Tag Archives: Kitsap County

Bremerton sergeant recalls night trooper was killed at Mollet’s sentencing

Blogger’s note: Those who follow the Kitsap Sun know that Megan G. Mollet, the 19-year-old convicted of rendering criminal assistance to the man who shot and killed Washington State Trooper Tony Radulescu, was sentenced to a year in jail Tuesday.

Several speakers made statements on behalf of prosecutors and Mollet at the sentencing hearing. Bremerton Police Sgt. Billy Renfro, one of the first officers on scene after Radulescu was killed, told Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Leila Mills this:

“As everyone knows, this nightmare started around 1:00 am on February 23rd, 2012.  For most of us working that night it began with Deputy Rob Corn stopping by a traffic stop to check on a fellow officer and friend, Trooper Tony Radulescu, who was not (answering status checks). This was followed a few seconds later by Deputy Corn advising “Officer down.” Chilling words to hear over the police radio.

What Deputy Corn saw and experienced at that scene is something that I simply cannot imagine.  The rest of us had a minute or two to mentally prepare ourselves for what we were getting ready to get involved in. In the world of first responders, a minute or two is a lifetime. My friend Rob did not have that luxury. No amount of training and experience can prepare an officer for this type of scene and I know that I was not prepared.

One of the first people I remember seeing after my arrival at the scene was (Kitsap County) Deputy Matt Hill walking back from where Tony lay alongside the road dead.  I’ve known Matt for over 20 years and the distraught look on Matt’s face as he told me, “They killed Tony. They shot him in the head” is something that I will never forget.

I clearly recall the look of shock on everyone’s face and the surreal feeling that this can’t be happening.  The gut-wrenching feeling as I rounded the front of Tony’s patrol car to see him lying on the shoulder of that highway is something I never want to feel again.

I remember Tony’s supervisor, Sergeant Tegard, choking back tears as he made phone calls from the scene, notifying others of the tragedy; I remember the look of disbelief on Trooper Germaine Walker’s face as we loaded Tony onto the stretcher; and I will never forget the image of Trooper Mitch Bauer standing in the back of a South Kitsap Medic Unit with his fellow trooper on a stretcher next to him, dead.

In trying to explain why she lied to police, Megan Mollet has said that Josh Blake was a different person after the shooting, “Not the Josh she knew. There was a change in his eyes.” I only know Josh Blake from what I’ve read about and heard from others, but it was no secret the kind of person he was.  He was a violent criminal through and through and a scourge to our society. Megan Mollet knew this of Josh Blake, considered him a friend, and a person she would drug and drink with on a regular basis.

I’ve heard and read that Megan Mollet and her supporters claim that she had no choice but to lie to officers after the murder of Trooper Tony Radulescu. I could not disagree more, and this is simply a copout on Megan Mollet’s part.

After the murder, Megan Mollet made numerous choices to lie to officers after Josh Blake was nowhere around, and she was safely seated in a patrol car. She actively hindered and delayed our investigation and our search for a cop killer, putting numerous officers’ lives at risk, and she did this because Josh Blake was her friend, not because she was afraid.

Since her arrest Megan Mollet continues with her poor choices and showing her loyalty to her friend Josh Blake, as is evident by the words etched into her jail cell wall, “White Power. RIP Josh Blake.” How infuriating.

Let there be no confusion for Megan Mollet, or her supporters.  There are numerous people related to the events that unfolded on February 23rd that did not have a choice, but Megan Mollet is not one of them; Trooper Tony Radulescu did not have a choice that night; Tony’s family and loved ones did not have a choice; and none of the troopers, deputies, or officers that responded to that scene, and then had to immediately engage in a manhunt, with no time to mourn the loss of one of our own, had a choice…Megan Mollet had a choice.

I’m sure Megan Mollet will ask the court for mercy, provide excuses for her actions, and maybe even express some remorse. I ask that the court keep in mind that Megan Mollet is an established self-serving liar.  It was from absolutely no assistance from Megan Mollet that the cowardly murderer Josh Blake was located. We did that on our own.

In closing, residents of Kitsap County, Kitsap County Law Enforcement, and the Washington State Patrol lost a respected member of our community and profession, and it is terribly painful. I respectfully ask that the court sentence Megan Mollet to the maximum allowable sentence.”


‘Spice,’ ‘K2,’ synthetic cannabis — by any name, now a felony

Kitsap County prosecutors appear to have filed the first ever charges in the county against someone for possessing synthetic marijuana. “Spice,” “K2” and other so-called “synthetic cannabinoids” were officially banned by the state’s pharmacy board in November 2010.

Possession of substances known as “bath salts,” “plant food,” “Ivory Wave,” and “White Lightning,” are now felonies and can be punishable by up to five years in prison.

(Other authorities, I should add — the Navy, for instance — had already banned Spice.)

In early May, it appears the first person in Kitsap — a 24-year-old Poulsbo man — was charged with having Space.

“Not positive Josh,” wrote back Kevin Kelly, the deputy prosecutor who charged the case, “But it is the first time I have charged it so I think chances are good that it is.”

Here’s what happened: Kitsap County sheriff’s deputies were called to the Suquamish Clearwater Casino in the early morning hours of May 5 for the report of a man seen using a narcotics pipe. Surveillance video showed him using the pipe, which was glass and “multi-colored,” sheriff’s reports of the incident said.

While he denied having a pipe at first, a deputy saw a something in his front left pocket “weighing it down.”

The deputy said it didn’t smell like marijuana and asked the man what kind of tobacco he smoked.

“He thought for a minute and then told me that it was not tobacco but that it was ‘spice,'” deputies wrote.

In his pocket, deputies found a container that had “quality potpourri,” written on it. It was cotton candy flavor.

The man said he’d gotten it at a store in Poulsbo. He was arrested.

The deputy who drove him to jail said the Poulsbo man “was asking the same questions over and over again.”

“He seemed to be very impaired and altered,” the deputy wrote in his report.

He was booked into the Kitsap County jail for possession of the drug and charged with the same crime the next day by prosecutors.

Live Blog: Darlene Green trial, closing arguments

CASE BACKGROUND: Today will be the final day of trial in the case of State of Washington versus Darlene Marine Green.

The 81-year-old Green is charged by Kitsap County prosecutors with second-degree murder. She’s accused of killing her husband, William “Bill” Green, on June 18, 2010 at the couple’s Illahee Road home.

Ms. Green’s attorney, Roger Hunko, asserts Mr. Green killed himself.

We’ll begin shortly with closing arguments.

Poulsbo cold case surfaces

“Poulsbo Police are investigating as a homicide the death of Donald E. Hellie, 47, 194 6th Avenue., in Poulsbo, whose body was found in his home by police Saturday afternoon.” 

Those were the words of a brief story that ran in the Bremerton Sun 34 years ago, on Sept. 19, 1977. Why are we bringing it up now? It turns out his violent stabbing death had eluded kitsapsun.com‘s database of unsolved homicides spanning the last half-century.

We published the database in May 2010 following several months of research. We knew we might miss a case or two. And sure enough, after the database was posted, we received several calls and emails that referenced deaths we’d missed.

Earlier this year, we relayed the story of 20-year-old Matthew Evans, when his body was found on a Saturday morning in August 1993 along Old Clifton Road. His death, classified as a homicide, has been added as well.

But I’d also heard from readers in Poulsbo since the database was published. And so I asked the Poulsbo Police Department to look in their files and see if they had any cold cases. I got some limited information this week, but it included a date of death: September 16, 1977.

Using that, I got into our newspaper archives and found a few clippings around that date. Lo and behold, I found three articles (which you see here) pertaining to the homicide.

The case is cold, but open — and now, added to the database. And as we’ve said before, it’s important to remember these cases for posterity. But any helpful tips toward solving the cases will have made the project worthwhile.

Mandatory reporting: Joe Paterno’s obligation to report child sex abuse

Did he do what he could? Much of the controversy surrounding the Penn State child sex abuse case that led to the ousting of longtime coach Joe Paterno concerns this question.

But just what do football coaches — and for that matter, other people in positions of authority — have to report?

Here to answer that question is Kevin Hull, a Kitsap County deputy prosecutor. The so-called “mandatory reporting” law in Washington state is quite clear, he says.

Here’s Kevin’s take:

Are you a professional educator in a public school? A doctor? A nurse? A lawyer? A social services provider? A child care provider? A psychologist?

If so, you (and others) are mandatory reporters of suspected child abuse under Washington law. Specifically, our statute in Washington states that when a mandatory reporter has reasonable cause to believe that a child has suffered abuse or neglect, he or she shall report such incident, or cause a report to be made, to the proper law enforcement agency. This past week’s events at Penn State University must serve as a reminder of the tragic consequences that can happen when adults fail to share what they know.

What occurred in State College, Pennsylvania is newsworthy because of the long list of alleged victims. Coupled with this is the centerpiece of Penn State’s football program, iconic head coach Joe Paterno. Earlier in the week, Coach Paterno said, “With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.” Pennsylvania’s Attorney General commented that Coach Paterno fulfilled his obligation to report under Pennsylvania state law. But Coach Paterno is now apparently wrestling with his own conscience and realizing he could have done more than fulfill his legal obligation.

Law enforcement, prosecutors, judges and juries are imperfect and don’t always get it right. It is agreed that the consequences to the falsely accused can be devastating. But does the fact that injustices do occur justify inaction? Our mandatory reporting statute in Washington requires that law enforcement be alerted to whatever knowledge that may exist if there is reasonable cause to believe that a child is being abused. At the very least, evidence that child abuse is occurring must be investigated. Prosecutors do not charge every suspect because of the appropriately high standard of proving a case beyond a reasonable doubt. And juries will acquit a defendant when this burden of proof is not met. Outcomes are rarely perfect, but perfection is not the standard.

We know that most perpetrators of child abuse are either a friend or family member of the victim. The complicated dynamics that occur when a family member abuses a child creates conflict and clouds judgment. There is a common refrain that a delay in reporting from a child victim is somehow indicative of a lack of credibility. But if presumably responsible adults have knowledge of abuse and don’t have the wherewithal to alert law enforcement the expectation that a child speak up may be unreasonable.

If we can take a positive from the events at Penn State it should be that it is never too late to report suspected abuse. Adults must bear the responsibility of protecting children. Please look at RCW 26.44.030 to see if you are a mandatory reporter. And even if you may not be a mandatory reporter under the law, shouldn’t you, in any event, report to law enforcement what you may know about a child who may be suffering from abuse? The lesson being learned at Penn State today is that this answer to this question is yes.

Kevin Hull is the chief deputy prosecutor in the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Assault Unit.

(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.)

The execution of Troy Davis: A pivotal moment in death penalty debate?

The most controversial American execution in recent memory was carried out last night in Georgia. Troy Davis, convicted of murdering  police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah, Georgia in August 1989, was put to death amidst a wave of protests outside the prison and around the country.

The uproar was not actually centered around the death penalty itself, but rather that several witnesses had recanted their testimony of Davis’ culpability since the trial that sealed his fate.

That didn’t stop former president Jimmy Carter from hoping the case “will spur us as a nation toward the total rejection of capital punishment,” according to an AP story.

Georgia, as far as I can tell, executes far more people than Washington. There are close to 100 people on death row there. Eight people currently inhabit Washington’s death row, with the oldest case — the murder of Cassie Holden in June 1988 — occurring in Kitsap County.

Readers, how do you feel about Davis’ execution?

Suquamish police can give your heart a restart (if necessary)

The Suquamish Police Department was the first law enforcement agency in Kitsap County to outfit its force with video cameras in patrol cars. These days, they’re the first to have another tool in each officer’s vehicle: an Automatic External Defibrillator, or AED.

AEDs, which can help restart the heart muscle, are by all accounts wonderful pieces of technology, but they are pricey at around $1,000 per unit. Suquamish PD got them using a federal grant available to tribal police departments.

Will the rest of the county’s agencies join in? I polled other agencies and the answer was no.

Port Orchard: “We have one in city hall,” said Port Orchard Police Chief Al Townsend. “That’s about it.”

But Kitsap County Sheriff’s Spokesman Scott Wilson notes that more AEDs are on the way to the county, even if they’re not in patrol cars:

“The sheriff’s office has obtained grant money administered through the Department of Homeland Security (Region 2),” Wilson wrote me in an email. “These are funds dedicated, for all Kitsap County law enforcement agencies, for the purchase and deployment of AEDs.”

“The AEDs will be placed in / on:

  • All law enforcement buildings / offices (that need them)
  • Select law enforcement vehicles, such as the RV mobile command post, the SWAT team vehicle, BPD major crimes unit vehicle, etc.
  • All marine patrol boats (every agency that has them).

“All told, there should be about 30 AEDs purchased and deployed,” Wilson wrote.

Here’s the rest of the press release from the Suquamish Police Department, including some facts about cardiac arrest:

The Suquamish Police Department is pleased to announce that all officers have been issued Automatic External Defibrillators.  The Phillips “Heartstart” AED’s were purchased using a Department of Justice Tribal Resources Grant Program.

AED’s have proven to be a valuable tool for saving lives.  While we have outstanding Fire and Medical response in North Kitsap County, there are some locations and circumstances where Law Enforcement officers are closer to the scene of a sudden cardiac arrest, and can arrive minutes earlier.  Our officers have been trained in the use of AED’s for years, but we were finally able to obtain funding to equip every police officer with an AED for their car.

The model that our department purchased will work on both adults and children.

This new equipment will allow us to better serve all of the 7000+ residents who live on the Port Madison reservation.  We are particularly interested in protecting our community elders, and keeping their knowledge and wisdom with us for many years to come.

Some facts about Sudden Cardiac Arrest:

  • More people die from SCA than from breast cancer, prostate cancer, AIDS, house fires, handguns and traffic accidents combined.
  • Nearly 80 percent of all cardiac arrests occur in the home; the majority are witnessed by someone who could potentially be a lifesaver.
  • The underlying cause of SCA is not well understood. Many victims have no previously reported history of heart disease, or if heart disease is present, it has not functionally impaired them.
  • 50 percent of men and 63 percent of women who died from SCA had not previously reported symptoms of heart disease.
  • SCA strikes both men and women. The average age of victims is 65; however, many of those who experience SCA are much younger—many in their 30s and 40s.
  • Defibrillation is recognized as the definitive treatment for ventricular fibrillation, the abnormal heart rhythm most often associated with SCA. While CPR may help prolong the window of survival, it cannot restore a normal cardiac rhythm.
  • For every minute that goes by without defibrillation, a cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival decrease by about 10 percent. After 10 minutes without defibrillation, few attempts at resuscitation are successful.
  • SCA survivors have a good long-term prognosis: 80 percent of survivors are alive after one year and 57 percent after five years.
  • The average National response time for emergency medical services in a typical community is nine minutes.
  • Presently, the national SCA survival rate in the United States is less than five percent.
  • The American Heart Association estimates that 40,000 more lives could be saved annually in the U.S. alone if automated external defibrillators (AEDs) were more widely available and could reach victims more quickly.

Police plan summer emphasis in the hunt for roadway drunks

The good news: Summer is almost here (hard to believe, I know). The bad news: summertime is sadly the deadliest time of year for car crashes involving intoxicated drivers. In light of that reality, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission is helping push DUI emphasis patrols that will put more police on the streets between June 24 and July 4.

Here’s the press release:

Kitsap County, WA – Washingtonians are preparing for summer fun. Celebrations that involve alcohol sometimes result in drunk drivers on our roads. So, after beach parties, barbecues, or an evening at the bar, don’t drive if you have been drinking. If you drive hammered, you will get nailed!

Traffic deaths that involve a drunk and/or drugged driver are highest during the summer months in Washington. From 2005 through 2009, more than 20 percent of all impaired driver-involved traffic deaths occurred during June and July. That is why extra DUI patrols will take place throughout Kitsap County from June 24 through the 4th of July Holiday.

In Kitsap County, DUI Patrols will be increased though a grant funded by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) and supported by the Kitsap County Target Zero Task Force.

“Encouragingly, 2010 preliminary data shows that the number of deaths involving a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs decreased by 17 percent from the previous 5-year average of 276. I think this shows that more of Washington’s citizens are choosing to drive sober. However, with 229 deaths, we still have a long way to go. Even one life lost as a result of an impaired driver is unacceptable,” said Lowell Porter, Director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

Law enforcement officers statewide advise everyone to choose their ride carefully!  Plan ahead – designate a sober driver, take a taxi because if you drive impaired, your ride may well be a police car taking you directly to jail!

For additional information about the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, visit www.wtsc.wa.gov.

Followup: Humane society responds to dog owner’s claims

The Kitsap Humane Society released a lengthy statement Wednesday pertaining to Bremerton resident Doug Bolds’ allegations about how his dog was handled when Bolds was arrested for DUI in June 2010.

Here’s their release:

June 15, 2011 – Silverdale, WA – In 2010, Kitsap Humane Society successfully reunited nearly 600 pets with their owners. We prefer that all companion animals remain with their original owner so long as the animal is well provided for. We make every attempt to return animals to their owners, including microchip scanning, lost and found audio report (available by calling the shelter) and lost and found online report. We also hold all stray animals for 96 hours before they are available for adoption to give owners an opportunity to locate them at the shelter and reclaim them. We follow these guidelines for a stray animal or an animal of someone who has been arrested or incarcerated.

In addition, for an incarcerated citizen, our standard operating procedure is to fax an owner release form to the correctional facility where the owner is being held. We then hold the animal for five days to give them adequate time to make arrangements to pick up their animal. We handle these types of situations on a weekly basis. Unless the owner has been arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty charges, we make every effort to reunite animals with their owners.

According to Doug Bolds’ statements to the Kitsap Sun, he claims Kitsap Humane Society adopted his dog out without giving him the opportunity to reclaim it. There is ambiguity surrounding the allegations made by Bolds as there are no microchip or license records indicating he is the original owner of the dog, despite the fact that pet licensing is required by law. Our records do indicate the dog arrived at KHS on June 3, 2010 and was adopted 14 days later. We have no records indicating that Bolds made any attempt to contact KHS, either directly or through friends or family during this time period, though the dog was in a kennel in a public area of our shelter until it was adopted.

We do, however, have a record of a subsequent contact between Bolds and one of our officers in January 2011. Bolds was a bystander in an unrelated case. In the course of the investigation, Bolds accused the officer of taking his dog in June (the officer was not involved in the original case) and adopting it to someone else the next day. Bolds told the officer that “the troopers” told him KHS had adopted the dog out the day after it was impounded. The officer told Bolds that KHS would not have done so; that the shelter holds animals for a minimum of five days before adopting them out. The officer gave Bolds Animal Welfare Director, Stacey Price’s phone number and instructed him to call her. When Bolds called Stacey, he was belligerent and verbally abusive before hanging up on her, refusing to answer any of her questions. This was the last interaction we had with Bolds.

Kitsap Humane Society has been serving the communities of Kitsap County since 1908 and is an independent nonprofit, currently providing Animal Control contract services to Kitsap County, Bremerton, Bainbridge Island, Port Orchard, Poulsbo and Naval Base Kitsap.

Emergency Responders, Kitsap County Addressing Address Problems

Armed with the new census information, Kitsap County Central Communications (our 911 center) is coordinating an effort with our police and fire agencies to weed out “problem addresses,” around the county.

A rather unknown benefit of the census is that it helps ensure homes and their addresses match up what’s on record. The benefit of having correct addresses is that in the event of an emergency, police officers or firefighters can find a location quickly without confusion.

Kitsap County’s Geographical Information Systems (GIS) is also helping with the project. More information can be found at www.kitsapaddress.com.

Here’s the news release from the county:

(Port Orchard, WA) – Kitsap County Central Communications (CenCom) is working with local first responders and Kitsap County’s Geographical Information Systems (GIS) experts to correct problem addresses throughout the County. While preparing for the 2010 Census, the County identified many homes whose actual location differed from the location indicated by their address. Addresses that are hard to find or are out of logical sequence are also reported by first responders from fire, emergency medical, and law enforcement agencies who encounter these problems when they respond to emergency calls. Problem addresses also create challenges for school districts, Kitsap Transit, delivery services, and other agencies. “Correct addressing is absolutely critical to enable law enforcement to respond to emergencies quickly and efficiently. Its absence places our deputies, as well as the safety of our citizens in jeopardy,” said Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer.

There are many reasons problem addresses exist. Some addresses were created long ago and assigned before the current addressing conventions were established. Some annexations have brought properties into a different addressing system for the City than the addresses established by the County. The directional indicator assigned to roads (such as NE, SW, etc.) are based on an addressing grid and cause problems when the road extends in two different parts of the grid. The project looks to correct these problems. Once this is accomplished, officials are confident that technological advances in GIS will prevent similar problems from arising with new addresses in the future. “We have spent considerable time and effort collecting and prioritizing problem addresses throughout the county, so I am anxious to get the change process started,” says Tom Powers, CenCom’s addressing coordinator. “There is a lot of work to be done, but it is exciting to be moving forward” Powers added. He provided examples of two scenarios encountered during their research. These are actual scenarios with the street names changed.

* There is a business at the corner of X and Y streets. The business lists its address is 6090 X Street. Street addresses for properties around the business are all in the 3200 block, which is in line with the numbers on Y Street. The numbering sequence on X Street is completely different. Their address places them at the other end of X Street and creates confusion when someone is looking for that business or a potential disaster in an emergency response where time is critical.
* CENCOM receives a call for emergency services. The caller says they are calling from 20595 Any Road. The 9-1-1 info says they are calling from 20952 Any Road. The road is a private road and the residence is not visible from the road. In this case the homeowner went to the main road to help flag down the responders and direct them to the proper address.
“There are also issues beyond emergency response and deliveries,” notes Diane Mark from the County’s Information Services Division. “Accurate addresses help ensure voters get the proper ballot, and are essential for redistricting based on the 2010 census,” according to Mark. “The Auditor’s Office must be able to match a voter’s residence address to a parcel of land in order for that voter to receive the correct ballot in an election,” says County Auditor Walt Washington. “With the Census Bureau providing population totals and redistricting of our city council, county commissioner, legislative and congressional districts beginning in 2011 it is critical to our mission to provide voting materials in a responsible and accurate fashion,” Washington added.

Most addresses are not affected by this project, and in some areas the changes are not finalized, so it is not currently possible or necessary to call and find out if your address is likely to be changed. If there is a problem with your address you will receive a letter advising of the problem and how it is being corrected. The first phase of the program aims to correct out of sequence numbering beginning in North Kitsap. Future phases will include resolution of confusing existing road names as well as the addition of new road names where unnamed driveways are serving multiple residences and/or businesses. A public meeting on the topic is planned for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1 at North Kitsap Fire & Rescue’s Paul T. Nichol Headquarters Fire Station (26642 Miller Bay Road NE) near Kingston. More information is available at www.kitsapaddress.com