Judge orders Canadian news reporter to stay in Benton, Franklin counties

Tri-City HeraldJanuary 24, 2014 

Tieja MacLaughlin pleaded innocent Friday in Benton County Superior Court to one count of felony harassment with domestic violence. The Canadian woman, who allegedly drove to the Tri-Cities to see her Tri-Cities Americans hockey player boyfriend after threatening to kill him, has been ordered not to leave Benton and Franklin counties until her case is resolved.

KAI-HUEI YAU — Tri-City Herald

— A Canadian woman, who allegedly drove to the Tri-Cities to see her hockey player boyfriend after threatening to kill him, has been ordered not to leave Benton and Franklin counties until her case is resolved.

Tieja MacLaughlin pleaded innocent Friday in Benton County Superior Court in Kennewick to one count of felony harassment with domestic violence.

Judge Vic VanderSchoor lowered her bail to $10,000, but ordered her to follow the conditions if she is released from jail.

Her trial is scheduled March 10.

MacLaughlin ignored multiple requests by Jackson Playfair, a forward for the Tri-Cities Americans, to cancel her planned visit to the Tri-Cities. Then, once in Kennewick, MacLaughlin promised police she’d leave him alone but continued to send about 20 to 25 more text messages, court documents said.

Playfair notified police after MacLaughlin got to town because he was “worried that she might carry out her threats to kill” based on her prior comments, documents said.

On Thursday, MacLaughlin was charged in Benton County Superior Court with one count of felony harassment with domestic violence.

A story about MacLaughlin in Wednesday’s Tri-City Herald went viral online and has drawn interest from newspapers, websites and TV and radio stations across Canada.

MacLaughlin, 25, is a freelance news and sports reporter for two media outlets in Kelowna, B.C., according to her LinkedIn profile. It also shows that she has covered the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League.

Playfair, 19, has been with the Tri-City team for two weeks after a trade with the Spokane Chiefs. His father is Jim Playfair, a coach for the Phoenix Coyotes, a NHL team.

The two reportedly started dating in July but it was a “rocky,” on-again off-again relationship.

During a heated phone conversation late last week, Playfair admitted he had cheated on MacLaughlin with another girl while in Spokane, documents said.

MacLaughlin became upset, began to make verbal threats toward Playfair and said “he would be dead” by the following night, documents said.

Check back for updates.

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