A Number of Major, Ongoing Criminal Cases Set to Roll Into New Year

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Lewis County communities might not experience the quantity and severity of crime as more densely populated neighbors, but as adherents to Murphy’s Law might quickly attest — any population of people will experience violence and tragedy over time.

Going into 2019, a number of serious, ongoing criminal cases populate Lewis County Superior Court dockets, with allegations ranging from sordid to bizarre.

Here’s an update on where some of these major cases currently sit as of this week, and some that reached their conclusion in 2018:

 

Jonathan Adamson and Benito Marquez

Adamson and Marquez, who are brothers, are accused in the beating death of Randle teen Ben Eastman, who was reported missing in late June and was found a few days later in a shallow grave.

The death rocked the Randle community and the region at-large, making the adage “Justice for Ben” a popular printed image throughout Lewis County.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed by the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office, Adamson and Marquez admitted to planning to assault Eastman and “lured him to a wooded area under the guise of a camping trip.”

The suspects then proceeded to kick Eastman for 20 to 45 minutes, kicking him at least 100 times, investigators say.

They allegedly moved the body to the site where it was later located after fearing it would be found in its original spot.

After their arrests, both were placed on a $10 million bond, and have been held at the Lewis County Jail since June 29.

Adamson, 21, has a jury trial scheduled for April 15, 2019, and a trial confirmation hearing on April 11, 2019. Marquez, 16, has a trial scheduled April 1, 2019, and a confirmation hearing on March 28, 2019.

Others have been arrested and charged for their alleged peripheral involvement in the beating death. Emma Brown, Adamson’s fiancé, was charged with two counts of first-degree rendering criminal assistance after deputies say she misled them during their investigation and search for the suspects.

The suspects’ mother, Kindra Adamson, faced the same charges for similar alleged interactions with law enforcement. She pleaded guilty to both counts, with a stipulation of her plea agreement being she will likely be called to the stand as a state witness if any of the cases go to trial.

 Brown has a jury trial currently scheduled for Jan. 28, 2019, with a trial confirmation hearing Jan. 24, 2019.

Brenda and Danny Wing

The Wings have, for the past few years, been entangled in a complicated web of legal wrangling following their alleged involvement in the death of 3-year-old Jasper Henderling-Warner.

The Wings each pleaded guilty in the death, but a mistake configuring their offender score — a number tallied based on criminal history and used to determine standard sentencing ranges — led the state Court of Appeals to provide the Wings a choice: Withdraw their guilty pleas and start the entire process over, or maintain their guilty pleas and simply be resentenced on the single count of assault. They would not, however, be resentenced on the first-degree manslaughter charge. The incorrect offender score only applied to the assault charge.

Danny Wing in September opted not to withdraw his guilty plea. He will be resentenced on Jan. 8, 2019.

Brenda Wing, however, did withdraw her plea, essentially restarting a process that had dragged on since 2014. She was placed on a $200,000 bond and is being held in the Lewis County Jail. Her attorney, Shane O’Rourke, said the crux of his defense will rest on Brenda Wing’s level of involvement in the death.

Brenda Wing has a jury trial scheduled for March 18, 2019, and a trial confirmation hearing on March 14, 2019.

According to court documents and their own statements, Danny and Brenda Wing had taken in Henderling-Warner along with their own children more than two months before he died in October 2014. 

An autopsy found that he had abuse-related injuries that were weeks to months old, and concluded that his primary cause of death was “chronic battered child syndrome,” according to court documents.

 

Dylan Tryon

Months after his 18th birthday, Tryon was arrested and charged with numerous felonies, including three counts of rape, for a series of alleged sexual assaults and ongoing schemes coercing underage teens to send him explicit photos.

Tryon was the subject of a four-month investigation leading up to his arrest, started by the Centralia Police Department and Centralia school resource officer.

Six victims were identified on Tryon’s phone, with ages between 15 and 17.

Tryon is accused of forcing three female teens into sexual encounters. Court documents indicate that Tryon forced at least one of the victims to have sex with him multiple times over a span of time.

He’s accused of raping one of the victims and “knowingly (restraining) … another person by knowingly restricting that person’s movements without consent and without legal authority in a manner which interfered substantially with that person’s liberty.”

He’s also accused of demanding juveniles send him naked photos of themselves, accompanied with threats that if they don’t comply, he would release compromising photos of them already in his possession.

Tryon has a jury trial currently scheduled for Feb. 11, 2019, with a trial confirmation hearing on Feb. 7, 2019.

Although coming nowhere close to the alleged number of victims, the allegations against Tryon ring a similar tone to a Lewis County teen who pleaded guilty early in the year to a “sextortion” scheme with possibly hundreds of victims.

The teen, who was 16 at the time and not named by The Chronicle due to his age, was found to be in possession of around 900 explicit images and pleaded guilty to a dozen crimes.

Earlier this year — from late April to mid-September — he argued for a court review on his sex offender score. He was classified as a level 2 offender, but wanted to be reevaluated as a level 1.

“Most juveniles are not level 2, and that’s the only reason we pursued that,” said his attorney Elissa Brine. “He’s doing very well in treatment and wants to move on with his life, and is actually very excited about treatment and trying to just get things together.”

 

Juan Fernando Campos-Campos, Manuel Rojas-Valdez and Jose Luis Felix-Gonzalez

In May, three suspects were busted and accused of carrying 23 pounds of meth and more than 2 pounds of heroin after authorities were alerted to a massive drug shipment coming through Lewis County in a purple Nissan truck.

The Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team sprang to action, and ended up questioning the occupants of two vehicles that seemed to be associated. Rojas-Valdez gave permission for deputies to search his sports car, where the drugs were discovered.

Campos-Campos and Felix-Gonzalez were identified as the occupants of the truck. Felix-Gonzalez reportedly denied knowing Rojas-Valdez, while Rojas Valdez and Campos-Campos told police that he had orchestrated the delivery of the drugs, according to court documents. 

Campos-Campos and Rojas-Valdez pleaded guilty on June 20, and Felix-Gonzalez followed suit on July 3. Each were subsequently sentenced to one year and one day in the Department of Corrections.

Samantha Washington and Katherine Kimbrel

Washington and Kimbrel are both accused in unrelated instances of engaging in sexual contact with inmates at Green Hill School, a medium/maximum security facility for juvenile offenders in Chehalis.

Kimbrel is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old inmate in 2013.

“Kimbrel was interviewed and admitted to an unprofessional sexual relationship with (the victim) inside and outside the Green Hill School facility,” according to court documents.

According to court documents, three past allegations of similar behavior against Kimbrel had been investigated but shelved for lack of evidence.

She has a jury trial scheduled for April 15, 2019, and a trial confirmation hearing on April 11, 2019.

Washington was charged with first-degree custodial sexual misconduct after a sexually-explicit phone conversation between herself and a 21-year-old contained details of a sexual encounter the two shared when the 21-year-old was an underage inmate at Green Hill and she was a staff member.

Washington maintained that the conversation was purely fantasy, and didn’t detail events that actually occurred.

She has a jury trial scheduled for Jan. 28, 2019, and a trial confirmation hearing on Jan. 24, 2019.

In 2016, former Green Hill staffer Erin Stiebritz pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree custodial sexual misconduct. She was sentenced to two weeks in jail and 46 days in counseling.

 

Randolph Graham

Graham, a Winlock man, shot and killed his neighbor Randy Lester in May; was arrested; sat through a full jury trail; was found guilty; and was sentenced to more than 65 years in prison — a span of time sure to be a life-sentence for 59-year-old Graham.

Graham was accused of firing multiple shots at Lester and his 15-year-old son while they played basketball at the end of their driveway. Multiple bullets hit Lester and the trajectory of the bullets — based on where they were located — indicate he fired rounds at the fleeing teen, prosecutors argued.

Members of the jury were moved to tears at recorded 911 calls from the teen to dispatch, where the victim’s wife, Rachel Lester, could be heard panicking in the background.

Graham had issues with his neighbor over the placement of a vehicle and a basketball hoop in a shared easement, and an electricity bill for a shared pump house located between their two homes in a rural part of Winlock.

In a few short hours, a jury indicated they didn’t buy Graham’s claim the shooting was in self-defense by finding him guilty of all counts.

Judge Andrew Toynbee sentenced him to a total of 800 months in prison during a later hearing.

 

Claude Royals

Royals was handed a nearly 15-year sentence in prison after he pleaded guilty to stabbing a man in the chest inside his home and for a separate incident in which he was accused of stealing beer from a convenience store.

Royals was sentenced to 120 months for a single count of second-degree assault while armed with a deadly weapon other than a firearm. The charge was originally a first-degree assault charge, but was later reduced.

The sentence stems from an Aug. 22, 2017, incident where authorities say Royals, inside his own residence, stabbed a man in the chest. A witness in the case said the victim was there to engage in a planned three-way sexual encounter. Royals became offended, he told investigators, at conduct the guest engaged in while sitting at his kitchen table.

For a single count of second-degree burglary, Royals was sentenced to 57 months. That sentenced stemmed from an incident in January where Royals stole a beer from a Centralia-based convenience store where he had previously been put on trespass.

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