Chehalis Robbery Charges Dropped After Prosecutors Lose Contact With Witnesses

By Natalie Johnson / njohnson@chronline.com

The Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office has dropped robbery charges against two suspects accused of threatening teenagers with a gun in November in Chehalis. 

Brandon Caley, 20, of Winlock, and Bryce A. Friedley, 17, of Chehalis, were charged Nov. 17 with one count of first-degree robbery in the incident, which reportedly occurred Nov. 15. 

However, on Jan. 4, the prosecutor’s office asked a judge to dismiss the charge against Friedley due to issues with witnesses.

“The state is unable to contact witnesses in this case,” according to court documents.

The charge was dismissed without prejudice, meaning the prosecutor’s office can refile the charge at a later date. 

Caley pleaded guilty Dec. 21 to second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 12 months in prison. 

His robbery charge was also dropped. 

According to court documents and the Chehalis Police Department, at 2:55 p.m. on Nov. 15, a group of high school students were walking near Penny Playground when they were approached by four people in a Honda car, which drove up onto the curb next to them. 

Friedley and one of the teens had reportedly been in a dispute over a girl. The victims reported at least two of the suspects, including Caley, had handguns, and said Friedley hit a victim and took his headphones. 

After the incident, Friedley, who was charged as an adult in the case, reportedly professed gang ties and made threatening statements about the alleged victims. 

“(T)hey better all stay in their houses and keep their doors locked, that’s all I’m saying about that,” Friedley is quoted in court documents as saying to police.

Investigators asked about the alleged robbery, and, according to court documents, “Friedley shook his head and said, ‘they should know better.’”

At the time, Friedley was still recovering from being stabbed in early October during a dispute in Chehalis. 

Jose F. Chagolla-Flores pleaded guilty in that case to second-degree assault and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. 

Friedley was reportedly not cooperative with the investigation into the stabbing. At Chagolla-Flores’ sentencing hearing, Friedley’s mother said her son was afraid for his life if he testified.