SOUTH BEND — Pacific County Superior Court has processed a much-higher-than-usual number of felony cases this year, according to court officials.
Between April 29 and Aug. 18, significant convictions included a woman who attacked her grandmother with a hammer, a very bad roommate, an arrestee who spit on police officers, a drunk woman who tried to stab her boyfriend, a man who waved a gun at a family during a baseball practice, a man who stole his mother’s car, a stolen-scooter driver who got “clotheslined” while trying to flee from a deputy, and a man who molested a child at his girlfriend’s illegal home daycare.
All information comes from public court records and news releases from Pacific County Prosecutor Mark McClain.
Jamie Lynn Wright
A Raymond woman who attacked her grandmother was sentenced on May 5 to nearly 8 years in prison, after pleading guilty to first-degree assault. After release, she is expected to serve 18 months of probation.
When he responded to a domestic disturbance call on Feb. 17, Raymond Police Officer Jamie Samplawski found Wright’s 81-year-old grandmother bleeding from a large gash on her head and a wound on her hand. Police learned that Wright, 32, had called the victim into her room, where she hit her with a roofing hammer. The victim’s son heard cries for help, and stopped Wright from inflicting any further harm.
The victim survived and later asked McClain not to charge Wright, but McClain pursued the charges, saying Wright was dangerous.
“From my view, without the intervention from the victim’s son, Ms. Wright would have killed her grandmother,” McClain said. He described it as a “difficult” case, saying the victim became very upset when he made his sentencing recommendation in court. However, he said, “to do otherwise would not protect the community, despite the victim’s views of the case.”
Kevin Michael Newman
A 26-year-old Raymond man on May 5 was sentenced to 26 months in prison for first-degree burglary, theft of a firearm, and meth possession.
Newman was arrested after South Bend officer Luis Gonzalez was called to investigate a burglary. The homeowner said Newman, who was her former roommate, had likely been the one who took a shotgun, .22-caliber rifle, computer and other items.
Following the initial investigation, the victim saw Newman with a companion and called 911. Newman was gone when officers arrived, but they did find the shotgun and other stolen items. They later found and arrested Newman. While searching him, they found meth and a large concealed knife.
Newman is expected to be required to complete drug treatment in prison and serve 18 months of probation after release.
James Earl Landrum
A man who failed to meet the terms of his alternative sentence was convicted of trafficking in stolen property, meth possession and escape from community custody on May 26. Landrum, 36, will spend 15 months in prison.
After his arrest for the stolen property and drug charges earlier this year, Landrum was allowed to enter drug treatment. However, he later left the treatment center and failed to report to his probation officer. He was removed from the alternative sentencing program and charged with escape.
He will be required to go through treatment in prison and continue probation after release.
Eugene Edward Nerton
Nerton, 37, of South Bend, was sentenced on June 2 to 26 months in prison for assaulting a police officer.
South Bend officers responded to a domestic disturbance in the spring and found Nerton yelling for his injured girlfriend to get out of the trailer. Nerton barricaded himself in the trailer while officers spoke with the victim.
They eventually coaxed him out, but after being handcuffed, Nerton, who stands more than six feet tall and weighs more than 300 pounds, began resisting the officers and spitting on them.
There were other aggravating factors, including Nerton’s prior felony protection-order violations and a prior assault of an officer.
Nerton is expected to complete alcohol treatment in prison and serve 12 months on probation after release.
David Ryan Huff
Huff, 37, of Long Beach, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for drug possession on June 2.
In late March, Huff attempted evade Deputy Ryan Tully, who signaled him to pull over. He eventually stopped and admitted to having warrants. While searching Huff, the deputy found $790. This was an unusual amount of money for Huff to have. The detective impounded the vehicle. A Raymond PD narcotics dog signaled that there were drugs inside, so Tully sought a search warrant. Tully found a scale, small plastic baggies used to package narcotics, and a hypodermic needle containing meth. The detective impounded the vehicle.
Brittany Lynn Hensley
Hensley, 23, of Ephrata, was sentenced on June 2 to 15 months in prison for second-degree assault with a deadly weapon.
A neighbor called 911 on March 8, saying he saw the victim running from his house with the intoxicated Hensley giving chase. The neighbor said they wrestled and fell to the ground. When deputies arrived, Hensley was on top of the victim. Three large kitchen knives, one of which was bloody, lay about twenty feet away from the pair. Hensley called “I love you!” to the victim as she was placed in the patrol car. The victim sustained a cut which required treatment.
According to McClain, “He was in the hospital for a few days and it was really only dumb luck that caused the knife to hit his rib and not something more vital.”
Hensley must complete alcohol treatment and is expected to serve 18 months of probation after release.
Matthew Aaron Carrico
On June 9, Carrico, 38, of Long Beach, was sentenced to a year in prison for failing to register as a sex offender for the second time. Carrico is required to register as a result of his 2007 Oregon sex-offense convictions. He was also convicted of failure to register in February.
He is expected to serve 36 months of probation after release.
Tyler David Graham
A 28-year-old Tacoma man pleaded guilty on June 23 to second-degree assault. He was sentenced to 22 months in prison following a May 4 road-rage incident in Long Beach.
Graham was driving toward Ocean Park on State Route 103 when he decided to pass a long string of slower vehicles. When he could not pass all of the cars, he cut off a driver to avoid a head-on collision. Graham and the other driver flipped each other off, then Graham then slammed on his breaks in an apparent attempt to make the other driver rear-end his vehicle. Graham then pulled alongside the vehicle and pointed a gun at the driver, whose family was with him. They called 911.
Deputies learned Graham had followed the victims to a baseball field, and again pointed the gun at the driver. Onlookers also called 911.
Graham fled, but deputies found him and the weapon — a pellet-gun made to look like a handgun. Under Washington law, it is illegal to point even a realistic-looking fake gun at someone.
Graham had five prior felony convictions and a history of violating protection orders, McClain said. “His criminal history is likely why he was not carrying a real firearm, but the view is the same from the family that had the firearm pointed at them.”
Graham is expected to serve 18 months of probation and will be further prohibited from possessing a firearm.
Darrell Lee Thumm
Thumm, 47, of South Bend, was sentenced to a year in prison on July 14, after pleading guilty to third-degree rape on June 16.
In May, South Bend officers responded to the hospital for a report of a sexual assault between Thumm and a woman who has not been identified publicly. Her decision to immediately call police made it possible to collect physical evidence. Thumm denied having sexual contact with the victim.
“This woman went from victim to survivor when she decided to not left fear dictate the future of this case and called the police,” McClain said.
Thumm agreed to an exceptional sentence. After prison, he is expected to serve three years of probation and participate in a sexual-deviance evaluation and treatment program.
Perry Ronnie Anderson
Anderson, 59, of Ilwaco, was sentenced on July 28 to 20 months in prison for meth possession and delivery, followed by a year of probation and drug treatment.
An undercover narcotics team used a confidential informant, or CI, to purchase drugs from him in April, 2016. The investigation stalled out, so Anderson was not arrested until Long Beach officer Rodney Nawn saw him on June 8, and remembered he had an outstanding warrant. During the subsequent stop, officers found drugs on Anderson.
Anthony Dennis Hurley
Hurley, 29, of Longview, was convicted of second-degree taking a motor vehicle following an Aug. 3 trial. He was sentenced to 22 months in prison.
When Deputy Sean Eastham responded to a rollover accident on May 13, he found a 1994 Mazda pickup truck on its side, and no one around. He learned Hurley, the driver, was at his uncle’s, waiting for police. Hurley’s mother said she had purchased the vehicle a week before and her son had taken it without permission. Hurley initially admitted to stealing his mom’s truck, but denied doing so during the trial. His family contradicted him.
McClain said that despite Hurley’s seven prior felony convictions, his recent offense did not qualify him for probation or drug treatment under state law.
Rene Juan Gomez
An Aberdeen man pleaded guilty to third-degree assault, unlawful imprisonment and domestic violence on Aug. 3. He is expected to spend 17 months in prison, followed by a year of probation.
On June 29, South Bend police responded to a call about a man walking around with a knife. They learned Gomez, 23, had returned to his trailer after an altercation with an unknown man.
While officers were attempting to get Gomez to answer the door, a neighbor said his mother was texting her from inside the trailer, saying Gomez would not allow her to answer the door. When additional officers arrived, they forced entry and arrested him. In custody, he spit at one of the officers.
“Mr. Gomez has truly been an issue for this community,” McClain said. “He is a danger to his mother and the police, who have to respond to their frequent issues.”
Bryan Paul Habermann
One of the men arrested in connection with the alleged drug and stolen-gun dealing at a downtown Long Beach entertainment complex is expected to serve 51 months in prison.
Habermann, 37, of Long Beach, pleaded guilty on Aug. 11 to drug-trafficking and possession of stolen firearms. These are his first felony convictions, but they include a strike offense, meaning that if he accumulates two more strike offenses, he will goto prison for life. After release, he is expected to be required to serve probation and undergo drug treatment.
Michael Roger Berget
The 34-year-old Long Beach resident pleaded guilty on Aug. 11 to attempting to elude a police vehicle and possession of a stolen vehicle. He was sentenced to a year in prison.
On July 28, Deputy Travis Ostgaard attempted to stop him for having a scooter with expired tags. Berget fled, speeding through a residential neighborhood, potentially endangering a child who was watching, before finally attempting to run through a lawn. He was arrested after he crashed into a chain that stretched across the lawn, and into Ostgaard. The mini-bike had apparently been stolen in Oregon.
Marco Antonio Cortes
Cortes, 51, of Seaview, pleaded guilty to first-degree child molestation on Aug. 18. When he is sentenced on Sept. 1, he faces life in prison with a minimum of 51 months.
Pacific County Sheriff’s Office in early June opened an investigation into an unlicensed home daycare operation run by Cortes’ long-term girlfriend, after allegations arose that he had sexually assaulted a child who attended the daycare. He was arrested.
The county’s new Children’s Advocacy Center assisted with the investigation.
“Rather than send these children out of our county, deputies were able to work with victim advocates to bring those who may have been sexually assaulted to a safe, child-friendly environment to be interviewed by a professionally trained forensic interviewer to determine if a crime has occurred,” Prosecutor McClain said. That allowed prosecutors and police to monitor interviews, while minimizing trauma for the children.
“Nearly every child who attended this unlicensed daycare was interviewed, resulting in as complete an investigation as is possible for these kinds of cases,” McClain said.
Cortes will not be released from prison until a board determines he is no longer a danger to a community. If he is released, he will be on supervision by the Department of Corrections for life. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.
Noel Alexander Sampson
A Long Beach man was sentenced on Aug. 18 to two years in prison, following a guilty plea to residential burglary, possession of a stolen vehicle, first-degree theft, heroin possession and bail jumping.
On July 25, deputies responded to home near Long Beach. Burglars had taken items with significant monetary and sentimental value while the homeowner was away. The burglary occurred on the same day the Naselle Bank of the Pacific was robbed by an unidentified woman.
The following day, the investigating deputy heard someone who fit the description of the Naselle Bank Robber was in Ocean Park. Deputies arrived and saw Sampson, 31, leaving a vacant building. Suspecting a theft, they approached him as he headed for a vehicle that had been reported stolen. While searching the vehicle, they found some of the property from the burglary, as well as heroin. Sampson confessed to the crimes and was taken to jail pending trial.
After prison, Sampson is expected to serve 12 months of probation and be required to undergo drug treatment.
Jason Raymond Chandler
Chandler, 29, of Raymond was sentenced a 40 months in prison for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.
On July 30, Officer Ryan Miskell received a citizen complaint that Chandler was selling methamphetamine in the area and driving on a suspended license. When Miskell observed Chandler driving on 8th Street in Raymond he stopped Chandler and placed him in custody. Chandler was searched incident to his arrest and Officer Miskell found several pills and two small Ziploc baggies of methamphetamine in Chandler’s pants pocket, along with $150.00 in cash. Chandler agreed he had been selling methamphetamine and that the money was from previous drug sales.
“It was hard for me to decide whether this was a case where a defendant really was just that honest, whether he was that impaired, or whether the Officer was just that effective, but in the end the result was the same, taking a drug dealer off of our streets,” Prosecutor McClain said.
Chandler was granted a drug offender sentencing alternative whereby he serves half of his sentence in prison and the other half on what is best described as parole; if he fails to comply with treatment he will be returned to prison to serve the balance of his sentence.
“It seemed clear to me that Mr. Chandler had graduated from drug user to dealer given his criminal history and I am hopeful the drug alternative sentence will encourage him to take another path, but in the end that will be for him to decide,” McClain said.