Regarding the two articles written by Alyssa Evans in your July 24 issue, an “illegal” marijuana grow and “rape” of a child. Alyssa, where did you get your degree in journalism? Let me guess, Fox University.
The first tenant in journalism is to cite at least two sources. In both articles there was only one source; the Pacific County deputies. So these articles reflected only one side of the story in a country where you are presumed to be “innocent” until proven guilty.
While reading these one-sided pieces I noticed a number of inconsistencies. First and foremost, the bold print title of “man charged with rape of child,” is certainly a huge attention getter. It is not true. The article was published on July 24, at the arraignment hearing on July 19, the charges were “child molestation.” So after the child’s original story and the trip to the hospital, the charges were changed but the headline didn’t. Also glaringly inaccurate and just plain odd was the statement that Ms. Yanez (the child’s mother) was charged with the same crime. Exactly what are you suggesting?
Again, the second article there are a number of inaccuracies. The number of plants confiscated is wrong. It does not agree with the “inventory and receipt of property” signed by Officer Queener. Second the word “step father” infers that the teenage son lived in the home with mother as a family unit. While in fact, he only moved in after Mr. Klein was taken from the residence.
As to the items found in the execution of the search warrant, there are also a number of discrepancies between the article and the inventory signed by Queener. The number of plants is again wrong, but more important, it was reported that methamphetamine was found. The inventory lists five different containers supposedly containing meth residue; a metal container, an Altoids tin, a wooden container, tin foil, and a plastic bag. There was no charge of possession of methamphetamine at the July 19 arraignment. Then there is the nasal decongestant that was not on the inventory. Should folks with allergies worry about a “big bust?” The straws and scales were not on the inventory and were not seen by those who first entered the house after the “raid.”
Both articles are in fact a presentation of the prosecution’s case, however flawed. Is it the responsibility of a small-town newspaper to offer conclusions and evidence to the public? The brief paragraph about Washington state law completely ignores medical marijuana prescription for chronic conditions which the accused acquired in 2015.
Finally there was one more thing not included in the inventory that was confiscated. It was Jax, the pedigree year-old black lab. Jax was well-known in the neighborhood and when the “big bust” happened a couple of the neighbors offered to care for him, but the deputies took him.
So while I will not present all the facts in the other side of the story, I will leave that to the defense attorney to do in a court of law. There is, however, the distinct possibility that since this is a sparsely populated county, and almost everyone reads this publication, that you have tainted a possible jury pool. So perhaps next time you should put in some effort and get both sides of the story.
JOAN and MICK KLEIN
EDITOR'S NOTE: Reporter Alyssa Evans is a top graduate from Western Washington University's well-regarded journalism program. The stories this letter refers to were based on official documents concerning Shaun Klein and Christina Yanez, both of whom are innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law.