Jeremiah Park, 27, of Longview is heading to prison for nearly 34 years, sentenced yesterday morning for his murder conviction connected to the February, 2010 stabbing death of Joseph Gemar, 28. Today’s Daily News reports on yesterday’s hearing, where Park said that Gemar’s death was something that was “never intended.” Park said that he regretted trying to clean up the scene and invent a story for Longview Police. He also says that he wished that Gemar had never come to his house, “filling him with fear.” In handing down the sentence of 33 years and eight months, Superior Court Judge Stephen Warning said that he bothered him most about the case was “not the lack of remorse, but the lack of reason.” He says that there was “no reason” for the events of that night to have taken place. Warning says drugs and the pursuit of drugs fueled everything that took place on that fateful night. Prosecutors had asked for a high-end sentence of more than 36 years, while defense attorneys asked for a low-end of 28 years. Park has indicated his plans to appeal both the conviction and the sentence.
Archive | March, 2011
Lewis County Prosecutors are announcing that they will not seek the death penalty against the person accused of being the triggerman in a triple-murder that took place last August in Salkum. Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer made the announcement yesterday; last year, previous prosecutor Michael Golden said that pursuing the death penalty would add at least $1 million to the cost of the case. Meyer says that the cost held little weight in his decision, but he was concerned about how a death penalty conviction might hold up under appeal. John Allen Booth, Jr., 31, of Onalaska is charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder, one count of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, extortion and unlawful possession of a gun in last August’s shooting. He’s accused of killing David West, Sr., 52, David West, Jr., 16, and Tony Williams, 50, in a botched effort to collect a drug debt. A fourth person was seriously wounded. Ryan McCarthy, 29, of Redmond is also being charged in connection with the case. Booth is currently set to go on trial May 16th, while McCarthy’s trial is set for October 10th.
The Sheriff’s Office is putting out some additional information on the suspect into a break-in reported late Monday night at the Rocky Point Market in North Kelso. A glass break alarm was received around 11:30 pm on Monday, and Deputies found a broken window on the store. No one was around, but a review of the store’s security video did show that someone got inside. They say that the suspect appeared to be searching for lottery tickets, but didn’t get any, since they were locked away. The video shows that the suspect is a white male in his early-to-mid 20’s, average height, slender build, with a mustache. The suspect was also seen wearing a brown hoody, with “Adidas” in black lettering on the front. A photo of the suspect is now published on the Sheriff’s Office website, or on Flashnews.net. Call 577-3092 if you have information, or leave an anonymous tip on the CrimeStoppers Hotline, at 577-1206.
Deputies say that they had to use pepper spray an 11 year-old boy who was out of control at a home east of Castle Rock. Shortly after 3 pm, a man called 911 to report that his foster son was out of control. The man claimed that the boy had assaulted his wife, causing some injuries. He said that the boy broke windows and other property, then went outside and started throwing rocks at the family dog and the house. Deputies arrived and tried to get the boy to calm down, without success. They eventually deployed pepper spray to get the boy into custody, then transported him to the Juvenile Services Center. The woman’s injuries were minor; they haven’t said what charges the boy might face.
The Department of Corrections reports that a coordinated sweep was conducted late last week, picking up more than 50 individuals who were wanted on outstanding warrants. DOC partnered with the State Patrol, the U. S. Marshals Service and local law enforcement agencies to coordinate the sweep, which was started last Thursday. The task force split into six teams, making most of their arrests on that day. An additional three arrests were made on Friday. DOC Secretary Eldon Vail says that the bulk of the arrests were made in Cowlitz and Lewis Counties; 27 of the suspects had previous convictions for violent crimes, six were registered sex offenders, and 26 had DOC warrants. All of the arrests were made without incident.
Lewis County Deputies say that charges are pending against a 22 year-old Kelso man, after he rolled a semi truck with 5,000 chickens on their way to the Foster Farms plant in Kelso. This happened around 8:15 yesterday morning, in the 1900 block of Salzer Valley Road in Centralia. The 22 year-old was driving a truck owned by Signature Trucking, pulling two trailers with 26 crates containing the $5,000 chickens. The driver failed to negotiate a curve, went onto the soft shoulder, then rolled onto its side. Many of the chickens were killed, while others were injured. All were eventually taken to Foster Farms to be euthanized. They will not be processed for human consumption. The driver was taken to Centralia Providence to be treated for minor injuries, and will also be charged with driving too fast for the conditions.
There’s a special Job Fair for Employers being held today in Longview, running from noon to 4 pm at the Longview Work/Training Release Center on First Avenue. The Department of Corrections is putting on the event in conjunction with Pioneer Human Services and Goodwill Industries. Organizers say that today’s job fair will help to demonstrating the services, resources and benefits available through the Work/Training Release Center. Snacks and beverages will be served. The Longview Work/Training Release Center is located at 1821 First Avenue; call 577-2211 for additional information.
Two students from Lower Columbia College have been named to the All-Washington Academic Team. Lacey Seidl of Castle Rock and Samantha Rintoul of Rainier were honored last Thursday in Olympia, along with the 61 other members of this year’s team. Seidl is known for her exploits as an athlete at LCC, but along with her 3.81 GPA, she also works part-time in the Student Activities Office, volunteers at youth sports camps, helps to coordinate campus events, and is also on the President’s Search Committee. Rintoul is making a habit of hauling down major academic awards; last fall, she was chosen as one of just 30 students from across the nation to receive a Leader of Promise scholar award from Phi Theta Kappa. She’s currently president of the local Phi Theta Kappa chapter; in addition, she volunteers about 80 hours a week as a tutor, especially working with deaf students. She’s also leading a year-long Honors in Action project dealing with nutrition for pre-school kids. Last Thursday, Governor Chris Gregoire presented medals and a $750 scholarship to Seidl, Rintoul and the rest of the team members.
Wichita State smacked Washington State 75-44 in the NIT semi-final last night in New York. The Shockers meet Alabama in the final…..Oregon hosts Creighton in game two of the best of three CBI series tonight. If the Ducks win, the deciding game is Friday…..The Blazers take on the Hornets in New Orleans today, KLOG 4:05 pm…..The Linfield JV’s at LCC baseball game today has been cancelled…..The Mariners broke Arizona camp with a 7-2 win over Colorado. The M’s play an exhibition at Dodger Stadium tonight before heading to Oakland for the season opener Friday…..The Portland Timbers collected their first win as an MLS team last night, downing Chivas USA 2-0 in a U.S, Open Cup play-in game.
The Longview School Board is looking ahead at the 2011-2012 budget development process, and at this point, the picture is once again extremely bleak. After cutting nearly $6 million from the budget over the past two school years, the district is currently looking at a shortfall of nearly $1.6 million for the next school year. Superintendent Suzanne Cusick says that they won’t have full details until the Legislature sets the state budget. she also says that they’ll work to keep the negative impacts away from the classrooms. In documents handed out last night, district officials say that they’re currently projecting a revenue reduction of about $1.6 million, along with an expense increase of about $1 million. Some of the separation is offset by a shift in special education and Title 1 dollars, so the current projected “financial challenge” totals just less than $1.6 million. Finance Director Larry Mayfield says that they should know more as the Legislature wraps up its work, and they should have some specific suggestions for reductions in next year’s budget in the next few weeks. Longview School District Budget (audio file).