A 58-year-old Prosser man admitted to inflicting unnecessary pain and suffering on his escaped cows when he hit them with a van.
Thomas David Humphrey pleaded guilty Thursday in Benton County Superior Court to a reduced charge of second-degree animal cruelty. He originally was charged with first-degree animal cruelty and reckless driving.
Prosecutors agreed to reduce the charge to a gross misdemeanor and drop the driving charge in exchange for his plea.
Humphrey was sentenced to five days in jail, which Judge Craig Matheson said could be served on a work crew.
He also was given a two-year deferred sentence, which means Humphrey could get the conviction removed from his record if he follows court orders during that time. Some of the conditions he must follow include committing no new crimes, paying all court fines and not owning any animals for two years.
Humphrey was arrested June 10 by Prosser police after they got a report about a disturbance in the city's spray field on Bettinson Road. Witnesses reported seeing a man chasing and hitting cows with his white van, court documents said.
He was trying to corral six of his cows that had escaped.
Officers noted the van appeared to be out of control at times as it spun around, raising dust and throwing debris from its tires, documents said.
Two city employees reported that Humphrey was hitting the cows with the front of his van, and at one point the vehicle became high centered on top of a cow, documents said.
The cow eventually tried to run away but was unable to go far because of its injured legs, witnesses told police. Two other cows were struck and did not get back up, documents said. The injured animals were euthanized, documents said.
Kennewick man pleads innocent to trying to molest girl
A 49-year-old Kennewick man faces a June 25 trial for allegedly attempting to molest a preteen girl.
Daniel Devorkin's trial was set Thursday in Benton County Superior Court after Sal Mendoza Jr. was appointed to represent him.
Devorkin pleaded innocent Tuesday to attempted second-degree child molestation, but at the time he said he wanted to hire his own attorney.
On Thursday, he said he isn't able to hire an attorney while he is being held in the Benton County jail. His bail is $50,000.
Devorkin reportedly claims to be a nudist and is accused of exposing himself to the girl, court documents said.
He allegedly asked the girl if he could touch her "boobs," and asked her to cuddle with him when he was naked, documents said.
The girl refused and apparently recorded the conversations so she could show what Devorkin was doing, documents said. The incidents occurred between April 26 and May 2.
Man pleads innocent to stealing lottery tickets
A Kennewick man pleaded innocent to allegations he stole lottery tickets while working as a clerk at a Kennewick gas station.
Brian Donald Pineau, 33, is charged in Benton County Superior Court with second-degree theft. His trial is July 30.
Pineau is accused of stealing $2,179 worth of lottery tickets from the Conoco Total Stop between Nov. 7, 2010 and Dec. 6, 2010, court documents said.
The owner said employees begin and end each shift by noting the next sequence number of the lottery tickets, which should match up with the number of tickets sold during the shift, documents said.
Police were called after the owner said he noticed Pineau's log showed discrepancies between the ticket numbers and the actual number of tickets sold, documents said.
Pineau reportedly told investigators that he thought he had taken about 40 lottery tickets during his shifts, but a review showed the discrepancy totaled $2,179, documents said.
Defense attorney Dan Arnold was appointed to represent Pineau. He questioned why it has taken so long for the charge to be filed.
Prosser man pleads innocent to pulling knife on man
A 39-year-old Prosser man faces a July 2 trial for allegedly confronting a man with a knife about his tires being slashed.
Hijinio Noe Martinez pleaded innocent Thursday in Benton County Superior Court to second-degree assault with a deadly weapon.
The victim, Charles Breeze, called police May 6 to report Martinez was angry at him for slashing his tires, documents said.
Martinez reportedly approached Breeze in the parking lot of a bar while he was smoking. Breeze said Martinez pulled out a knife, put it up to his face and demanded money to pay for the damage to his tires, documents said.
Breeze immediately called police.
When Prosser police contacted Martinez, he initially denied his involvement, then reportedly admitted he got into an argument with Breeze, documents said. He then showed police the knife he had with him at the time, documents said.
-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; firstname.lastname@example.org