Nearly three months after the burglary of Sequim’s Coastal Farm and Ranch where 13 shotguns and thousands of dollars in tools and merchandise were stolen in June, a third suspect is now in custody.
Marcus Lavon Hale, 42, was booked into Clallam County jail on Sept. 14 and he made his first appearance in Clallam County Superior Court on Sept. 15.
Judge Brent Basden appointed to Hale defense attorney Karen Unger, and set his bail at $100,000 due to multiple prior felony convictions, including assault with a deadly weapon.
Hale’s arraignment is set for 1:30 p.m. Friday Sept. 23.
Hale is accused of breaking into the Coastal at 990 E. Washington St. around 5:30 a.m. June 24 with Christopher Paul Robbins, 53, and Micah Aaron Parker, 33, according to court documents. He is charged with burglary in the first degree, theft in the first degree, and 13 counts of theft of a firearm.
Parker remains in jail with $150,000 bail set with a tentative plea deal pending, according to attorney discussions on Sept. 16 in Superior Court. His trial was reset for Oct. 24 with a status hearing at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 30.
Robbins is expected to change his not guilty plea and agree to a plea deal and sentencing charges on 9 a.m. Sept. 21, according to court documents.
A warrant went out on Sept. 8 for Hale’s arrest, court documents state, and on Sept. 14 he was arrested at Olympia Inn in Olympia by the Thurston County SWAT (special weapons and tactical) Team, Sequim Police detectives and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents.
Det. Sgt. Darrell Nelson with the Sequim Police Department said in an interview that the SWAT team used tear gas to bring him out of his room and he was arrested without injury.
None of the weapons from the Sequim store were recovered with Hale, Nelson said, but he was in possession of a pistol despite being prohibited from owning one as a felon.
Nelson said law enforcement officials are investigating Hale’s connection to a potential retail theft ring, including a Marysville Coastal on June 28.
“One of our core values is ‘the relentless pursuit of justice’ and that’s exactly what occurred in this case,” Nelson said.
Sequim Police detectives report that surveillance video showed three suspects enter the store with Robbins identified as throwing a rock through the store’s front doors and using his shoe on the second entry door.
He let Parker and Hale in through an emergency entrance, according to court documents, and the three men are accused of stealing 13 shotguns worth about $9,050, power tools and batteries, coolers and other merchandise worth about $14,040.
That afternoon, the suspects’ vehicles were reported at the 7 Cedars Casino, police report, and Robbins was arrested that night at the casino.
Parker was arrested at Western Inn in Tacoma on June 29 with him in possession of one of the stolen shotguns, power tools and clothes from the store, according to court documents.
There was initial confusion over the third suspect due to various aliases being used, court documents state, but Hale was later identified through surveillance footage and cell phone usage in Sequim.
Robbins’ agreed-upon sentence was not available by press time.
Parker’s attorney William Payne said in court on Sept. 16 he received a plea deal offer and about 2½ inches of discovery documents the day before from the prosecuting attorney’s office.
Payne said that, while in conversation with Parker on Sept. 15, Parker requested a new attorney and spit on the glass separating them.
Parker told judge Simon Barnhart that Payne was already out of the booth when he spit and he was “in shock and awe of the prosecuting attorney’s offer.”
Parker also complained about the lack of paperwork received for his case.
Payne said he has no issue with Parker and recommended they reset the trial date for Oct. 24 as they explore the plea offer more.