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Kennewick woman gets 4 months for theft from salon

A 46-year-old woman who stole more than $19,500 from the Kennewick hair salon she managed by failing to deposit cash and checks into the business account was sentenced Thursday to four months in jail.

Tamara Elayne Wertman of Kennewick can do the time on jail work crew or work release, and has until Oct. 10 to report, said Judge Craig Matheson.

Wertman pleaded guilty Nov. 10 in Benton County Superior Court to first-degree theft and possession of cocaine.

The theft charge included allegations of aggravated circumstances for being a major economic offense and using a position of trust.

Wertman was employed at Great Clips, 3911 W. 27th Ave., when she took the money between November 2009 and Aug. 9, 2011. As manager, she was responsible for depositing the cash and check payments to the salon.

At some point, the general manager and owner realized that a number of deposits had failed to make it to the bank, and believed Wertman took them, according to court documents. An investigation revealed that 67 deposits totaling $19,508 were missing.

A search warrant was served on Wertman, leading to the discovery of missing deposit slips and checks inside her home and car, documents said.

It was during that search that officers also reportedly found cocaine that belonged to Wertman.

Court records show she had no felony convictions before these crimes. She must pay $500 to Great Clips and $19,007.83 to Phoenix Insurance to cover a claim.

Kennewick man gets jail time for having child pornography

A Kennewick man will serve six months in jail for having child pornography on his home computer.

Dale Randall McDowell, 45, is able to serve the time on work release and school release to Columbia Basin College, court documents said. He must report to start the sentence by Aug. 1.

McDowell pleaded guilty May 31 to second-degree possession of depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

An investigation into the pornographic images of minor children was started after McDowell took his computer to "IT Sellz," a computer service business, on Sept. 29 to have some viruses removed.

Employees determined the computer was too corrupted to repair, so McDowell asked them to back up his files. That's when employees found images of child pornography, court documents said.

McDowell reportedly told police he knew the porn was on the computer, but claimed someone else put it there.

The computer is password protected, documents said.

McDowell did not have a felony criminal history before he was charged in this case.

Yakima man gets 1-month sentence for fight at jail

A 50-year-old man got a one-month jail sentence for fighting in the Benton County jail, causing one corrections officer to suffer a dislocated shoulder.

Craig Jack Eves of Yakima pleaded guilty July 19 to custodial assault with excessive injuries.

On Thursday, Judge Matheson entered an order of competency for Eves, finding that he has the ability to understand the criminal proceedings against him and assist his attorney, Larry Zeigler, in his own defense.

Eves' mental state was questioned earlier.

According to police and court documents, Eves was arrested May 19 on suspicion of lewd conduct after officers found him sitting nude in an empty West Deschutes Avenue field. He was booked into the jail at 10:44 a.m. for the misdemeanor offense.

About an hour later, Eves became agitated and "was vocalizing irritation with the booking process taking too long and asked if he was going to be put in a cell," documents said. An officer told him to be patient.

Eves was served lunch in the booking area but refused his tray. A few minutes later, he walked to the jail's master control area and stood there before returning to his seat.

He was ordered to go to a cell after telling a corrections officer "someone needs to teach you a lesson" and standing up in an aggressive manner, court documents said. Eves then "reared up" and stepped toward another officer, at which point force was used by several officers to control him, documents said.

The corrections officers wrestled Eves to the floor, but he continued to fight with them. After refusing orders to stop, another corrections officer stepped in and shocked Eves with a Taser, and they eventually were able to get him into a holding cell.

One officer reported having an injured wrist but was able to continue working.

Another officer thought he was fine at the time, but visited a doctor within the next couple days and was diagnosed with a separated shoulder, court documents said. He believes it was caused during the fight when Eves had his hand on the back of the officer's head and was trying to force his head to the ground, documents said.

Restitution has not yet been set to cover the injured officer's medical expenses.

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

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