Canadian woman held without bail for threatening to kill Americans hockey player

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 21, 2014 

A Canadian news reporter was ordered held without bail Tuesday while Benton County prosecutors review allegations she drove to Kennewick with plans to kill her boyfriend, a Tri-City Americans player.

Tieja MacLaughlin, 25, made the threats while talking on the phone with Jackson Playfair, reportedly after finding out that he had dated someone else, documents said.

MacLaughlin appeared Tuesday in Benton County District Court on an investigative hold for felony threats. Judge Joe Burrowes told her to have no contact with Playfair while the case is pending.

Playfair, 19, is a forward for the Americans and has been with the team for two weeks after a trade with the Spokane Chiefs.

According to Kennewick police and documents, Playfair told police at 2:30 a.m. Saturday that he has been in a dating relationship with MacLaughlin since July, but said "it has been a rocky one."

MacLaughlin learned Friday that her boyfriend had been with someone else, and told him over the phone that she was on her way to Kennewick, court documents said.

During that call, she told Playfair that "he would be dead by the end of the night," documents said.

MacLaughlin is a freelance news and sports reporter for two media outlets in Kelowna, British Columbia, according to her LinkedIn profile, which also shows that she has covered the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League.

Police met with MacLaughlin at a Kennewick hotel and warned her that she would be arrested if she did not stop contacting Playfair.

MacLaughlin promised officers she would stay away from him and return to Canada, Sgt. Ken Lattin told the Herald.

But MacLaughlin allegedly sent him text messages to meet her at the hotel. Police instructed Playfair to tell MacLaughlin that he would be there, Lattin said.

Officers showed up at the hotel and arrested MacLaughlin on Saturday afternoon. In an interview with police, she denied making the remarks to Playfair, court documents said.

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

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