SOUTH BEND — A covid-19 exposure inside the Pacific County Prosecutor’s Office that came to light the day of court had prosecutorial and defense staff scrambling to make court happen. See related story on page A2.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor Joe Faurholt, acting on behalf of the prosecution, appeared from his office via Zoom. Defense attorney Harold Karlsvik also appeared virtually. Judge Don Richter and others chose to be in the courtroom.
Several cases had to be rescheduled for a week or two away because of virus exposure limitations. All trials within the next two weeks are also being rescheduled.
However, according to Prosecutor Ben Haslam, unlike similar situations that unfolded in other counties, the court was able to tiptoe through the day.
Elizabeth D. Stuart
According to her attorney, defendant Elizabeth Stuart appeared for court early, but she arrived ill and was coughing rather loud. He also informed her of the virus exposure. He advised her that she should probably leave because the case would likely be continued anyways.
Her attorney spoke directly to Richter and informed him of why Stuart was not present and that it was because of his advice. He also mentioned he was concerned about her cough and what she could have too.
The prosecution also noted an additional issue with a future court date on the matter because the Washington State Patrol was a material witness for the case but would be having firearm training on the date.
Richter decided on a trial setting hearing for Dec. 4 for the quirks to all be worked out. He did not issue a warrant for Stuart’s failure to appear for the hearing.
Lloyd O. Brooks, Jr.
Appearing out-of-custody, defendant Lloyd Brooks was set to enter a stipulated order of continuance (SOC). The SOC continues the case typically for a specific period of time. Once the time is up, and all stipulations have been met, the case is normally dismissed. The agreement is usually offered for weaker cases or cases that the prosecutor feels warrant giving the defendant a chance to prove they’re not a bad person.
The paperwork for the case was not right, according to Hatch, because he was unable to read portions of it. He noted it appeared it had been highlighted and did not copy well.
Brooks did not appear in court for his hearing, but Hatch did inform the court that he had shown up an hour and a half before the hearing. Hatch mentioned that he informed his client of the virus exposure and that his client was concerned. He told him to come back on Dec. 4.
Richter inquired about the SOC because it’s not something the court has traditionally done. He mentioned he would like to see what the court is being ordered to do. The case was moved to the Dec. 4 docket, and Richter did not issue a warrant for Brooks’ failure to appear due to the day’s circumstances.
Lindsey N. Poulsen
Defendant Lindsey Poulsen as been in the Pacific County Jail since Oct. 21 for five different charges, including eluding police and possession with intent to deliver. She was present via Zoom from the jail and entered a change of plea.
Additionally, a criminal complaint filed for an additional charge in Clatsop County for delivery of a controlled substance was mentioned.
According to Poulsen’s attorney, the state had met with her earlier in the week, and an agreement had been accepted. The court was also informed that the agreement had not been signed due to limitations at the prosecutors’ office due to a covid-19 exposure.
Poulsen requested to be sentenced during the hearing, but because the paperwork was not signed, the case was set over for one week, and an electronic signature is expected to be sufficient.
The case will be heard again on Nov. 20.
William A. Becker
Defendant William Becker last appeared on Oct. 30 for a review hearing because he was previously ordered into restoration services provided by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services but still remained in jail. He has been at the jail since Aug. 27.
Assistant Attorney Brooke Boutwel, representing DSHS, appeared during the Oct. 30 hearing and informed the court that Becker was expected to enter services on Nov. 5. DSHS was issued a $250 per day fine until Becker left the jail.
Fast forward two weeks later, and Becker is still sitting in jail and has not entered DSHS services. Richter was visibly annoyed and seemed appalled DSHS was not present for the hearing, nor had submitted proof that the fines were paid up to date. Richter ordered another review hearing for two weeks on Nov. 27.
Robert Lee Barnum
The court played a brief cat and mouse game, trying to figure out where Robert Barnum was, because he was not present from the jail via Zoom. It was assumed he had entered DSHS services at Western State Hospital (WSH) and was going to appear from the facility via Zoom. Richter noted in simple terms that had never happened before.
Richter ended the contempt charge against DSHS but did note that there was nothing on file that stated Barnum had been transferred to WSH, but did strike the review hearing.
According to the jail roster, Barnum is still listed as an inmate.
Christopher C. Dahl
DSHS hasn’t had a few good weeks, and it will continue for at least a little longer. The agency was hit with an additional $250 per day fine as defendant Christopher Dahl, who had previously been ordered into restoration services on Oct. 30, hasn’t left the jail.
Unlike his previous court appearance, Dahl’s outburst was tamed back. He did mention he is taking all the medications professionals have prescribed for him. His demeanor likely reflected that with his only comment mentioning he had been sitting in jail for 50 days and wanted to get into services.
Aaron F. Hircko
The court briefly arugued why defendant Aaron Hircko wasn’t present in court and debated when his court summons was sent out. According to Faurholt, the summons was mailed out on Oct. 28, but the declaration of mailing provided to Richter showed a date of Nov. 4.
Another question arose as to whether or not Hircko had legal representation for the case. It was determined David Hatch had previously represented him for the matter. Richter reappointed Hatch to the case and mentioned he believed he was still the attorney anyways and asked for a new summons to be issued for a court date of Dec. 4.
Hircko is facing a revocation of his drug offense sentence alternative (DOSA). The court took no action on the case during the hearing.
Samantha L. Meyer
Samantha Meyer is out-of-custody and did not appear for the hearing. The court briefly attempted to call her to no avail. The prosecution requested a $5,000 warrant be issued, but because Richter could not see a public safety list of Meyer, he refused to issue a warrant.
Her attorney stated he had no comment on why she didn’t appear in court. Richter recommended he get a hold of her before the case became a more significant issue.
The case’s current trial dates were stricken, and a review hearing is set for Dec. 4.
Kirt D. Jones
Defendant Kirt Jones was present via Zoom from the jail. He was arrested on Nov. 12 for a community custody violation and non-prescription drug charge, but the court did not have the case present.
Richter gave the prosecution until the end of the day to formally charge Jones and provide the case to the court; otherwise, he would be released.
The court resumed around 3:30 p.m with the appropriate documents provided. He is being held on $5,000 bail, and David Acuri was appointed as his defense attorney. His arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 30.
Tegan A. Tipler
With an agreement already reached with regard to Tegan Tipler, an additional charge of one count of second-degree theft put a wrinkle in the plan, but the defense expects the deal to remain.
Tipler has been back in jail since Oct. 15 after jumping bail resulting in a manhunt for the young man in Raymond and South Bend. He faces multiple charges, including possession with intent to manufacture and fourth-degree assault.
His attorney stated that they were aware the new charge was going to occur at some point. He believes they still have a potential resolution that will stick. It was requested that another hearing be scheduled for one week while all the kinks get worked out. Richter agreed to one week.
Tipler will appear next on Nov. 20 with a resolution to the case expected.