By The Chronicle
A Galvin man was sentenced to more than six years in prison Wednesday after his March arrest for operating a methamphetamine lab, assaulting his girlfriend with a beer bottle and later threatening to kill the woman before discharging a firearm.
Justin G. Bonifield, 47, accepted a plea agreement in Lewis County Superior Court before Judge Joely O’Rourke, who accepted the recommendation for an 80-month sentence agreed to by Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead and defense attorney Don Blair.
Bonifield submitted an Alford plea, meaning that while he doesn’t expressly admit all of the allegations, he accepts that a jury would likely find him guilty if the case were to go to trial.
He pleaded guilty to manufacturing methamphetamine, second-degree assault, harassment — threat to kill, domestic violence, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and second-degree possession of stolen property.
At about 7:48 p.m. on March 27, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the 100 block road of Joppish Road in Galvin where a 39-year-old woman — later identified as Heather R. Peterson, of Centralia — said Bonifield had struck her in the head with a beer bottle. According to court documents, she was bleeding from her mouth and had lumps on the back of her head.
She told deputies she escaped through the garage of the home, sliding under the door before running toward a neighbor’s house. She claimed Bonifield threatened to kill her and that she heard a gunshot behind her.
Halstead said Wednesday that Peterson then crawled to the neighbor’s home out of fear for her life. Bonifield fled the scene. He was arrested the following day in Thurston County and booked into the Lewis County Jail. A firearm was later found at the home, and Bonifield reportedly admitted that it belonged to him. He claimed it had misfired.
On the night of the assault, Peterson also told deputies about a methamphetamine lab that was being operated at the property.
Deputies applied for a search warrant and found a “fully functional methamphetamine lab as well as a crystal substance that tested positive for methamphetamine,” according to court documents. The “lab” contained beakers, tubes, chemicals, flasks, a condenser, powder that tested positive for ephedrine and red phosphorous, a chemical used to make methamphetamine.
Peterson was arrested for felony warrants and a new possession of methamphetamine charge two days after the assault when deputies responded to a report of a suspicious person on Joppish Road. She reportedly had two baggies of meth in her possession. She remains booked in the Lewis County Jail awaiting extradition to Idaho for a separate legal matter.
Blair, Bonifield’s attorney, alluded to her incarceration as he explained why the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office was willing to allow a plea agreement in the case.
“There were some legal and factual issues,” he said.
O’Rourke sentenced Bonifield to 80 months for manufacturing methamphetamine, 29 months for second-degree assault, 22 months for harassment — threat to kill, domestic violence, 16 months for second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and eight months for second-degree possession of stolen property. The sentences will run concurrently. He gets credit for 38 days already served at the jail.
The possession of stolen property charge was the result of a stolen trailer being found at the Joppish Road property. A marijuana grow was found inside, Halstead said in court Wednesday.
Bonifield was also ordered to pay about $2,000 in fines and fees, and a no-contact order bars him from having any contact with Peterson for the next 10 years.
Bonifield’s prior felony convictions — for manufacturing or delivering a controlled substance and attempting to elude a law enforcement officer — date back to 1995.
Meth laboratories are now a rarity in Lewis County. Halstead previously told The Chronicle it was the first such case he’s seen in the past seven years.