A 33-year-old man is facing jail time after admitting he pocketed Lotto scratch tickets while working as a clerk at a Kennewick gas station.
Brian Donald Pineau of Kennewick pleaded guilty in Benton County Superior Court to second-degree theft. Sentencing is scheduled Sept. 20.
According to court documents, Pineau was an employee at Conoco Total Stop when he stole $2,179 worth of lottery tickets between Nov. 7 and Dec. 24, 2010.
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 stated.
Police were called after the owner noticed Pineau's log showed discrepancies between the ticket numbers and the actual number of tickets sold.
Pineau reportedly told investigators that he thought he had taken about 40 lottery tickets during his shifts, but a review put the total much higher, with the value of more than $2,000.
The standard range for the crime is up to two months in jail. Prosecutors said in court documents that they will recommend a 20-day sentence.
Man denies jail assault
A criminal with more than 50 convictions is accused of threatening to attack a jail official and spitting on the man.
Brandon L. Vanwinkle, 34, pleaded innocent to custodial assault in the July 27 incident at the Benton County jail.
His trial is set for Sept. 10.
Vanwinkle was in the jail on an unrelated matter when he reportedly destroyed jail property, and spit and threw urine on other inmates. When advised that he was being moved to a more secure pod, Vanwinkle threatened corrections Sgt. Dennis Schaefer, saying he would assault him and get him once he was out of custody, court documents stated.
Vanwinkle then spit on Schaefer -- striking him in the arm, face and head -- after he was placed in a different cell, documents said.
The incident allegedly was witnessed by three other corrections officers.
Vanwinkle's convictions include third-degree assault and multiple fourth-degree assaults, obstructions and resisting arrests.
He is being held on $20,000 bail for the custodial assault, but jail records also show he's in on a malicious mischief charge and multiple failures to comply.
Man faces trial for theft
A 44-year-old man was out of custody on his own recognizance for a drug case when he allegedly used a knife to steal Walmart merchandise from its packaging.
Paul Clifford Purdy III now faces a trial Aug. 20 on one count of second-degree retail theft with extenuating circumstances. That is in addition to the pending case he had for possession of methamphetamine and bail jumping.
Prosecutors allege that on June 26, Purdy took a knife out of his pocket and used it to first cut into the packaging for a prepaid phone. He moved around the store removing other goods, including items in the domestics department and two mini Maglites, court documents stated.
Purdy put the merchandise in his pockets and tried to walk out of the Kennewick store, passing the registers without making an attempt to pay for the goods, documents stated.
However, loss-prevention officers reportedly saw Purdy tampering with merchandise and stopped him as he left the store. He was brought back inside and allegedly handed over the knife and the store goods.
Purdy had an active arrest warrant for failing to make a May 18 court hearing on his earlier drug case. He had been released while awaiting trial.
In that case, Purdy was arrested Jan. 13 on a state Department of Corrections warrant when a search of his clothes turned up meth, court documents said.
He is being held on $10,000 bail for the theft case, in addition to an out-of-county warrant and failures to comply.