KENNEWICK -- A former Richland hotel employee is accused of embezzling more than $9,000.
Tracey Michelle Kosmos, 37, pleaded innocent Wednesday in Benton County Superior Court to first-degree theft. Her trial is set for Sept. 27.
In mid-2009, it was discovered by Hampton Inn officials that "in excess of $9,000" had been taken from cash to be deposited, according to court documents.
Prosecutors allege Kosmos was the only employee with access to the money and who was present on all occasions. When questioned by the hotel manager, she reportedly admitted to taking about $5,000, documents said.
Kosmos had worked for the Hampton Inn for at least a few years when the alleged thefts occurred between Jan. 1 and Sept. 1, 2009.
Her job titles had included front desk agent and conference and catering coordinator responsible for in-house sales, according to Herald records.
The Pasco resident told the court she is currently doing temp work.
Voyeurism charge brings man 10 days in jail
KENNEWICK -- A 24-year-old man was sentenced to 10 days in jail for taking nearly nude pictures of a woman without her knowledge.
Dustin James Caldwell has credit for already serving the jail time. He will be on community supervision for three years.
The sentence follows Caldwell's guilty plea April 28 to one count of voyeurism with domestic violence.
"With the intent of sexual arousal, I took a photograph on my cell phone of (the victim) without her consent and at a time when she was in a place that she had a reasonable expectation of privacy," Caldwell wrote in his plea statement.
As a part of the plea deal, prosecutors dismissed one count each of cyberstalking and telephone harassment, both also with domestic violence allegations.
Caldwell reportedly had no prior felony convictions.
He and the victim had been in an intimate relationship when he took the pictures of her wearing only a towel after getting out of the shower or in her undergarments while dressing, court documents said.
Once she discovered the pictures existed, she became upset with Caldwell and asked him to delete them, documents said.
But Caldwell allegedly decided to make the pictures public when the victim ended their relationship.
In an interview with a community corrections officer doing his presentencing report, Caldwell said he believed "his conduct in the instant offense was not voyeurism but thinks it was 'poor judgment.' "
The report added, "He characterized his intent in the matters as 'being stupid ... being a guy, I guess.' "
Woman faces fraud charge in drug case
KENNEWICK -- A 44-year-old woman is charged with attempting to get pain medication from different Kennewick dentists without an office visit.
Victoria Elizabeth Esteban allegedly claimed to have a toothache each time she called a dentist. She would request a prescription until she could see the dentist, then would miss the appointments, according to court documents.
Esteban, of Montesano, pleaded innocent to obtaining a controlled substance through fraud. Her trial is scheduled Sept. 27.
Court documents state that June 13, 2009, Esteban called a Kennewick dentist and falsely claimed to be a patient with a toothache.
The dentist immediately phoned in a prescription for Vicodin and Amoxicillin to a Tri-City pharmacy. He also told Esteban to come in for a visit to further address her health concern but she never showed, documents said.
The dentist then checked his records and couldn't find Esteban on his patient list. He later told Deputy Prosecutor Adrienne Farabee that Esteban "must have told him that she was a patient of his because he would never give a prescription to anyone unless they were a patient of his," court documents said.
Kennewick police discovered Esteban picked up her prescription at the pharmacy for the pain reliever but did not take the drug to fight infections, documents said.
Kennewick police also learned Esteban allegedly had called another Kennewick dentist asking for pain medication and an appointment. The dentist prescribed her Tylenol, which she failed to pick up, court documents said. She also reportedly skipped the appointment.
According to Kennewick Detective Rick Runge, Esteban had similar prescriptions in Walla Walla, Gresham, Portland and Ontario.
Richland man accused of attacking jail officer
KENNEWICK -- A Richland man is accused of attacking a corrections officer while he was an inmate in the Benton County jail.
Shane Lyle Hill, 19, pleaded innocent to third-degree assault and is set to face a jury Sept. 27.
Court documents state Hill was one of two inmates who were fighting in the jail June 22.
When Corrections Officer Dallas Murray tried to break it up, Hill tried to take Murray to the ground by grabbing his legs at the knee, documents said.
Hill allegedly continued to resist Murray's efforts and struggled with him as the officer tried to break free.
Murray later was treated for injuries to his right thumb and wrist and left wrist and forearm.
* Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531; firstname.lastname@example.org