SOUTH BEND — Pacific County Superior Court Judge Don Richter on Nov. 6 issued a stern punishment for a suspect who assaulted a staff member at the Naselle Youth Camp and another defendant was in jail for allegedly stealing a car in order to get to court.
Tyler W. Bryant
Defendant Tyler Bryant was present in the courtroom with his attorney and entered a plea change after reaching an agreement with the state. He pleaded guilty to custodial assault with an agreement he would serve three months in custody and 12 months of community custody.
Bryant was involved in a scuffle with a staff member at the Naselle Youth Camp in mid-2019 while at the facility due to prior offenses. He was later transferred from NYC to Green Hill, where he completed his time without further incidents.
Richter gave both the defense and prosecution a chance to speak about why he should agree to the deal.
The defense additionally asked if Bryant could serve his in-custody time via electronic home monitoring (EHM) because he is involved in an apprenticeship program and is on call. The prosecution noted they had no objection because Bryant needed to get off on the right foot.
However, Richter completely disagreed and stated he was glad Bryant learned his lesson, but he was not going to allow someone who had assaulted an officer in his jurisdiction to sit at home on EHM. He tossed the book at Bryant, sentencing him to three months in custody and 12 months of community custody once released.
After the blunt sentencing, the defense asked if Bryant could have until Jan. 1 to begin his time to get his affairs in order and work out how he could stay in the apprenticeship program. Richter asked the jail staff how many inmates they had in the jail at that moment, suggesting he wanted the sentence to begin immediately, before he tossed out the request and only agreed to give Bryant until Dec. 1 to report to jail.
Jerad L. Vert
Jerad Vert was involved in the docket’s most bizarre case and was facing a charge of taking a motor vehicle without permission. He reportedly took someone’s car to drive to a court appearance in Cathlamet, where he was arrested during court.
According to his attorney, Vert was living on the property of the man who reported Vert took the vehicle without permission, and the victim’s story had already changed several times. He also noted there was evidence Vert had used the car around town with permission before.
The defense requested that he be released on his own personal recognizance without bail due to it being a non-violent crime and the issues mentioned above with the reported victim’s story. However, the prosecution noted Vert has a 33 warrants in his lifetime, with the most recent as of 2012.
Vert’s attorney mentioned that he could think of better ways to get a felony than taking someone’s car to get to a court appearance. Richter appeared to agree with the defense’s suspicions about the case and decided to let Vert out on his own personal recognizance, but with a stipulation that he provide the court with a living address within “five court days.”
Richter asked Vert before the decision if he would show up for his court appearance and do so without getting into further trouble, to which Vert made it clear he would. Richter also said if Vert did not appear at the future court date, it would create a whole new charge and entirely new problem.
Timothy R. Turner
Timothy Turner was an accomplice to an assault in which he allegedly sprayed another man with mace while an accompanying offender struck the man with a crowbar. He had been in jail since Aug. 16 with a $20,000 bond.
Turner agreed to plead guilty to a charge of assault in the second degree that included an agreed-upon three months of in-custody time followed by 12 months of community custody. Both the defense and prosecution said this is a fair deal and punishment for the crime. The defense told the judge the victim was in jail, too, for an unrelated crime.
Turner had no prior offenses, and his attorney said he believes the court will never see the defendant again. Richter signed off on the sentencing agreement.
Richter also made it clear that Turner was fortunate his accomplice didn’t kill the victim, because he could have been facing a murder charge. He also recommended Turner be careful of the company he keeps, and better not take up arms and settle the score. Turner made it clear he wishes to remain out of trouble.
Christopher W. Wooten
Christopher Wooten was ordered into restoration services through the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) nearly two months ago but remains in jail.
Richter, visibly annoyed, was once again informed by DSHS that Wooten would not enter services until Dec. 21 and found them in contempt. DSHS also stated they were current on the previous fines issued before Richter again issued a $250 fine per day until Wooten leaves the jail.
Richter scheduled another review hearing for two weeks on Nov. 20, where DSHS will likely be found in contempt again.
Justin R. Tracy
Justin Tracy entered a plea change after reaching an agreement with the state. He has been in jail since July 25 and was held on a $500,000 bond.
He pleaded guilty to the charge of child molestation in the third degree, a reduction from the charge of child molestation in the first degree he was facing.
His attorney noted that he chose to plead to the lesser charge to avoid going to trial and being convicted of a crime “he did not commit.” It was also noted that there was no evidence to support the charge.
Additionally, with the charge, Tracy will have to register as a sex offender for at least 10 years. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 18, and he chose not to make a statement when asked by Richter if there was anything he would like to say.
Matthew G. Sparks
Matthew Sparks was present via Zoom from the jail to enter a change of plea and enter drug court. He was present for drug court the day before on Nov. 5 and was told to think hard about the program and his commitment before his court appearance.
Richter began by asking Sparks if he had thought about it and if he still wanted to enter the program. Sparks said understands what the agreement entails and wished to be entered.
Under the agreement, Sparks pleads guilty to possessing methamphetamine. If he successfully completes the program, he avoids getting sentenced. But if he messes up and isn’t successful, he must complete his agreed-upon sentencing of six months in-custody and 12 months of community custody after that.
Richter asked Sparks what was the first thing he needed to do once released from jail, and Sparks said he needed to call his mom. Richter told him that was a good idea, but he needed to call the drug court coordinator first and check in to see what he needs to get completed.
Sparks was released later in the day and will now report to drug court every Thursday, along with complying with other stipulations.