When it comes to murder, it’s all about who you know

 

cainandabel

Marc Chagall, Cain et Abel, 1960

For getting jobs, getting into college and getting murdered, it all depends on who you know. And despite what your parents told you about strangers, it isn’t strangers who pose you the most danger.

The four charged murders so far this year in Kitsap, and one as yet uncharged murder, shed a grim light on this fact. What may be unusual is how the deed is alledged to have been done.

For some, this might be unsurprising, especially those who work with victims of crime, and especially sexual assault victims, as sexual assaults by perfect strangers are rare when compared to the majority of these crimes. But for people who don’t spend their time slogging through the finer details of the human condition, they might be apt to think of murder as typically an impersonal, random act, something performed by an “other.”

But the truth is, when it comes to murder most foul, it usually isn’t strangers who pose the biggest threat.

Consider these facts about murder in Kitsap this year:

-Four of the suspected five murders so far this year are considered “domestic violence,” and the fifth suspect was a trusted neighbor.

-But what do you think when you hear domestic violence and murder? A woman being killed by a male intimate partner? In fact, three of the five victims were men, two were suspected of being killed by the female in an intimate relationship, the third is suspect of being killed by his adult daughter. Again, not surprising for many who work in the muck. We often hear how women are seen as sex objects by society, but not much about how men are seen as violence objects. As such, men are more likely than women to be victims of violence. This is not to minimize the violence suffered by women.

-That also isn’t to say men haven’t been accused of killing females, but not intimate partners. In those cases, the males are suspected of killing young girls. One an infant daughter by her father, one a 6-year-old girl by the neighbor boy.

-Although guns may be the easiest way to kill a person, not a single charged or suspected murder in Kitsap in 2014 was committed with a firearm. There were shootings, in fact the year wasn’t more than an hour old before a guy at a hotel party in Bremerton got shot. Good luck, bad marksmanship, quick responses from medics or easy access to helicopters to get the wounded out of Kitsap might take credit for the fact nobody has been murdered with a gun. * Yet. Knock on wood.

-In fact, when it comes to weapons, just a single case is alleged to involve a conventional weapon, and it was a knife, and that one hasn’t been charged.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Kelly Montgomery said the cases so far this year don’t jibe with what many might assume makes up a murder, but the fact that the suspects had a relationship with the deceased is not that out of the ordinary.

“Every case has its own facts,” she said, but conceded the murder cases this year are a little strange. “We scratch our heads a little.”

“The lay person might think of murder as when a person is shot with a gun, or stabbed, and it is a stranger who is the suspect,” she said. But it doesn’t take a gun or a knife to kill somebody, and often enough, the suspect is a person who was in a position of trust, and that can shake our assumptions about those we are close to and who we see as the “other.” Murder is rare, but it doesn’t look far for its victims.

“That is something we don’t want to see as possible,” Montgomery said.

None of the murder cases from this year have made it to trial. Here they are:

-Shelly Margaret Arndt, 45, is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree arson for the Feb. 23 death of Darcy Edward Veeder Jr. of Bremerton. Arndt, who has a previous arson conviction for setting a fire in 2011 in a home while Veeder slept, is scheduled to go to trial April 20. She had a second arson charge tacked onto the case from another fire she allegedly set in 2011, but that charge was dismissed last week.

-Renee Roberta Nash, 59, is charged with second-degree murder for neglecting her elderly father, Harlan Haynes, 97, who was found in their squalid South Kitsap home March 12. An autopsy found Haynes died of malnutrition and dehydration, and had depended on his daughter for his care. Reports say Nash did not report Haynes’ death for two days. Nash is scheduled to go to trial Dec. 8.

-Hector Francisco Saavedra Ruiz, 21, of Kingston, is charged with second-degree murder for the July 16 death of his infant daughter, Natalie. Doctors suspected the child had died from being shaken, and had a broken bone that was healing. Saavedra had taken the child to show her to coworkers, and was said to have smoked meth prior to taking the baby. His trial is also scheduled for Dec. 8.

-Gabriel Zebediah Gaeta, 17, is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree rape of a child for the death of 6-year-old Jenise Wright, who was reported missing Aug. 3. The two were neighbors in the same East Bremerton mobile home park. Jenise was found to have died of blunt force trauma, and Gaeta’s DNA was found on an article of clothing belonging to the girl. He is expected to plead not guilty to the charges Oct. 31.

- Alan Charpentier, 54, died from knife wounds after fleeing his East Bremerton house Aug. 31 in what his family believes was a murder-suicide attempt. As neighbors gave him aid, Charpentier identified his estranged wife, 55, as his attacker. An autopsy found he had been sprayed in the face with pepper spray before being stabbed, according to court documents. After the attack, the woman is believed to have spread fuel around their house and started a fire, leaving her with burns and smoke inhalation injuries. After having her condition upgraded last week, this week a spokeswoman for Harborview Medical Center in Seattle said the woman was back in the Intensive Care Unit.

 *There is one fatal shooting by police currently under review.

They called him Lee: The glorious life and strange death of Leon Shaw

photo

1961-2014

The life of Leon Shaw, who died Sept. 14, was larger than most, and if there is a pantheon of glorious Kitsap residents, he deserves honorable mention. Maybe he isn’t in the category of Chief Seattle or Delilah, but maybe the pantheon needs to make some room. From mentoring a bull, to telling the future, to mastering ping pong, to wowing women so often his own sister lost track the number of marriages he had, Lee lived a full life to the fullest. And let us not overlook that sweet mustache. If he was your friend, he would give you the shirt off his back, and not just because he looked good without a shirt.

On Sunday there will be a memorial for this son of South Kitsap. Lee’s family and friends will gather at 3 p.m. at the Port Orchard Pavilion, 701 Bay Street. The service is open to the public.

Lee was born at Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton and was raised in Port Orchard. If he would have graduated from South Kitsap High School, he would have been class of 1979. He loved the song “Heart of Glass” by Blondie and used to practice John Travolta’s disco moves. He has a son, who is said to be a spitting image of his father, which is a blessing to the world.

His ability to tell the future came in sudden waves, said his sister Barb.

On one occasion he was riding in a car with their mother and had a vision of him getting dropped off and his mother continuing on and dying in a wreck. His face blanched and then he refused to get out of the car. He might have saved her life.

“Too bad he didn’t visualize his own death before, so he could have prevented it,” Barb said.

Lee’s death, or what is known of it, bizarre and untimely as it is, boggles the mind, and seems so unfair in light of his amazing life. Here is what we know: He met a woman online. They went on a date and had a few drinks, nothing wrong with that. They went to the house of a friend of Lee’s, a tattoo artist. The friend began tattooing the date’s chest. OK.

Well, then Lee’s date becomes “intimate” with his friend. Safe to assume this prompted a “What the hell?” moment from Lee. Reports say a conflict ensued, and that the date hit Lee, and Lee hit her back. They leave. Next thing anyone knows, Lee is dead, likely from being run over. The woman is behind the wheel of Lee’s truck, and has driven over an embankment and is seriously injured. OK then.

This all happened in Gig Harbor, where Lee had been staying with a friend, so it is the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office investigating. A spokesman for the department said Friday investigators are waiting on the results of blood tests.

For a press account, here is the Tacoma News Tribune’s version of events.

Lee’s obituary reads like a piece of folklore, the kind of obituary that should get its own genre. It is definitely the greatest obit I have ever read, and I’ve read a few. The photo, too, is epic. It shows a mountain of a man on the high seas, astraddle a gunwale, what might be a can o’beer in his hand, naked save for well-fitting dungarees presumably because he just gave a friend the shirt off his back. His bronze pecs glisten in the sun, the wind lifts back his wavy mane. He gives an easy smile, along with the peace sign. Damn. All the women wanted to date him, the men would have wanted to date him too if they had any sense.

Here is the obit, in its entirety. It is too well-written, too poetic, to try to summarize like a press release, or to just provide a link. Savor it.

Leon Robert Shaw

June 10, 1961 to Sept. 14, 2014

He was a guy that loved to make you laugh. He had a presence about him when he walked into a room. He stood nearly 6’4” and was handsomely well-built. You’d want this guy for a friend. He had a sweetness that grabbed at your heart strings. He was a very hard worker, he could master just about anything he tried in short order. His word was his bond. You knew you could count on him.

Though he never won any trophies for pool or Ping-Pong, he was one of the best. He liked being athletic to keep his muscles tone. At 10 years old, he had a lawn mowing route in the area of the Forest Park grocers. In South Kitsap High, he was the only boy in the soprano singing section. Then his voice went to bass and he grew four inches in three months.

He ran away from home at 15 and got a job at the golf course on Long Lake Road. He came back to finish his youth. He found work in construction.

He loved his dad teaching him to ride a motorbike, which he taught his sister Barb when she was 15. He loved to go fast and take risks. He had visions, and could predict the future at times, he believed this was due to him being 1/4 Nez Percé Indian. He loved nature and going camping. He was a dead shot with a rifle. All the farm animals loved him. He raised a bull that he could do anything with, while the neighbors sat on an old panel van in the field, as the bull thrashed his horns on the van. That same bull caught our chicken thieves. He had chickens jump on his arm at the snap of his fingers. And when he ran away, our Doberman was so sad he just slept on his dirty clothes.

At age 11, he built a two-story tree house 50 feet up an old maple. He and his brother hoisted up a queen size mattress. Our dad, Leon Sr., gave us a ferry rope to tie up and swing from.

Survivors include BFF, Keith Hoppe (53); his only child, son Jared Burbee (32); mom, Mildred White (76); half sister, Connie DeBoard (60); half sister, Faythe Neese (56); brother, David Shaw (52); sister, Barb Cress (51); stepbrother, Mark McCormick; stepbrother, Robbie Griffin; stepsister, Tracy Griffin.

May he rest in peace and fly with the eagles.

Obit published in the Kitsap Sun on Sept. 19, 2014

The neighbor from Hell

A nearly naked Bremerton woman, high on drugs and apparently banging on a random neighbor’s door and making threats on Monday left a Kitsap County sheriff’s deputy struggling with his words.

“I am not sure I can use words to define how heavily intoxicated she appeared,” the deputy wrote in a report.

Law enforcement was called to a residence in South Kitsap evening when a neighbor reported the woman, 34, was pounding on her door, threatening her.

The neighbor told the deputy it was actually the second time this happened. The first was in June.

The deputy interviewed other people in the suspect’s apartment, and noted they were all similarly under the influence of drugs or alcohol, though the neighbor said the woman was on cocaine.

A man at the residence told the deputy that he lost his shoe, and that his name was Ninja.

Another deputy attempted to interview the suspect, but noted in a report, “She was unable to answer any questions and nothing she said made any sense.”

The suspect was charged Tuesday with indecent exposure.

Is there more or less mayhem in Kitsap when the Seahawks are playing?

Two things about Kitsap: our people are notably unselfconscious about going into public wearing sweatpants and pajama bottoms and we love the Seahawks.

Not sure if the two are related, but yesterday, as the Hawks prepped for the opening day game against the Green Bay Packers, which the Seahawks won handily, I got to thinking.

With so many eyeballs on the game, at home and at taverns, are we better behaved or worse behaved while the Hawks are on?

I called the good people down at CenCom, who were more than happy to indulge my curiosity, and collected the number of calls to 911, as well as the number of incidents during the game.

Then they pulled up numbers from the same time of day from a week ago, and a year ago, plus the numbers of 911 calls in the three-hour period following the game.

The result? Meh.

Without more context, it’s hard to draw strong conclusions. Weak ones? Yeah, I got some weak ones!

It looks like during the game, the amount of mayhem in Kitsap went up, relative to one week ago and one year ago. In the hours following the game, Kitsap was much more calm than during the same period a week ago, but about the same a year ago.

What does this mean? I have no idea.

Take a look for your self:

09/04/14 from 5:30 – 8:30 PM, we had a total of 95 calls and 100 events.

08/28/14 from 5:30 – 8:30 PM, we had a total of 78 calls and 94 events.

09/05/13 from 5:30 – 8:30 PM, we had a total of 56 calls and 55 events.

The three hours following a game:

09/04/14 from 8:30 – 11:59 PM, we had a total of 56 calls and 99 events.

08/28/14 from 8:30 – 11:59 PM, we had a total of 100 calls and 136 events.

09/05/13 from 8:30 – 11:59 PM, we had a total of 56 calls and 82 events.

Bremerton drug dealer cowboys all sentenced

Back from vacation, a couple of court cases wound down, and thought I would fill in the blanks in the record:

A 21-year-old man who was part of a crew which robbed two pot dealers earlier this year at gunpoint, threatening to kill them and in one case making them strip to their underwear, was sentenced to 22 years in prison Aug. 22.

Julian Lee Young was the last of the group of four to be sentenced for the robberies in Bremerton in February and May.

Young pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree robbery with a deadly weapon and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, received the longest sentence, 258 months.

Christopher R. Jamerson, 19, was sentenced to 75 months in prison. He has previous convictions for theft and burglary and was convicted of first-degree robbery with a deadly weapon and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

His sister, Briana Maria Jamerson, 23, convicted of second-degree trafficking in stolen property for selling a video game counsel stolen in one of the robberies, received a sentence of two months.

Joanna Kimly Say,18, convicted of second-degree robbery for acting as the driver in one of the robberies, was sentenced to six months in jail.

The robberies took place May 6 at a house on the 1500 block of 10th Street and Feb. 1 at a house on the 1500 block of Bloomington Avenue. The victims were targeted because they were believed to be marijuana dealers, according to Bremerton police.

During the May robbery, three ounces of marijuana and $300 cash were stolen. During the February hold up, one suspect struck a victim in the head with a pistol. An unknown amount of marijuana and $400 were stolen.

Documents say the four are from Renton, but have ties to Bremerton.

Here is the brief that ran last week.

Three prosecuting attorney challengers file PDC complaint

Comes now, the three candidates challenging Prosecuting Attorney Russ Hauge to lead Kitsap County’s criminal and civil prosecutors, alleging those same lawyers are cooperating with Hauge and are breaking campaign finance laws.

The complaint to the state Public Disclosure Commission was received Wednesday and is signed by the campaign managers of the three primary challengers to Hauge.

The complaint alleges that the guild’s independent expenditure of $6,300 to buy a series of print and web ads in the Kitsap Sun was not truly independent.

Here’s how it works: Groups or people can buy ads promoting a candidate, such as the prosecuting attorney guild has done, and not have them considered “campaign contributions,” which are subject to individual limits. However, they may not coordinate or involve the candidate at all, nor may they duplicate campaign materials, said Lori Anderson, spokeswoman for the commission.

I noticed the Hauge ads probably at the same time as the three challengers, when I saw them in the Sun. I made a few calls. One to the commission, one to Chad Enright, the guild president, and one to Hauge. I was told by Hauge he wasn’t involved, and Enright said Hauge wasn’t involved, and they plucked the picture of Hauge from his campaign website.

Here is Hauge’s campaign website.

Here is the attachment from the complaint, as is, which outlines the alleged campaign finance violations committed by the guild.

What do you they think?

On July 24, 2014 an online advertisement began to appear on the Kitsap Sun website (see Figure 1 and Figure 2). The ad stated the following “Re-Elect Russ Hauge Kitsap County Prosecutor Democrat.” The ad claims that “No candidate authorized this ad” and states that the ad was paid for by The Kitsap Deputy Prosecuting Attorney’s Guild (the “Guild”). The ad contains a picture of Mr. Hauge that appears to be identical to the picture from Mr. Hauge’s official campaign website (www.reelectrusshauge.com) and the coloring, design and lettering for most of the ad appear to have been taken directly from the banner of Mr. Hauge’s campaign website (See Figure 3). When you click on the ad paid for by the Guild you are taken directly to Mr. Hauge’s campaign website home page (See Figure 3). The online ads paid for by the Guild continue to appear with great frequency on www.kitsapsun.com.

The Guild has placed at least two 1⁄4 page print ads in the Kitsap Sun newspaper on July 26 and 27. (See Figure 4). The print ads paid for by the Guild appear to have an identical banner (language, picture, art work, and color) to the banner used on Mr. Hauge’s official campaign website (www.reelectrusshauge.com). In addition, there is a very prominent endorsement quote in the Guild ads from Congressman Derek Kilmer. The language used in the quote appears to be identical to the language that is found in the same quote from Congressman Kilmer on Mr. Hauge’s official campaign website. (See Figure 5).

The Kitsap Deputy Prosecuting Attorney’s Guild filed a C6 form with the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) on July 25, 2014. (See Figure 6). The Guild claimed to have spent $6,300 on “newspaper” with the Kitsap Sun in support of Russell Hauge for Kitsap County Prosecutor. The Guild checked the box claiming that this money would be spent for “Independent Expenditure Ads.” The president of the Guild, Chad Enright, signed the form under penalty of perjury. Mr. Enright swore that the expenditure listed in the form “was not made in cooperation, consultation, or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate, a candidate’s authorized committee, or an agent of a candidate nor does it otherwise constitute a contribution under RCW 42.17A.005.”

The evidence contained in this complaint demonstrates that the advertisements purchased by the Guild as Independent Expenditure Ads are actually replications of campaign materials produced by the Committee to Re-Elect Russ Hauge Kitsap County Prosecutor. In addition, there is evidence that there was cooperation and coordination between the Guild, Mr. Hauge and the Committee to Elect Russ Hauge in the production of the Guild’s ads. Therefore, it appears that these expenditures are in violation of campaign finance laws.

There appears to be a close association between the Guild, Mr. Hauge and the Committee to Re-Elect Russ Hauge. All of the members of the Kitsap Deputy Prosecuting Attorney’s Guild are Mr. Hauge’s employees. A number of Guild members have been active in Mr. Hauge’s campaign. (See Figure 7). About 80% of Guild members have endorsed Mr. Hauge (See Figure 8) and about half of the Guild membership have made financial contributions to his campaign (based upon an examination of individual contributions made to the Committee to Re-Elect Russ Hauge on the PDC website and a comparison with the employment roster of the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office).

The president of the Guild is a Deputy Prosecutor named Chad Enright. Mr. Enright has been involved with Mr. Hauge’s campaign. (See Figures 7, 9, 10 and 11). Mr. Enright has also contributed $250 to Mr. Hauge’s campaign (See Figure 12) and endorsed him publicly (See Figure 8). Mr. Enright has been seen attending a number of Mr. Hauge’s campaign events including the 23rd District Democrats endorsementmeeting where Mr. Enright spoke publicly urging the 23rd District to endorse Mr. Hauge, the Bainbridge Island 4th of July Parade, the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce Eggs and Issues forum, the League of Women Voters forum and the Silverdale Whaling Days Parade.

Based upon the content of the Guild’s political advertisements and the close relationship between Mr. Hauge and the Guild and its President, Chad Enright, it appears that the Kitsap Sun advertisements purchased by the Guild were made in cooperation, consultation, or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of Mr. Hauge or his campaign committee. If true, this would mean that the expenditures must be classified as a contribution to the Committee to Re-Elect Russ Hauge (under RCW 42.17A.005(13)(a)(ii)) and would therefore violate campaign contribution limits of $950.

The second potential violation of state campaign finance laws comes from RCW 42.17A.005(13)(a)(iii). RCW 42.17A.005(13)(a)(iii) defines a contribution as “the financing by a person of the dissemination, distribution, or republication, in whole or in part, of broadcast, written, graphic, or other form of political advertising or electioneering communication prepared by a candidate, a political committee, or its authorized agent.”

The advertisements purchased by the Guild appear to use identical photographs, artwork, language and endorsements to the official campaign materials used by Mr. Hauge and his Committee to Re-Elect Russ Hauge. In addition, the online advertisements purchased by the Guild have a direct link to Mr. Hauge’s official campaign website: www.reelectrusshauge.com. Therefore, the $6,300 of advertising purchased by the Guild to support Mr. Hauge’s campaign should be classified as a contribution under both RCW 42.17A.005(13)(a)(ii) and RCW 42.17A.005(13)(a)(iii).

It is important to note that the Guild has already contributed the maximum amount allowable to Mr. Hauge’s campaign. On June 18, 2014, the Guild contributed $950 to Mr. Hauge’s campaign for the primary election. (See Figure 13). Therefore, any funds spent by the Guild on the advertisement used to promote Mr. Hauge’s campaign website should be found to be in excess of the PDC’s contribution limits. (See Figure 14).

This apparent unlawful campaign activity has irreparably harmed the campaigns of Mr. Hauge’s three challengers in the primary election: Bruce Danielson, Tina Robinson and Bob Scales, all of whom have adhered to the PDC campaign contribution limits. It should be noted that an expenditure of $6,300 for newspaper advertising is extremely high and will likely have a significant impact on the outcome of the primary election for Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney. By contrast, the other three campaigns for Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney have raised a comparable amount of cash donations for their entire campaigns (Bob Scales $7,120, Tina Robinson $6,455, Bruce Danielson mini-reporting option).

The campaign committees for Bruce Danielson, Tina Robinson and Bob Scales are urging the PDC to put an immediate end to the apparent unlawful advertising paid for by the Kitsap Prosecuting Attorney’s Guild and the apparent unlawful contributions given to Russell Hauge and the Committee to Re-Elect Russ Hauge Kitsap County Prosecutor.

 

Statement from Deputy Sheriff’s Guild opposing Hauge

Here is the statement from the Kitsap County Deputy Sheriff’s Guild, as is, issued July 25. For reaction, and to learn more about the other deputy guild stepping into the race, read my story here.

Deputy Sheriffs Oppose Hauge’s Reelection Effort

The Kitsap County Deputy Sheriffs Guild hasn’t determined which candidate it will endorse in this year’s Kitsap County prosecutor’s race, but it has decided who it will not endorse — incumbent Russ Hauge. The Guild announced today, in a strongly worded statement, that while it was still assessing the other three candidates for the prosecutor seat, it had decided to officially oppose Hauge and encouraged the voters to consider one of the other three candidates in the August primary.

Guild President Jay Kent explained that the Guild took the unusual position of issuing an “anti-endorsement” because of its strong opposition to Hauge. “The prosecutor’s office is a mess” Kent said “and Hauge is responsible for that. We are not going to get the office’s problems fixed until he leaves the office.” Kent said the Guild wanted more time to assess the other three candidates — Bruce Danielson, Tina Robinson, and Bob Scales — but that it was “firmly set” against Hauge’s reelection.

Kent explained that the Guild and its members had “no confidence” in the Prosecuting Attorney Civil Division. Kent said, “we are especially unhappy with Hauge’s management of civil law matters. For our members, how the civil lawyers handle cases matters as much if not more. If our members get sued they are supposed to be defended by an attorney from the civil division, but most of our members would consider demanding that outside legal counsel be appointed if certain of Hauge’s attorneys were assigned to their case.”

“We have seen his civil attorneys up close,” Kent said, “and we would not want them handling our matters, given their recent performance.” Kent acknowledged that the way Hauge’s attorneys handled a number of recent cases with the Deputies Guild and other County labor unions influenced this assessment. But he added: “Yes, they have interfered with our labor contract, and are a big part of the reason we have been working without one since 2009. But it’s their overall performance and apparent incompetence that have alarmed us the most.”

“As Deputy Sheriffs we are held to a high performance and ethics standard, and should be, but Hauge needs to hold his own deputy prosecutors to a similar standard.” Kent mentioned that two of Hauge’s deputies recently were cited by the Washington State Public Employment Relations Commission for withholding records from the Guild and being less than truthful to an arbitrator about it.

http://www.washingtonlaborandemploymentblog.com/2013/10/23/591/

“Our deputies would be fired if they lie, but as far as I know Hauge’s hasn’t done anything to investigate these deputies.”

Kent mentioned the Guild had identified other “ethical lapses” by Hauge’s deputies. Hauge’s chief civil prosecutor Jacquelyn Aufderheide was also cited by the Public Employment Relations Commission for unlawfully interfering with an agreement between the emergency dispatchers union and the County.

http://www.washingtonlaborandemploymentblog.com/2013/03/22/controversial-kitsap-deputy-prosecutor-cited-by-perc-for-violating-rules/

He said that the Guild was concerned that another one of Hauge’s deputies had admitted to what the Guild viewed as “potential tampering” with a lawsuit between the Guild and the County by “improperly” talking to County judges while the case was pending. Kent noted that the lawyer later changed her story about the context of that exchange despite the fact that court transcripts demonstrate otherwise. “It’s clear one of her versions of the story was untrue, yet we have seen Hauge take no action on this whatsoever.”

Guild Vice President Andy Aman expressed similar concerns about the County’s civil lawyers. “Of course our members are frustrated that they interfere with our contract and litigate everything to death, without apparent purpose. But just as big of a concern for us is the apparent lack of professionalism we have directly observed. I would not want them representing me if I were personally sued.”

Aman explained that he recently watched Aufderheide in court trying to get a brief filed well after the filing deadline. “She explained to the judge that she didn’t know that there was a deadline for filing the brief. First of all, I just didn’t believe her but if that’s true that the chief civil prosecutor doesn’t know what the rules are for filing a brief that’s also very concerning. Frankly, I was embarrassed for her as I watched.” Aman noted that “they seem to make a lot of mistakes and then make excuses for those mistakes.”

How will the race for Kitsap prosecutor shake out?

Former Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola has analyzed the county Prosecuting Attorney’s race and has concluded 20-year Prosecutor Russ Hauge won’t make it past the primary.

In our state’s primary election system — technically it’s a “contest” — this is possible. The top two vote getters advance.

It’s also marks one of the first attempts to prognosticate what is undoubtedly the most interesting local race this election year.

Coppola theorizes that the county is ready to rise up and dump Hauge because of the longstanding court battle between the county and the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club. This was not the case last election, but Coppola thinks this time is different.

He also cites a Kitsap Sun poll that places Hauge last in the field. This poll was also of interest to Bainbridge Democrat Bob Scales, who is running for the job, as evidence of discontent. Also because Scales was the poll’s runaway winner.

I asked around the newsroom about that poll, and was referred to President Mitt Romney to inquire how well it predicts elections. And not to be contrarian, but a poll of lawyers conducted by the county Bar Association had Hauge thumping the competition.

In any case, there is nothing wrong with guessing — that’s all anybody can do right now — and that’s what makes elections fun.

Should elections be fun? No, actually, they should not be fun.

Right now the candidates are itching for forums so they can do what lawyers do best, argue, and they are ringing doorbells and burning shoe leather.

Hauge has said he plans to push hard into Bainbridge, Scales territory. Scales is not well known off the island, and there is a deep cultural divide between Bainbridge and the rest of Kitsap, right down to their 206 area code. Scales recognizes this.

Tina Robinson, the sole Republican in the race, has said she cancelled vacations this summer to focus on campaigning. And despite skipping the Kitsap Bar preference poll, independent Bruce Danielson — who in 2010 took a respectable 47 percent against Hauge in the only poll that matters — said he will attend other functions.

I don’t have any bold predictions, other than it looks like the primary is going to be a scrum. Right now I am interested in opinions about the four-candidate dynamic heading into the primary. Will one candidate steal votes from another? How will gender, geography and political party play out for voters whose research amounts to reading the names of candidates on the ballot?

Any thoughts? Hit me up.

Special Olympics Torch Run Relay photos

Law enforcement officers of all stripes strapped on their running shoes Thursday for the Kitsap leg of the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run, where officers carry the Special Olympics torch by land and sea to Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Here’s more information on the Special Olympics.

The list of agencies participating in the event is nearly comprehensive, and includes the departments of Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo, Bremerton, Suquamish, along with the Kitsap Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Coast Guard (MFPU Bangor), N.C.I.S., the Washington State Patrol and the Kitsap Prosecutor’s Office.

And here are some photos from Deputy Tim Young.

Sheriff’s Detective Ray Stroble pilots the sheriff’s office SAFE Boat out of Bremerton Marina early Thursday afternoon, with the Special Olympics torch carried by Sheriff’s Corrections Lt. Genie Elton. Sgt. Jim McDonough of the sheriff’s marine services unit assists. WSF M/V Sealth departs Bremerton Ferry Terminal for the 12:20 crossing to Seattle.
Sheriff’s Det. Ray Stroble pilots the Sheriff’s Office SAFE Boat out of Bremerton Marina early Thursday afternoon, with the Special Olympics torch carried by Sheriff’s Corrections Lt. Genie Elton. Sgt. Jim McDonough of the sheriff’s marine services unit assists. In the background, the M/V Sealth departs the Bremerton Ferry Terminal for the 12:20 crossing to Seattle.
Left to right: DPA Chad Enright Deputy Duane Dobbins Corrections Sgt. Scott Billingsley Sgt. Jim Porter (with torch) Deputy Darren Andersson on motorcycle
Left to right:
Deputy Prosecutor Chad Enright, Deputy Duane Dobbins, Corrections Sgt. Scott Billingsley, Sgt. Jim Porter (with torch) and Deputy Darren Andersson on motorcycle
The county team passes the Special Olympics torch to the Bremerton running team consisting of officers and detectives from Bremerton Police Department and cadets from the Washington Youth Academy. Kitsap County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Porter passes the Special Olympics torch to Bremerton Police Detective Ryan Heffernan, prior to the start of the Bremerton leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run.
The county team passes the Special Olympics torch to the Bremerton running team, made up of officers and detectives from the Bremerton Police Department and cadets from the Washington Youth Academy. Kitsap County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Porter passes the “Flame of Hope” to Bremerton Police Detective Ryan Heffernan, prior to the start of the Bremerton leg of the run.

Correction, also, AR-15 at center of Kitsap gun club case being inspected by feds

The rifle at the center of a legal battle halfway through its second decade is now in the custody of federal agents for inspection.

Earlier this week, a Kitsap District Court judge dismissed a suit against Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club Executive Officer Marcus Carter that claimed he unlawfully possessed a machine gun. The rifle was seized in 1999.

Carter had asked that Judge Stephen Holman dismiss the case and return the 1970s-era AR-15 to him. Holman dismissed the case, but in his decision Holman noted that he would not rule on returning the rifle to Carter. A story in the Kitsap Sun on Wednesday, written by me, incorrectly stated that Holman ordered the rifle be returned.

Kitsap Prosecuting Attorney Russ Hauge said his office would file a motion to reconsider, and if that doesn’t work he will appeal the case to Superior Court.

By law, a machine gun doesn’t require the trigger be pressed for each shot, it can shoot five or more bullets per second and, most important to this case, has a separable device that can supply the rounds, or a magazine. Magazines are known commonly as clips, much to the chagrin of gun aficionados.

An affidavit from a deputy who tested the gun reported that he “used a 30 round magazine to test the firearm, and the rifle fired in full automatic with one jam.”

According to court documents, the state had to prove Carter had “dominion and control” over a magazine that could supply the rounds to the rifle. Carter claimed the state couldn’t prove it. Holman agreed.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has taken custody of the rifle at the request of the Prosecutor’s Office.

Deputy Scott Wilson, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, said the Sheriff’s Office has been the custodian for the rifle, which is considered evidence. He said it was removed from storage Wednesday and turned over to the federal agency.

Hauge said his office requested the bureau inspect the weapon.

“We asked the (bureau) if they are interested in looking at it and see if it is anything other than a machine gun,” Hauge said.