Yummy Meats salesman pleads innocent to theft

A Yummy Meats salesman allegedly pocketed $3,509 when he failed to turn over his cash receipts from a sales day in August.

Walter U. Case, 47, pleaded innocent Thursday in Benton County Superior Court to one count of second-degree theft.

The Benton City man's trial is scheduled for March 12.

According to court documents, Case was an employee of the Kennewick business Aug. 4 when he checked out $4,042.60 in product. As a salesman, his job was to sell the product on his assigned route and bring back the payments or any remaining product to his employer.

The next day, Yummy Meats manager Joshua Waldrop arrived at the 516 E. First Ave. business to find Case's deliver van parked in the lot with the keys under a mat, documents stated. Waldrop also found two checks totaling $533 in the van's center console but no meat products.

Waldrop later got a text message from Case saying "he had to go to Spokane anddidn't want to leave the cash from his sales in the van, so he took it with him," court documents stated.

A second text message came in from Case, saying "he would try to get a loan to pay back the money he owed Yummy Meats," documents stated.

Waldrop tried to get in contact with Case but couldn't reach him.

As of Oct. 17, Case allegedly had not made any attempts to return the $3,509 in missing funds. This case was filed against him Dec. 15.

Richland man accused of hit-and-run, eluding

A 22-year-old Richland man is believed to have been behind the wheel when his car repeatedly crashed into the barrier at Hanford's Wye Barricade, then failed to stop for pursuing police.

Justin Lee Wagner faces trial Feb. 21 on charges of attempting to elude police, driving under the influence and hit-and-run with damage. He pleaded innocent.

Wagner was no longer driving the car when it was finally stopped by Benton County sheriff's deputies Dec. 23 and in a later interview denied being the driver, court documents said. He was "verbal and confrontational with police" and "clearly under the influence" but refused to take a breath test to check his blood-alcohol level, documents stated.

Wagner reportedly pulled up to the Wye Barricade on the Hanford site and told the attendant at the security shack that he might be lost. He then turned the car around, repeatedly hitting the barricade and leaving tire marks on it, as well as damaging his own car, court documents stated.

Wagner then drove south on Route 4, where Deputy J.P. Benitez caught up to him. The car then spun out in the Stevens Drive and Highway 240 intersection, and that's when Benitez turned on his lights to stop the car, but it took off north in the southbound lanes, documents stated.

When the car was later stopped, Dominique Davis was the driver but allegedly told deputies he only took over for Wagner after Benitez tried to stop the car.

Kennewick man accused of having meth packaged, preparing for sell

A Kennewick man is accused of having at least seven small bags of methamphetamine ready for sale and $1,000 in cash.

Jesus Sandoval Jr., 31, pleaded innocent to possession with intent to manufacture/deliver methamphetamine. Trial is set for Feb. 13.

Sandoval was being arrested Dec. 23 on a state Department of Corrections warrant when officers allegedly found him holding meth.

A search of the area where Sandoval had been sitting turned up the bags of meth with "the same unique markings as the one on his person," court documents stated.

On his person, officers found an eighth of an ounce of meth, which was not packaged for sale but is an amount common for distribution, documents said.

Sandoval also allegedly had $1,007 on him, which is reportedly less than one-third of the income he earned in 2011, court documents stated, citing employment records.