Canadian reporter charged with felony for threatening Americans hockey player

Tri-City HeraldJanuary 23, 2014 

— A Canadian news reporter was charged Thursday with threatening to kill her boyfriend, a Tri-City Americans player, after finding out that he'd dated someone else.

One count of felony harassment with domestic violence was filed against Tieja MacLaughlin in Benton County Superior Court.

Bail was set at $50,000.

MacLaughlin is scheduled to appear in court Friday. At that time, she may enter a plea to the new charge.

After the story about MacLaughlin was published in Wednesday's Tri-City Herald, it went viral and has drawn interest from newspapers, websites and television and radio stations across Canada.

MacLaughlin has been in the Benton County jail since her arrest Saturday afternoon.

A Benton County District Court judge on Tuesday had ordered a no-bail hold while prosecutors had 72 hours to review the allegations of felony threats.

According to Kennewick police and court documents, MacLaughlin already had a trip planned to visit boyfriend Jackson Playfair when she learned he cheated on her.

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

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

Kennewick police responded to the Toyota Center at 2:30 a.m. Saturday to meet with Playfair, who claimed that after MacLaughlin found out Friday that he'd been with someone else, she told her boyfriend "he would be dead by the end of the night."

Playfair said the two had been dating since July, and that it had been a "rocky" relationship, documents said.

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.

However, after Playfair got more texts later that day allegedly from MacLaughlin, officers told him to agree to meet his girlfriend. An officer then showed up at the hotel, instead of Playfair, and arrested MacLaughlin, court documents said.

MacLaughlin denied making the remarks when she was interviewed by police, documents said.

Check back for updates.

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