 2016. Police responded to Denny’s on South Hosmer Street in Tacoma for a reported sexual assault. The victim, S.T., was taken to the hospital.
      She told police that she was walking to the Tacoma Rescue Mission when she noticed the defendant in a vehicle trying to get her attention. He told her “I’ll pay you to hang out with me,” while holding a handful of money. She said that she didn’t know who he was. He told her, “I’m JP,” and then displayed a handgun and demanded she get in the vehicle with him.
      After S.T. got in the vehicle, the defendant sped way. He offered to take her to Denny’s for something to eat and drove around, making four to five stops at various homes. Each time he got out of the car, he made a point of putting the gun in his pocket and telling S.T. that he would see her from the windows.
      At one stop, he told her he was there to feed his cousin’s cat and that he had brought her there so she could use the bathroom. When she came out of the bathroom, the defendant sexually assaulted her and pushed her face into the couch cushion so that she had a hard time breathing.
      When he finished, the defendant got back into the vehicle with S.T. She asked about going to Denny’s and once there, she went into the bathroom and began trying to get help.
      The second incident occurred on November 4, 2016. At Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, 15-year-old T.G. told Tacoma Police that she had been raped by someone she met on Snapchat.
      T.G. told police she had been chatting with the defendant on November 4 when he offered to bring her some food. He arrived sometime between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. and parked on the street in front of her home. She went out to the car. They had been chatting for about 4 months, but it was the first time they had met in person.
      Eventually, the defendant began to kiss T.G. and touch her through her shirt. She stopped him and told him she was 16 years old.
     The defendant told T.G. that he needed to go to Seattle, but when she started to get out of the car, he asked her what she was doing and then started to open the arm rest area of the car, patted his waist band area, and reached under the driver’s seat. She believed he had a weapon and that if she didn’t do as he told her, he was going to hurt her.
      He told her to get in the back seat and sexually assaulted and choked her multiple times. She repeatedly asked him to stop and told him that he was hurting her. She tried to get her cell phone out, but the defendant took it from her.
     After the assault, she got out of the car and asked for her phone. The defendant again reached under his seat and told her to get into the car. She got in the car, and the suspect started to drive. She screamed that he had raped her and kidnapped her, and he slammed on the brakes and told her to get out of the car.
     Bail was set at $750,000.00 for each case.
     Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty
beyond a reasonable doubt.

 



Prosecutor Finds Deputy’s Use of Deadly Force Lawful

       from James Lynch
      March 2, 2018

     Independent and concurrent investigations by the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, and the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office, regarding the shooting death of Eduardo Navarrete Cordero have been completed.
     Navarrete Cordero, 35, died from multiple gunshot wounds inflicted by Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputies Christopher Kurkowski, Greg McClendon and James Oleole. Navarrete Cordero was shot and killed after he lunged at Deputy Oleole while armed with a knife.
     Pierce County Medical Examiner, Doctor Thomas Clark, performed an autopsy and determined Navarrete Cordero had 11 gunshot wounds, two of which would have been fatal. The toxicology report noted methamphetamine in Navarrete’s system as well.
     Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist concluded the deputies acted lawfully.
     “Mr. Cordero was suicidal and sadly chose to commit suicide-by-cop,” said Prosecutor Mark
Lindquist. “As a community, we need to address mental health issues before the conduct escalates into self-harm or harm to others.”
     On August 12, 2017 South Sound 911 received a call from a home on 189th Street Court East about a dispute. The caller said Navarrete Cordero was high on meth and armed with a knife which had been pulled on another individual at the residence. Multiple deputies from the Pierce County Sherriff’s Department responded to the call due to there being a weapon involved. While enroute, deputies were told that Navarrete Cordero had left the residence and was last seen walking southbound on 74th Avenue East. The caller also stated Navarrete Cordero was armed with a knife and made threats to kill whoever tried to stop him.
     The first deputies arrived at 6:42 am and quickly confirmed Navarrete Cordero was no longer at the residence. Responding deputies began an area check. Within minutes, Deputies Kurkowski and McClendon located Navarrete Cordero near 74th Avenue and 190th Street Court East.
     Additional deputies including Deputies Oleole and Hirschi responded to that location. Deputies Kurkowski and McClendon gave Navarrete several verbal commands to stop and drop the knife, but Navarrete would not comply. Deputy Oleole gave Navarrete verbal commands to drop the knife but again, Navarrete would not comply. Navarrete lunged at Deputy Oleole and the first shots were fired. Deputies Kurkowski, McClendon and Oleole fired rounds at Navarrete due to the immediate threat to Deputy Oleole. Navarrete was struck several times and fell to the ground with the knife still in his hand. Deputies requested medical aid but Navarrete died before emergency responders arrived.
     Doctor Clark also noted recent incised wounds to Navarrete’s left wrist suggesting Navarrete had cut his wrist prior to this incident.
 



Teens Charged for Firing Gun in School...

    from James Lynch
     February 27, 2018


    TACOMA, WA – The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office charged Maximino Dominquez Tovar, 17, and Dontae Akira Bell, 19, with reckless endangerment and possessing dangerous weapons on school grounds. Tovar was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree and aiming or discharging firearms.
    “Guns, schools, and juveniles is a dangerous mix,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “We want our schools to be safe.”
     Shortly after 11 a.m. on February 26th, Tacoma police responded to a report of a possible shot being fired in the basement of the Oakland Alternative School. The Dean of Students reported that she was half way up the short set of stairs leading from the basement when she heard a loud “pop.” There were several students in the basement area, one of whom found a spent bullet on the floor.
     A review of the school surveillance system showed Tovar, Bell, and another student exit the bathroom on the first floor above the area in the basement where the bullet was found. A witness reported that it smelled liked gunpowder in the bathroom.
     According to interviews of Tovar and Bell, Bell asked Tovar and the third student to come with him to the bathroom. Bell showed them a handgun telling the other two students it was not loaded. Bell said that he found the gun near the side of the road. He handed the gun to the Tovar, who indicated he was not very familiar with firearms.
     Tovar was playing with the gun and put his finger on the trigger. He pulled the slide on the firearm, which then discharged, sending a round through the floor. Tovar handed the gun back to Bell and quickly left the bathroom.
     Bell stated that he fled the school and got rid of the gun by giving it to a friend at the bus stop. Police were able to locate the friend, who was a juvenile and not allowed to possess firearms, and recover the semiautomatic pistol along with a thirty to thirty-two round magazine.
     Bell was released on his own recognizance with electronic home monitoring. Tovar was ordered held in secure detention until his next court date in March.
    Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

 



Third Person Charged in Death of Deputy McCartney...

      from James Lynch
     January 24, 2018


    TACOMA, WA – The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office charged Samantha Dawn Jones, 29, with murder in the first degree and kidnapping in the first degree for her role in the death of Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel McCartney.
    “As promised, we are going to hold accountable everyone responsible for the murder of Deputy McCartney,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “Numerous detectives and deputies from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department have been tirelessly working this case and will continue to do so. The investigation is ongoing.”
      On January 7, 2018, at 11:24 p.m., residents in a home on 45th Ave. Ct. E. called 911 to report intruders. Three adults and two children were in the home at the time. Two suspects demanded money. Both were wearing masks and armed with handguns and “bowie” style knives.
      At 11:30 p.m., Deputy Daniel McCartney  notified dispatch he arrived  in the area. Approximately 3 minutes later, Deputy McCartney notified dispatch that he was in foot pursuit of the suspects. A short time later, he called out “shots fired.” No further transmissions were made.
     Other deputies responded to the area and found Deputy McCartney unresponsive. He was transported to St. Joseph’s hospital, and was later pronounced dead from a gunshot wound.
     Deputies located the body of Henry Carden near McCartney. Carden was also unresponsive. Carden sustained several gunshot wounds, including a gunshot wound to the head. He died from his wounds.
     Officers secured the area to locate the other suspect. At approximately 8:10 the next morning, an officer reported a male matching the description of the second suspect walk to his traffic control point. That person was later identified as Frank Pawul. Pawul was taken into custody.
     Pawul told officers that he was walking from his girlfriend’s house. Officers were able to identify the woman Pawul referred to as Brenda Troyer.
     The investigation revealed calls and text messages between Pawul, Troyer, and a third suspect, Samantha Dawn Jones.
     Detectives determined that Jones had an ongoing dispute over drugs with one of the residents at the home where the attempted robbery occurred.
     Cell tower and GPS coordinates place Jones’ phone with Carden, Pawul, and Troyer the night of the murder. Pawul, Troyer, and Jones' phones were registering off the same towers as the vehicle traveled to the home where the break-in happened.
    As with Troyer's phone, Jones' remained at the scene for some time before 911 was called, then traveled to the same location of Troyer's after Deputy McCartney arrived.
    Both phones also traveled to the area of a nearby Safeway. Surveillance shows Troyer and a woman who matches the description of Jones in the Safeway together.
     Detectives located messages between Jones and Pawul after the murder where she is asking where he is and whether he is hiding. Her phone then travels back to the location of the incident.
     On Tuesday Jones was arrested without incident with the assistance of the PCSD SWAT team.
     Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty
beyond a reasonable doubt.

 



Two Charged in Death of Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy

     McCartney, 34, of Yelm, died at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma just after 2 a.m. Sunday, January 7, 2016. The married Navy veteran and father of three boys ages 4, 6 and 9 had been a Pierce County deputy for three years. McCartney was rushed into surgery at St. Joseph Medical Center, but his wounds were “too catastrophic” to survive.

 Press release
 from James Lynch
 January 11, 2018


TACOMA, WA – Today, the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office charged Frank William Pawul, 32, and Brenda Kaye Troyer, 52, with murder in the first degree and kidnapping in the first degree. Pawul was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree.

“I want to acknowledge the outstanding work of detectives in the Sheriff’s Department under these difficult circumstances,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “This is an ongoing investigation and we will hold accountable everyone who is responsible for the murder of Deputy Dan McCartney.”

On January 7, 2018 at 11:24 p.m., residents at 20012 45th Ave. Ct. E. reported to 911 dispatch that there were intruders in their home. Three adults and two children were present when the intrusion occurred. Residents reported that two suspects broke into the home and demanded money. Both were wearing masks and armed with handguns and “bowie” style knives.

The residents were taken to the master bedroom and held at gunpoint while the intruders searched the house. One resident escaped through a window and called 911.

At 11:30 p.m., Deputy Daniel McCartney notified dispatch that he had arrived in the area. Approximately 3 minutes later, Deputy McCartney notified dispatch that he was in foot pursuit of the suspects. A short time later, he called out “shots fired.” No further transmissions were made.

Other deputies responded to the area and found Deputy McCartney unresponsive. Deputy McCartney was transported to St. Joseph’s hospital, and was later pronounced dead from a gunshot wound.

Deputies also located the body of Henry Carden, also unresponsive. Carden sustained several gunshot wounds, including a gunshot wound to the head. He died from his wounds.

The search of the area led to recovery of a safe and backpack stolen from the residence. A bear spray canister was located in the area where Deputy McCartney’s body was found.

Officers secured the area to locate the other suspect. At approximately 8:10 the next morning, an officer reported a male matching the description of the second suspect walked to his traffic control point. That person was later identified as Frank Pawul. Pawul was taken into custody. He was wearing a bear spray holster on his hip and had knife in his front pocket.

Pawul told officers that he was walking from his girlfriend’s  house and  nodded toward the northwest. Officers were able to identify the woman Pawul referred to as Brenda Troyer.

The investigation revealed text messages between Pawul and Troyer about Troyer picking him up, the police containment, and the shooting of Deputy McCartney and Carden.

Detectives traced the path of Pawul’s phone near the incident residence at the time of the break in until the approximate time Deputy McCartney reported his foot pursuit.

Cell phone data obtained by detectives shows Troyer’s phone remained in the area where she reported dropping off Pawul and Carden, until approximately the time Deputy McCartney reported he was in the area. Her phone then moved quickly away from the area of the home invasion.

Bail for Pawul was set at $5,000,000. Bail for Troyer was set at $2,000,000.

Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty
beyond a reasonable doubt.
 



High Priority Offender Sentenced for Death of Homeless Man...

       Press Release
       from James Lynch
      January 12, 2018

     TACOMA, WA - Today, Douglas Reid Murray, 43, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 2016 death of Thomas James Fite, a homeless man who lived in Parkland. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
     Deputy Prosecutor Sven Nelson handled the case. “This is an appropriate sentence, and it brings justice and closure to the family,” Nelson said.
     On September 15, 2016, Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to reports of a dead body in South Tacoma.
     Deputies found the victim lying on the ground near a green power box without any shoes or socks. The victim’s face was covered in dried dirt and blood. There was blood on his feet, arms, and clothing. Debris was strewn about the area, and it appeared a fight had occurred.
    Deputies spoke with two witnesses who reported seeing the victim, who was transient, with another transient man the night before. Detectives later confirmed with witnesses that Murray was the same man witnesses had seen drinking beer with the victim the night before.
    Deputies found Murray at a nearby Jack-in-the-Box. He had blood on his face and clothing, and deputies found the victim’s Washington State ID in Murray’s possession.
    “Increasingly, we are seeing serious crimes among the growing homeless population,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “There needs to be both accountability and services to address this.”
    According to detectives, the victim died from blunt force trauma and strangulation. He suffered a broken arm, a broken finger, a fractured sternum, and broken ribs.



Prosecutor’s Office Wins Two Awards...


 

      Press Release
        from James Lynch
       January 12. 2018

     Actor Will Smith said, “If you're not making someone else's life better, then you're wasting your time. Your life will become better by making other lives better.”

    Prosecutor Lindquist and his Chief of Staff, Dawn Farina, received the Special Pro Bono
Leadership Award, presented on behalf of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Foundation for their work with the Puyallup Tribe and Volunteer Legal Services to improve lives with legal aid.

   The award was presented for their vision and dedication in facilitating the creation of the new
Native American Legal Aid Program which helps meet the need for legal services for Puyallup tribal members and the urban Indian population in Pierce County.

   In early 2017, the Puyallup Tribe made a generous grant of $200,000 to the Tacoma-Pierce
County Bar Foundation. The unrestricted donation and unprecedented funding and partnership made this legal aid program possible.

   This grant also allows for the continuation of important Pierce County legal aid programs which
would otherwise have lost funding during this year, including the Housing Justice Project, a homelessness prevention program.

   Prosecutor Lindquist, always a supporter of the Volunteer Legal Services Program and the Bar
Foundation, collaborated with the Puyallup Tribe, which ultimately resulted in the donation and partnership.

   “The Puyallup Tribe exemplifies good citizenship,” said  Lindquist.  “I appreciate their
commitment to our community and the respectful relationship we’ve developed.”

    Chief of Staff Farina, a former Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association President and Bar
Foundation board member, stayed with the board for more than a year beyond her term to help facilitate the agreement with the Tribe. Her dedication and perseverance were essential in making this project work.

   “This program helps to ensure that fair and equal access to justice is available to everyone in our
community,” said Farina.

    “The donation from the Puyallup Tribe is so important because it supports our program’s regular
legal clinics and much-needed community legal aid programs specifically focused on the unique needs of Native Americans,” said VLS Program Director Laurie Davenport. “It simply would not have happened without the efforts of Lindquist and Farina.”

   “We are honored to have played a role in this worthy project, which is consistent with our mission
of public service and public safety,” Lindquist said.



Persistent Offender Sentenced To Life in Prison...

Press Release
from James Lynch
January 5, 2018


TACOMA, WA – Today, Yancy Wade Ray, 51, was  sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2016 murder of Hyson Sabb, 41. In November, Ray was convicted of second degree murder and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Ray received life without parole because he is, by state statute, a persistent offender, which means he already has two prior convictions for violent offenses and this is his third strike.

Witnesses say on September 3, 2016, Ray argued with Mr. Sabb and another person over a woman. Ray left, then returned a short time later and opened fire, killing Mr. Sabb.

Patrol officers arrived at that location and found a 41-year-old male, later identified as Hyson J. Sabb, in the front yard with a single gunshot wound. Emergency medical personnel transported Sabb to a nearby hospital where he died a short time later.

In the street in front of the yard where Mr. Sabb was found, officers  discovered a white Lexus sedan parked in the middle of the block with the door open and the engine running. That vehicle was registered to Yancy Ray.

 



Prosecutor Lindquist to
 Sue Big Pharma...

       Press Release
       from James Lynch
       December 12, 2017

     On December 15, at the request of Prosecutor Mark Lindquist, the Pierce County Council authorized the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office to file a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma and other major pharmaceutical companies. The proposed lawsuit is based on company conduct that contributed to the opiate epidemic in Pierce County and Washington State.
    “Emerging evidence shows that Purdue and other drug manufacturers engaged in a deceptive marketing campaign that fueled the opiate crisis,” said Prosecutor Lindquist. “Where there is harm to the people, there should be accountability for the corporations.”
     Pierce County joins the State of Washington, the City of Tacoma, the City of Seattle, and the City of Everett, among other government entities across the nation, in pursuing litigation against Purdue, the manufacturer of OxyContin. The council vote authorizing the action came after months of research, due diligence, and Lindquist’s recommendation.
     “The opiod crisis has impacted nearly every department in our county,” said Pierce County Council Chair Doug Richardson. “Whether it’s the Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management, Public Health, or the court system, Pierce County has shouldered a heavy burden in dealing with this crisis.”
     All of the lawsuits allege harms to the public that are social, economic, and even fatal. Purdue’s profits from OxyContin and other opiates are estimated to be in the billions of dollars.
    “Opioid manufacturers profited from business practices that have done enormous damage to our community,” said Council Member Derek Young.
     Between 1997 and 2011, prescriptions and sales of opioids in Washington rose more than 500 percent. In 2015, the number of overdose deaths in Washington exceeded the number of deaths from car accidents and firearms. Homelessness and crime are also associated with opiate addiction.
    “This is a health issue and a public safety issue,” Lindquist said.
    In March of this year, Purdue asked a federal judge to dismiss the City of Everett’s lawsuit.
Purdue argued that the connection between Purdue’s conduct and the alleged harm was too remote. In September, the judge dismissed one of the city’s claims, but allowed the case to proceed. The city amended and refiled the dismissed claim.
    The City of Everett alleged that Purdue should be held liable for, “supplying OxyContin to obviously suspicious physicians and pharmacies and enabling the illegal diversion of OxyContin into the black market, including to drug rings, pill mills and other dealers.”
    “We’ve studied the Everett lawsuit, the arguments and the rulings,” said L indquist. “Our situation has both similarities and differences. We wanted to be sure we had sufficient facts and proper legal grounds before we proceeded. I’m now confident we do.”
     Attorney General Bob Ferguson also filed a lawsuit late this year. He alleged that Purdue was “embarking on a massive deceptive marketing campaign,” among other allegations.
     The City of Tacoma lawsuit, and the anticipated lawsuit from Pierce County, will also focus on Purdue’s marketing campaign. The County will likely ask for both injunctive relief, to change Purdue’s business practices, as well as financial reparations to assist the county in addressing issues associated with opiate addiction, including the burden on the criminal justice system and social services.
     Lindquist will deputize attorneys from a private law firm who have expertise in this area. The collaboration with a private firm will have no significant cost to the county, as the lawyers’ fees will be contingent upon winning an award from Purdue and other entities responsible for the crisis.
    The Prosecutor’s Office will likely file the lawsuit in the coming weeks.


 



Graham-Kapowsin Shooter Charged

       Press Release
       December 12, 2017

     TACOMA, WA – Today, Prosecutor Mark Lindquist announced the alleged gunman in the drive-by shooting that happened last week near Graham Kapowsin High School has been charged.
     Ronald Ackerson, 16, turned himself in yesterday afternoon at Remann Hall. He is charged with two counts of assault in the first degree, drive-by shooting, and unlawful possession of a firearm. Under Washington state law, he will be tried as an adult because of the seriousness of the crime.
    “We have zero tolerance for gun violence at or near our schools,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “We’re committed to protecting our youth.”
     On December 4, 2017, P.W. exchanged words with another student, D.B, following an altercation between P.W.’s girlfriend and D.B.’s friend. P.W. threatened D.B. later in the day by telephone, telling D.B., “It’s all bad for you tomorrow.”
    The next day P.W.’s girlfriend told D.B. to contact P.W. So, D.B. did this via Snapchat. P.W. and D.B. agreed to fight behind the school.
    When D.B. showed up at the back of the school, he saw three people step out of a green Chevrolet Impala, Ackerson, P.W. and W.G. The group exchanged insults with D.B. There was, however, no fight.
    P.W., W.G. and Ackerson got back into the green Impala. The tires screeched and Ackerson, sitting in the front passenger seat, leaned out the window and fired several shots.
    Two students, bystanders, were struck by the bullets. Student J.S.M.,16 , was shot in the leg. He made it to the locker room of the school and was treated at a local hospital for his injury.
    Staff found student K.C-S., age 17, lying near the back of the school in a parking lot. He had bullet wounds to the lower left side of his abdomen. He was in critical condition, but is now stable.
    Witnesses told police that P.W. was the back seat passenger and W.G. was driving when Ackerson shot both students.
    “It’s unlawful for unsupervised juveniles to  possess handguns,” Prosecutor Lindquist said. “This case is another example why. If the defendant didn’t have a gun, this would just be another minor high school skirmish.”
     P.W. and W.G, held at Remann Hall since the  night of the shooting, have been released with no charges filed pending further investigation.
    Ackerson’s grandmother called police and turned him in. She told investigators she had seen her grandson on the news, was concerned for him, and knew this was serious.  
    Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
    For more information, please contact James Lynch at (253) 798-6265, jlynch@co.pierce.wa.us.

 



Man Found Guilty Of Child Rape and Child Molestation

        Press Release
        December 8, 2017


     TACOMA, WA - After less than a day of deliberation, a jury found Shawn Morgan, 45, guilty of five counts of rape of a child in the first degree and five counts of child molestation in the first degree. Deputy Prosecutors Lori Kooiman and Erica Eggertsen won the case.

    “Protecting the vulnerable is one of our top priorities,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “Our Special Assault Unit holds sex offenders fully accountable. This was good work by Deputy Prosecutors Kooiman and Eggertsen on a challenging and disturbing case.”

    While at a rehabilitation facility in the fall of 2015, Kierra Hall, 27, told her counselor that she and Morgan sexually assaulted Morgan's son, A.M. on November 24, 2015. Hall said Morgan also had child pornography in his trailer. Hall believed the children in the pornography appeared to be between two and 13-years-old.

   There were three victims in this case, including Morgan’s own son.

   Morgan faces 20 to 26 years to life in prison when he is sentenced February 23, 2018.

    In September, Hall pleaded guilty to three counts of rape of a child in the first degree, and one
count of child molestation in the first degree. She is expected to be sentenced tomorrow at 1:30 PM.

   For more information, please contact James Lynch at Ofc. 253.798.6265, Cell 253.380.5856,
jlynch@co.pierce.wa.us.

 



Woman Re-Charged with Murder

        Press Release
        December 10, 2017


      TACOMA, WA - Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Meshawn West, 44, with murder in the first degree for stabbing to death her mother, Joyce West, 59, in October 2012. This is the second time she has been charged with the same murder.

      In 2014, West was found incompetent to stand trial and committed to Western State Hospital. Charges were dismissed without prejudice, leaving prosecutors the option to recharge.

      This year, doctors were not recommending West's release, but a Pierce County Superior Court Commissioner ordered that West be released into the community anyway. The release has been halted for now with the re-filing of the murder charges. The prosecutor's office will ask that West's competency be reevaluated.

      “If Ms. West is well enough to be released, this suggests she’s well enough to stand trial,” said Prosecutor Lindquist. "Our goal is to protect the community, either through accountability or through continued security and treatment at Western State."

      Shortly before 9:00 a.m. on October 27, West attacked her mother with a steak knife, stabbing her multiple times. The victim’s husband was in the garage when he heard the victim yelling. He went upstairs and found his wife covered with blood and unresponsive.

       Deputies arrived at the family’s South Hill home and found the victim lying on the bedroom floor. She had more than a dozen stab wounds to her chest, back, and head. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

       The defendant, West, was slumped against a wall and had blood on her clothing. She said she had accidentally cut herself in the thigh when she was stabbing her mother. She also told officers where to find the murder weapon.

       At one point, West began  speaking in an unintelligible  language. She claimed she was “speaking in tongues.” West told detectives that she killed her mother because her mother “spiritually raped” her. She said her mother practiced witchcraft and would molest her without even being in the same room.

       The defendant has a history of mental illness and had arrived at her parents’ home from Las Vegas just four days before the murder. The victim wanted her daughter home so she could get help. According to the victim’s husband, West had a mental health incident about a month prior to the murder.

      “Mental health issues in our community need to be addressed before they result in violent crimes," said Lindquist.

      West will now undergo a psychiatric evaluation and have a competency hearing January 4, 2018.

      Charges are only allegations and a person  is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven
guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

      For more information, please contact James Lynch, Communications Coordinator, 253.798.6265,
jlynch@co.pierce.wa.us
 



Protecting Vulnerable Adults

       Press Release
       December 8, 2017

     Mr. Villegas’ life savings began to dwindle under the control of his daughter. He was 81-years-old with dementia and early Alzheimer’s. Frugal, he lived on a modest income. His savings was nearly $200,000, primarily from the sale of his home, but his daughter drained his account to almost nothing over the course of a few years.

    Without money, Mr. Villegas could not afford the assisted living he  needed. Luckily, Mr. Villegas’ son Robert became aware of the situation and intervened. Mr. Villegas’ daughter went to prison for the theft and Mr. Villegas moved in with his son, where he was properly cared for.

    In 2011, I formed an Elder Abuse Unit to protect elders and vigorously prosecute those who take advantage of vulnerable adults. We recognized that as our population ages, there are more elders who need more protection. Since then, our office has been a leader in the prosecution and prevention of elder abuse, whether it’s financial exploitation, physical abuse, or neglect.

    Initially, our Elder Abuse Unit was a one-woman team with Deputy Prosecutor Erika Nohavec. Yes, as Erika sometimes joked, there can be an “I” in team. Our team subsequently expanded to include two deputy prosecutors, two victim advocates, and a legal assistant. The Pierce County Council recognized the vital work we were doing and provided the additional staff.

    We aim to be leaders in the prosecution and prevention of elder abuse just as we have been leaders in reducing gang violence and removing career criminals from our streets. We innovate, we collaborate, we excel. In 2016, we won a grant from the Department of Justice of nearly $400,000 — we were one of only nine counties in the country to receive this award. The funds are being used to coordinate a comprehensive approach to protecting elders and other vulnerable adults.

     One major component of this comprehensive approach was the formation of the Coordinated Community Response Team. This group includes prosecutors, law enforcement departments, the Attorney General’s Office, Adult Protective Services, the Korean Women’s Association, and other stakeholders.

    Our vision is to create a safe community for vulnerable adults. Our mission is to effectively respond to the needs of older victims, hold abusers accountable, identify and bridge the gaps in services available to victims, and improve coordination between service providers through multidisciplinary collaboration. This collaboration also helps us hold offenders accountable. Working with multiple agencies, our office successfully prosecuted a caregiver in 2016 for a shocking case of neglect.

   Mr. Carter was found nonresponsive in his bed and was rushed to Good Samaritan Hospital. Several large and deep pressure ulcers were discovered on his backside, the worst of which was 8×13 inches and went down to the bone.

    His paid caregiver packed the wounds with paper towels and Neosporin. This led to a serious infection, which ultimately killed Mr. Carter. Doctors and nurses said it was worst example of neglect they had seen in their careers. This was the first murder conviction in Washington premised on a failure to seek necessary medical care for a vulnerable adult.

    We prosecute and we prevent. Raising awareness and educating people on how to protect themselves, their friends, and their family members is part of how we reduce crimes against the vulnerable and keep them safe. If you know of a group that would benefit from hearing from us, please let us know. Deputy Sven Nelson, the current supervisor of the Elder Abuse Unit, is happy to speak with community groups. And so am I.

   We are committed to keeping our community safe for everyone.

   Link to online version: https://tacomaweekly.com/guest-editorial/protecting-vulnerable-adults/

   For help scheduling a presentation, contact Communications Manager James Lynch at 253.798.6265, jlynch@co.pierce.wa.us.

    Mark Lindquist is our Pierce County prosecutor. A career prosecutor with more than 20 years of service in the office, he was appointed in 2009, elected in 2010 and reelected in 2014.

 



Pierce County Prosecutor News:

Man Charged with Estranged Girlfriend’s Murder

       Press Release
         November 14, 2017


       TACOMA, WA – Today the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office charged Joshua Ellis with murder in the second degree for the death of Wendi Marie Traynor.

       Investigators believe Traynor was killed by a single gunshot to the head in her Milton apartment on November 3.Ellis, 27, turned himself in at the King County Jail. He was brought back to Pierce County to stand trial. “More than half of all female homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “We have a felony domestic violence unit that specializes in holding D.V. offenders accountable.”

       On November 10, Wendi Traynor’s father, aunt, and uncle went to her apartment in Milton because they hadn’t heard from her since November 3. Their calls had not been returned.

       Traynor’s father, who is a co-signer on the lease, obtained a key and entered the apartment. Once inside they found Traynor lying face down on the floor in a pool of dried blood. Traynor’s father called 911.
Investigators found a 10mm bullet casing near the body. Ammunition matching this casing was found in a search of Ellis’s vehicle.

      Family members told investigators Traynor had been in a relationship with Ellis for about two years and they moved together to Kentucky in June of this year.

      The relationship went sour and Traynor left. The defendant followed and convinced her to return to Kentucky. In October of this year, Traynor moved back to Washington without Ellis. He eventually followed. Traynor moved into her apartment November 1. Witnesses reported that Ellis was with her at the time. On November 3, Traynor texted a friend that she was meeting with her “ex” to discuss the relationship “in person.” No one heard from her again.

      Investigators gained access to Ellis’s cell phone records and learned he was in the vicinity of Traynor’s apartment on November 3 from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

     After obtaining an arrest warrant for Ellis, police sought help from the media in locating him.
Bail was set at $1,000,000.

     Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

    For more information, please contact James Lynch at (253) 798-6265, jlynch@co.pierce.wa.us.

 



Prosecutor Lindquist discusses High Priority Offenders (HPO), Elder Abuse, and Fair Share

Prosecutor Lindquist in Eatonville

     Press Releasse
       October 9, 2017


     In a way, visiting Eatonville will always be like returning home for Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. Lindquist spent his early days as a deputy prosecutor in the Eatonville area and feels a strong connection to the community. Upon arrival at the town hall, the career prosecutor was greeted by old friends.
When Tuesday’s council meeting began, Lindquist gave a public safety update to members and attendees.

    “Keeping our community safe is not our only duty in the Prosecutor’s Office,” he said. “But it is our main duty.” Lindquist began by describing the new High Priority Offender (HPO) program, which focuses resources on the small percentage of the criminals who cause a large percentage of crimes.
Created by Lindquist in 2015 after several months of preparation, the HPO program uses technology, data and intel to identify these "career criminals.”

    Modeled after a successful program in New York City and adapted for Pierce County, Lindquist is confident the program will work here as it has in cities on the East Coast. His office is the first on the West Coast to implement this program. So far, more than 500 HPO defendants have been convicted and are serving long sentences in prison, nearly four times the average state sentence.
“When we remove career criminals from our streets, we prevent hundreds of future crimes,” the prosecutor said.

     Also, Lindquist spoke with councilmembers about the office’s Elder Abuse Unit. He began the unit in 2011 during his first term to both vigorously prosecute elder abuse and work with partners to prevent elder abuse. The team has expanded to meet a growing need in the community. "Our population is aging," Lindquist said. "And protecting the vulnerable is one of our top priorities.”

    Pierce County was recently awarded $370,985 from the Department of Justice to support a comprehensive approach to addressing elder abuse, one of only nine counties in the country to receive the award. The Prosecutor’s Office is teaming up with local law enforcement agencies and victim service organizations to increase and strengthen training, form a community response team, and improve access to victim services.

   The grant funds a coordinated community response team comprised of experts from a variety of disciplines who are working together to develop a comprehensive plan to respond to and reduce elder abuse in Pierce County. “We are a leader in both the prosecution and prevention of elder abuse,” Lindquist said.

   Lindquist wrapped up by discussing his successful fight for “fair share.” The Prosecutor’s Office vigilantly monitors the Department of Corrections and the Department of Social and Health Services to ensure that Pierce County isn’t a “dumping ground” for offenders from other counties.

   Lindquist's presentation was part of his commitment to communicating with the public he serves. He is touring the county speaking with city councils, service groups, and other community groups as well as local leaders. He and members of his team are available for presentations to raise awareness on public safety issues.

   Lindquist began his career as a deputy prosecutor in 1995. He was appointed Prosecutor in 2009, elected in 2010, and reelected in 2014.

   For help scheduling a presentation, contact Communications Manager James Lynch, 253.798.6265, jlynch@co.pierce.wa.us.

 



Man Charged with Murder of Mother

      Press Release
       October 19, 2017


     In October, The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office charged  Sebastian Samuel Levy Aldrete, 49, with murder in the second degree for clubbing his mother to death with a liquor bottle. Aldrete’s mother died in their home after suffering blunt force trauma to her head. She was also strangled.

     “In twenty-two years as a prosecutor, this is the only case I can recall when a son was charged with killing his mother,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.

     On October 16, 2017, at approximately 5:30 a.m., Aldrete called 911 and reported that he and his mother had been attacked by an unknown intruder. Officers responded to 1 St. Helens Avenue, which is a secured apartment building. They noted no signs of forced entry.

     Aldrete directed officers to a bedroom where they found the  body of Maria Aldrete-Levy, his mother. Her face and head were covered in blood and she was not breathing. There was blood spatter and smears of what appeared to be blood on the wall next to her body. A broken, jagged bottle neck was located on the floor. The medical examiner determined that the victim had sustained blunt force injuries to her head and face. He also noted that she was strangled and sustained a fractured larynx.

     Officer’s noted that Aldrete was sweating profusely, seemed nervous, and had superficial cuts on his forehead and face. He also had dried blood on the palms of his hands. There was blood on his T-shirt, including areas that were covered by the sweatshirt he was wearing when he spoke with police.

     The defendant reported that he was in bed when he heard the sound of his mother screaming, so he jumped out of bed and ran toward her room. He claimed he had a physical altercation with a figure he saw emerge from the room. He could not describe the figure, but said the person bent his thumb back and thereby escaped his grip.

    Aldrete told investigators that he found his mother bleeding profusely from the center of her neck. He grabbed some towels from the bathroom across the hall, rather than the bathroom adjacent to her bedroom, and applied pressure to her neck. The medical examiner found no injury to the victim’s neck that would have been bleeding.

     The defendant’s two sons were asleep in the apartment at the time of the murder.Bail was set at $2,000,000. Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

 



New Guilty Plea from Man who Fatally Shook Seven-Day-Old Son

from James Lynch
Pierce County Prosecutor's Office
December 21, 2016

TACOMA, WA – Today Joshua Sullivan, 21, pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree for violently shaking his seven-day-old son in 2013. Sullivan pleaded guilty to assault of a child for the shaking crime in 2014. Subsequently, the baby passed away from injuries sustained in the shaking and the murder charge was filed.

“Protecting the vulnerable and holding accountable those who harm the vulnerable is one of our main missions,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.

On May 23, 2013, Sullivan was awoken at approximately 3 a.m. by his crying infant son. Sullivan got out of bed to check on his son and became frustrated because the baby kept “fussing.” He shook his son as he carried him up and down the stairs, causing his son’s head to hit the wall.

In the morning, the baby’s mother and Sullivan noticed that both of the baby’s eyes were swollen. They took him to the hospital. The baby had bruises on his face, arms, back and ear. He was also bleeding from his umbilical cord. Medical staff determined that the baby suffered non-accidental head trauma, resulting in severe internal bleeding. He underwent emergency brain surgery.

The victim’s three-year-old sibling said Sullivan got “a mean look” and that “daddy squeezed the baby.”

Sullivan is currently serving a 16 year sentence for the assault charge. That sentence is expected to
be set aside and Sullivan will be re-sentenced on the murder charge March 3, 2017.


 



Tacoma Area Man Sentenced for 2013 Drug Cartel Murder...

from James Lynch
Pierce County Prosecutor's Office
December 16, 2016

TACOMA, WA – Today, William Alvarez Calo, 30, was sentenced to nearly 30.8 years in prison for the murder of Jamie Diaz-Solis. Last month, Alvarez Calo was found guilty of murder in the first degree, burglary in the first degree and attempted robbery in the first degree.

"Our streets are safer with this defendant in prison,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “Good work on a big case by deputy prosecutors Maureen Goodman and Doug Hill.”

On November 12, 2012, police responded to a report of shots fired at the Greenwood Apartments in Lakewood. When officers arrived, they found the body of Jamie Diaz-Solis lying at the bottom of the stairs outside his apartment.

Police found almost 38 pounds of methamphetamine and heroin and $37,000.00 in cash in or around the crime scene.

Investigators learned that Diaz-Solis and his roommate, Juan Hidalgo-Mendoza, were part of a major Mexican drug cartel.

Hidalgo-Mendoza told police he was in his bedroom when he heard a male's voice and then heard a gunshot. He said he then jumped out of a window to avoid being shot. He returned to the apartment after the assailants had left and dragged out the body of Diaz-Solis.

In February, 2013, investigators contacted Alvarez Calo who confessed he had arranged for three men to kill Hidalgo-Mendoza. Apparently, Alvarez Calo thought he could climb the ladder of the distribution chain by arranging the murder of Hidalgo-Mendoza, a higher-up, and blaming the murder on another higher-up. The plan went awry when the wrong person, Mr. Diaz-Stolis, was shot and killed by Robinson.

In July, co-defendant Mazzar Robinson, 41, was found guilty of murder in the first degree, conspiracy to commit murder, burglary, attempted robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm. Co-defendant Michael Rowland, 32, was found guilty of murder in the first degree, burglary and attempted robbery.

 



Prosecutor Finds Officers' Use of Deadly Force Lawful...

from James Lynch
Pierce County Prosecutor's Office
November 22 2016


TACOMA, WA – Independent and concurrent investigations have been completed by the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office, the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, the Lakewood Police Department, the Steilacoom Police Department and the Cooperative Cities/Metro Crime Response Unit regarding the police shooting of Marcos Perea, 41, that resulted in his death.

Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist concluded the death was justifiable homicide under state law. “To protect themselves and the public, the officers had no option other than deadly force under the circumstances,” said Lindquist. “This shooting by officers was about as clearly justifiable as it gets.”

On February 20, 2016, at approximately 6:12 am, Marcos Perea entered the University Place Care Center at 5520 Bridgeport Way W, University Place, WA. Perea confronted his girlfriend, Jessica Ortega, who was an employee at the care facility. Perea shot Ortega several times with a handgun. Ortega died at the scene.

Perea fled the area in a green Honda southbound toward Lakewood. Officers responding to the shooting spotted a vehicle matching the description of Perea’s vehicle driving at a high rate of speed from the area. While officers pursued the vehicle, Perea pointed and fired a handgun out of the driver’s side window at the pursuing officers.

The officers activated their vehicles’ emergency lights and sirens. Perea refused to yield to the officers’ attempts to stop him and continued driving at a high rate of speed southbound on I-5. During the pursuit Perea fired his gun several more times endangering officers and citizen drivers. One of the bullets, fired by Perea during the pursuit, struck one of the pursuing patrol vehicles.

Perea exited the freeway then got back on to I-5 northbound. Officers eventually stopped Perea’s vehicle with a controlled crash called a PIT maneuver. A short time later, Perea exited and took cover behind his vehicle. Officers gave verbal commands for Perea to surrender. Instead,

Perea took off running and turned and fired several more shots at the officers. Numerous officers returned fire and Perea fell to the ground. While on the ground with his gun still in hand, Perea raised the gun despite the officers’ commands telling him to drop the gun. The officers fired their guns at Perea striking him numerous times. Perea was pronounced dead at the scene.

There is no evidence of criminal negligence, criminal intent, or criminal misconduct on the part of the law enforcement officers involved, and all evidence supports the conclusion that the officers acted in good faith and without malice.
 

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