A Kennewick man who leased more than $4,000 in goods for his home, but failed to make payments or return the items, apologized Thursday and said that he's looking forward to treatment while behind prison walls.
Daniel Thomas Crouchet, 29, was sentenced in Benton County Superior Court to almost 2 1/2 years in prison.
He pleaded guilty May 17 to theft of rental property over $750 and bail jumping.
"I'd just like to apologize for my actions, and thank the court for this sentence so I can get my treatment and get back on my feet," said Crouchet.
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Judge Cameron Mitchell agreed he was a good case for the Special Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative, which means he should get treatment for his drug addiction while serving a shorter prison term of 29.75 months.
Mitchell said he hopes Crouchet gets help for his addiction and wished him good luck in prison.
Crouchet went to Rent-A-Center on Clearwater Avenue in Kennewick on Feb. 2, 2011, and completed a rental agreement for a two-piece sectional sofa, a 55-inch Toshiba LED television and an LG home theater system.
The leased items had a total value of $4,152.31, and Crouchet made an initial payment of $49.68 with expectations that he would pay them off on a weekly basis, court documents said.
However, he never made another payment, documents said.
The agreement became invalid Feb. 12, 2011, and on March 14, 2011, the store sent a certified letter to Crouchet saying he was 30 days late on his payments and needed to surrender the furniture immediately.
Rent-A-Center verified the home address with his landlord and even tried to pick up the goods on two occasions. Crouchet drove away from them one of those times, court documents said.
Kennewick police then contacted the landlord July 11. She told officers she had seen the large-screen TV when she had gone into Crouchet's apartment for routine maintenance, but it no longer was there when she was in the apartment the previous week, documents said.
Police got a search warrant for Crouchet's apartment and went in to seize the merchandise. Crouchet was not home at the time.
The sofa reportedly was there, but the TV and the home theater system were missing.
Crouchet was charged with that theft last July. He had a Jan. 5 court date in the case but failed to appear, which led to the bail-jumping charge.
Crouchet had 13 felony convictions on his criminal record before these crimes, including possession of controlled substances, possession of and traffickingin stolen property, escape, theft, burglary and residential burglary and assault.
As a part of his sentence on the rental property theft, Crouchet must repay $1,471 to Rent-A-Center.
Pasco man faces August 27 trial on forgery charge
A 34-year-old man pleaded innocent to charges he forged a blank check taken from a former employer and cashed it in Richland for $1,922.
Eric Ryan Mock of Pasco faces trialAug. 27 on one count of forgery. The charge also includes the aggravating circumstances that Mock used his position of trust and that the current offense involved a monetary loss substantially greater than is typical for forgery.
The alleged crime occurred sometime between Jan. 13 and 14.
Details of where Mock reportedly cashed the check are not in court documents, but prosecutors said eyewitnesses identified the suspect and they have a surveillance video to back up the claims. Mock did not have authorization to possess the check, documents said.
The victim is Big D's Construction of Pasco. Mock used to work for the excavation company, which suspects him of stealing blank checks during his employment, documents said.
Kennewick woman pleads guilty to kicking officer during arrest
A 21-year-old Kennewick woman admitted kicking an officer who was trying to arrest her when concerned citizens reported her in the middle of a street naked and high on methamphetamine.
Lacynda R. McGill pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault for the April 22 incident in Kennewick.
"I intentionally kicked a police officer who was trying to arrest me," she wrote in her plea statement.
Police were called by concerned citizens about a woman they found naked and yelling in the street. The residents didn't know McGill but offered their help, court documents said.
When officers arrived, McGill was trying to get inside the house, documents said.
McGill, who had ingested meth, tried to attack Officer Jason Kiel by kicking and spitting at him as he tried to arrest her.
Documents state that while being checked out at a Tri-City hospital before going to jail, she attempted to bite and spit on medical staff.
McGill had been charged with third-degree assault. However, Deputy Prosecutor Christine Bennett said Kiel approved of the amendment to a lower charge because he was not injured and McGill was high on drugs, Bennett wrote in court documents explaining the reduction.
"She was in a manic state at the time of the assault," Bennett said.
McGill does not have any felony convictions. As a part of the deal, she must agree to a drug abuse evaluation and treatment, the prosecutor said.
Her recommended sentence will be 30 days in jail with 334 days suspended. Sentencing is set for June 28.
Man enters innocent pleato molesting grade-school girl
An 18-year-old man is accused of sexually assaulting a grade-school girl.
Jorge F. Zavala Perez told police after his arrest that he had consumed 18 beers and was very drunk when he inappropriately touched the young girl, court documents said.
The girl met with a child forensic interviewer in late May and described how Zavala Perez touched her underneath her clothes, documents said.
Zavala Perez pleaded innocent to first-degree child molestation. Trial is scheduled July 30.
He is in the Benton County jail on $10,000 bail, but will return to court next week so his lawyer can address that amount.
-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; firstname.lastname@example.org