A Packwood man accused of leading a deputy on a high-speed car chase and who authorities say exited a courtroom just before his hearing started, resulting in a warrant for his arrest, was arrested in Cowlitz County Monday evening.
Bradley W. Hamrick, 33, was originally charged with attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle and possession of a controlled substance. Prosecutors have now filed a bail jumping charge against him. He’s being held in the Lewis County Jail on $500,000 bail.
Officers with the Lewis County Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team (JNET) arrested Hamrick in Cowlitz County Monday evening wrote Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Dusty Breen in an email. Breen indicated law enforcement officials received information about his location.
Hamrick appeared in Lewis County Superior Court Tuesday afternoon in custody, marking the second time he was in a courtroom for a preliminary hearing in the matter. The first time, May 28, he appeared out of custody after posting $5,000 bail prior to the hearing.
Hamrick was present in the courtroom, along with two other individuals, according to Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead, and sat through multiple other hearings leading up to his own.
Hamrick’s attorney, Shane O’Rourke, was also present. Halstead said he told O’Rourke he intended to ask for Hamrick to be remanded back into custody. He reasoned that Hamrick has another active case for charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance. The new allegations against Hamrick represented a violation of his conditions of release, said Halstead.
Halstead said Hamrick learned that he may be placed back into custody and exited the courtroom with the other two people, acting as though he needed to take a phone call. When his matter was set to go before Judge Andrew Toynbee, O’Rourke left the courtroom to find Hamrick, only to return saying he had left the Law and Justice Center. Two warrants were issued for his arrest — one for both of his active Lewis County cases.
Additionally, Hamrick has an open criminal matter in Cowlitz County for a charge of possession of a controlled substance, said Halstead.
Hamrick was convicted of two counts of attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle in 2017. He was convicted of second-degree manslaughter in Cowlitz County in 2007.
According to a The Daily News article published in 2007, Hamrick pleaded guilty to the manslaughter charge after being accused of striking a man in the head with an ax handle, killing him. Hamrick was originally charged with first-degree murder, however multiple witnesses later recanted their original statements, prompting prosecutors to offer a plea deal with the lesser charge, according to the article. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
After reading through Hamrick’s criminal history, Halstead asked Judge James Lawler that Hamrick be held on $500,000 bail. He also said he intended to ask that his conditions of release be revoked in the other Lewis County matter for illegal drug and gun possession. That hearing is scheduled for Thursday.
Defense attorney Rachael Tiller requested $75,000 bail for Hamrick, saying he is already being held on a no-bail warrant.
“There’s just way too much going on here,” said Lawler, imposing the higher bail amount and noting Hamrick’s “behavior is apparently out of control.”
He has an arraignment hearing set for Thursday.
On May 25, a Lewis County deputy reported chasing Hamrick down U.S. Highway 12, after noting that he was driving on a suspended license. Court documents note that the deputy had to exceed speeds of 100 miles per hour to catch up to Hamrick’s vehicle. The alleged car chase turned into a 100-yard foot chase, ending with Hamrick’s arrest.