Oregon man pleads innocent to assault in Benton County Superior Court

By Paula Horton, Tri-City HeraldMay 4, 2012 

An Oregon man accused of slashing a Richland man's face and biting off part of his ear faces a June 25 trial in Benton County Superior Court.

Tosh Evans, 19, of Ashland, Ore., pleaded innocent Thursday to second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, with aggravating circumstances. The assault allegedly included deliberate cruelty and caused excessive injuries.

Evans was arrested Saturday by Benton County sheriff's deputies after he allegedly was found attacking Michael L. Pylman, 49, at the Queensgate Mini Storage in Richland.

Deputies were called around 3:30 p.m. about some people fighting at the storage units and when they arrived, they saw Evans run toward Pylman and kick and punch him, court documents said.

Evans was subdued by deputies while he was on top of Pylman, documents said.

Evans' sister reportedly once lived with Pylman and was at the storage unit getting some property. Pylman apparently got word that his former roommate was there and arrived to argue with her over some property, deputies said.

Evans then allegedly got out of his car and confronted Pylman over an alleged assault against his sister, documents said. Evans reportedly told deputies that he wanted Pylman to suffer.

Evans is accused of using a knife to slash Pylman's face and biting a chunk of flesh from Pylman's arm. He told deputies he chased Pylman down and put him in a choke hold because he wanted Pylman to stop breathing, but he didn't want to kill him, documents said.

When Pylman tried to escape, Evans bit off a portion of his ear, documents said.

Evans' bail was set at $50,000.

Pasco man pleads innocent to unlawful possession of a gun

A chat over Facebook about a gun landed a suspected gang member in the Benton County jail.

Jose Pedro Contreras-Gomez, 19, pleaded innocent Thursday in Benton County Superior Court to second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and faces a June 25 trial. His bail was set at $75,000.

The Pasco man was arrested April 16 after he was found with a .44-caliber revolver, court documents said.

Pasco police detectives apparently discovered a conversation between Contreras-Gomez and Carlos Farias where Contreras-Gomez asked if Farias still had his "cuete," which detectives said meant gun in Spanish, documents said.

Contreras-Gomez and Farias are said to be known gang members.

Farias said he had the gun and asked when Contreras-Gomez was going to pick it up, documents said.

Officers then set up surveillance at Farias' home and waited for Contreras-Gomez to arrive. They watched as he entered the house, stayed for a few moments, then left, documents said.

He then got into a car driven by another man who later told investigators that Contreras-Gomez told him he had his "toy" with him, documents said. The "toy" was the revolver and was hidden in the back seat, documents said.

Kennewick dental hygienist admits to using fraudulent prescriptions

A Kennewick dental hygienist admitted to using fraudulent prescriptions called in from the dentist office where she worked to get painkillers.

Nicole Bernice Polus, 40, pleaded guilty Thursday in Benton County Superior Court to two counts of obtaining a controlled substance through fraud, with the aggravating circumstance that she abused a position of trust.

Polus had been charged with eight counts of the same offense, but prosecutors agreed to drop the other six counts in exchange for her plea.

Deputy Prosecutor Christine Bennett also agreed to recommend a three-month jail sentence and didn't object to allowing Polus to serve the time on work crew or work release.

Polus, who had no prior criminal history, faced up to six months in jail.

Bennett told Judge Vic VanderSchoor that the co-defendants in the case received similar sentences.

"I know it was important to me that they be given similar offers," she said.

Chareise Louise Raugust, 43, was the office manager at Stout Family Dental and worked with Polus at the Kennewick office.

She pleaded guilty last month to two counts of obtaining controlled substances through fraud, with the aggravating circumstances that she abused a position of trust. She was sentenced to three months in jail and also allowed to serve the time on work crew or work release.

The third co-defendant was Raugust's fiance, Miljan Ignjatic, 34. He did not work at the dental office and Bennett said he got a deal for less time. Ignjatic pleaded guilty last month to two counts of unlawful possession of a legend drug. He had been charged with six counts of obtaining prescription drugs through fraud.

He was sentenced to three months in jail, but 65 days were suspended and he was allowed to complete the remaining 15 days on work release or work crew.

Kennewick police said the three defendants were involved in a sophisticated prescription fraud scheme that involved at least 167 forged prescriptions. Detectives said it was difficult to track down because it involved fictitious names.

The investigation began in September after a tipster called Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers claiming that employees at William Craig Stout's dental office were embezzling money, forging prescriptions and providing free dental care.

Court documents said Polus called in prescriptions in her name and the name of a relative and Raugust's name and the name of Raugust's relative.

Some of the prescriptions allegedly were authorized by Stout and Navdeep Virk, who owned the dental practice before Stout bought it in 2010. Both Stout and Virk denied authorizing the prescriptions, documents said.

VanderSchoor agreed to follow the prosecutor's recommendation and said Polus can serve the three months on work crew or work release. She has to report to the Benton County jail by Wednesday to make the arrangements, he said.

Prosser man gets prison for not registering as sex offender

A 52-year-old Prosser man was sentenced to one year and 10 months in prison after pleading guilty in Benton County Superior Court to failing to register as a sex offender.

James Dee Pulse faced a sentence of up to two years and five months in prison, but prosecutors agreed to recommend the low end of the sentence.

Pulse was convicted in 1984 of third-degree rape and is required to let law enforcement know where he is living.

Pulse had told the sheriff's office that he was living with his mother on Hinzerling Road, but on March 26, his mother said Pulse had moved out after an argument and she had no idea where he was, court documents said.

He was charged in April and pleaded guilty Thursday.

Defense attorney Larry Zeigler said he sped up the process because his client is in an "incredible bad medical condition" and he wanted to get him sent to the state Department of Corrections' intake facility in Shelton.

"I just want to move him over to Shelton where he can get a lot better care than he can ever get here," Zeigler said.

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