Crime

Tri-City lawyer accused of domestic violence break-in

KENNEWICK -- A Tri-City lawyer must sit in jail through the weekend while prosecutors decide if he should be charged with breaking into his former fiancee's home after an argument.

Michael Davidson, 54, was arrested early Friday on suspicion of unlawful imprisonment and residential burglary, both domestic violence-related.

Benton County jail records show he was booked in by Kennewick police at 4:35 a.m.

About five hours later, Davidson appeared before Judge Bob Ingvalson in Benton County District Court and was ordered held without bail on a 72-hour hold.

Davidson, who specializes in civil litigation and family law cases, owns the Davidson Law Center on Fifth Avenue in Pasco.

The allegations were made by Tammy Turner, a Kennewick woman who reportedly began dating Davidson after he finished representing her in a civil case.

The two became engaged March 12 and had planned to wed Oct. 2, according to a court document filed by Davidson. But their engagement apparently soured quickly.

Turner claims things got out of control late April 30, then on May 4 she requested in Benton County Superior Court a protection order against Davidson.

His arrest Friday was for violating that no-contact order after he reportedly contacted Turner through another person, Kennewick police said.

Turner called police to report the violation about 9 p.m. Thursday.

Davidson "declined to provide a recorded statement" when he was picked up at his Richland home by a Richland police supervisor and members of Kennewick's Criminal Apprehension Team, said Kennewick Officer Shirrell Veitenheimer.

Bob Thompson, Davidson's attorney, said there are some "interesting factors" involved in Davidson and Turner's relationship. He said he believes his client will be exonerated.

"I guess we gotta see if the state is going to charge him with anything," Thompson said. "From what I've seen, I'm not sure if there is any evidence to charge."

According to a court document filed by Kennewick Cpl. Todd Dronen, Davidson and Turner left a Richland restaurant about 11 p.m. April 30.

On the drive home, Davidson "became upset and started screaming" at her, she said.

Turner was getting out of Davidson's truck in her driveway when he allegedly backed up and sped off. The passenger door was open and Turner already had unbuckled her seat belt, Dronen wrote.

"She said Davidson drove recklessly and put her in fear of her safety and refused to let her out," the report said.

He later stopped the truck and she reportedly walked a block home.

Then sometime after 2 a.m., Davidson used Turner's garage door opener to enter her house, police said. She awoke to find Davidson standing over her bed and ordered him to leave, police said.

He reportedly refused, so Turner locked herself in the bathroom and called 911, Dronen's report said. Davidson left after being in the house about 20 minutes, he said.

Davidson denied in a written statement that he harmed Turner and said he only walked beside her pleading to talk it out. He said he woke her up to apologize, but that he didn't threaten her and left willingly.

"I have no intention of going again to Tammy's house or of having contact again with her, unless invited and not until the current court order is dropped or modified," he wrote. "I do not wish to be arrested or to have my legal career jeopardized."

Davidson was supposed to appear Friday at a hearing in Superior Court on Turner's request for an anti-harassment order against him.

Judge William Acey of the Hells Canyon Circuit Court presided over a telephonic hearing from Asotin. Davidson was represented by Moe Spencer, a lawyer at the Davidson law firm.

Acey granted a yearlong protection order for Turner and her 17-year-old daughter.

Turner -- in an undated letter written to Davidson and included in the court file -- said she had become scared of his "irrational" behavior.

Davidson had been helping financially with the renovation of her home. He reportedly continued to stop by the house and would enter without permission, Turner claimed.

She also said he ignored requests to leave her alone.

She claimed she went to dinner with him April 30 because she thought things "had calmed down."

In his response, he said he has tried to give her "time and space to sort through what she wants in life," but added that he had an "unending desire to reconcile with her."

This isn't the attorney's first brush with the wrong side of the law.

Court records for Davidson include an arrest in fall 2007 for fourth-degree assault, domestic violence, for hitting one of his children.

Davidson in April 2008 entered the Franklin County Domestic Violence Diversion Program, which required him to admit committing the assault, participate in treatment programs and avoid any further criminal charges for two years, according to the diversion contract.

He successfully completed the program April 22, and the case was dismissed.

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

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