WA Supreme Court Abolishes Death Penalty

Washington’s Supreme Court struck down the state’s death penalty Thursday, ruling that it had been used in an arbitrary and racially discriminatory manner.

Washington has had a moratorium on executions since 2014, but the ruling makes it the 20th state to do away with capital punishment.

      Fri Oct 12 News

The court unanimously converted the sentences of the eight people on death row to life in prison.

“The use of the death penalty is unequally applied — sometimes by where the crime took place, or the county of residence, or the available budgetary resources at any given point in time, or the race of the defendant,” Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst wrote in the lead opinion.

No Prison Time for Michelle Ann Ward

No prison time for the Quilleute Tribal member accused of failing to report her mother’s fatal abuse of 2½-year-old family member in Forks in November 2016.

      Thu Oct 11 News

29 year old Michelle Ann Ward  of Forks will be required to undergo up to six months of inpatient drug and alcohol treatment at a Spokane facility and two years of community custody.  She won’t spend time in prison unless she violates the conditions of her sentence

Ward’s mother – 46 year-old  Ramona Jean Ward  of Forks was sentenced June 4 to 26½ years in prison for death of Isaac Ward Martinez – who was in her care.  She pleaded guilty after her daughtrer agreed to testify against her.

Michelle Ward earlier pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal mistreatment-domestic violence and solicitation to deliver a controlled substance, oxycodone, to her mother.

Investigators say the child had several new and healing broken bones, lacerations, bleeding in the brain and malnutrition when Ramona Ward found him unresponsive on the floor of her bedroom Nov. 9, 2016 after he fell off the bed.

The child was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, dying two days later, the cause of death being blunt force trauma to the head.

Quillyute Tribe Gets $44.1M For New School

The Quileute Tribe has received $44.1 million in federal funding for its Move  to higher ground Project.

The money was announced Tuesday by  the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It will go towards\ designing and building a new school on a 61,000-square-foot campus about 250 feet above sea level.

      Wed Oct 10 News

Moving the Quileute Tribal School from the tsunami zone in La Push to a safer location has long been a priority for the tribe.

The new school for the tribe’s 79 kindergarten- to 12th-grade students will be built in a recently-harvested forest area between the A-Ka-Lat Center and the Third Beach trailhead on the west side of La Push Road.

The new campus is about 2 miles southwest of the existing Quileute Tribal School, which was built in 1992 about 20 feet above sea level and within earshot of crashing waves.

The new Quileute Tribal School will have athletic fields, a regulation-sized gymnasium, cafeteria, music room, performing arts stage and dedicated space for language and cultural classes and vocational programming, tribal officials have said.

Quileute Tribal School Superintendent Mark Jacobson has said he hopes the first graduating class in the new school will be the class of 2020.

Future phases of the Move to Higher Ground project include a community services campus with an elders center, government services campus and additional housing at the 275-acre site.

The existing lower village at La Push will remain.

One Man Shot in Road Rage Incident

The driver of a vehicle allegedly shot another man that ran him off the road west of Joyce Monday.

The case closed Highway 112 for several hours .

Garry Edwards was taken to Harborview Medical Center after being shot in the upper arm and chest.  Steve Thompson, the driver of the vehicle forced off the road, told deputies he shot Edawrds in self defense.

      Tue Oct 9 News

The shooting was reported early Monday evening on the 100 block of Whiskey Creek Beach Road, about 18 miles west of Port Angeles off state Highway 112.

Police say the incident started with Edwards’ belief that Thompson was trespassing on his family’s property while hunting. They say damage to Thompson’s and Edwards’ vehicles was consistent with Thompson’s claim that Edwards forced Thompson off of the road.

Thompson told investigators that Edwards was driving aggressively before Thompson crashed his vehicle into a ditch. Before Thompson left the vehicle Edwards was already at the door punching and assaulting him.

The incident closed Highway 112 in both directions.

The Sherriff’s office says Thompson was released because it appears he acted in self defense, though the investigation will be forwarded to the Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for a charging decision.

One Dead in Wreck Near Brinnon

One person is dead after a two vehicle wreck on Highway 101 near Brinnon Sunday.

The Washington State Patrol says it was re[ported about 2:15 PM Sunday afternoon at milepost 302, about six miles north of Brinnon.

The highway was blocked for several hours while troopers investigated.

      Mon Oct 8 News

At about 4:45 p.m. there was a report of a two-car wreck about a half mile south of the first wreck that had minor injuries.

The ID of the deceased is being withheld until the next of kjim are notified.