Kitsap Crime and Justice

The Kitsap Sun staff writes about crime and criminal justice issues.
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Archive for December, 2010

Lawsuit: Bainbridge Couple Alleges Assault by Seahawks Fan in Ferry Lot

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Blogger’s Note: This is a continuing feature on the blog that will provide synopses to recently filed Kitsap County lawsuits.

A Bainbridge couple is suing a Kitsap County man after an altercation in the island’s ferry parking lot on January 5, 2008 following a Seattle Seahawks game, according to documents filed in Kitsap County Superior Court.

The plaintiffs allege that they’d had dinner in Seattle and were walking off the ferry when they encountered the defendant, who was returning from the city as well after attending a Seahawks game. Plaintiff and defendant did not know each other. The defendant had been drinking, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit claims the defendant “made physical contact” with the husband (in the plaintiffs’ party) and “threw or pushed him to the ground.” When the husband got back on his feet, the defendant allegedly said something like, “You want me to do that again?” the lawsuit said.

The plaintiffs bring several causes of action in the case, including assault, battery and negligence. The husband suffered a fracture of his spine in the incident, the lawsuit alleges, and has “incurred expenses for medical treatment … and has experienced pain, suffering, disability, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and other damages all in an amount to be proven at trial.”

The wife in the plaintiff’s party “feared for her physical well-being and safety,” and “suffered emotional distress.”

The plaintiffs did not include an exact amount of money they were seeking.

Kitsap County prosecutors did file an assault charge against the defendant in the lawsuit on Jan. 10, 2008 in Bainbridge Island Municipal Court. But it was later dismissed, according to court staff.


Thieves Are Eagerly Awaiting The Arrival of Your Christmas Presents, Too

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

‘Tis the season, unfortunately, that thieves are targeting those presents you send through UPS and other delivery services.

Port Orchard Police Commander Geoff Marti says that three people at different addresses — two on Gleneagle Avenue and one on Wexford Avenue — have reported their packages have been stolen right off their front porch.

Marti points out that this may be a vastly under-reported crime. For one, some packages are a surprise and thus the recipients may not even know they’re getting it.

Such opportunity crime is nothing new, unfortunately. But the culprits could be resorting to new lows, Marti said.

“It would be reasonable to believe that delivery trucks may be followed by the perpetrators,” he said.

Marti recommends that if you know you’re getting a package — or sending one — track your orders and try to be home when they arrive. Having packages delivered to your work address works too.

He also suggests watching out for such criminal activity.

“Everyone should watch for suspicious vehicles in neighborhoods,” he said. “Try to obtain vehicle license numbers, and please call police if something seems unusual.”


Closing Arguments in the Mustard Trial

Friday, December 10th, 2010

CASE BACKGROUND: Closing arguments are slated this morning in the trial of Daniel J. Mustard, 19, accused of stabbing to death 87-year-old Ruby Andrews in South Kitsap on April 5, 2009.

The trial has largely revolved around Mustard’s mental state at the time of the crime. Jurors will be asked to decide whether he knew the nature and quality of his act on that day. Jurors will be asked to consider whether he could form the intent of his actions due to “involuntary intoxication” or “diminished capacity.”

He faces a life sentence if convicted of first-degree premeditated murder or a commitment at Western State Hospital if acquitted.

Closing arguments are slated to start about 9:30 a.m. or so.


Chris Casad was ‘A Born Prosecutor’

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010


News of Chris Casad’s death came as a shock to many of us in the Kitsap Sun’s newsroom.

Casad, the longest-serving member of the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office, was someone we could always count on to point us in the right direction when working on the courthouse beat. To echo sentiments in our Friday story, he was always kind, helpful and extremely knowledgeable.

Last Friday night, I had a conversation with fellow longtime deputy prosecutor Kevin Kelly. Kelly told me Casad took him under his wing when he started at the office two decades ago; the pair prosecuted murder suspects together and Casad helped him learn the ropes.

Casad also put in a lot of time in his community. Kelly said he could often be found “flipping pancakes and grilling hot dogs,” Kelly said.

As a lawyer, Casad worked best as an investigator and as the state’s lawyer, he said. While he had friends in the defense community — the above photo was taken with Bill Crawford (right), a long time public defender who retired last year — he preferred a side, Kelly said.

“He was a born prosecutor,” he told me.


LIVE BLOG: Dr. Dietz Testifies for Kitsap Prosecutors in PO Murder Trial

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

CASE BACKGROUND: A nationally known forensic psychologist is expected to testify today that a South Kitsap teen wasn’t legally insane when he killed an 87-year-old woman in April 2009.

Kitsap County Prosecutors plan to call Dr. Park Dietz to the stand in their first-degree murder case against Daniel J. Mustard. It’s been a long time coming; the trial has already been going since late September.

There is no argument between the attorneys involved of the fact that Mustard stabbed Andrews to death at her South Kitsap home on April 5, 2009. The contention is whether Mustard was insane under the state’s legal definition at the time of the crime.

Mustard’s attorney, Bryan Hershman, has already has already called to the stand a doctor who testified that Mustard was indeed insane when he killed Andrews.

We’ll begin the live blog at 9 a.m.


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