Thursday, December 3, 2009

Former Kirkland Mayor's son, daughter-in-law killed in car accident


The son and daughter-in-law of former Kirkland Mayor Bill Woods were killed Sunday when the car they were in was struck by a drunk driver on Highway 9 in Marysville. Tom (57) and Hilda Woods (62) were with neighbors Melissa (48) and Brad Agerup (54) in their Hyundai Azera when a 2005 Ford Explorer going an estimated 40 mph ran a stop sign near the intersection of 108th Street Northeast and Highway 9, striking the vehicle. All of the occupants in the Azera were killed on impact and were residents of Snohomish.

The Woods also leave behind three grown daughters and two grand-children. The two couples were returning home after visiting the Silver Reef Casino in Whatcom County.

The driver of the Explorer has been identified as Matthew C. McDonald, 27, of Snohomish. The man admitted to police on the scene that he had consumed eight beers and submitted to a breath sample that yielded a blood-alcohol level of 0.123 percent. He is being investigated for four felony charges including vehicular homicide. McDonald initially fled the scene of the accident but returned a short time later. The legal limit is 0.08 percent. McDonald was initially taken to Providence Everett Regional Medical Center for minor injuries but then booked into Snohomish County Jail for investigation of four felony charges. A judge set his bail at $1 million on Monday.

A passenger in the Ford Explorer was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

McDonald was not the only person at the scene arrested for DUI. A 48-year-old investigator with the Snohomish County Medical Examiner's office showed up to the scene of the crash smelling of alcohol.

This article was originally published in the Kirkland Reporter on December 2, 2009.
Matt Phelps can be reached at

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Police hunting man who doused Bainbridge mother and son with gasoline and threatened to set them on fire


A California man remains at large this morning after fleeing from a Bainbridge Island home where he attempted to light on fire the bed of a woman and her son early Sunday morning.

Bainbridge Police Lt. Sue Shultz said Monday that law enforcement officers continue to search for Edward Mark Olsen, 49, who is being sought on charges of attempted murder and residential burglary after entering the home of a 39-year-old woman at John Adams Lane and Wyatt Way at around 4:30 a.m. Sunday. Schultz said Olsen is believed to have relatives living in Kitsap County.

According to police, the victims awoke to Olsen, the woman's ex-boyfriend, pouring gasoline on their bed and threatening to ignite the fuel with a lighter he held. The woman and her 12-year-old son fled the apartment to a nearby apartment complex and called police. The suspect fled before officers arrived, police said, but left the gasoline container and lighter at the scene.

Shultz said the woman and her son were treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and have been moved to an undisclosed location.

A police press release said Olsen had broken into the victim's vehicle and used the garage door opener to enter the residence.

Shultz said Olsen had a lengthy criminal record in California, including spending two years in prison for being convicted of "threatening a crime with the intent to terrorize." After his release, he faced charges of parole violation and also served time for assaulting the victim, according to Shultz. Olsen was released from prison in October 2009.

Police said Olsen, who is a wanted parolee at large from California, located the victim on Bainbridge Island and assaulted her two weeks ago at her home. The victim did not report this assault because of her fear of Olsen, who continued to contact and threaten the victim, police said.

Olsen is described as 5 feet 11 inches tall, 210 pounds, with short gray hair and a mustache.

Shultz said Olsen should be considered a threat to the community and anyone knowing of his whereabouts should call 9-1-1 immediately.

This article was originally published in the Bainbridge Island Review on November 30, 2009.
Bainbridge Review can be reached at

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Coach who raped player avoids prison


Island County Chief Criminal Deputy Colleen Kenimond was very disappointed that a former North Whidbey soccer club coach who raped a teen player won’t be going to prison.

Jeovanni Camacho, Jr., a 34-year-old Oak Harbor resident, pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court Sept. 28 to three counts of child rape in the third degree.

At a hearing Wednesday morning, Judge Alan Hancock allowed Camacho to be sentenced under the state’s Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative, also known as a SSOSA, which allows first-time offenders to avoid prison by going through sex offender therapy.

A SSOSA is a complicated process. Hancock sentenced Camacho to five years in prison, but suspended all but a year of the sentence. That means he’ll spend a year in the county jail.

Afterward, Camacho will have to complete a three-year sexual deviancy treatment program. If he doesn’t comply with treatment or a long list of other conditions, Camacho could be sent to prison for the remainder of the suspended sentence.

At the sentencing hearing, Kenimond recommended that Camacho received the maximum sentence of five years in prison, which she felt was lenient. On the other hand, the Department of Corrections and the victim felt that a SSOSA is appropriate.

Kenimond wasn’t pleased that the judge agreed with the more lenient recommendations.

“It wasn’t just the child, he violated the community. He was a soccer coach,” Kenimond said in an interview after the hearing. “Where are our girls safe?”

Kenimond pointed out that Camacho admitted to the Department of Corrections that he had sex with the girl “more than 50 but less than 100 times” during a year-long period, beginning when she was just 14 years old. Camacho was the girl’s soccer coach and became a friend of the family.

Community Corrections Officer Helen Desmond completed a pre-sentence investigation after Camacho pleaded guilty to the three counts. The reports states that Camacho started having sex with the girl in March of 2006, unbeknownst to her parents. He sneaked into her room at night, picked her up from summer school to have sex with her and even raped her when she was supposed to be at her high school homecoming.

The girl’s parents and therapist tried to stop her contact with Camacho, but he bought her a cell phone and continued to sneak into her room.

The affidavit of probable cause states that the girl was initially reluctant to talk to police about the abuse, but she realized the inappropriateness of Camacho’s behavior after going through in-patient treatment out of state.

Camacho said he fell in love with the girl and even asked her to marry him, Desmond wrote in her report.

Camacho also admitted to viewing child pornography on two occasions, the report states.

The victim, who is now 18 years old, traveled all the way from California to speak at the sentencing hearing.

According to Kenimond, the girl repeated that she has a hard time not blaming herself for what happened. She asked the judge to order Camacho to undergo treatment in lieu of a long prison term.

This article was originally published in the Whidbey News Times on November 27, 2009.
Jessie Stensland can be reached at

First Hill slaying victim was hip-hop artis


The victim in a deadly Friday night shooting on Seattle's First Hill was identified by family members as Max Gasoi, a 21-year-old founder of an indie hip-hop music label.

Police said Gasoi was found shot on the street less than a block from St. James Cathedral, in the 800 block of Ninth Avenue. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Friends and family said Gasoi was a local hip-hop artist who had started his own label, So Hood Records, and had received his business license only a few days ago.

Friends said Gasoi and others had recorded an album that is slated for release next month.

He also was the father of a 5 1/2-month-old baby girl, Kiyomi.

Police and medics responded to the shooting scene at about 9 p.m. Friday, where they found Gasoi lying in the street.

Witnesses on the scene said they heard several shots - possibly three - being fired.

"I heard like a firecracker or a gunshot, about three times," said Normita Smith. "And I looked and I said, "Oh baby, someone got shot."

Police cordoned off a black Nissan Maxima parked near the body, but its involvement in the shooting was not immediately clear.

With guns drawn, investigators began a search of the area for the gunman, who remains on the loose. A description was not available.

The circumstances surrounding the shooting were not immediately clear, but police are calling the incident a homicide. Detectives are interviewing witnesses and canvassing the scene for additional clues.