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Prosecutor's Corner: DUI's and illegal burning

September 24, 2013

*Stock photo

Last week there were two jury trials in District Court. One trial was a DUI and the other was Burning without a Permit.
The DUI case arose out of a traffic stop in January 2012. Washington State Trooper Mark Hyer testified that he stopped a vehicle traveling at 108 miles and hour between Colville and Kettle Falls. It was in the early evening, but it was dark. After stopping the vehicle, he found Ms. Carrie Michelle Cox was the driver. Trooper Hyer noted a strong and obvious odor of intoxi¬cants about her and after further investigation, formed the opinion that she was intoxicated. Trooper Hyer arrested Ms. Cox for driving under the influence. There was a passenger in the vehicle that also was intoxicated.
During the investigation, reserve officer Mclagen, now a Lin¬coln County deputy, arrived and assisted. Officer Mclagen wit¬nessed Ms. Cox on scene and provided testimony about what he observed regarding her intoxication. Officer Mclagen pro¬vided the passenger a ride from the scene.
On 9-17-13, the defendant went to trial for Driving Un¬der the Influence and Reckless Driving. The state presented testimony by Deputy Mclagen and Trooper Hyer. The defendant testified that she was sick and not intoxicated, and that she only had only consumed one drink. After a two-day trial, the jury found the defendant guilty of Driving under the Influence and Reckless Driving. Sentencing will occur in about two weeks.
The evidence in the other trial was that on Oct. 20, 2012 law enforcement officers were called out to respond to a fire at 2523 Raven’s Way in Chewelah. Department of Natural Resources officer Allen Gallanger re¬sponded from two hours away to investigate. Fire personnel extinguished the fire by the time Gallanger arrived.
Officer Gallanger testified he determined that William Kurrle III, DOB 10-10-42, had started the fire on his property. Gallanger testified that the property in question is forested property and that Mr. Kurrle needed to have a permit issued from the Department of Natural Resources to burn on the property in question.
Officer Gallanger testified that the defendant had applied for a permit twice, but both times had not com¬pleted the applica¬tion and it was denied. Officer Gallanger testified as to the purpose of the permitting process such as to assess size of the proposed burn and decide whether it presented a danger to neighboring houses and structures.
On 9-17-13 the defendant went to trial for Burning without a Permit. During the trial, Deputy Clay Bailey, Fire Warden Jack English, and Officer Gallanger testified for the state. After a one-day trial, the jury found the defendant guilty of Burning without a Permit. Sentencing is delayed for now.
Deputy Prosecutor Nick Force represented the state in both of these trials.

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