Monthly Archives: March 2011

Lawsuit: ‘Defendant Knew Disease ‘Could be Transmitted Through Sexual Intercourse’

Is a person who is infected by a sexual partner with herpes — when that partner knew full well he or she had the virus —  entitled to monetary damages?

That’s the question posed in a lawsuit filed in February in Kitsap County Superior Court.

The plaintiff and defendant had been in a “monogamous, intimate relationship” between 2006 and 2010. At some point prior to their relationship, the defendant got Herpes, the documents say.

“Defendant knew that he had been infected with HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus) for years prior to starting his relationship with plaintiff,” the lawsuit says. “Defendant further knew that the disease could be transmitted through sexual intercourse with another. ”

“Defendant failed to inform plaintiff of the existence of his disease until several months after the parties had engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse,” the lawsuit says.

The plaintiff is asking for an “amount that will fairly compensate (her) for all damages sustained, costs and reasonable attorney’s fees, interested calculated at the maximum amount allowable by law, and other relief the court deems just.”

What do you think?

Port Orchard: Crime Stoppers Offers Cash Reward for Graffiti Vandals

Think you can catch those contributing to Port Orchard’s ongoing graffiti problem? Crimestoppers of Washington state is now offering a reward:

Since August 2010, business owners in the City of Port Orchard have been victimized by graffiti. The following are tagging monikers that have been spray pained throughout the city: ELFRO360, ABORT, ZAP, DOS1, TOY, JSK, BIC, IRG, CASL, NGST, NOYC.
Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound will pay up to $1000 for information leading to the arrest and felony charges against the participants in this despicable and costly crime.
Call 1-800-222-TIPS if you have ANY information.

Followup: Homeless Man’s Home Becomes Subject of Poulsbo Student’s English Paper

Sarah Van Cleve, a Poulsbo student attending an east coast boarding school, recently wrote a great story for class based on the home of Chris T. Christensen.

You might remember Christensen, whose death in September 2008 revealed his meticulous home inside the woods just off highways 3 and 305 in Poulsbo.

“At my boarding school my English teacher just asked me to write a narrative with a prompt of ‘an event that revealed a divergence between a person’s ideas about who he/she was and other people’s ideas about who he/she was,'” Sarah wrote me. “As bizarre as it sounds, I immediately thought back to a conversation my mom and I had about this article a while back, and thought it would make for a good narrative.”

I was really impressed with they way she captured detail in what she called “Woodland Man.” But I’ll let you read it for yourself:

The red light switched to green and we sped along again. My cousin Josh sat next to me, with Mom in the driver’s seat. Beyond the window, ratty plastic garbage bags rolled across the highway. Drivers ahead of us were laying on their car horns.

“I think he lived right up in there,” Mom said, letting go of the wheel for a moment to point to the woods above a hill covered with dead grass and old cinder blocks.

“Who did?” I asked.

“The, the man in that article. The homeless man. You know, in the paper? He just died,” she stated with her pitying, maternal tone, her lips turned into a thin frown.

“What man?” Josh piped in. His British accent was thick with the undeniable charm and cheer.

“His name was…well, I don’t remember his name. But he, uh, lived up in there. They found his body and apparently he had, like a whole hut in there,” She took an awkward pause and a deep breath, “I mean, it was made out of garbage and stuff, and he obviously didn’t have many materials to come by. But you could tell he took some pride in the place, you know?” Mom shook her head gently.

The trees’ reflection and my own melted together on the car window. Mom turned on her left clicker. We were surrounded by cars crunched together at this particular stoplight, which always made us five minutes late.

“Maybe then…he wasn’t really a hobo, more like a…woodland man,” Josh grinned. He just bought flashy sneakers yesterday and his clothes all fit him perfectly. His face was clean-shaven, and despite all his piercings, his eyes remained soft, searching the trees with genuine interest.

“That’s just…really sad,” I lowered my voice.

Staring straight ahead, but rubbing her eyes far too often, Mom replied, “I just wish…I wish people knew about him, you know?”
Nobody answered her. Sitting beneath the apathetic grey sky, skinny trees surrounded the highway, but no lopsided tent or deteriorating shack peeked out from behind them.

The only sound came from Mom’s metronomic left clicker.

“Where are we going again Mom?” I broke the impassive rhythm.

“The supermarket,” she replied softly, “We’ve got to buy food for dinners this week.”

Sitting on the sidewalk corner, a homeless man clung to his flimsy cardboard sign. The sloppy sharpie words were difficult to read and his eyes were framed by matted mousy hair.

He tried to connect his eyes with mine, but I immediately avoided his pleading gaze. Was this what the woodland man looked like?
“What do you have in mind for dinner Mom?” The red light turned green and we sped along again.

Family, Friends of Slain Kitsap Deputy Take to Facebook to Protest Killer’s Parole

The possible parole of the man who killed Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputy Dennis Allred in 1978 has galvanized his family and friends to organize on Facebook.

A page has begun to rally support to keep Nedley G. Norman in prison long after his parole hearing later this year. Note: you may have to be logged in to see the page.

Here’s what Gina Vinecourt, Allred’s daughter, wrote about the page:

“This page was created in an effort to gain support to keep my dad’s killer in prison. His killer was convicted and sentenced to death in October 1978. Since then, due to changes in the law he went from being on death row, to life without possibility of parole, and finally to a minimum 600 months (50 years) to life.

After serving 33 years, the killer is up for parole in July 2011, due to the “justice system”. Please join us in gathering as many signatures from residents of Washington State-letting the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board know we want this killer to remain in prison for the minimum term of 50 years to life.

A link to the petition is available to download. If you decide to help in this cause, please e-mail me with your information. I would like to keep track of those involved and making sure we gather all petitions that are filled out. Please forward the petitions to me by June 13, 2011-to make sure there is enough time for presentation to the Board.

This effort is open to all citizens, not only Law Enforcement. This killer’s release not only affects me, my family, and law enforcement members, but everyone in our community.

Thank you for your help in my fight.”

Here’s the way the Kitsap Sun characterized what happened:

“Around 11 p.m. April 19, 1978, along a rare flat stretch of Illahee-Brownsville Road, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Deputy Dennis Allred became the only law-enforcement official killed in the line of duty in Kitsap County.

Allred had stopped a truck towing an engineless car. As he spoke with two occupants of the truck, James Stemkowski and Steve Richards, an unseen third occupant, Nedley G. Norman, shot Allred twice in the chest and then walked to his fallen body and delivered a fatal shot to the head.

The trio, who were towing a stolen car, fled the scene but the next day, Stemkowski turned himself in, breaking the case.

It was a killing that shocked Kitsap County. A member of the sheriff’s department for less than three years, Allred’s funeral in Bremerton drew representatives from law enforcement agencies throughout the state and country, as well as thousands of local residents.

Stemkowski and Richards pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and were sentenced to long prison terms. Because emotions were so high, Norman, 24, received a change of venue and was tried in Pierce County. He was found guilty and, on Aug. 30, 1978, was sentenced to death.”

That death sentence began a life sentence and then, that life sentence became a possible parole sentence.

Is There Justice When Death Comes Before the Death Penalty on Death Row?

The state of Washington rarely executes people. And thus it’s possible, for inmates on death row doing twenty or more years preparing for such a fate, that they may instead die of other causes.

Ohio State University Professor Douglas Berman wonders if, to proponents of the death penalty, this outcome is justice:

I could imagine some death penalty fans pleased by this kind of news: another convicted murderer no longer is on the planet and the state no longer has to pay the expenses for keeping this killer alive or for litigating any of his claims that his death sentence is illegal or otherwise flawed. And yet, I could also imaging death penalty fans feeling some disappointment because this news means another murderer escaped the formal punishment of death and in essence served a life without parole sentence.

What do our readers out there think?

LIVE BLOG: Hearing of Bremerton Jazz Musician Mark Lewis

CASE BACKGROUND: Bremerton jazz musician Mark Lewis will likely find out today if he’ll get a new trial — or sentenced for obstructing police last September.

The prominent musician, who is legally blind, was found guilty in January of obstructing a Bremerton officer. Lewis contended at his January trial he did not know he was dealing with a police officer.

Police said he grabbed onto an officer’s gun in a tussle.

Lewis, who was acquitted of disorderly conduct by the jury, said he was attempting to hail a cab when his fare money went into Kitsap Way. He attempted to retrieve it and a man called 911 reporting his being in traffic.

Lewis has appealed for a new trial and Bremerton Municipal Court Judge James Docter will decide if he should get one. If not, Lewis will be sentenced. The conviction carries up to a year in jail, but Lewis, who has no criminal history, would likely receive less than the maximum.

Do Feds Have Case Against Man Advocating Jury Nullification?

The concept of jury nullification has once again made headlines, this time for a retired professor charged by federal prosecutors with jury tampering.

The New York Times had the story Friday: Julian P. Heicklen, a retired chemistry professor from Penn State, has been distributing pamphlets “encouraging jurors to ignore the law if they disagree with it, and to render verdicts based on conscience,” outside the federal courthouse in Manhattan, according to Times writer Benjamin Weiser.

Jury nullification, which you may recall from an incident in early 2010 in Kitsap County Superior Court, is the idea that jurors can ignore the court’s instructions of following the law, and decide guilt or innocence based on their own feelings.

The federal government walks a fine First Amendment line in bringing such charges. But the courts have historically not liked a behavior which, to put it bluntly, undermines their authority.

As the New York Times notes from one source:

“This is classic political advocacy,” Christopher T. Dunn, associate legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said of Mr. Heicklen’s pamphleteering. “Unless the government can show that he’s singling out jurors to influence a specific verdict, it’s squarely protected by the First Amendment, and they should dismiss the case.”

I am curious what people around here think of this prosecution, and further, of the concept of jury nullification in general.

Kitsap Animal Control Joins County’s 911 System

This just in: The Kitsap Humane Society‘s Animal Rescue division will now dispatch on Kitsap County Central Communications (CENCOM).

That means that those monitoring our area’s police and fire radios will begin to hear animal rescue officers in the commission of their daily duties. They’ll be identified by numbers between 1900 and about 1920, according to Kitsap County Animal Rescue Chief Jake Shapley.

The cost for joining CenCom is about $50,000, but Shapley said animal rescue was paying somewhere in that neighborhood for less-than 24-7 dispatching, their own radio frequency and an answering service for after hours calls. The benefit for the non-profit is knowing that officers that go out to a call at 2 a.m. can radio if they’re in trouble.

“The immediate benefit to us is officer safety,” he said. “I know my guys are safe out there.”

For the public, the benefit is a streamlined system, with animal rescue working alongside law enforcement. Shapley cited an incident last fall when efforts to catch a dangerous dog on the loose in Bremerton couldn’t be coordinated over the radio — a rescue officer had to flag down police as they attempted to catch the dog.

“We’re not off somewhere else anymore,” Shapley said.

CenCom began dispatching to Animal Rescue at 9 a.m. this morning.