Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Bulletin Column


May 8, 2013

These reports are from the previous four issues of the Daily Bulletin in Colfax. They are reprinted here for the benefit of Gazette readers who reside outside of Colfax. Some accounts have been updated.



A Lewiston worker was injured Monday morning in a fall at the Port of Wilma on the Snake River. Whitman County Sheriff Brett Myers reported Robert C. Richard, 41, sustained a broken back and wrist after falling approximately 18 feet and landing on a concrete sub floor.

Paramedics from Clarkston and Whitman County deputies were called to the scene. The sheriff said preliminary information indicates the cover over an in-ground storage facility at Columbia Grain gave way while Richard was walking on it.

He was taken by ambulance to an area hospital for treatment.


Chang Ho Song, 21, was allowed release on his own recognizance May 2 after being arrested in Pullman on a charge of theft. The arrest report said he is suspected of using his roommate’s charge card to purchase pizza from Pizza Hut.

The arrest report said the pizza was purchased by charging it to an account in a Japanese bank. Cost of the alleged pizza purchase was 3,002 yen, approximately $30. He is also suspected of making other charges on the account without the roommate’s knowledge.



A July 15 trial date has been scheduled for Richard Lander, 20, Colfax, after he pleaded not guilty Friday in superior court to a charge of forgery. Lander had been charged with forging a check with a “washing” process which involved changing names and numbers on a check believed to have been taken from the mail.

According to the arrest report he converted a $350 check which had been made out to First Step Internet to a $3,500 check made out to him.



Continued deterioration of the Codger Pole at Codger Park has been a concern of the Colfax Park Board. In his report of the parks meeting to the city council, Councilman Al Vorderbrueggen noted repairs for the pole have been estimated at $40,000, and the park board doesn’t have that kind of money.



Three Colfax High Jazz Band members earned “outstanding musician” honors Saturday at the Mt. Hood Jazz festival in Gresham. The honors went to Sam Dailey, trumpet; Brent Becker, trombone, and Landon Willson, drums.

Becker plays the featured solo in the ballad number, and Willson plays a drum solo on the band’s “Sing Sang Sung” closing number.

The band, which placed second in its division at CBC three weeks ago, booked CHS record high scores Saturday from adjudicators, but competed against schools with enrollments up to 1,800 because competition divisions have been consolidated at Mt. Hood and were not among the top three finishers announced at the event.

JAZZ CONCERT DATE CHANGE: The Colfax jazz band concert date has been changed to Thursday, May 16, at 7 p.m. because of schedule conflicts. The band plans to play its three-song competition set and other numbers during the performance and honor senior members of the band.


Items stolen from the Bobby J. Bilderback residence in Malden were ordered retained by the court Friday after a review hearing on Bilderback’s indigence status to qualify for a court-ordered defense attorney.

Judge David Frazier ordered the review hearing after learning items taken from Bilderback’s residence had been valued at $27,000.

Almost all of the stolen items were returned and kept as evidence in the state’s case against Jason Stapert who last week admitted he took the items, including bottles of liquor and guitars, from the Bilderback residence. Stapert, who was sentenced to 45 days in jail with credit for time served, told deputies he took the items from Bilderback’s residence to get even for the loss of his son.

Bobby Bilderback has been charged with providing methamphetamine to Donavin Stapert, 17, who allegedly died from a drug overdose.

Judge Frazier Friday ruled that Bilderback will retain his status as an indigent. He noted the $27,000 value cited for Bilderback’s property was an estimate. He also ruled Bilderback, who remains in jail, is unable to liquidate the property and use the proceeds for attorney fees.

The judge, however, ruled Bilderback could be capable of contributing to the attorney costs and ordered the property kept in evidence until the charges are resolved.


A petition for use to hire an expert witness for the second murder trial of Daniel Lazcano was filed May 2 in superior court. Eric Christianson, Spokane attorney who will represent Lazcano as a court-appointed attorney in the second trial, has requested funding to hire a Spokane ballistics expert to review evidence and testify at the trial.

Christianson’s petition said he wants to hire the expert to determine whether the death of the alleged victim in the case, Marcus Schur, was caused by shots from an AK-47 rifle or from a pistol.

Lazcano was scheduled for a second trial after the jury in his first trial was unable to come up with a verdict.

The state’s case against Daniel Lazcano contends he shot Schur with an AK-47 rifle. The rifle, which was recovered last year from the Spokane River, was presented as evidence to the jury at the trial of Daniel Lazcano. It was also presented at the trial of Frank Lazcano who was convicted by the jury in his trial.

The rifle is among a list of evidence items which have been released from the custody of the court after the Frank Lazcano conviction for use by the prosecutor’s office in the second trial of Daniel Lazcano which has been slated to begin May 28.



A warrant for the arrest of Jordan William Ternes, Pullman, was issued Wednesday after he failed to appear Friday as previously ordered by the court. Bail amount after arrest was set at $25,000.

Ternes, 20, was charged with delivery of a controlled substance to a minor on connection with a Pullman police investigation of a report of students smoking marijuana in the locker room at Lincoln Middle School last Dec. 6.


IN 2007 SUIT

Superior Court Judge David Frazier dismissed a six-year-old damage suit filed against the State of Washington in a ruling April 25. The suit, which was filed Sept. 10, 2007, contended the state damaged private property by removing an access bridge from the Moscow-Pullman Highway to the property which was located along the south side of the highway.

Filed by Williams Place LLC, the owner of the property, the suit contended the state is required to maintain access to property which adjoins the state right-of-way. The state responded to the suit by contending the Williams Place property did not adjoin the state highway property.

The court issued an earlier opinion on points in the suit in July of 2008.

Attorneys for Williams Place later argued easement transactions involving the county for the Bill Chipman Trail, which runs along the south side of the highway, documented Williams Place ownership of property adjoining the highway.

The court last week ruled that development of the Bill Chipman Trail on the former railroad land along the highway did not constitute abandonment of the railroad easement. That would have caused the property to revert to Williams.

The court ruled under the Trails Act, railroad easements are discontinued but not abandoned when they are converted to trails.


A $250,000 bail for pre-trial release was set by District Court Judge Doug Robinson during the first appearance of Jacob P. Forster of Uniontown who was arrested April 30 on a probable charge of attempted murder of his wife, Cheryl.

The investigation report said Forster placed a box over his wife’s head with the intent of asphyxiating her with a tank of gas. The attempt allegedly was done in the early morning hours of March 26, but deputies did not receive a report until later and moved to arrest Forster April 30 after his wife called the investigating officer. She reported her husband admitted to her that he was attempting to murder her on that night four weeks earlier. The report alleges he made the admission on the phone after deputies had received a warrant to record calls from their Uniontown residence.

According to the arrest report, Forster’s wife told them she woke up at 3 a.m. on the night of March 26 and discovered a box had been placed over her head. She said the box had tape on it. After she woke up, her husband removed the box with a tank and a clear hose and took it out of the house.

She said Forster had earlier said he planned to give her a small amount of gas so she would not wake up while he used the remainder of the tank of gas to asphyxiate himself. He explained he believed the use of nitrogen would leave no evidence of suicide, and lead investigators to determine he had died from cardiac arrest.

The investigation report said deputies determined the couple had taken out life insurance policies and they asked the suspect if the life insurance policy had crossed his mind while making his plans.

The report said his response was “I would be lying if I said it didn’t.”



The Colfax FFA plant sale, which had been scheduled for last weekend at the greenhouse next to the high school shop building, has been postponed until May 17-18. The delay will allow some of the plants, which have been delayed by cold weather, more time to mature.


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