Kitsap Crime and Justice

The Kitsap Sun staff writes about crime and criminal justice issues.
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Archive for October, 2007

Staying Safe on All Hallows’ Eve

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

Josh Farley writes:

Kids will be out in force tonight for the annual tradition of Halloween trick-or-treating. But many areas in Kitsap and Mason counties aren’t exactly conducive to your typical trick-or-treater, so I asked some of our local law enforcement officials to explain some safety tips for people out and about tonight.

Here’s some tips from Port Orchard Police Department Chief Al Townsend:

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Troopers with Fashion Sense

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Next time you get stopped by a state trooper, be sure to compliment him or her on that award-winning bow tie and “Smokey Bear” hat.

The Washington State Patrol was voted the “best dressed” state law enforcement agency in the country by the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors, an organization that claims to be “The voice of the uniform industry since 1933.”

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Marijuana as Medicine: The Debate Continues

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

Josh Farley writes:

It’s illegal in all 50 states, according to the federal government. In just 12 states — including Washington — those who can find a doctor who will “recommend” it can have it. But they’re not told how to get it or who to get it from.

That’s the current world of marijuana as medicine. But the Washington Department of Health hopes to make a vague law, passed by the state’s voters in 1998, a little bit more lucid.

Here’s my question for you: How much pot should someone with full legal clearance to use it be allowed to have?

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Employers Have Interest in Medicinal Marijuana Law, Too

Friday, October 19th, 2007

Josh Farley writes:

It isn’t just law enforcement and the state’s prosecutors that face challenges interpreting the state’s medicinal marijuana law — one that’s ambiguous in its nature and has no federal validity.

A lawsuit filed in Kitsap County Superior Court in February alleges a Kitsap woman was fired for failing a drug test — despite her disclosure to the company that she was a legal medical marijuana user under state law.

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Welcome to ‘Kidnap’ County

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

Josh Farley writes:

We received the below letter a few weeks back from an inmate named Elizabeth Virginia Mathiesen at the Kitsap County jail. It actually ran as a letter to the editor, but it includes a paragraph at the bottom I wanted to share on this blog.

Her letter shares her thoughts about corrections officers at the jail, and that she believes they do good work. But at the end of her letter is a jail poem-of-sorts.

It’s not the first time I’ve heard some of these rhymes from inmates at the county jail. But I thought Mathiesen’s take on it is particularly eloquent:

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Art Crime is Long, Life Is Short

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

Andrew Binion writes:

When you think of “art crimes,” does Britney Spears come to mind? Graffiti? Maybe those fruitcakes who cover random objects in wrapping paper and declare, smugly, Voila!

You would be wrong.

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Falling Behind on Domestic Violence

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

Josh Farley writes:

The Kitsap County Courthouse had a busy Columbus Day, especially at the superior court arraignment calendar. That’s where defendants are brought before a judge to hear their charges for the first time.

Typically, corrections officers at the Kitsap County jail after a weekend bring about eight to 10 inmates, handcuffed together, into superior courtroom 212 and have them sit in the jury box until it’s their turn to approach the bench.

On Monday, three sets of inmates were brought up from the jail, a larger-than-average group by most standards. And much of the crime was domestic violence.

So why so many domestic arrests?

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Take Bold Steps Against Burglary

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Josh Farley writes:

Two weeks. Six burglaries. Two communities.

While Kitsap County Sheriff’s detectives investigate two gun thefts in CK and three burglaries in NK, you could be ensuring the next one they show up for won’t be your house.

I’ll be posting burglary tips here from local law enforcement agencies, starting with ones from the Mason County Sheriff’s Office, thanks to chief deputy Dean Byrd. Feel free to add some of your own.

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Attempted Murder or First-degree Assault?

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

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Yesterday, we reported that a warrant was issued for a 28-year-old Bremerton man wanted by police for attempted murder.

The man, Darrin D. Maiden, is alleged to have shot a 27-year-old woman on Montgomery Avenue and fled the scene Tuesday afternoon. He has yet to be caught.

However, when I received the court documents charging Maiden from the Kitsap County Clerk’s Office, a warrant for attempted murder — despite the cops’ request for that charge in court documents — was nowhere to be found. Instead, it was for first-degree assault.

“What gives?” I asked Kitsap County Deputy Prosecutor Chris Casad.

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A Breakout of Burglaries?

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

Five burglaries in the past week in the Lemolo Shore area of North Kitsap and the Central Kitsap area around Central Valley Road may not be just a coincidence.

Then again, they could be.

It is too early to tell, Kitsap County Sheriff’s spokesman Scott Wilson told me yesterday. But he said his office isn’t ruling out the possibility that those responsible are a group of thieves that could include an experienced burglar (perhaps one recently released from prison).

Here’s a summary of the five burglaries, according to sheriff’s office reports:

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