West Richland man gets 2 years in plea deal

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldOctober 5, 2012 

A 31-year-old man convicted of his 15th felony will spend two years in prison for trying to attack an officer and giving several false names to police after he was found in a stranger's backyard.

Terry Ty Kuhlman was sentenced Thursday in Benton County Superior Court for his guilty pleas to third-degree assault and second-degree criminal trespass.

A charge of possessing a stolen vehicle was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

The West Richland man was wanted on seven arrest warrants at the time of his April 5 arrest.

Kennewick police were called that day by a man who noticed Kuhlman hiding in his backyard.

When Kuhlman was taken into custody on suspicion of trespassing, he gave several fake names and birth dates, but officers eventually were able to identify him using a photo, court documents said.

That's when officers discovered Kuhlman's warrants, including one for failing to register as a sex offender.

Kuhlman was convicted in 2000 of third-degree child molestation and in 1996 of communication with a minor for immoral purposes, according to Herald records. He has been classified as a Level 3 sex offender, meaning he is considered highly likely to reoffend.

Police took Kuhlman to a Tri-City hospital to be checked before being booked into the Benton County jail, because "he appeared to be under the influence of something," documents said.

At the hospital, Kuhlman stood up, put his head down and charged at Officer Aaron Hamel, trying to knock him over. Hamel was able to avoid being hit and quickly handcuffed Kuhlman.

Before this crime, Kuhlman had 14 felony convictions on his record, including taking a vehicle without permission, theft, forgery, residential burglary, possession of and trafficking in stolen property and five failures to register.

Warrant issued after Granger man fails to show up for court

A Granger man is wanted for skipping a court date on charges he encouraged his girlfriend to pad his inmate phone account with a stolen credit card.

Nicholas Nathaniel Martinez, 27, had been sent a summons to appear for a hearing on the new second-degree theft charge. The case was filed Sept. 21.

When he didn't show up in court Thursday, Judge Vic VanderSchoor issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

The case stems from the apparent discovery of a lost wallet at a Prosser McDonald's in early July.

Martinez's girlfriend, Rebecca Vanity Rodriguez, has her own charges for allegedly using a card from the wallet and for taking at least 18 phone calls from Martinez despite a court order that she have no contact with him.

The alleged crimes came to light after Prosser police monitored the couple's phone calls while Martinez was an inmate at the Benton County jail.

Court records also have Rodriguez's first name spelled as Rebeca.

The 23-year-old woman pleaded innocent this summer to one count of second-degree identity theft, a felony, and three counts of violating a protection order, a gross misdemeanor. The violations include a domestic violence allegation because Rodriguez and Martinez are in a dating relationship.

Rodriguez's trial is scheduled Nov. 13. She also is set to be sentenced next Thursday for fourth-degree assault with domestic violence -- the case that led to the order protecting Martinez, the reported victim.

According to court documents in Rodriguez's and Martinez's cases, Martinez called his girlfriend from the jail about 18 times between May 2 and July 13. The calls totaled more than 180 minutes and were recorded by the Telmate inmate communications system.

Prosser police Officer Mark Cole had monitored the calls and reportedly identified their voices because he is familiar with Martinez and Rodriguez, documents said.

It was during a July 10 conversation that Rodriguez allegedly told her boyfriend she found a wallet inside the Prosser fast-food restaurant and had used a credit card inside it to put $50 on Martinez's Telmate account.

Telmate has a website for people to deposit money on a specific account so inmates can make phone calls.

Rodriguez also said on the call that she purchased minutes on her cellphone with the stolen card, court documents said.

Martinez then asked his girlfriend "to put a lot more money on his Telmate account," documents said. "In a later conversation, (Martinez) asked Rodriguez to try and get cash advances (off) the card and to put some money on his home boys' Telmate and commissary accounts."

Prosser police were called July 10 by an East Wenatchee man who reported losing his wallet in the Merlot Avenue area in Prosser. The McDonald's restaurant is on Merlot.

The victim later reported that a $64.70 charge went through on his card on July 11 for Telmate Inmate Phone Services, documents said. He also told police there were several unsuccessful attempted charges.

-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com

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