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McElfish Convicted

Posted on 18th March 2014 at 16:27

Donald Howard McElfish, 63, now faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison, after a Cowlitz County Superior Court Jury convicted the Woodland man on charges of kidnapping, attempted rape and sexually-motivated assault. Today’s Daily News has the story about yesterday’s verdict, saying that it was actually a double-clutch event, when the jury failed to fill out all four of the verdict forms on the first go-round. It wasn’t noticed until the other three verdicts were read, so Judge Marilyn Haan sent the jury back to complete their duties. She also noted that the jury could change its mind if they wanted to. The jury was back about 20 minutes later, ruling that McElfish was guilty of first-degree kidnapping, second-degree attempted rape and second-degree assault with sexual motivation. He was acquitted on a count of indecent liberties. McElfish and two other men had kidnapped a Woodland-area woman, stripped her and taped her to a chair, then were planning to rape her as a way to pay an alleged debt. The woman was able to escape and eventually contacted law enforcement. A second suspect has already accepted a plea deal for his role in the crime. Sentencing for McElfish is currently set for April 23rd; he was immediately booked into the Cowlitz County Jail.