Suspect in officer shooting misses court hearing, still in hospital

Tri-City HeraldJuly 31, 2013 

— A 26-year-old man, shot by a Kennewick officer after running from police and pointing a gun at them, missed his court hearing Wednesday because he's still being treated.

Dennis Jaymes Skellenger had been sent a summons to appear in Benton County Superior Court on new charges of attempting to elude police and third-degree assault.

However, Deputy Prosecutor Brendan Siefken told the judge it is the state's understanding Skellenger still is in the hospital.

The hearing was continued to Aug. 15.

The charges stem from a June 15 attempted stop. Police got word that Skellenger allegedly tried to return merchandise he bought with a stolen credit card at a Kennewick store.

Officers chased Skellenger's car for a short distance but called it off for public safety reasons, according to police and court documents.

The abandoned car was later found at 27th Street and South Keller, and officers tracked him down to a field near Horse Heaven Hills Park and Bethlehem Lutheran Church.

Skellenger was hiding behind a tractor and, after repeated demands to show himself, walked out with a revolver pointed at K-9 handler Brad Kohn, police said.

Officer Jeremy Taylor then shot Skellenger through the chest.

Skellenger spent about a month at a Seattle hospital before returning to the Tri-Cities to recover.

Prosecutor Andy Miller said earlier this month that an arrest warrant was not being issued for Skellenger due to "medical problems" he's experienced from his injuries.

An independent review of the shooting found that Taylor acted appropriately.

Check back for updates.

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