KENNEWICK — A 35-year-old Kennewick man has pleaded innocent to allegations he tried to strangle his girlfriend, who is seven months pregnant with his child.
David Mendoza Simiano faces a Jan. 24 trial in Benton County Superior Court for one count of second-degree domestic violence assault -- attempted strangulation.
Simiano is being held in the Benton County jail on $15,000 bail.
Kennewick police were called to the woman's home on the 1800 block of West Fifth Avenue by her 14-year-old daughter, who said there was a "psychopath in the house choking her mother," court documents said.
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Simiano was gone by the time officers arrived, but officers saw red marks on his girlfriend's neck, documents said.
The woman said she had been arguing with Simiano when he put his hands around her neck and choked her until she thought she was going to pass out, documents said.
Officers searched for Simiano but weren't able to find him. He turned himself in three days later.
After his arrest, he told investigators he put his hands around his girlfriend's neck because she found it sexually stimulating, documents said. He denied trying to harm her.
Pasco man imprisoned for cocaine possession
A Pasco man was sentenced to 21/2 years in prison after being caught with more than 2 pounds of cocaine in a traffic stop last year.
Alvaro Ayala Anaya, 40, was sentenced Wednesday in Benton County Superior Court after pleading guilty Nov. 17 to possession of cocaine with intent to deliver.
Ayala Anaya was arrested Dec. 8, 2009, after he was stopped by a Washington State Patrol trooper, court documents said.
While he was searched for possible weapons, Ayala Anaya broke free and ran while digging in his pockets, documents said.
He threw a large gray brick-shaped object over a nearby concrete barrier, where officers later discovered 2.5 pounds of cocaine wrapped in plastic, documents said.
When officers confronted Ayala Anaya with the drugs, he responded, Que es? or "What's that?"
Richland man admits defrauding his father
RICHLAND — A 32-year-old Richland man who admitted fraudulently opening numerous credit cards in his father's name was sentenced to 20 days in jail.
Judge Vic VanderSchoor said Shawn P. Gneiting could complete his time on work crew after he pleaded guilty Wednesday in Benton County Superior Court to first-degree identity theft.
Gneiting also was ordered to pay $53,343 in restitution to Capital One, Juniper Business Card Services and Wells Fargo Business Direct.
According to court documents, the fraudulent accounts were discovered when Gneiting's father, Brent, received a call from a credit card company about a late payment.
Brent Gneiting told Richland police that he called his wife, who handled the bills, and she said they didn't have a card with that company.
Gneiting ran his credit report and found three accounts opened without his knowledge. He questioned his son about them, and Shawn admitted opening accounts for his trading business because he had lost money in the stock market.
Investigators said 12 credit cards had been opened and estimated the total loss at $252,000.
Pasco man accused of using club in robbery, held on $50,000 bail
PASCO — A 23-year-old Pasco man is being held on $50,000 bail for allegedly luring a man to a storage unit, hitting him with a club and stealing his wallet.
Jesus Salas Rubio pleaded innocent Thursday in Benton County Superior Court to one count of second-degree robbery.
His attorney, Sal Mendoza, asked for a low bail saying Salas Rubio has a long history in the Tri-Cities, extensive family in the area and was working at the time of his arrest.
Deputy Prosecutor Terry Bloor said a higher bail was appropriate for the "pretty violent" incident and noted that two witnesses were put up in a hotel recently because they were afraid of the defendant.
The witnesses claimed Salas Rubio's friends and family had confronted them and told them to call the prosecutor's office to drop the charges, Bloor said.
Judge Carrie Runge set bail at $50,000, citing Salas Rubio's prior escape conviction and the allegations in the current charge.
According to court documents, Thomas Doyle told police he was robbed Nov. 11 by Salas Rubio, who he said he knew by the street name "Memo."
Doyle said he had given Salas Rubio a ride a week earlier and later found $100 cash in his car. On Nov. 10, Salas Rubio told Doyle he might have lost money in the car, but Doyle refused to return it, documents said.
The next day, Doyle said, Lloyd King asked for a ride to his "shop" in a mini-storage lot, but once they got there, King shut the gate, trapping Doyle.
Salas Rubio then allegedly emerged from a van holding a wooden club, documents said. Doyle said Salas Rubio demanded the $100, and when Doyle said he didn't have the money, Salas Rubio reached into Doyle's car and took his wallet with his ATM card, documents said.
Doyle said Salas Rubio then hit him twice, lightly, with the club and left with King in the van.
Police contacted King, who confirmed he was at the min-storage lot with Doyle with Salas Rubio confronted him. King said Salas Rubio told him to shut the gate to trap Doyle inside.
King said after the confrontation Salas Rubio had a wallet, and he also said he heard Doyle on the phone with Salas Rubio saying, "How am I supposed to give you any money when you have my ATM card?" documents said.