Mayor Murray declares ‘Summer of Safety’ in speech to council

June 25, 2014 at 3:43 pm | In Crime, Safety, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 4 Comments

As promised, Mayor Murray convened the City Council this afternoon for a speech about public safety, and declared his intent for this to be a “Summer of Safety.” You can see video of his speech above, and read the full text (as prepared) here. The mayor acknowledged, “After years of fragmentation and disorganization, our city today faces a crisis of confidence in public safety,” while also asserting that “public safety is not something provided to the community by the government.” Among the action steps he promised were “creation of a joint enforcement team to ensure that across City departments we have a coordinated response to chronic nuisance businesses and property owners who create hotspots for crime and disorderly behavior – and who disrupt the quality of life in our neighborhoods.” He also announced plans for community walks to identify specific problems in such hotspots and get them fixed, starting in Central/Southeast Seattle. This document lists other points of the “Community Safety Strategy” he outlined, such as directing new Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole “to deliver a Community Safety Plan for every neighborhood.”

Followup: Car found in the water off Beach Drive was stolen in Queen Anne

June 23, 2014 at 1:34 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 2 Comments

Continuing to followup on incidents that made news over the weekend – Seattle Police confirm the empty car that went into the water off Emma Schmitz Viewpoint on Beach Drive (map) was stolen. Beach Drive Blog not only reported the incident early Sunday (photo at right is republished with their permission) but also, based nearby, was on the scene before authorities, and checked in case anyone was in the car. According to the official SPD report, the car was stolen from a Queen Anne man who didn’t even know it was missing until an officer showed up at his house, but said he had left his keys inside it. The SPD report says the ignition key was found inside the car, which was locked with its windows rolled up when found upside down in a foot of water. Police believe the car was pushed off the embankment but haven’t found any witnesses yet. Later Sunday morning, BDB published aftermath photos and reported potential seawall damage; we have an inquiry out to Seattle Parks today to see if they have assessed the site yet to find out if repairs will be needed. (Earlier this year, BDB reported city plans for a new seawall there next year.)

Update: Car in the water off Beach Drive

June 22, 2014 at 9:21 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

(Photo republished with permission of Beach Drive Blog)
9:21 AM: If you heard and/or saw the early morning commotion off Beach Drive – a car went into the water, according to Beach Drive Blog, which reports nobody was inside. The BDB report says a concrete block was found in the car, possibly used to weigh down the gas pedal and “launch” the car into the water off the embankment. Stolen car? No word so far; we’ll follow up.

9:38 AM: Since no official police information is available so far, we asked the BDB team if the car had been towed from the water – Rhonda confirms it was (and has published a followup with dayilght aftermath photos).

West Seattle Crime Watch: ‘Walking on Logs’ sculpture stolen

June 21, 2014 at 10:52 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 36 Comments

When Nancy Driver and the Walking on Logs Landscape Restoration Group got out to the famous bridge-side sculptures for cleanup work this morning, they made a startling discovery – one of the sculptures is missing, apparently stolen, nothing left behind but its foot, the rest of the sculpture cleanly sawed off:

Nancy reported it to police, and is hoping someone saw something – perhaps a resident in one of the nearby homes on the other side of the fence, along the spur of Fauntleroy. She and the other volunteers who maintain the area hope to get the city to keep the area clearer for line-of-sight reasons too. But in the meantime, the question is – who stole one of the dancing-children sculptures by Phillip Levine that have been at the site for 18 years? Here’s a WSB file photo by Christopher Boffoli:

Call 911 if you think you’ve seen it.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Motorcycle stolen, then found

June 21, 2014 at 6:28 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

6:28 PM: From Jessica via the WSB Facebook page:

Our 2002 Suzuki Hayabusa was just stolen in the last 3 hours from the back alley of 35th Ave between Andover and Dakota. License plate 0A5253. Waiting on officers now, please be on the lookout!

If you spot it, call 911.

7:27 PM: An update from Jessica – they found it:

My husband found it stashed on 34th Ave just a block from our house. It had been stolen, rolled, and parked right on the street, presumably until the thief could come back with a truck. Many thanks to Officer Nicholson for coming out so quickly and taking the report!

West Seattle-residing sheriff’s deputy charged with 3 felonies

June 20, 2014 at 3:29 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 13 Comments

The King County Sheriff’s Office deputy jailed and charged Thursday with three felonies is a West Seattle resident. That’s according to the lengthy document charging 49-year-old Darrion Holiwell with promoting prostitution, theft, and a drug violation. The charges filed against him Thursday have been widely reported in regional media; we obtained the charging papers, which cite a Puget Ridge address for Holiwell, identified as a SWAT team member and as KCSO’s lead firearms instructor, as well as owner of a private business that “specializes in firearms training, tactical training, and the sale of tactical equipment.” That business, the charging documents say, took Holiwell and his wife to Las Vegas for a trade show in 2012, leading to a discussion of her possibly working there as an exotic dancer, something she had done elsewhere before. That in turn eventually led to her working from a South King County condo as an “escort,” it is alleged, even as the Holiwells’ marriage faltered, and that is what he is charged with helping facilitate, as a form of domestic violence against her. Some of the evidence on that charge came from Holiwell’s iPhone, seized when his Puget Ridge home was searched in mid-April as part of the investigation, the court documents say, while simultaneously another warrant was served at the KCSO gun range in Ravensdale, where he was at work.

Other items police say they found at his house in the April search included drugs, mostly steroids and substances used in conjunction with them. And the charging documents make note of what was not found during the search of Holiwell’s house: A “large gun safe” was empty, though that is where unnamed “witnesses” told police he stores his “high-quality personal firearms,” and searchers didn’t find a single gun or round of ammunition anywhere in the house. The theft charge, meantime, involves allegations that Holiwell sold KCSO ammunition and other property, mostly to create an unauthorized “slush fund” of sorts. You can read more about the case in this report from our partners at The Seattle Times, who covered Sheriff John Urquhart‘s Thursday afternoon briefing about this case and an investigation of whether others might be involved. Holiwell has been on leave since mid-April and is jailed in lieu of $150,000 bail, scheduled to answer the charges next month. He was taken into custody Thursday morning at the King County Courthouse downtown, according to the arrest report.

New clues in bicyclist hit-run: Police know what kind of car they’re looking for

June 19, 2014 at 5:21 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 13 Comments

This might be the clue that solves the case of the bicycle rider hit by a driver last month near the east end of the “low bridge,” and left lying in the road, badly hurt. Seattle Police say the hit-run driver would have been in a metallic blue Saturn S series car similar to the one shown above:

After processing evidence found at the scene of a May 22nd crash on Harbor Island, investigators have the type of car driven by a suspect, who struck a cyclist and sped away.

Witnesses found the bloodied and seriously injured cyclist lying in the street at 11 Ave. SW and SW Spokane St around 8:20 PM and called 911.

Seattle Fire Department Medics responded and transported the victim to Harborview Medical Center with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Traffic Collision Investigation (TCIS) detectives also responded to the scene and are investigating the case. Detectives believe the victim was struck while riding westbound along Spokane Street.

After painstaking work identifying vehicle fragments left at the scene, detectives have determined the suspect was driving a Saturn S series car. The car is painted metallic blue and after the crash was missing its passenger side mirror. A section of the bumper was also left at the scene of the crime.

Detectives are asking anyone who may have witnessed the crime or have seen a car matching the description to please call Detective Andrew Norton at (206) 684-8934.

To see more photos – go to the full post on SPD Blotter. Police had already said they believed a metallic-blue car was involved – but this is the first time they’ve publicized further details of the crash that sent 30-year-old John Macy to the hospital.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglaries; mail theft; stolen car, found

June 19, 2014 at 12:33 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 6 Comments

From the SPD Police Reports map, the icons show burglaries reported over the past week. As you can see, Highland Park had a cluster, Isaac wrote to mention, and we have heard from one of the victims, Chris:

I want to let folks know that our house near 15th and Trenton was broken into (Tuesday) sometime between 10 and 2 p.m. No one was home. Whoever it was gained access through a backyard window that we mistakenly left ajar. We have a dog that usually barks at strangers but it didn’t seem to matter. The thief or thieves took
two 5th generation Nano iPods (one blue and one green) but curiously left other relatively easy-to-steal items behind. They did ransack our bedroom, which included emptying our dressers and closet. It was apparent that they went through our entire house. The police officer felt that from his experience these were kids who were looking for something specific (cash and drugs). Please remind people to make sure all windows and doors are locked.

In addition to the break-in at Chris’s house, here are the reported burglaries to which the icons on the map screengrab refer, north to south:
*Tuesday night, 1600 block of 46th SW
*Sunday afternoon, 4100 block of 52nd SW
*Reported Sunday but happened June 3rd, 3400 block SW Genesee (old substation building)
*2 break-ins early Sunday and early Tuesday, 2600 block SW Andover (WS Athletic Club)
*Tuesday afternoon, 5300 block Beach Drive SW
*Early Tuesday, 7700 block 10th SW
*Sunday evening, 8600 block Delridge Way SW
*Early Tuesday, 8600 block 12th SW
*Reported last Thursday but happened June 9th, 9200 block 2nd SW (unit at Public Storage)
*Saturday afternoon, 10200 block 47th SW

Ahead – stolen mail and stolen car, found:
Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglaries; mail theft; stolen car, found…

West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, report #2: SPD’s plan for last day of school and rest of summer

June 18, 2014 at 1:48 pm | In Crime, West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske has a plan for tomorrow – the last day of Seattle Public Schools classes – and he told the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council about it last night during the WSCPC meeting at Lincoln Park.

That and other toplines ahead:

Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, report #2: SPD’s plan for last day of school and rest of summer…

Thanks for the tip; plus, seen this stolen World Cup banner? West Seattle Crime Watch updates

June 17, 2014 at 2:20 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

We start with a followup that arrived via the comment section of a Crime Watch story from last weekend – a woman attacked and robbed while walking along Jacobsen Road (south of Me-Kwa-Mooks Park). The details we published last weekend came from her friend. The victim had a detailed description of the attackers’ car; WSB readers offered tips; and then today, a comment including this:

… I’m the one who was attacked by the girls. I want to say a big THANK YOU to whoever called in about the car. I got a call from the detective on the case last week, and he found the driver thanks to that tip. She’s only 17. She’s denying everything, unfortunately, but at least she’s seeing that there will be consequences to her actions. She never did the necessary paperwork when she bought the car, and therefore the police repossessed it. … I am so happy that the police have taken action on this and aren’t letting it go! I obviously won’t get my phone back, but am comforted in knowing that these girls won’t think they can just get away with things like this.

So, again, thank you so much to whoever called in (Jeanine?). Great work!! And I also want to say thank you to Steve and Aria who were both concerned citizens who stopped to help me. Thank God for good people!

Meantime – maybe another good person out there can find the World Cup flag stolen from Liesbet:

My beloved World Cup soccer Holland banner/flag was stolen off my front door railing sometime between 12:30 AM and 9:00 AM (today), in the 3600 block of Beach DR SW. It’s especially alarming as the banner was secured with much rope & knots & tape. Someone had to physically spend some time trying to get it off…right at my front door! It has great sentimental value. Here’s what it looks like:

I will report to police as well. Thank you for any help in finding it…maybe flying on someone else’s balcony??? :-(

11:38 PM UPDATE: Liesbet sent a note to say a neighbor found it heaped on their property. Returned or abandoned by culprits? Whatever the case, she has it back.

(back to original) One more reminder – the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meets tonight, 7 pm, NOT in the usual spot; join them at Lincoln Park Shelter 1 (upper area, near the zipline, north of the south parking lot).

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen stroller; hit-run; vandalism

June 16, 2014 at 6:50 pm | In Crime, West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

Three West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports. First one’s from Johnali:

Our Bob Revolution jogging stroller (black), was stolen from our secured building between 6:30 pm last night and 7:30am this morning. We live on Delridge and Trenton. Anything would be helpful as we are still hopeful we will find it.

Let police know if you do. Second, Lynn‘s hoping to find the hit-run driver who damaged her car and another one just south of The Junction:

The 2 cars that were hit were parked 1/2 block north of Rite Aid, near a telephone and across the street from a large apartment building construction site (west side of California Avenue, SW). My car is a 2013 gray 4 door Nissan Altima. I do not know the make of the other car that was hit, but its owner told me that her left-side mirror was bent backwards and was missing most of the mirror glass. I didn’t find any paint from the car that hit mine. However, I did find a side mirror on the ground near my car that may have been from the car that hit mine. It appears from the damage my car sustained that the offending car came from the north, which would mean that their car would be missing their right side mirror. I’ve kept the side mirror, just in case.

Third, Kezia wondered if anybody else woke up Sunday morning in the Westwood area to find out their car had been vandalized – a crude drawing in black paint on a white car, in her case.

REMINDER: Bring community concerns to the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council‘s meeting at Lincoln Park Shelter 1 tomorrow (Tuesday) night, 7 pm, map here.

West Seattle Crime Watch: House prowled; suspected car prowlers on video; more

June 14, 2014 at 8:10 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 20 Comments

Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports and an FYI: First, from Kevin, a prowler spotted early this morning:

I’ve called 911 to report it, but wanted to let you know as well in case anyone else in the neighborhood saw or heard anything.

About 6:45 this morning, I heard someone talking outside that seemed too loud to be coming from the street or sidewalk. I got up in time to see a guy just outside my window walking along the edge of the house to the side gate. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and backpack and carrying what appeared to be a metal rod of some sort.

Our house sits on an upslope. He had to climb the hill from the sidewalk to get that close to the house so it was deliberate. I saw him glance in the basement window which is covered by blinds and also check the gate but couldn’t tell if he tried to open it. He then headed to 29th where I lost sight of him but appeared to go south from there.

I did see a patrol car drive by less than 5 minutes after I called 911. This happened at 28th and Webster.

Next, Rich shared a quick video clip of suspected car prowlers in his neighborhood:

Having been a victim of mail theft 3 weeks ago, a car break-in, purse theft and expensive shopping spree 11 months ago, and a car theft 3 years ago, I finally got around to installing a security camera system on my home (6700 block of Murray Ave SW, a poorly lit street). Sunday afternoon, I noticed an empty Coors Light beer bottle in my driveway. I wondered who would have tossed it and checked to see what was recorded. (The) front camera captured images of 10 teen boys prowling cars on my street at 2:30 am Sunday. One is riding a bike and drinking a beer (which he later tosses in my yard). The bike in question appears to have a headlight on it, and looks an awful lot like John‘s stolen Townie Electra in (this WSB post).

I told my neighbor that I had film of her car being prowled, and was informed that it had in fact been broken into, contents rifled, and that the registration and other papers found in the bushes down the street. I would have figured it was a lone prowler or maybe two… but a pack of 10? Knowing this, readers could be on the lookout for suspiciously large packs of teens out late at night, and if they see this type of activity, call the police straight away to investigate.

The :11 above represents the only usable video Rich recovered, but he has since upgraded and tweaked the system so any future visuals will be more extensive.

Third, an FYI: Someone asked via text if repeat offender Ryan Cox is out of jail; they thought they had seen him at Lincoln Park. We checked the jail register and indeed, his most recent sentence expired on Thursday, and he was set free after almost four months. The circumstances were somewhat complicated, as detailed here.

Video & as-it-happened coverage: Lovett Chambers sentenced to 11 1/2 years for 2012 shooting death of Travis Hood

June 13, 2014 at 2:00 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 44 Comments

(TOPLINE: Lovett “Cid” Chambers has been sentenced to 11 1/2 years for the shooting death of Travis Hood; as-it-happened coverage below)

2 PM: We are at the King County Courthouse, where the criminal-court judges preside over sentencings on Friday afternoons. This afternoon in the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Theresa B. Doyle, the sentencing hearing is beginning for Lovett “Cid” Chambers, the 69-year-old Gatewood man (new photo from today at right) found guilty of manslaughter for the January 2012 shooting of 36-year-old Travis Hood (left) outside Morgan Junction Park. We covered every day of the six weeks of testimony in his trial (coverage links here), concluding April 8th with the jury’s verdict. According to a court document filed this week, prosecutors recommend a 13 1/2-year sentence (162 months) including the five mandatory years for use of a gun, with credit for time served (almost 2 1/2 years so far, since the night of the shooting). More than 25 people are in court for the hearing; we will add updates as the proceedings unfold. Two are holding up signs that say “No Jail for Self-Defense.”

(At tables, from left: prosecutors Margaret Nave & Mari Isaacson, SPD Det. Tim DeVore, defense lawyers Lauren McLane & Ben Goldsmith flanking Lovett Chambers)
Chambers is in jail orange – during the trial, he wore street clothes. Defense lawyer Ben Goldsmith begins by asking Judge Doyle to allow Chambers to be unshackled, and she grants the request. A brief moment of tension ensues – the deputies say they can’t do that without consulting a supervisor; they make a call, and say they are cleared.

2:46 PM: We are starting the sentencing coverage itself here – our chronicling of the previous 45 minutes of argument over whether to grant a new trial (a motion just denied by the judge) is now below the jump. The judge notes that she has received many, many letters in support of Chambers – she says she doesn’t believe she’s ever received so many letters in any case.

Prosecutor “Maggie” Nave speaks first, noting that Chambers spent most of 1966 through 1989 in prison for several major crimes, but they don’t count here for various reasons, so his “offender score is 0,” meaning a relatively light sentence, aside from the mandatory 5 years for use of a firearm.

As noted above, she says the state is asking for “high end of standard sentence,” 102 months for the manslaughter conviction, as “the defendant recklessly fired a .45-caliber handgun at the victim … repeatedly … three shots … It’s very likely the first shot was not a fatal shot … if the defendant had stopped at one shot, it’s likely Michael “Travis” Hood would be here today. … The defendant’s actions in this case were extremely reckless” even, she says, if you believe the defendant’s self-defense contention.

“The first thing is that he retrieved his handgun from (his car) … a handgun that he, a convicted felon, was not allowed to possess … (The second thing) is that he followed (the victim and his friend) up the street … when he had so many other options,” such as running into one of the two nearby bars, made a call for help, run down the street in the opposite direction. “He didn’t do any of those things.” And third, “he shot Travis repeatedly – if he had just stopped shooting, things would have been different. And (finally), he did this while (extremely drunk).” (Almost three times the legal limit, it was noted early in the trial.)

She says the facts of a case cited by the defense as grounds for a light sentence are not comparable to this one. She also says the defense is wrong to contend that a standard sentence would be “overly harsh” because of Chambers’ age and because he has been a law-abiding member of the community since the late ’80s. She acknowledges the circumstances the night of the shooting were “complicated.” Regarding the defendant having “precious few years when he gets out” even if only sentenced to 5 years, she says she wants to say on the record that Travis Hood “has no good years left,” and might have had 40 years left if he had not been shot dead. “He has a friend, a mother, a child … his mother and friends had to sit here in court day after die and endure the defense (portraying him as) a racist, violent person.”

3:04 PM: Brenda Hood, Travis’s mother, reads a letter from his daughter, Destiny Williams, 12 when he was killed. It speaks of crying, of counseling, of depression: “I miss my dad with all my heart. I dream about him a lot. I wake up crying. My world was taken away, and it doesn’t seem like anyone cares.” The letter speaks of never seeing her dad again, of not being able to have him walk her down the aisle someday. Brenda Hood now says that she bought her own plane ticket to Seattle twice and also paid tens of thousands for medical and funeral costs for her son. “While Travis won’t be back in this world, I would like to see justice for him. … I’d like to say the defendant showed no remorse throughout the whole trial … didn’t even show any sadness that the shooting had taken place.” She says she won’t forgive him – “only God can forgive him” – that she hopes he dies in jail and “rot(s) in hell.”

Next, Jodie Davis, a friend of Travis Hood’s, who along with the victim’s mother was in court daily throughout the trial.

She shows a photo of him as he prepared to leave Jacksonville for Seattle, and points out he was “the only white person in the photo.” Through tears, she said she thought that Seattle would be a great place for him, and she says she still has no idea what happened that night, and expresses her sadness that she will never see him again. At 3:11 pm, the judge calls for the afternoon recess. The hearing should reconvene by 3:30 pm.

3:29 PM, HEARING RESUMES: “The state wants Mr. Chambers to die in prison for defending himself,” opens defense lawyer Goldsmith. He gets to the point of the N word – and the variant on it that Hood’s friend Davis had used before the break, saying that it was just the way – as Hood’s friend Jamie Vause had testified during the trial – they referred to each other. Goldsmith contends that in any variant, if used by a white person, it is a slur against an African-American person, and a declaration that their life has no value. So, he says, when those words were used by Hood and Vause that night, “why wouldn’t Mr. Chambers panic? … Lord help any of us faced with a threat to their life and doesn’t behave the way (prosecutors) think they should.” He says the law allows an exceptional (low) sentence in this case. “Mr. Chambers is a kind, gentle, peaceful person, drunk or sober,” he says testimony showed. He speaks of Mr. Chambers’ wife Sara Chambers (who is here today) saying he “gets silly” when intoxicated. Even a prosecution witness, he says, described Chambers as “relaxed” that night. “He had love, friends, family, home, work, anything anybody could ever want. He had a gun that he wasn’t allowed to have. But in the two decades that he had it, he never pulled that gun in anger … Mr. Chambers told the court what happened, exactly what he was thinking, feeling, and he was consistent throughout.”

Goldsmith said even the prosecution witnesses did not describe Chambers’ actions as “following” them. He says even prosecution witness Vause’s description supports that Chambers was acting in self-defense – jumping back, shots close in time, “presence of a deadly weapon (shovel) in Mr. Hood’s hands … There’s no question that Mr. Chambers was in a fight for his life that night.”

Judge Doyle asks, “… when the jury rejected the self-defense theory,” how could the judge take that into account in sentencing?

Goldsmith says the court is entitled to make its sentencing decision separate from what was proven to the jury, and says that much of the testimony corroborated that Chambers could have and did perceive that he was in danger. But, he said, “I’m not asking the court to give him a significant sentence downward based on … that he is a good and peaceful person …” and again mentions that the court received letters of support from people who have known Chambers for “not only years, but decades.” He mentions a letter from someone whom Mr. Chambers helped deal with a threat, and said that he offered to that person that he would “help (her) work with police and courts.”

Regarding prosecutor’s Nave suggestion that he should have run away or could have taken some other action, Goldsmith mentions it happened within seconds, another sign it wasn’t reckless. Regarding his drunkenness, “it was tantamount to him being drunk in his own living room” because it was someplace he had been going for years. Finally “if nothing else, this case has demonstrated to me the living value of my talking because frankly I can’t imagine a world in which Mr. Chambers should have been convicted, and when I talk to people about this case, they are constantly shocked that he was convicted. .. There is not much I can do for Mr. Chambers but the law allows this court to do what is right.”

Chambers’ wife Sara now is coming up to speak.

“I’ve been married to him for more than 22 years. He’s always been a kind and gentle husband … has many friends .. I’ve seen him sober, I’ve seen him drunk, I’ve seen him happy and sad, and consistently he is an even-tempered man who thinks of other people as much as he thinks of himself …” He would only do something like this if he feels his life is threatened, she concludes.

Chambers himself declines the chance to speak.

Judge Doyle (left): “I don’t think this is an appropriate case for a sentence below the standard range.”

She says that his 20 years of law-abiding community life is not a criteria for that. She acknowledges the difficulty of the case and testimony – “imperfect self-defense.” She recaps the different versions of that January night’s events, told by Jamie Vause and by Lovett Chambers.

“It’s clear the jury didn’t believe the self-defense theory and … found him guilty of manslaughter, apparently finding that he recklessly caused the death of Mr. Hood. What wasn’t disputed was that Mr. Chambers had a .20 blood alcohol content many hours after (the shooting) … it may be that he doesn’t remember much of what happened.” She continues recapping what testimony said led up to “Mr. Hood picking up the shovel, Mr. Chambers shooting him three times. There really was no sensible explanation about why (he) would follow Mr. Hood and Mr. Vause up to the truck. That was the big gap. Why did he do that?” So, she said, she did not find a reason to impose a sentence below the 78 to 102-month standard range. “I do however find this an appropriate case for the bottom of the standard range and for all those same reasons – there was a very sharp division in what happened.”


3:54 PM: So, she summarizes, based on everything she’s heard, “the court thinks it’s appropriate to impose the bottom of the standard range – that’s 78 months.” And she notes there is no discretion in the additional 60-month firearm enhancement. 138 months total, with credit for time served (he has been in jail since shortly after the shooting 2 1/2 years ago).

Judge Doyle also orders the standard no-contact orders for witnesses and 36 months of community custody (probation); there also will be a restitution hearing at some point. Goldsmith asks for an “appeal bond” of $50,000. Judge Doyle says she would rather make that decision at another date, given that it’s already 4 pm. Nave says another hearing on a motion is pending and so they don’t want Chambers sent to state prison until that hearing, and the “appeal bond” hearing, can be held. The hearing is set for 8:30 am next Wednesday (June 18th).

We recorded video of the hearing and will upload upon return to HQ, adding here later tonight, along with more photos from the hearing.

(Added late Friday/early Saturday – the sentencing video in 2 parts, before and after the 3:11 pm break)


Click to read the rest of Video & as-it-happened coverage: Lovett Chambers sentenced to 11 1/2 years for 2012 shooting death of Travis Hood…

West Seattle Crime Watch: 2 stolen Accords to watch for

June 12, 2014 at 11:39 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

We mention stolen cars here (among other stolen items) whenever we hear about them, in case that helps get them back (as happened with Paul‘s car, found by Barb the other night). So here are two more we just got word of – both ’92 Accords. first, from Jason:

My white 1992 Honda Accord was stolen at 3060 SW Avalon way on Monday afternoon, in between 2 pm and 5 pm. It’s a 4 door, it has a silver Superman sticker on the back window, and the plate is AEG2888 with a Western Washington University Alumni frame on the back. Please let me know if you have any information!!

And from Marshall:

Last Saturday night my 1992 dark blue Honda Accord 2 door LICENSE PLATE AGW2562 was stolen from the Lincoln Park neighborhood area. Generally between Solstice Park and Lincoln Park between Austin and Kenyon. Car is very dark blue with large areas of peeling paint on roof and trunk, some slight recent peeling paint on hood, slight dent in driver door noticeable from squished Black rub strip, grey interior. Usually the cars are abandoned by now but this car had a full tank of gas and some emergency money in the glove box so it may take longer for the crackheads to run out of use. If seen, please call 911 and/or take a picture with your phone of anyone you see in near or using the car, $200 reward if found. Thank you!

(Lincoln Park, by the way, is where you’ll find next Tuesday’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting.)

West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglary victim’s request; WSCPC announces next meeting’s in Lincoln Park

June 11, 2014 at 10:56 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Notice anyone suspicious in Heather‘s neighborhood today?

I live on 11th Ave SW in the Highland Park neighborhood. Today our home was broken into between the hours of 1:00-5:00pm. Electronics, jewelry, and cash were stolen. People entered through a basement window. We have reason to believe that this could have been done by more than one person due to the fact that we found two golf clubs in the main floor bedroom that came up from the basement. Wanted to reach out to the community to see if anyone saw anyone in the area. It is worth noting that we did have visitors today so we had multiple vehicles in the driveway and in front of the house, even while we were away. So we want to know if anyone was knocking on doors or “surveying” the neighborhood today so we can also give that info to police.

According to our custom West Seattle list of SPD Tweets by Beat, this happened in the 7900 block of 11th SW (map). While the SPD police-reports map appears to be lagging, Tweets by Beat also lists six other residential-burglary reports as new to the system today – we won’t be able to find out until tomorrow if all of those burglaries really happened today, or if this is just when the reports were approved (if one of these cases involved you, please let us know – 3000 block of SW Bradford, 3100 block of SW Raymond, 8600 block of 46th SW, 9000 block of 35th SW, 4500 block of Glenn Way, and 3600 block of SW Henderson.

P.S. – NEXT WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL MEETING ANNOUNCED: Next Tuesday, the WSCPC meets for the last time until September. And the meeting’s going outdoors for the occasion – 7 pm June 17th, Lincoln Park shelter #1, with SPD Bike Patrol officers in attendance to explain their summer plans. As always, Southwest Precinct leadership will be there too with updates on crime trends and a chance for you to bring up neighborhood concerns. (This map shows you how to find Shelter #1.)

West Seattle Crime Watch: Reader spots stolen car; hit-run followup; vandalism…

June 10, 2014 at 10:52 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 16 Comments

Three West Seattle Crime Watch notes tonight. We start with a story that unfolded over the past hour or so:

In a Monday WSCW roundup, we mentioned two stolen cars that SPD had put the word out about via @getyourcarback – we hadn’t heard at the time from either car’s owner, but since dispatchers broadcast the information and said the vehicles were missing in “William sector” (western West Seattle), we republished the Twitter reports. Later in the day, the blue Civic’s owner, Paul, e-mailed us to say that was his car. Fast forward to about an hour ago, when Barb in Gatewood texted us to say she was catching up tonight on WSB stories and realized that the unfamiliar car that had been in front of her house since yesterday was Paul’s. She called police; they arrived; Paul headed there from his house near Fauntleroy Park, about a mile away. He called as we were writing this, saying it seems to be in OK shape – ransacked, but the baby stroller and car seat were still there, and it runs OK: “I’m shocked that it was stolen, and shocked to have it back.” (And he says: Thanks, Barb!)

We also have a followup tonight in the saga of the stolen car found Monday afternoon when it crashed into a Highland Park fence.

We requested and obtained the police report today. The suspect arrested a few blocks away is just 13 years old; the report starts with the basics reported here Monday, that he was followed and detained by a witness a few blocks away. Police say that after being read his rights, he confessed to stealing the car because he found it with a key in its ignition. He started driving around and eventually was speeding in the 8100 block of 11th SW, then lost control and went up over the sidewalk and planting strip and into the fence and ivy – “threading,” as the report put it, between a fire hydrant and the parked motorcycle belonging to the witness who chased and caught him running away. The report says the suspect was booked into the Youth Services Center for investigation of auto theft, and that police were recommending additional charges of hit-and-run and property damage. We will follow up to find out if the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office formally charges him.

Finally, a case of vandalism in a local parking lot – while a teacher was picking up treats. Keith writes:

My wife’s car was keyed this morning at the Roxbury Safeway down near White Center. So frustrating. She makes only teacher pay and works hard for a living. This happened while picking up cookies for her class as a gift. She wrote on Facebook this morning, ‘My car got keyed this morning at Safeway. I am so sad. But I guess the day can only get better.’

This isn’t big time property damage, but an unnecessary reckless act. She always allows adequate space for other cars around her, this made no sense.

Before we published this, Keith wrote with an addendum, “It isn’t just the car door. They keyed the whole side length of the car from the taillight all down to the front. There was no vehicle either side of her car when she arrived, or left.”

Update: Police response in Highland Park starts with stolen-car crash

June 9, 2014 at 2:09 pm | In Crime, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 13 Comments

2:09 PM: If you’re noticing a heavy police presence in Highland Park right now, here’s what’s going on (per scanner, though we have a crew arriving in the area): A car reported as stolen crashed through a fence on 11th SW; at least one person ran from the car and was caught by a citizen on 12th SW. Some confusion over the latter location ensued, briefly, but has been resolved.

2:31 PM UPDATE: Adding photo of the crashed car – which, from the plate and appearance, is this one tweeted by SPD just this morning:

(No word so far whether it was stolen in WS or elsewhere.)

The suspect was taken to the Southwest Precinct.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Street robbery; car, mower thefts; Junction followup…

June 9, 2014 at 1:34 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 20 Comments

We start this round of West Seattle Crime Watch reports with details on a daytime strong-arm robbery last Thursday in the 5200 block of Jacobsen (map). uphill from Beach Drive. Ashley writes:

I have been out of town and while I was gone my housesitter and best friend was walking up Jacobsen and was assaulted.

It was Thursday at 4:30 pm and there were plenty of people around. The car drove by her, and she noticed the girls looking at her. Then they pulled over (which she didn’t notice because she had headphones in). Then one of them grabbed her hand that her phone was in and stole her phone while another one pulled her back by her hair. She tried to fight for her phone and in the struggle she was pretty scratched up.

Then the girls drove away quickly and a few people that were nearby helped my friend by letting her use their phone to call the police, and walking her home.

Ashley says her friend described the car as a tan mid-’90s Pathfinder and got its plate number (starting with AHN). We are checking with police to see if that led them to any suspects.

Ahead: Quick notes on two car thefts, two cases involving lawn mowers, and what we have learned about a weekend Junction incident that several people asked about:

Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch: Street robbery; car, mower thefts; Junction followup……

West Seattle Crime Watch: 6 reader reports; car-theft prevention

June 8, 2014 at 4:15 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 8 Comments

Long report, but not because of a sudden crime wave – the reports have come in over the past several days. We start with information on crime prevention; the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network has published notes from the auto-theft discussion, featuring a guest from SPD, at its most recent meeting. You might be surprised to see how the Southwest Precinct’s auto-theft trends compare to other parts of the city, for example. It’s all on the WSBWCN site here.

That brings us to an attempted car theft reported by Nathaniel on Saturday:

Just wanted to let you know of an attempted auto theft of a 1994 Honda Accord from the 8500 block of 37th Ave Sw. They destroyed the ignition, couldn’t get it started, then ripped out the battery. Thankfully they left the beer in the backseat so it isn’t all bad!

Next – a stolen bicycle to watch for. John says it was stolen from his front porch on May 29th:

It’s a black Townie Electra with a leather “tank” bag. Contact police if you see it.

Two car break-ins to report. Dawn says hers was broken into Friday night in the 6700 block of 41st, “nothing major stolen” but she “wanted neighbors to keep an eye out and make sure doors are locked and alarms are on.” We also had a break-in report from earlier in the week in a Westwood carport:

I have an older Honda Civic and they popped my window out of the track and unlocked my doors to get in. I didn’t have anything valuable in my car. As far as I can tell nothing is missing… (but) They managed to drop their lighter in my backseat though so they must’ve really tried looking for something.

Missing a safe?

Might even be the one reported stolen recently in the 29th/Trenton vicinity, reports Kezia, who read about that burglary and wondered if the safe found at 26th/Trenton was the same one. It was reported to police and eventually disappeared, though the finder isn’t sure if it was taken away by officers or someone else.

And from Matthew, who wondered if this happened to anyone else this weekend:

(Friday night) at about 10:55 pm whilst watching a movie, my fiancé & I heard two strange thuds and turned our movie on mute to run outside & see what caused the noise. It appears someone egged our home (3 eggs total, from what I can tell). We live at the 3200 block of Walnut Ave SW, just a block from WS High School.

Followup: Man arrested, charged in Roxbury/24th attack, rape

June 4, 2014 at 3:35 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, White Center | 21 Comments

FIRST REPORT, 3:35 PM: The King County Sheriff’s Office believes it’s finally solved the vicious attack and rape of a 58-year-old woman in the 24th/Roxbury area three months ago – a case that drew regional attention. The attack happened early March 7th, as first reported here; investigators circulated a sketch, a photo of the victim’s purse, and went door to door. Now, DNA evidence has made a match, according to this announcement:

Police in Oklahoma arrested a 25 year old male for the March rape of a female in the White Center area.

The case was solved when the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab developed a DNA profile from evidence collected at the scene which matched the male. He had apparently been visiting King County from Oklahoma when the crime was committed.

The King County Prosecutor’s Office filed charges of Rape in the 1st degree and Assault in the 1st degree. An arrest warrant was issued and law enforcement in Oklahoma arrested him yesterday.

The suspect will have to go through the extradition process before being returned to King County.

We’re working to find out more.

5 PM UPDATE: The charging documents we just obtained from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office identify the suspect as 25-year-old Christopher Anthony Brown. They say his record in Oklahoma goes back seven years and includes convictions for burglary and assault/battery on a justice/social-services system worker.

Click to read the rest of Followup: Man arrested, charged in Roxbury/24th attack, rape…

West Seattle Crime Watch: Teens arrested after early-a.m. burglary

June 3, 2014 at 9:04 am | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 87 Comments

Police arrested two teenage girls after a Westwood resident reported chasing burglars out of his home early this morning. According to the report we just obtained from police – thanks to the neighbors who told us about the early-morning search – the resident had arrived home at 3:50 am, walked in through his carport, but didn’t lock the door behind him. After about 15 minutes, he went downstairs and found two intruders in a “study area” off the carport. He yelled; they “giggled and ran out the door” – with four laptops, a wallet containing cash and cards, and an iPod. A K-9 team joining the search found the suspects – girls, 15 and 16 years old – “hiding under a porch a couple blocks away” near SW Elmgrove and 30th SW (map), with “an empty wallet … at their feet” – identified by the victim as his. Police then found the stolen laptops and cards in a backpack “hidden in a container (with) some rocks piled on top of it” in a nearby yard. The backpack also contained a purple iPod that didn’t belong to the burglary victim, whose gray iPod remained missing. After the suspects were taken to the precinct, the report says, they were searched; one had $87 in cash in her sock. One suspect also was found to have a “no bail” warrant out for her arrest in a theft case; both were booked into the Youth Services Center for investigation of burglary.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Seaview car theft; Arbor Heights hit-run; Sunrise Heights break-in

June 1, 2014 at 12:45 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

Three West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports:


My mom’s 1991 Honda Accord was stolen sometime after 10:30 pm on Friday, May 30th, near Raymond and 49th Ave SW [map]. It is goldish/sand in color with license plate AJY3779. If seen, please call or text 206-852-6289.

HIT-RUN IN ARBOR HEIGHTS: We don’t know yet exactly where the actual hit-run happened, but a witness saw the fleeing car just before 10 am today:

I was walking my dog … when I heard a vehicle approaching from a side street at a high rate of speed. I got over as far as I could, in time to see the vehicle spin out into the intersection. The vehicle had severe front end damage, and bits of debris were flying off as it sped toward 35th. I don’t have a cell phone, so used a neighbor’s phone to call SPD. They confirmed that there had been a hit & run in the neighborhood (Arbor Heights). The location where I observed this was the intersection of 37th Ave SW & SW 102nd St [map]. The vehicle was traveling south on 37th, then east on 102nd. It probably turned onto 35th from there, but I could not see in which direction. Dark green older-model Honda sedan (probably Civic) with heavy front-end damage. License # AHH****. Hopefully SPD will contact me, as I also have a description of the driver.


I wanted you to know that my house (near Kenyon/29th Ave SW; map) was burglarized Wednesday between 2:00 and 4:30 pm (right after the school let out?). They went down the back alley, down my driveway, and into the back yard. From there they took one of the patio chairs and climbed up onto the electrical box for the hot tub and gouged the screen out to get to the kitchen window, which was left ajar. Once in, they stole the laptop in the living room, went into another room and stole an iMac, then went into my room. They ransacked my room until they found the safe which weighed about. 200 pounds. They carried it out of the house through the back door and more than likely into a waiting vehicle, probably parked in my back driveway. I talked to my neighbors either side of me but came up empty.

If you saw anything in that area last Wednesday afternoon, let police know.

P.S. This is NOT a West Seattle case but the suspect could be anywhere so we’re sharing the link to SPD’s updated blotter post on the early-morning double murder in Leschi because they have JUST named a suspect and included a photo. Obviously, if you see him/have any info, call 911. (5:24 pm update – SPD just announced he’s in custody.)

Update: Bicycle rider hit near bridge recovers, and meets Good Samaritan, as search for driver continues

May 31, 2014 at 10:57 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

(UPDATED 3:33 pm with hospital-room meeting between crash victim and Good Samaritan)

10:57 AM: The bicycle rider badly hurt by a hit-run driver last week is recovering and talked with KING 5 reporter Elisa Hahn for the story you can watch above (and on the station’s website). 30-year-old John Macy and his family hope someone will come forward – maybe even the driver her/himself – to solve the case. The newest information is still the same update reported here a week ago, republished below:

Detectives have reason to believe the suspect vehicle is light metallic blue and is missing the right-side mirror. The vehicle should have damage to the front bumper as well as heavy damage to the windshield. The suspect’s vehicle had been traveling westbound at the time of the collision and likely continued over the lower bridge and into West Seattle. Detectives are asking anyone with information to please call TCIS Detective Andrew Norton at -206-684-8934.

(It happened the night of Thursday, May 22nd, around 9 pm.)

3:33 PM UPDATE: We just learned from Harborview Medical Center that David Peterson, the Good Samaritan who spotted John Macy in the road, met him today at the hospital:

That photo is by Bobbi Nodell of Harborview, who says the family asked that they share an update so we could share it with you. She quotes David Peterson as saying, “A huge weight has been lifted knowing he will be OK.” The photojournalist you see at right is from KING 5, which will have a followup on TV tonight.

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: RapidRide robber sentenced as judge says, ‘You terrorized these people’

May 30, 2014 at 4:16 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 52 Comments

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

In the second of two back-to-back sentencings involving high-profile West Seattle cases, King County Superior Court Judge Catherine Shaffer has just sentenced 19-year-old Trevonnte Brown, whose robbery spree aboard a RapidRide bus in Morgan Junction last November ended when passengers grabbed and tackled him.

Brown was sentenced to the recommended 13 1/2 years total – 8 1/2 for the robberies, 5 mandatory years for using a gun – not only for the bus robberies that night but also for another robbery on board a Metro bus earlier that month (not in West Seattle). And prosecutor Alex Voorhees noted that the defendant had told police that he participated in “numerous” strong-arm robberies.

Over the objection of the defense lawyer, she played the video of the bus holdup for the judge, from the moment it showed Brown rising from his seat and pointing his gun at people to demand their phones, to the pileup that followed, restraining Brown and taking away his gun, after one of the victims, Casey Borgen, grabbed his arm. The video continued to roll as a woman called 911, with at least three men keeping Brown down, who could be heard yelling that they were hurting him. A shorter form of the video was shown on citywide TV last year, including this clip:

The video continued rolling in court until the point where police entered the bus. They were heard to call the guys who restrained Brown as heroes; Voorhees pointed out that Brown continued acting “abusive(ly)” as he was taken away, including doing damage to a police car. (pleaded guilty last month.)

Voorhees mentioned that Brown had confessed but that she was struck “by the lack of remorse” shown by Brown, who she says told investigators he had been “committing robberies since high school … he acknowledged that these three incidents we have before the court today are by no means the first foray … (though perhaps) the most extreme” because he used a gun.

Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch followup: RapidRide robber sentenced as judge says, ‘You terrorized these people’…

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Driver who hit two students near Chief Sealth IHS sentenced to twice the recommendation

May 30, 2014 at 3:04 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 25 Comments

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

A year and a half after 38-year-old Amy Lynn O’Brien drove her car into two students across the street from Chief Sealth International High School, an emotional hearing has ended with King County Superior Court Judge Catherine Shaffer sentencing her to one year, twice the six-month recommendation prosecutors had made, and ordering that the sentence begin immediately.

We reported last month that O’Brien pleaded guilty to hit and run and second-degree assault, the charges originally filed against her.

(WSB photo from the aftermath of the incident in November 2012)
In November 2012, she was arrested for hitting the two girls after getting upset about the 17- and 18-year-old girls’ interaction with her unleashed dog Both girls were hospitalized with serious injuries; O’Brien turned herself in the next day and spent about a week in jail before being released on personal recognizance, remaining free until now.

Both victims, Jessica and Cassandra, were present in court for the sentencing and spoke to the judge, as did the defendant.

Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Driver who hit two students near Chief Sealth IHS sentenced to twice the recommendation…

West Seattle Crime Watch: Park theft; tree vandalism…

May 28, 2014 at 4:48 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

Three West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports today. From Trissa, a theft at Camp Long:

We were at Camp Long with students & had locked a purse in the kitchen during the day. It looks like it didn’t get locked after lunch & someone snagged it and a Nike jacket between 12:30 and 2:45. We’re filing a police report and looked through the bushes and along the road leaving camp. If anyone comes across a silver coach bag, please let us know!

At Schmitz Park, someone is vandalizing a tree, says the Seattle Nature Alliance:

Last week, someone had apparently cut and peeled bark from this old-growth native Western Red Cedar in Schmitz Park, leaving a bright red scar.

A few days later, more bark had been peeled from the same cut. Removing bark can harm trees and is not allowed in Seattle Parks. Trees like this cedar are among the few remaining old-growth trees we have left in Seattle. They have stood for hundreds of years. They were protected for us, and we are protecting them for future generations.

From South Delridge, Mike spotted possible evidence of package theft – an empty parcel box, with packing material nearby, left on “the curb along the south side of Barton, where the stub of 17th off Delridge used to be.” He reported it to a Seattle Police officer he found nearby, so if you’re in that area and missing a package, be sure you report it so they can connect the dots.

Bike rider hurt in Beach Drive hit-run

May 26, 2014 at 4:32 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 6 Comments

Another hit-run crash has left a bicycle rider hurt – not seriously, this time. It happened in the 3700 block of Beach Drive SW; SFD checked out the rider, whose ankle was hurt, and was waiting with him for police to arrive; he told us he didn’t get a good look at the car, which continued northbound on Beach Drive.

SIDE NOTE: Last Thursday night’s hit-run at the east end of the low bridge remains unsolved; the vehicle description made public hours later remains the most information we have about it. A relative of the rider posted a comment today saying he did survive and that they’re grateful for those who helped him at the scene.

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