Man With Pending Arson Charges Accused of Threatening to Burn Down Tribal Housing Complex in Toledo


A Kelso man has been charged for breaking into a Cowlitz Indian Tribe housing complex in Toledo on Wednesday after having previously threatened to burn down the building and kill everyone inside.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office responded to a harassment complaint on April 23 after John A. Threlfall reportedly called his mother, who lives at the housing complex in the 100 block of Spencer Road, “and said he was going to kill everybody and burn down the apartments,” according to court documents.

Threlfall also left a threatening message for one of his sisters, who lives in Idaho but was in town visiting, on April 8. He reportedly said “there is going to be murder on all you motherf***ers.”

Threlfall has pending first-degree arson, drive-by shooting and second-degree assault with a deadly weapon charges out of Cowlitz County. Threlfall’s two sisters reportedly told deputies “they were scared of what their brother would do.”

On May 12, deputies were dispatched to a burglary in progress in the 100 block of Spencer Road. Surveillance video showed Threlfall arriving at the Cowlitz Tribal Housing complex and “entering various buildings,” and employees found that some items had been moved and other items were missing, including arrowheads and a ceremonial battle robe. A deputy later located “three bags full of items in the bathroom,” one of which included the missing ceremonial battle robe.

Threlfall was booked into the Lewis County Jail just after 11 a.m. on May 12 and has been charged with one count of second-degree burglary and two counts of harassment, threat to kill, domestic violence.

“I know he was quite concerned and frustrated about the charges,” said defense attorney Rachael Tiller at Threlfall’s preliminary appearance on May 14. “He is adamantly denying any wrongdoing whatsoever.”

Cowlitz County Superior Court issued a $125,000 bail due to the pending charges out of that county, and Judge Joely A. O’Rourke issued an additional $250,000 bail for the charges out of Lewis County.

Deputy Prosecutor Paul Masiello requested the high bail amount due to the nature of the pending charges in Cowlitz County.

“What he was threatening to commit in this case, he actually committed in Cowlitz County,” said Masiello.

Threlfall’s next court appearance is an arraignment hearing scheduled for Thursday, May 20.