Monthly Archives: January 2014

Measure to allow DNA testing of felony suspects gets hearing

Credit: The Economist

A bill to allow police to take DNA samples from people who have been arrested, but not convicted, got a hearing in Olympia on Friday.

But even if approved, its sponsor believes it will be challenged in state court.

Currently, those convicted of a felony and some lesser crimes are required to give a sample. Usually the test is done by swabbing the inside of a person’s cheek. If approved, the sample would be taken when a suspect is lodged in jail — along with fingerprints and photographs — but would not be immediately used in an investigation without court review.

Supporters believe the evidence could be used to help police stop sex criminals. Civil libertarians say its invasive and a violation of a person’s rights.

State Sen. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, is sponsoring the measure in response to the case of a serial rapist who might have been stopped in his tracks if authorities had his DNA in the database.

State Sen. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, has also signed onto the measure.

Last summer KUOW did a story on the measure, where Darneille said this:

“Some of those crimes were completely heinous. One of them involved holding three women hostage in a home and repeatedly raping, raping, raping, raping.”

Although last summer the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the practice as constitutional, and 28 states do it already, the court challenge would likely say the measure violates the state constitution, which offers stronger civil liberties protections than the U.S. Constitution.

Comes now, this explanation of the bill, from a statement from its sponsor:

Under the bill, DNA samples would be collected at the time of booking from any adults arrested for a ranked felony offense or selected gross misdemeanor offenses. (Examples include violation of protection orders related to domestic violence, sexual assault, marital dissolution, child custody disputes, abuse of vulnerable adults or a foreign protection order.)

The DNA sample would not be opened or analyzed by a Washington State Patrol Crime Lab technician unless judicial findings of probable cause were established. The sample would then be uploaded to the national Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). The only information that is added to CODIS is the originating lab identifier, a randomly generated specimen number, 13 genetic markers that do not contain any medical information other than gender, and an identifier for the lab analyst. If the court does not affirm probable cause, the untested sample would be destroyed.

Man injured in North Kitsap plane crash in ‘serious’ condition

A Kent man injured when his small airplane crashed in North Kitsap on Monday has improved as of Friday evening, but has not recovered and is still in the hospital

Kent Curtis, 70, was listed in serious condition Friday, according to a nursing supervisor at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

He had been listed in critical condition earlier this week. The medical state of “serious” is considered one step above “critical.”

Curtis had taken off from an Auburn airport. He crashed near Poulsbo, near Lincoln and Noll roads.

Mexican murder suspect photo

ICE deports Kitsap County man wanted in Mexico murder

Comes now, late to the party, this Jan. 16 photo provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the Bremerton man recently deported back to Mexico to face murder charges.

The warrant naming Fabian Godinez-Osguera, 37, also known as “Guero Loco,” is from 2001. This deportation is his fourth.

The photo isn’t the best, as his face is obscured by a masked federal agent, which is why it didn’t get published with the story.

Here is the text from the media release:

A former Kitsap County man was deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operation (ERO) Thursday to Mexico where he faces homicide charges.
Fabian Godinez-Oseguera, 37, also known as “El Güero Loco,” was turned over to Mexican authorities at the U.S.-Mexico border at El Paso, Texas. Godinez-Oseguera was escorted by ERO officers from the Seattle area, where he was held in ICE custody prior to his removal.
According to a 2001 arrest warrant issued by the Mexican state of Colima, Godinez-Oseguera is charged with aggravated homicide for the October 2000 murder of Arnoldo Farias Cisneros in the city of Tecomán. Godinez-Oseguera has an extensive U.S. criminal record, including felony convictions for weapons possession, drug trafficking and illegal reentry after deportation.
“Criminals who seek to escape responsibility for their actions by fleeing to the United States will find no sanctuary in our communities,” said Nathalie Asher, field office director for ERO Seattle. “ICE works closely with law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad to promote public safety and hold criminals accountable – no matter where they commit their crimes.”
Department of Homeland Security records show Godinez-Osegurea has been deported five times since 2000. ICE officials credit recent strides in criminal record information sharing between the U.S. and Mexican governments as the reason Godinez-Oseguera will now answer for the crime he allegedly committed more than a decade ago.
Godinez-Oseguera was remanded to ERO custody in December 2012 after serving 13 months in federal prison for felony reentry after deportation. He was held at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma pending the outcome of his immigration case, which concluded last December, paving the way for his removal.
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 566 foreign fugitives from the United States who were being sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. ERO works with ICE’s Office of International Affairs, foreign consular offices in the United States, and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the country.

It’s getting Hawkish all up in here

12th man at courthouse
At the courthouse Friday, somebody made an impromptu shrine to the 12th Man.

You might think that a man facing about 10 years in prison would have important things on his mind.

And you would be right. In this case, it is the Seattle Seahawks.

Yes, it’s true. A man happily put off going to prison so he could watch the Super Bowl. I believe he believes the Seahawks will be in the game. I hope he is right.

Tyler F. Freeman Williams pleaded guilty on Friday to a host of felonies, including leading organized crime, pimping, witness tampering and cocaine dealing.

Following the change of plea, Superior Court Judge Anna Laurie asked if he was ready to be sentenced.

Williams lawyer said he wanted more time to prepare a brief intended to make Freeman’s case for why leniency may be warranted.

If they are destined for prison anyway, many inmates want to get it on. Prison, in Washington state, is generally a better environment than county jail, where inmates are held for trial and to serve sentences up to a year.

In prison one gets to wear street clothes, there are recreation programs, and free time.

But postponing the sentencing hearing until Feb. 14 was fine with Freeman. The Super Bowl is scheduled for Feb. 2.

To make his point, Freeman pointed to a Seattle Seahawk tattoo on his arm.

To read the story and watch the video.

Unexploded bombs in the news

Guaranteed to attract more attention than a garden gnome

Here is a picture of one of the fireworks the kids in my neighborhood were shooting on New Year’s Eve.

Just kidding. This is actually a picture of an ordnance discovered in a Bremerton woman’s garden recently.

Navy bomb units took care of it, so it is no longer a conversation piece on her porch.

This newsy item, and others, were included in Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan‘s newsletter.

Also included is a bit about the city’s meeting with management of the Baymont Inn, the scene of a New Year’s party that resulted in one wounded by a gunshot and one wounded by a thrown bottle.

Sign up here for the chief’s newsletter.

Surviving horse ‘helped himself out’

Satirist Jonathan Swift thought that when compared to humans, horses were especially noble, intelligent creatures.

The young male quarterhorse that survived being struck by a semi truck Dec. 16, while its three companions died at the scene, is expected to make a full recovery.

But the veterinarian who treated him said that even with his own injuries and the deaths of his companions, the horse helped responders and kept himself safe.

As for the trauma of the event, Claire Smith, equine veterinarian at Sound Equine in Poulsbo, said horses are sensitive animals and may be better equipped than humans to deal with loss.

“I would say horses in general are better at grief and emotions than people are,” said Smith. “They don’t fight it.”

The owners of the horses have asked that their names not be released, and Smith declined to release the name of the horse, but she said there has been an outpouring of support, including pasture for the horse to recuperate.
The horse was wounded, and the other three killed, on Highway 3 near Big Valley Road outside Poulsbo. They were hit by a 1985 Peterbilt semi truck.
The surviving horse was hit in the thorax, and suffered lacerations to its ribs and hindquarters, and secondary injuries likely caused from rolling on the pavement, commonly known as “road rash.”

“I don’t know how much he knows about his missing friends, certainly horses in general do know the difference between death and somebody just not being around any more,” Smith said, noting that in the event of a death, horses stop calling for their friends. “They certainly understand that sort of thing. I don’t know yet if when he gets home, after a period of convalescence, he will wonder where his friends are, or be able to process it. It’s hard to say.”

Smith said when she arrived at the scene, a Samaritan had caught him with a dog leash and was holding him on the side of the road. She noticed then that despite being in shock, he was dealing well.

“Horses won’t stand on the side of the road with traffic screaming by them, with flashing lights, and he quietly stood there and seemed happy to have comfort,” she said. “Not only that, he was willing to get into a strange horse trailer. He was incredibly brace brave and well-behaved. Some of that was probably shock, but in the end he contributed to saving his own life by not racing around, getting badly spooked, jumping in front of another oncoming car in a panic. He really helped himself out. And he was very good for me to work on.”

Get your judge on

Only Judy can judge me

Are you in a rut and looking for a new career challenge?

Do you prefer people stand when you enter the room?

Do you like the way a flowing robe feels against your naked skin?

Are you judgmental?

Then apply to be Kitsap County’s next superior court judge!

Gov. Jay Inslee is accepting applications to fill the seat vacated by Steven Dixon, who was appointed to take over Adams County’s superior court. His last day in Kitsap was Dec. 31. Inslee hopes to have a judge in place in a couple months, so start sobering up now!

Unlike when voters elect people to hold office, the governor will select a judge based on experience, education, and ties to the community, all the while considering the person’s ability to do the job.

But eventually judges are elected, so, for the unhinged and dangerously unqualified, never fear! You’ll get your chance yet!

The first step is to fill out a 14-page application, where you will be asked to describe your judicial philosophy in 50 words or less. Here is an example, taken from my application: “Kill ’em all.” See? Three words. Try and beat that.

Applications are due by the end of the month.

For the geographically challenged

Lost and Confused Signpost
Can I Google that for you?


There are many more important things to cover, but I just. Can’t. Let. This. Go.

In coverage of the New Year’s Eve anarchy provided by the Seattle Times, the Baymont Inn and Suites is described as in downtown Bremerton.

“the Baymont Inn in downtown Bremerton, near the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard”

It’s on Kitsap Way. That is, Way far from downtown. And the shipyard.

Hands down, the Times provides the best coverage of which monocle to buy and what caviar to feed your cat. They do an awesome job of that.

Welcoming me, welcoming you

Mmmm. Grease fires.
Mmmm. Grease fires.

My name is Andrew Binion, and welcome to this blog. I’m a reporter here at the Sun, covering what newspeople call the “cops and courts” beat. For clarity’s sake, we could call it the “bad things that happen to people” beat. And this is my blog, an evolving collection of stories, links, grease fires and other follies of human ambition.

Is this a new blog? Yes and no. Am I new here? Yes and no. It’s been a few years since I’ve been in Kitsap County, and about five years since I’ve been at the Sun. I’m old-new, or new-old. I’m like that estranged cousin who shows up at picnics with a new hairstyle every time. Familiar, yet still suspicious.

I am new to the beat, though. The estimable Josh Farley, who owned cops and courts for so many years, has shifted his sights onto the city of Bremerton. His absence here has created a vacuum, and like a developing country with a toppled government, anarchy blossoms in a vacuum. So here I am, in the flesh, lots of flesh, to blossom in the vacuum like a wild-eyed warlord.

On this blog we will delve into deeper detail on stories and track ongoing stories. We will also talk about bad things happening to good people, and sometimes good things happening to bad people. Here you are encouraged to peek behind the scenes and indulge your prurient curiosity, something that is discouraged otherwise, because out in the world it is called voyeurism and is punishable with jail and a lifetime of sex offender registration.

For those who haven’t dated or sued me, here is a bit about me. I ride and work on bicycles, I live in Bremerton, I like talking to strangers and I am petless. I am a second generation Husky, and in a heartbeat I would trade the Mariners to get the Sonics back (I would trade the Sounders for a untoasted Pop Tart). My family goes back many generations in Western Washington and I enjoy learning about local history.

Feel free to leave a comment or a complaint. There are no dumb questions, only dumb ways of asking them.