A 51-year-old man claims he lived in a Benton City home while caring for 111 marijuana plants in exchange for food and cigarettes, court documents show.
Anthony D. Kairuz pleaded innocent Wednesday in Benton County Superior Court to one count of manufacturing/delivering/possessing with intent to manufacture and deliver marijuana.
According to the documents, Benton County sheriff's deputies were acting on a citizen complaint when they went to the home Saturday and could see the growing plants.
Deputies got a search warrant and seized the marijuana plants. In an interview with authorities, Kairuz allegedly admitted he was living in the home and explained that it was his job to tend to the plants.
Kairuz told authorities "that he was expecting to receive a cut of the profits when the mature plants were harvested," Deputy Prosecutor Art Bieker wrote in court documents.
Kairuz's trial is scheduled for Nov. 5.
Tri-City man pleads innocent to assaulting 2 men in June
A Tri-City man pleaded innocent to allegations he helped attack two men in June after one of the victims fought with his girlfriend.
Ryan Glenn Oliveira, 27, is charged with second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and fourth-degree assault. He faces trial Nov. 5.
His co-defendant, Kevin Mathew Phillips, 27, has a Sept. 17 trial on the same charges.
Prosecutors allege that Phillips was the aggressor in the June 21 assault on Sean Burke and Michael Gress.
According to court documents, Burke, 20, and his girlfriend were arguing at a Mahan Avenue home when it turned physical. Gress, 21, took Burke outside "to calm down," and that's when the girlfriend reportedly called Phillips to say she had been assaulted and wanted to meet him at a Richland grocery store so she could get a ride, documents said.
Phillips allegedly asked if she needed him "to come over there and bust Burke's knees up." Phillips and Oliveira then showed up at the home instead of going to the store and confronted Burke with a knife, saying, "You want to put your hands on a girl," court documents said.
Phillips stabbed Burke in the shoulder, then cut Gress' arm when he tried to intervene, documents said. Burke was able to run away, and the two alleged assailants drove off in a car.
Gress reportedly picked Phillips out of a photo lineup for Richland police.
Phillips was found June 28 at his grandmother's home in north Richland and turned himself in after a standoff with authorities. A switchblade knife -- described by the victims as the weapon used in the attack -- was found on him during his arrest, court documents said.
Oliveira was identified by police as the second suspect through Facebook, and the victims confirmed he was with Phillips during the assaults, documents said.
Oliveira is out of custody. His bail was reduced to $5,000 from $20,000.
Phillips is in the Benton County jail on $25,000 bail for this case, in addition to an out-of-county warrant and other cases.
Both men have been ordered to have no contact with Burke and Gress while the case is pending.
Error leads to Pasco man's gun possession charge being reduced
A 25-year-old man charged with two separate Pasco assault cases saw his Benton County charge reduced because of an error in calculating his criminal history.
Isidro Licon of Pasco now faces one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a gun.
He originally had the same charge, but in the first-degree. However, the deputy prosecutor wrote in court documents that an error was discovered after a "diligent search of the defendant's criminal record."
Licon is scheduled for trial Nov. 19. He is accused of dropping a 9 mm Ruger pistol and magazine with three live rounds while officers were chasing him last April.
Licon also has two Oct. 17 trials set in Franklin County Superior Court for first-degree assault and attempted first-degree murder in one case, and first-degree assault in another.
Those allegations are that he shot an acquaintance in the head six hours after attacking a mother and daughter inside their apartment.
-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531; email@example.com