Kennewick animal cruelty case put on hold

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldMarch 7, 2013 

An 18-year-old Kennewick man charged with destroying his mom's home and being out of control at a hospital claims he killed the family Chihuahua because he wanted "to prove that he could kill a human."

Jackson Tanner Tidwell was ordered Wednesday to undergo a mental health evaluation at Eastern State Hospital in Medical Lake.

His Benton County Superior Court case is on hold until state psychiatrists decide if he is competent to go to trial. A review hearing is set April 24.

Tidwell is charged with first-degree animal cruelty, second-degree malicious mischief with domestic violence, obstructing a public servant, disorderly conduct and interference with a health care facility.

The animal cruelty charge includes aggravating circumstances that Tidwell used deliberate cruelty and showed a lack of remorse.

Kennewick officers received two calls Feb. 25 about someone causing a disturbance in a trailer at 7322 S. Bonnie Ave.

Michelle Tidwell told police her son was inside the home breaking things and possibly had a BB gun. It was after Jackson Tidwell was in custody that officers could see the extensive damage, which included several holes in walls, a broken screen door and TV, and damage to the ceiling, cabinets, countertop, fixtures and other property, court documents said.

She told officers that her two dogs were missing. Police found her 12-year-old Chihuahua, Chia, dead in a cabinet under the kitchen sink.

Jackson Tidwell allegedly admitted to kicking the dog, chasing and stomping on it, then shooting it several times with a BB gun. He said he wants to kill humans, including his mother and the lawyer who's assigned to his case, and told police he "hopes the judge he goes before wants to be assassinated," documents said.

Tidwell said he had swallowed a large number of muscle relaxant pills that belong to his mother, and wanted to kill himself. He was taken to Kennewick General Hospital to be cleared before going to the Benton County jail for malicious mischief.

While in the hospital's emergency room, Tidwell allegedly used abusive language and caused such a disturbance that it led to the little-used interference charge. He "continually screamed at the top of his lungs, screamed that there was a bomb in the hospital, that there was a fire, and made numerous other threats to hospital staff and police," documents said.

Deputy Prosecutor Megan Whitmire said in her probable cause affidavit that Tidwell threatened to sexually assault the officers' daughters and wives, threatened to bite the officers and said many times that he would "kill a judge."

Tidwell said "he was going to plead insanity and laugh in all the officers' faces," Whitmire wrote.

Police had to restrain Tidwell and placed a mask over his mouth because he would not stop spitting all over the room, court documents said. He claimed he has a brother in prison for murder and wants to find him to learn how to slit a throat, is looking forward to getting drugs behind bars and threatened to burn down the hospital, documents said.

A doctor questioned Tidwell's claim about taking Clonazepam, saying if he had he would have been asleep rather than ranting and screaming.

Tidwell is being held on $250,000 bail.

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