Kennewick man pleads innocent to marijuana possession

KENNEWICK — A Kennewick man pleaded innocent Wednesday to allegations that he had more than 1 pound of marijuana packed into several bags and stuffed into a backpack -- a discovery made after police arrived at his home earlier this month following a fatal shooting.

Ramon Madrigal, 28, faces trial March 28 in Benton County Superior Court for possessing over 40 grams of marijuana and possessing it with intent to manufacture or deliver it.

He has been identified as the person who opened fire when Tyler Stock reportedly forced his way into a home at 206 N. Buntin St. home early Jan. 11.

Madrigal, responding to a light knock at his door, reportedly asked who was there several times before loading his gun and unlocking the deadbolt.

He claims an armed intruder, later identified as Stock, pushed the door open and came in, leading Madrigal to start shooting.

Stock, 20, of Kennewick, died in the 1:21 a.m. incident.

Prosecutors are reviewing police reports but have not filed any charges in relation to Stock's death.

Madrigal has been out of custody since Jan. 13 after posting $15,000 bond. He has hired lawyer Bob Thompson to represent him on the drug charges.

Police reports and court documents said that Stock and three other men planned to rob Madrigal because he reportedly had $70,000 in cash.

While Kennewick officers were responding to a 911 call, Madrigal allegedly ran into his backyard and tossed a backpack over the fence.

The pack contained a scale and eight bags of marijuana totaling more than 1 pound.

Madrigal told investigators that he traded marijuana and has a medical marijuana card that expired last year, documents said.

Inside his home, investigators also reportedly found drug paraphernalia, a digital scale and numerous plastic bags of "green vegetable matter."

Man's trial set on charge he tried to ram cop car

RICHLAND — A 60-year-old man is set for trial March 28 on charges he tried to ram a patrol car during a police chase with speeds reaching 90 mph.

Craig E. Ludwig of Finley pleaded innocent to attempting to elude police and attempted vehicular assault.

According to police and court documents, Ludwig was driving a 1992 Chevrolet Beretta Jan. 13 when an officer on routine patrol on Highway 240 ran the car's license plate and learned the registered owner had a suspended license.

Ludwig didn't stop, crossed several lanes of traffic and tried to get away from Officer Dave Grant by passing vehicles on the shoulder of the highway, documents said.

Grant stopped the pursuit over safety concerns, but continued to follow at "a safe distance" as the driver slowed.

Ludwig, who by now was identified as the driver, took a few Tri-City highways before turning as if he was returning to Richland, court documents said.

At that point, Grant drove up next to the Chevrolet and tried to pass him, but Ludwig swerved toward the patrol car and tried to either hit the car or run the officer off the road, documents said.

Grant reportedly was able to keep control of the patrol car and stay on the shoulder.

The pursuit then was called off, but officers spoke to Ludwig's landlord and confirmed he had been behind the wheel of the Chevrolet that morning.

Ludwig later turned himself in to Richland police.

Woman sentenced for threatening boyfriend with knife

KENNEWICK — A West Richland woman will spend 11 days on jail work crew for threatening her boyfriend with a knife.

Dodi L. Wallace, 38, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault with domestic violence and unlawful display of a weapon.

Her sentence includes 350 days suspended.

West Richland officers were called to a Canal Drive home May 24 for reports of a domestic disturbance. The victim, Christopher Morton, 28, told police that his girlfriend had threatened him by "pushing the knife into the skin of Morton's stomach," court documents said.

Wallace, in her plea statement, said, "I displayed a knife under circumstances causing reasonable alarm for the safety of another."

She is ordered to have no contact with Morton.

-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com