Court: Zavala-Martinez

Manuel D. Zavala-Martinez makes an appearance in Lewis County Superior Court Monday afternoon in Chehalis.

A Centralia man who allegedly got in a standoff with police officers while wielding a knife made his preliminary appearance in Lewis County Superior Court on Monday.

Manuel D. Zavala-Martinez, 35, was charged with second-degree assault.

Zavala-Martinez’s attorney for the day, Rachael Tiller, noted that the officer who reportedly told her client to drop the knife, was speaking in English and Zavala-Martinez does not speak English.

However, while a translator was present during the hearing, Judge James Lawler still struggled to communicate with Zavala-Martinez about whether he understood the charge and his rights.

After several minutes of Lawler attempting to explain the charges and rights Zavala-Martinez has through the translator, the judge determined there might be more at play than just a language barrier.

“We’re going to address all of these issues, there may be competence issues, this seems like it is more than a language issue,” Lawler said before he heard the state’s bail request.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead requested bail be set at $100,000, citing a concern for the likelihood that Zavala-Martinez would fail to reappear due to a lack of ties to the community.

Tiller did not argue for a different bail amount and Lawler agreed with the state’s request and set bail at $100,000.

According to the probable cause report, On May 16 Centralia Police officers were dispatched to a residence in the 400 block of Pine Street to a report that a man with a knife was causing distress.

When the officers arrived they contacted several people standing on the front porch who told police there was no dispute, but a man, Zavala-Martinez, had a knife inside the house, according to the report.

The officers went inside and called for Zavala-Martinez to come down stairs. When Zaval-Martinez went down stairs, he was holding a “large, survival style knife,” according to the report.

One officer had his pistol drawn and the other had his Taser drawn as they repeatedly asked Zavala-Martinez to drop the knife, according to the report.

The officer used the Taser and Zavala-Martinez was then disarmed and taken into custody.

His arraignment hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.