Centralia Woman Charged With Assault Claims Self-Defense in Fight Involving Knife, Frying Pan, Ax and Broomstick


A Centralia woman charged for allegedly attacking her roommate claims that she was acting in self-defense.

Cassandra Leigh Aparicio, 36, allegedly hit her roommate, Caitian Mason, with a frying pan during an argument in the 400 block of Pine Street around 1 a.m. on Jan. 24, and Mason told police that she picked up a cutting board to defend herself.

A mutual roommate intervened, and Aparicio threw the frying pan at Mason before coming at her with a broomstick, according to court documents. The two fought on the ground, and Mason told Aparicio she didn’t want to fight and backed away; at which point Aparicio allegedly grabbed a kitchen knife and threatened to kill Mason.

When the mutual roommate tried to separate them, Aparicio reportedly threw the knife at Mason and missed, then went and took an axe from the hallway, throwing it as Mason as she fled out the back door, according to Lewis County Superior court documents.

Responding deputies report that other roommates’ versions of the events were similar to Mason’s.

Aparicio was later contacted by responding deputies and initially denied the assault, but later admitted to having the broomstick. When told that other roommates’ accounts supported Mason’s version of the events, “she said they all do drugs together and were jealous because she’s prettier than them,” according to Lewis County Superior Court documents.

She was arrested at 1:15 a.m. on Jan. 24 and is currently being held at the Lewis County Jail on $75,000 bail for second-degree assault (domestic violence) and harassment, threat to kill (domestic violence).

Aparicio told defense council Rachael Tiller that she did not agree with Mason’s version of the events.

“The defendant says that she acted in self defense and was ‘jumped,’ in her words,” said Tiller at Aparicio’s preliminary hearing in Lewis County Superior Court on Jan. 25.

According to Tiller, Aparicio claims she was threatened by both Mason and the mutual roommate named in the case, and stated that someone else was in the house and came at her with an axe.

Tiller noted that Leonel Orlanda Melendez Ayala — who had his preliminary hearing earlier in the Jan. 25 docket on assault and DUI charges stemming from an incident where he fought officers attempting to arrest him for driving under the influence — had the same address in the 400 block of Pine Street where deputies responded to the assault listed as his permanent address, and questioned whether he may have been involved.

Melendez Ayala has been lodged at the Lewis County Jail since his arrest on Jan. 22. The alleged assault took place Jan. 24.

Judge James Lawler went with the state prosecutor’s request to set Aparicio’s bail at $75,000, citing interest in community safety, but stated that the conditions of release are open to review if new information becomes available.

Aparicio is currently scheduled for an arraignment and trial setting hearing on Jan. 28.