Finley man held without bail for high-speed crash

Tri-City HeraldOctober 11, 2013 

— A Finley man was ordered held without bail Friday, just days after he allegedly threatened law enforcement officers with a sword and destroyed two patrol cars following a chase that topped 100 mph.

Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller told the court he rarely asks for a no-bail condition, but has concerns about Shane K. DeWeber.

“I think so much has happened in the last couple of days and for whatever reason this defendant appears to be out of control,” Miller said during DeWeber’s first appearance in Superior Court.

DeWeber, 33, was charged Friday with two counts of first-degree assault with aggravating circumstances that the victims were law enforcement officers.

One victim reportedly was hit by flying debris from the collision, but otherwise the two were not injured.

Miller made sure to tell Judge Cameron Mitchell that these are tentative charges, and they will be re-evaluated once the investigation is complete. He wanted to make sure they were filed because of the custody issue.

DeWeber said he has not “been able to use the phone much” since the incident, so he hadn’t discussed the case at length with attorney Peyman Younesi.

“I would beg the court to give me bail and put me on home monitoring at my parents’ house so I could go see my mental health adviser, try to get this stuff under control,” DeWeber said. “I would gladly wear a home-monitoring bracelet, whatever the court desires.”

DeWeber’s mother and uncle were in court for the brief hearing.

He was medically released from Trios Health, formerly Kennewick General Hospital, after being treated for injuries he suffered when his truck catapulted over the two patrol cars and crashed.

A sheriff’s deputy was stationed outside his hospital room, and immediately took DeWeber to the Benton County jail to be booked at 11 a.m. Thursday.

DeWeber was involved in a domestic dispute early Tuesday with his estranged wife at her East Bowles Road home. Shannon DeWeber called 911 at 4:11 a.m. to report that her husband was pounding on her door, trying to get in through a window and acting as though he was under the influence of narcotics, according to authorities and court documents.

Responding officers found Shane DeWeber outside the home. He was armed with a sword and ignored commands to drop the weapon, documents said.

DeWeber allegedly asked them to shoot him, and his text messages later showed that he wanted to die “suicide by cop,” according to Sheriff Steve Keane. A deputy tried to stun DeWeber with a Taser but it did nothing.

DeWeber then got into his truck and led deputies on a high-speed chase down Highway 397 and other roads around Finley, often driving on the wrong side of the road, Keane said. Law enforcement backed off the pursuit out of concern for the public.

Then about 4:30 a.m., sheriff’s Sgt. Mathew Clarke and Kennewick police Officer Liz Grant were putting spike strips across Haney Road when DeWeber pointed his Dodge Ram pickup at their parked patrol cars on the gravel shoulder. The cars had their emergency lights on.

Clarke saw the truck speeding at them and told Grant to run, with both of them getting out of the way before DeWeber’s truck smashed the cars, court documents said. Clarke was the one hit by flying debris.

The sheriff’s patrol car landed upside down on top of the Kennewick car.

DeWeber then crawled out of his pickup and tried to attack the officers on foot, documents said.

He again was hit a couple of times with a Taser with no effect, but eventually was arrested.

Judge Mitchell said the court is concerned about DeWeber being a flight risk and a potential danger to the community. He refused to consider the home-monitoring option, and agreed it is best to keep DeWeber behind bars without bail for now.

DeWeber will return to court Wednesday to enter a plea with his lawyer, Younesi. Mitchell said they can argue for bail at that time.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office has encouraged prosecutors to charge DeWeber with attempted murder, in addition to second-degree assault and felony eluding police.

Lt. Chuck Jones told the Herald that his office believes DeWeber “intentionally tried to kill officers by deliberately hitting them.”

Miller wanted to emphasize to the court Friday that his office isn’t locked in to prosecuting DeWeber for first-degree assault.

“We filed charges but the investigation is still ongoing and I expect that we will be revisiting our charge” once all of the reports are in, he said.

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

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