A Benton City woman accused of firing a gun at her ex-husband during an early-morning fight faces an April 30 trial in Benton County Superior Court.
Sarah Ruth Monroe, 29, pleaded innocent Thursday to first-degree domestic violence-related assault with a gun and second-degree unlawful possession of a gun.
Monroe was arrested Monday by Benton County sheriff's deputies for investigation of attempted murder.
Deputies were called to the home at 3120 543 PR N.E. after Michael Harris, 32, called 911. Harris said he lives in the home with his former wife.
He told authorities that he and Monroe got into an argument about household matters while Monroe was lying on her bed with their 4-year-old daughter, court documents said.
Harris said he thought Monroe was ignoring him and texting under the blanket because he heard clicking noises, but when he pulled the blanket away he saw she had a gun.
He said Monroe fired at his head with a .25-caliber, semi-automatic pistol and bullet fragments struck him in the face, documents said.
As Harris tried to get the gun away from her, Monroe reportedly fired another round. He eventually was able to get the gun and ran out of the house, documents said.
Monroe allegedly admitted to deputies that she shot at Harris twice. She is being held in the Benton County jail on $500,000 bail.
Trial delayed for man accused of commercial sex abuse
A 41-year-old Richland man set to stand trial later this month in a commercial sex abuse of a minor had his trial delayed again.
Chad Andrew Crithfield's trial was set for March 19 in Benton County Superior Court, but Judge Bruce Spanner agreed Thursday to move it to May 21.
Crithfield's defense attorney, Shelley Ajax, made the request. She just finished a murder trial in Franklin County and has another one starting in Pasco on March 21, she said.
Deputy Prosecutor Julie Long agreed to change the trial date.
Spanner also approved a request to let Crithfield travel to Mexico for five days to attend a friend's wedding. His current conditions of release require him to stay in the state.
Ajax said Crithfield's wife, who was in court Thursday, is going with him, and he agreed to sign an extradition waiver.
Crithfield is charged with two felony counts of commercial sex abuse of a minor and one count of prostitution, a gross misdemeanor.
He was charged in May after Kennewick police uncovered an alleged prostitution ring that they say happened between Sept. 1, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2010.
Crithfield is accused of responding to escort service ads on backpage.com and Craigslist and made arrangements to meet young women at a Kennewick hotel.
He twice paid to have sex with underage girls and a 19-year-old woman, and later admitted it to detectives during the investigation, Long previously told the court.
Prosecutors also say the organizer, Melissa Marie Salsbury, recruited high school girls to earn money by dancing for men. She then threatened the girls and forced them to have sex with the men who answered the ads, court documents said.
But Ajax has said the girls told her client that they were over 18, and that there is no evidence the girls were forced or threatened.
Crithfield is one of six people arrested in connection with the alleged prostitution ring. The other five cases have been resolved.
Father, daughter plead innocent to drug charge
A Kennewick father and daughter pleaded innocent Thursday to accusations that they sold methamphetamine numerous times to police.
Dwayne Emelio Baez, 52, and Caesare Cristen Baez, 23, both face trials April 30 in Benton County Superior Court.
Dwayne Baez is charged with five counts of delivering meth. Caesare Baez faces four counts of delivering meth.
According to court documents, detectives with the Tri-City Metro Drug Task Force conducted 14 controlled buys of methamphetamine from Dwayne Baez. The charges are connected with drug purchases Jan. 4, Jan. 27, Feb. 3, Feb. 8 and Feb. 16.
Caesare Baez is accused of acting as a lookout for her father during a drug transaction Jan. 11, court documents said. She reportedly went outside to check things out, then reported to her father that it looked clear.
Caesare Baez also allegedly drove her father to a location where a drug buy was planned Jan. 18, and accepted the payment for the meth Jan. 27 and Feb. 8, while her father provided the drugs, documents said.
Woman accused of concealing syringe
A 41-year-old Richland woman is accused of trying to conceal a syringe with suspected methamphetamine in her bra when she was taken to jail.
Dawn Le Anne Hines pleaded innocent Thursday in Benton County Superior Court to possession of methamphetamine and possession of meth by a prisoner.
Her trial is April 30.
She was arrested March 3 by Benton County sheriff's deputies on an outstanding warrant and during a search, deputies found a syringe in her front pocket. The syringe contained a brown liquid that tested positive for meth, court documents said.
She was taken to the Benton County jail and when she was asked if she had any sharp objects or anything the booking staff should know about, she said she had a pipe hidden in her bra.
The pipe was removed from under her clothes, but another syringe was found in her bra when jail staff performed a strip search, document said.
The syringe also contained brown liquid, suspected to be meth.