Woman charged with stealing transit bus pleads not guilty

A Port Angeles woman charged with stealing a Clallam Transit System bus in Sequim and driving it nearly to Shelton made her first appearance in Clallam County Superior Court in mid-February.

Hailey Weatherbie, 35, pleaded not guilty on Feb. 16 to one count of vehicular theft, a Class B felony that carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a fine of $20,000.

Superior Court Judge Brent Basden assigned the public defender’s office to represent Weatherbie when she said she did not have a lawyer. Although not her assigned attorney, public defender Charles Commeree sat with Weatherbie during her appearance.

Basden set a status hearing for April 12 and a trial date for May 13.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Roberson said he anticipated a trial would last three days.

Roberson requested that as a condition of release on her own recognizance that, among other stipulations, Weatherbie be ordered to remain in Washington state, possess no firearms and have no contact with Clallam Transit property, including its buses.

Commeree asked Basden if a way could be found for Weatherbie to continue to ride the bus because she relies on public transportation.

“She may not go on Clallam Transit property, but she may ride the bus,” Basden said.

“She may get on, and when the bus comes to a stop at a bus stop and get off at a bus stop. She’s not to access any other buses otherwise.”

Basden said he believes the limitation adequately protects the parties.

Weatherbie was already prohibited from possessing firearms as part of her diversion agreement in a different Class B felony for giving false statements to the state Department of Social and Health Services between August 2016 and March 2019 in order to obtain $7,556.90 in cash, food and childcare assistance.

She was scheduled to appear before Basden on that case on Feb. 16 as well, but her attorney, William Payne, was not in court. Basden noted Weatherbie had made progress on restitution payments to DSHS.