Kitsap Crime and Justice

The Kitsap Sun staff writes about crime and criminal justice issues.
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Archive for January, 2012

Long list of lawyers lining up for Kitsap County Superior Court seats

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012


Jan. 31 is an important day for some ambitious attorneys in Kitsap County.
It is the deadline by which superior court applications are due to the office of Gov. Christine Gregoire, who will use them to appoint Kitsap County’s two newest judges.

A gaggle (Or perhaps a herd? Or flock?) of lawyers have each informed the Kitsap Crime and Justice blog they intend to fill out a lengthy application form and ask for the chance to take the bench. Here’s who have confirmed they’re going for it:

Steve Dixon, a Port Orchard-based general practice lawyer. Dixon had applied previously for appointment to the seat that ultimately went to Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Sally Olsen in 2004.

Jennifer Forbes, attorney at McGavick Graves PS in Tacoma, handling “representation of governmental entities and private clients in land use cases, civil litigation, and criminal defense,” according to the firm’s web site. She’s applied for judge before, most recently in 2006.

Bill Houser, criminal defense attorney currently working in the Kitsap County Office of Public Defense.

Kevin Hull, chief senior deputy prosecutor in charge of the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Assault Unit.

Karen Klein, Bainbridge-based attorney and chief executive officer and general counsel of Silver Planet, Inc., a senior health care concierge service. Klein, formerly a general practitioner, also put in for the seat Olsen was appointed to in 2004.

Craig Lindsay, a partner in Silverdale-based Lindsay Olsen PLLC is a former Kitsap County deputy prosecutor. Now works primarily as a family law attorney.

Marilyn Paja, Kitsap County District Court judge since 1999 and former Gig Harbor municipal court judge and Port Orchard general practice lawyer.

Diane Russell, a Silverdale-based general practice lawyer and former Kitsap County deputy prosecutor.

Greg Wall, Port Orchard-based general practice lawyer. Wall had previously run unsuccessfully for Kitsap County Superior Court judge in 2008. He was elected in November to the South Kitsap School Board.

Two other general practice attorneys, Tracy Flood and Bruce Danielson (who has run for judge and for county prosecutor), both of Port Orchard, are still weighing whether to submit an application.

I did also confirm with several other lawyers that they’re not seeking the seat, including Bremerton general practice attorney Ed Wolfe and Port Orchard defense and family attorney Melissa Hemstreet. I even asked Brian Moran, the state’s chief deputy attorney general under Rob McKenna, if he’d pondered a run. His answer: no. “I thoroughly enjoy my current job and I am very, very fortunate to be able to serve in this capacity with Attorney General McKenna.”

Two seats on the bench opened in December after Kitsap County Superior Court Judges Russell Hartman and Theodore Spearman announced their respective retirements. Hartman plans to enter into “other forms of public service” and Spearman, sadly, passed away after fighting a brain aneurysm.

The governor’s office has consolidated the process to pick the two judges into one.

“Applicants to fill the position created by the retirement of Judge Russell W. Hartman will also be considered for (Judge Spearman’s) judicial vacancy, with no separate application or other communication necessary,” according to a Jan. 23 letter from Narda Pierce, Gregoire’s general counsel. The governor is aiming to make the appointments as soon as possible.

The Kitsap County Bar Association is also going to vet candidates and conduct a “judicial preference poll.” We’re hoping to get results of the poll and will post them to the blog.

Bear in mind two other things:

  • This is different than the race currently cementing for Washington Court of Appeals Judge David Armstrong’s seat.
  • Any candidate this year that is appointed to superior court by Gregoire must be elected by the people this fall (though it’s no secret incumbents in judicial races are hard to beat).

Oh, and one more thing: if I am missing someone, please don’t be shy about it. Drop me a line at jfarley@kitsapsun.com and I will amend the list.


Federal sentencing of former Kitsap cop delayed

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Roy Alloway, the former drug detective targeted in a federal gun selling probe, won’t be sentenced in federal court just yet. 

Alloway, a longtime Bremerton police officer, pleaded guilty in October to unlawful dealing in firearms and filing a false income tax return (both felonies) in  U.S. District Court.

He was to be sentenced Jan. 20 but the case has been delayed, according to Emily Langlie, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle. He’s now set for sentencing Feb. 23.

The South Kitsap resident, 56, worked inside both the West Sound Narcotics Enforcement team and the Bremerton Police’s Special Operations Group. He was especially well known for his marijuana enforcement efforts.

He ran into trouble, the feds say, purchasing nearly 400 guns from three different federally licensed firearms dealers between January 2005 and November 2010. He sold pistols to undercover ATF agents at gun shows without the proper licenses. Federal prosecutors believe he did so to make a profit.

I’ll keep you posted on the case.


Legislature ponders elongated vehicular homicide sentences

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

The crime of vehicular homicide may soon come with a whole lot more prison time. Numerous media outlets (including this story in the Herald of Everett) have highlighted several prosecutors’ and lawmakers’ desires to bolster the sentences of those convicted of driving drunk and killing someone while doing so.

This crime, unfortunately, is all too common of an occurrence. Just last week a Port Orchard man was sentenced to 65 months in prison for the vehicular homicides of three of his friends.

If some lawmakers get their way, the man would’ve faced even more time. According to the Herald story:

The standard sentence range for DUI-related vehicular homicide in Washington is 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 years in prison. House bill 2216 would raise the sentencing range to the same level as first-degree manslaughter, 6 1/2 to 8 1/2 years.

Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge said he thinks the effort was spurred to “bring vehicular homicide sentences into line with those prescribed for manslaughter.”

“This is good policy and long overdue,” Hauge said in an email. “Like manslaughter, vehicular homicide results from disregard for known dangers. There is no reason I can see to treat homicide with a vehicle more leniently.”


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