A bereaved father from Kelso was in a San Bernardino courtroom yesterday, testifying in the sentencing phase of the murder and mayhem trial of John Wayne Thomson. Last week, Thomson was found guilty of murder, torture, aggravated mayhem and other felonies in connection with the August, 2006 killing of Charles Hedlund of Beaumont, California; he’s also the prime suspect in the July, 2006 murder of Lori Hamm of Kelso. In today’s Daily News and the San Bernardino Sun, Jerry Hamm talked about the devastation of losing his daughter, describing about how he and his wife still can’t drive by her old house. Hamm says “I just don’t get it.” He says that he would have given up her car, just to have his daughter back. Investigators say that Thomson befriended Hamm at a bar, then took her out to a wooded area near Castle Rock, shot her in the head, and stole her car. Thomson also described the murder in a video interview conducted back in the fall of 2006. Thomson faces the death penalty in the California case, but Cowlitz County Prosecutor Sue Baur says she still plans to bring Thomson to Cowlitz County to stand trial in Hamm’s murder.
Archive for October, 2013
A 47 year-old man from Lakewood is under arrest, picked up after he allegedly had sex with a 13 year-old Kelso girl that he met on-line while he was deployed in Afghanistan. Glen Winans was arrested this past Saturday, after he and the girl had gone to a restaurant for breakfast after their sexual encounter. Authorities in Pierce County say that Winans and the girl first connected several months ago, through the meetme.com website. Winans claims that the girl told him that she was 15. They met in person about a month ago, with Winans driving to Kelso to meet her at her home. They went to a movie, and then had sex that night. Last Friday, Winans reportedly picked the girl up at her home, and then took her to his home in Lakewood, where they once again had sex. The girl stayed overnight, and then she and Winans went out for breakfast at a local restaurant. A waitress reportedly overheard Winans say that he “liked young girls, so she called police. Officers took the girl aside, and she told them that they had sex. Winans was arrested at the restaurant, and his now being charged with second-degree rape of a child. His bail has been set at $100,000.
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Cowlitz County Treasurer Kathy Hanks is out with an alert, saying that someone is trying to scam local residents through e-mail. Hanks says that several reports have come in, reporting that false e-mails are being circulated to local residents, asking for payment of “past due” Cowlitz County property tax bills. Hanks says that the e-mails may have an account number that appears to have been derived from a Cowlitz County parcel number that relates to payment of a property tax bill. She says that the e-mails did not originate from Cowlitz County, nor are they authorized by the Treasurer’s Office. Hanks says that her office is evaluating the use of e-mail notifications, but these current messages are fraudulent. She says people need to closely review any e-mails that solicit payments, mentioning the Treasurer’s Office or any other county office. On-line tax payments can be made securely through www.officialpayments.com, which is linked through the Cowlitz County website.
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Following her statement and subsequent vote regarding the government shutdown, it appears that the Tea Party is taking aim at Third District Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, announcing that Michael Delavar will be running against her in next year’s primary election. Michael Delavar has announced his plans to run for Beutler’s seat, criticizing her support for the vote that ended the government shutdown, and also criticizing her vote in support of extending the Patriot Act. Beutler was swept into Congress on the Tea Party tide of 2010, and was heralded as one of the “Young Guns” that were coming into the nation’s Capitol. Beutler had generally sided with party leadership on most issues, but her statements regarding the shutdown apparently crossed the current GOP leadership in Clark County. The Clark County GOP issued an open letter that was critical of Beutler, along with Tea Party leaders also criticizing her vote. Delavar has run for Congress before, losing to Brian Baird in 2008, by a margin of 64 percent to 36 percent.
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Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon are gathering today in Cathlamet, meeting with recreational and commercial fishing advisory groups to go over the results of a new scientific assessment of harvest options for lower Columbia River coho salmon. Today’s meeting runs from 3 to 5 pm today in the Cathlamet Fire Hall. This new assessment looks at the risks that are posed by various rates of fishing on coho populations in the lower Columbia. The Washington and Oregon Fish and Wildlife Departments are preparing a new recommendation to Federal fishery managers, working on a new harvest framework that’s designed to protect wild coho, while expanding opportunities to fish for hatchery coho. Wild Columbia River coho are listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. Today’s meeting is open to the public.
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There are several Halloween parties going on around the area today. Over at the Kelso Senior Center, they’re having a Halloween Bingo Party. The party starts with lunch and treats at noon, followed by bingo from 1 to 3 pm. They’ll have prizes for the best costumes, prizes for all of the bingo games, and specials for first-time bingo players. The Kelso Senior Center is located in the old Catlin Hall, at 106 Northwest 8th Avenue in West Kelso.
The Kelso Public Library is holding a Family Halloween Party in their space at the Three Rivers Mall, starting at 6 pm. They’ll have stories, “not-too-spooky” crafts, cookie decorating and games. It’s free and open to the entire family.
The “Little Monster Mash” also starts at 6 pm today at the Longview Public Library. They’ll have stories, activities, games, crafts, snacks and a free family-friendly movie screening. This is also free and open to the entire family.
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The Seahawks came up with a goal line stand in the final seconds to preserve a 14-9 win over the Rams in St. Louis. The Hawks offense struggled mightily, but Russell Wilson was able to throw two TD passes. The Seattle defense held the Rams out of the end zone. The Hawks are now 7-1 and maintain a one game lead over the 49’ers in the NFC West…..Boston beat St. Louis 3-1 to take a 3-2 lead in the World Series. The Red Sox can wrap it up with a win in Boston Wednesday night…..In prep volleyball tonight, R.A. Long is at home against Washougal while Mark Morris travels to Ridgefield. Kelso hosts Columbia River tonight…..In girls soccer, Kelso is at Prairie and RAL at Ridgefield, both at 7 pm…..The NBA season opens tonight. The Blazers begin the season at Phoenix tomorrow.
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Robert Tuttle, 31, of Battle Ground is in the Cowlitz County Jail after an incident that took place at a home in the 3400 block of Old Pacific Highway South, between Kelso and Kalama. Around 8:20 yesterday morning, the resident of the home called 911, saying that he had interrupted a burglary. The homeowner had armed himself with a pistol, but the suspect reportedly claimed that he was a Sheriff’s Deputy. He actually asked the homeowner to give up his gun. At some point, the suspect told a woman that was driving the SUV he was associated with to run over the homeowner; the suspect and the woman then drove away. Deputies spotted the SUV on I-5 southbound near Kalama, and then initiated a felony stop near Woodland. Tuttle was arrested on charges of felony harassment, possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of drugs and criminal impersonation. He’s currently being held without bail, and this is the only arrest reported right now. Deputies say that evidence of other crimes was also found in the vehicle, so the investigation is continuing.
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Longview Police are looking into a “shots fired” incident reported yesterday evening in the 400 block of 16th Avenue. Several reports of illegal discharges of firearms had come into LPD early Sunday morning, but no evidence of any shootings had been discovered until about 6:45 pm yesterday. Officers say that three empty shell casings were found in front of homes in the 400 block of 16th, and the 911 caller says that he’d heard some commotion between 1 and 2 am. The man says that he heard a young man yell “Get back in the car,” followed by a sound of a vehicle leaving at a high rate of speed. Longview Police say that there were no reports of injury or property damage, and no suspects have been identified.
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Mark Garrett Hector, 25, of Kalama is under arrest on several felony counts, after he allegedly brought a pistol to a party in Kelso, and then pointed a laser sight at several people who were at that party. Kelso Police say that there were some problems at a party in the 200 block of Crawford Street, early on Saturday morning. People at the party say that Hector had tried to pick a fight with another man, and was ejected from the party. Hector reportedly came back about, armed with a 9MM pistol equipped with a laser sight. After pointing the gun at several people, Hector allegedly came back to the man he had been fighting with, and made a threat. Others at the party were able to disarm Hector; another fight started, with Hector coming out the loser. Kelso Police say that they did recover a loaded pistol from the scene; Hector was treated at St. John Medical Center, and then was booked on a burglary charge, along with seven counts of second-degree assault. He’s currently being held without bail.
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