‘Crime spree’ suspects’ trials reset for August

Trials for a couple accused of a Sequim crime spree in early May were reset for early August.

Joanie Squires, 34, of Tacoma and David Brown, 32, of Lakewood, face separate four day trials beginning Aug. 1 and 8 in Clallam County Superior Court.

Both face multiple charges from May 5, including Brown for robbery in the first degree, and theft of a motor vehicle, and Squires for being an accomplice to robbery in the first degree, possession of stolen property, and driving under the influence.

They’re also accused of attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of stolen mail.

Sequim Police reported Brown and Squires stole multiple vehicles and eluded officers throughout the city before Squires crashed a stolen truck on North Seventh Avenue. Brown was arrested May 8 in Jefferson County.

Squires’ four day trial begins Monday, Aug. 1, with a pretrial hearing at 9 a.m. Thursday, July 28. Her previous trial date was delayed after defense attorney Seth Doherty asked for a competency evaluation in June.

She previously sustained head trauma from a motorcycle wreck a few years ago, and Doherty said he felt it may have affected Squires’ memory and understanding of past situations, and thus impair her concentration, and ability to follow court proceedings and to testify, according to court documents.

Barry Ward, a psychologist with the Office of Forensic Mental Health Services Peninsula Regional Office, said Squires can understand the proceedings and assist in her defense.

He interviewed Squires via teleconference and wrote in a July 5 report “she does not have prominent signs or symptoms of mental illness beyond subjective depression and anxiety,” and “her present ability significantly exceeds the threshold for competence.”

Brown agreed on June 23 to waive his right for a speedy trial by July 19 with the four day trial now starting on Aug. 8. A pre-trial status hearing begins at 9 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 4.

Deputy prosecuting attorney Sarah Woolman said they are working towards a resolution with Brown’s charges, according to court documents.

The couple drove to Sequim on May 5 in a stolen truck from Fife, police report, and a witness first reported them stealing landscaping equipment near South Rhodefer Road. Brown then allegedly stole a green truck and attempted to break into an SUV at the Jamestown Healing Clinic before abandoning it at OlyPen when he stole a company bucket truck, court documents state.

Police report a silver pickup was stolen shortly thereafter on West Bell Street with the owner attempting to stop the couple in two back-to-back events.

The couple later drove into oncoming traffic along Washington Street with Brown hitting one vehicle, court documents state.

Brown later crashed into landscaping at Westside Pizza with police attempting to stop him, but he drove off and out of the area, court documents state.

After Squires crashed, police reported they recovered 27 pieces of mail from nine different Sequim addresses in her truck, and she told them she’d been drinking alcohol and smoking methamphetamine.

Video surveillance obtained by police allegedly shows Brown breaking into a mailbox unit near Grant Road, court documents state.