The latest reporting from the Times’ criminal-justice team.
December 12, 2013 at 2:51 PM
A coach and substitute teacher at The Bush School in Seattle has been placed on administrative leave after he was arrested and charged with voyeurism and other offenses while on a school-sponsored cross-country skiing trip to southern British Columbia.
Jason C. Paur, 43, was arrested Tuesday after the discovery of a video camera belonging to him, found by students in a room occupied by girls at the Silver Star ski resort near Vernon, B.C., according to a statement released by the private school and Frank Magusin, the head of school.
Paur was being held in British Columbia in connection with alleged offenses that occurred Monday and Tuesday, Neil MacKenzie, a spokesman for the provincial Criminal Justice Branch, said Thursday.
Paur was charged with three counts of voyeurism related to observing or recording individuals in a place where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy and to be nude. He also was charged with possessing child pornography, accessing child pornography and three counts of breaking and entering with intent to commit an indictable offense.
Paur, who has not entered a plea, made his first court appearance Wednesday and is scheduled to return to court next Wednesday. No bail has been set.
December 12, 2013 at 10:16 AM
The Associated Press
LIVINGSTON, Mont. — A 31-year-old Washington woman and her father have pleaded not guilty to charges related to the death of a pedestrian on Interstate 90 in southern Montana.
Wyran Young, of Oak Harbor, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to leaving the scene of a fatal crash and tampering with evidence in the Sept. 30 death of 81-year-old Elgie Bedford of Wasilla, Alaska. Her father, 50-year-old Westley Young, pleaded not guilty to tampering.
Bedford was struck and killed between Big Timber and Greycliff. Prosecutors allege the Youngs’ vehicle hit Bedford’s body, but did not stop. Westley Young told investigators a semi-trailer in front of them hit Bedford first.
The tampering charges allege the Youngs stopped at a Livingston car wash washed their vehicle, leaving parts of Bedford’s body at the car wash.
December 12, 2013 at 8:23 AM
Nearly 10 years after a former Seattle firefighter was injured in a fall while on duty, the Washington Supreme Court has upheld a King County jury verdict awarding the man $12.75 million
On Dec. 23, 2003, Mark Jones awoke in a dark bunk room at the Seattle Fire Department’s Station 33, according to court paperwork. He walked through the wrong door while looking for the restroom and fell through a fire-pole hole to the concrete floor below. Jones was knocked unconscious and, according to court paperwork, suffered a head injury, 10 broken ribs, fractures to several vertebrae and his pelvis, and lung, bladder and liver injuries. Jones claimed his injuries left him unable to work.
Jones sued the City, saying his injuries resulted from negligence by the city and the Fire Department for failing to install a proper guard around the fire pole, or the door that led to it.
The city hired investigators before and after the jury trial to monitor Jones to determine his physical abilities, according to court filings.
In their motion to vacate the judgment, lawyers for the city at the Superior Court trial called Jones’ behavior a “deception.” In 2010, lawyers for the city’s insurer released a secretly filmed video showing Jones chopping wood and playing horseshoes and bocce ball after he was hurt.
In October 2010, King County Superior Court Judge Susan Craighead upheld the jury verdict and said the silent video might not tell Jones’ whole story. In February 2012, the state Court of Appeals upheld the King County jury verdict.
In a statement this morning, Kimberly Mills, spokeswoman for City Attorney Pete Holmes, said they are ”disappointed, of course, with the ruling.”
“It’s important to note that the trial occurred during the previous administration,” Mills wrote in an email.
“Mark is a good person, he is an Air Force veteran, a former police officer and a [former] firefighter. He’s unbelievable in terms of service to our community,” Todd Gardner, a Renton attorney representing Jones said this morning
Gardner said his client “did nothing wrong.”
“To make him go back and try this case, when he needs the funding so badly to get his life back together, would be unjust.”
Gardner said that the defense team never argued that Jones wasn’t able to chop wood, throw horseshoes or partake in other physical activities shown on the video released by the city’s insurer.
“The man has no judgment, he has a horrible memory, he can’t find direction, his cognitive abilities are impaired,” Gardner said.
Since his injuries, Jones has split his time between Seattle and Montana. His health has deteriorated and he is unable to work, Gardner said.
December 11, 2013 at 8:15 PM
LONGVIEW — Sheriff’s officers in two southwest Washington counties have suspended search efforts for a 26-year-old Japanese hiker last seen near Mount St. Helens.
Cowlitz County Undersheriff Marc Gilchrist said Wednesday that aerial and ground searches and investigations by Cowlitz and Skamania county officers have found no trace of Yosuke Onishi. Hikers in the area have not reported seeing him.
Gilchrist says the man’s mother and sister flew to Portland late last week from Japan and drove with an interpreter to Cougar, Cowlitz County, where they talked to deputies.
Onishi is from Saga Prefecture on the island of Kyushu.
Gilchrist says deputies would still like to locate a couple who gave Onishi a ride to where he was dropped off near the mountain. The owners of a Cougar deli say the couple drove a gray or light brown passenger car on the morning of Nov. 27. Onishi has not been seen since then.
December 11, 2013 at 5:25 PM
The Associated Press
OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee has denied a recommendation from the state’s clemency board to grant a shortened sentence to a woman who is in the midst of a 22-year sentence for her role in a deadly group attack on a 64-year-old man that occurred when she was 14.
Inslee’s attorney, Nicholas Brown, sent Marriam Oliver’s attorney a letter last week explaining his reasoning behind the decision. In September, the state’s Clemency and Pardons Board unanimously voted that Oliver, now 26, should be released in three years, as long as she doesn’t have any infractions on her prison record during that time.
Oliver was one of five teens and an adult, Barbara Marie Opel, who either pleaded guilty or were convicted in the 2001 beating and stabbing death of Jerry Dean Heimann at his Everett home.
Opel was hired by Heimann as a caregiver to his elderly mother, and recruited her own 13-year-old daughter and other teens, including Oliver, to kill him so she could get control of his bank account.
Barbara Opel was sentenced in 2003 to life in prison without parole. Her daughter, Heather, is serving a 22-year sentence. Heather Opel’s boyfriend, Jeff Grote, was 17 at the time of the crime and pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Heimann’s death. He is serving a 50-year sentence.
Kyle Boston, 14 at the time of the slaying, was sentenced to 18 years behind bars after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.
Boston’s cousin from Marysville, then 13, was convicted of first-and second-degree murder in juvenile court in 2001 and has since been released. In Washington, youths sentenced in juvenile court cannot be imprisoned past the age of 21.
December 11, 2013 at 3:07 PM
A teenage boy was shot in the leg Tuesday while urinating in some bushes in South Seattle.
According to Seattle police, the boy had called his mother from Cleveland High School around midday to say that he was sick and coming home. The teen stopped his car at a basketball court near South Holly Park Drive and South Othello Street so he could urinate.
He said he heard an engine accelerate behind him, turned around and saw a black sedan, possibly a Nissan. The teen said two or three rounds were fired from a left rear window, and he told police he didn’t see who shot him.
He managed to drive home, where his mother was waiting for him. The woman told police that he knocked on the door and when she answered, he was crying. He told her that he had been shot, according to police.
The wounded teen was taken to Harborview Medical Center. Seattle police gang unit officers are investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call police.
December 11, 2013 at 2:27 PM
The Associated Press
PORTLAND — The mother of a 6-month-old boy reported to police in the Portland suburb of Gladstone that she believed her child had been killed.
Less than 12 hours later, early Tuesday morning, search-and-rescue workers found the body of the baby boy in a heavily-wooded area.
On Wednesday, Gladstone police spokesman Eric Graves said the mother is not a suspect. An autopsy is planned.
The mother has not been identified.
Police say they believe the baby was taken to the area on Monday afternoon in a blue SUV. The SUV was recovered in Salem.
December 11, 2013 at 10:45 AM
Update at 1:51 p.m.:| Seattle police say the 2,500 bottles of stolen wine were recovered at a Sodo storage and manufacturing facility, but they aren’t prepared to release the name.
In the meantime, police are undertaking “the difficult task” of processing the wine. “Detectives need to photograph and document each bottle, enter it into evidence, and then we need to find the owner of each bottle,” Investigations Lt.Greg Schmidt said.
Police say some of the victims may not yet even know their wine was stolen since Esquin Wine & Storage staff and detectives are still attempting to reach the hundreds of people who rented specially temperature controlled storage units in the store.
Original post:| Seattle police announced this morning that they have recovered a ‘substantial’ amount of wine stolen during an elaborate Thanksgiving Day heist from a Sodo wine storage business.
The wine was recovered Tuesday after police served a search warrant at a building less than a mile away from Esquin Wine & Spirits, according to police. Police say it appears the wine had been kept in a “temperature controlled environment.” There was some concern that the wine, if not properly stored, could be damaged during the recent spate of subfreezing weather.
Chuck LeFever, owner of Esquin, has issued the following statement:
Words can’t express how thrilled we are that the wine stolen from our facility on Thanksgiving Day has been safely recovered. While we are still doing an inventory to make sure it’s all there, the volume recovered makes us eager with anticipation and we can’t wait to share the good news with our customers.
Thieves made off with more than 200 cases of wine, valued at $648,000, from Esquin Wine & Spirits on Nov. 28. Dan Miller, a spokesman for Esquin, said last week the company is offering $20,000 for information that leads to the “safe recovery of the wine.”
Charged with attempted first-degree arson, second-degree burglary and second-degree theft in connection with the thefts are Luke Thesing, 35, and Samuel Harris, 34. Thesing works as a plumber for Harris’ plumbing company, charging papers say.
The men are each being held in the King County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.
December 11, 2013 at 8:25 AM
KELSO (AP) — A Longview driver whose 30-day sentence for killing a jogger outraged the victim’s family was released early from jail for good behavior.
Cowlitz County prosecutors said they didn’t have enough evidence for a vehicular homicide case against Jennifer J. Oskey. They reached an agreement in which she pleaded guilty to third-degree assault for hitting and killing Julia Smith in September of last year.
The Daily News reports Oskey began serving her sentence last month and was released Sunday, seven days early — five days off for good behavior and two days for work inside the jail
December 10, 2013 at 8:16 PM
TACOMA — The Pierce County fire marshal says a fire that killed a father and his 8-year-old daughter at their Fox Island home appears to have been an accident.
The News Tribune reports that Fire Marshal Warner Webb made that comment Tuesday.
He says investigators expect to know more Wednesday about the exact cause of the Dec. 4 blaze that killed Dr. Thomas Babson, 62, and his daughter, Alice.
Babson’s wife, June, their 12-year-old daughter Katie, and 8-year-old son Tobey survived the fire. Alice was Tobey’s twin.
Fire officials have said the blaze started near the kitchen and dining room of the nearly 7,000-square-foot home.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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