By Natalie Johnson / firstname.lastname@example.org
While he has no previous criminal history, the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office argued Tuesday that a Winlock burglary suspect presented a risk to community safety due to alleged ties to the Juggalos.
The alleged victims “are very concerned about the safety of the people in this particular housing development,” said Chief Criminal deputy Brad Meagher on Tuesday.
Steven E. Dodds, 18, of Winlock, was arrested early Sunday morning after being found allegedly using a hammer to try to break a door handle at a residence on Northwest Kerron Avenue.
Dodds made his first appearance Monday in Lewis County Superior Court, but prosecutors asked for another day to file charges. He was released on $5,000 unsecured bail after family members pledged to get him to court the following day.
“I’m hearing a lot of accusations with absolutely no basis,” Defense attorney Rachael Tiller said Wednesday about the allegations of gang affiliation. “It’s just a lot of finger pointing.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Dodds was charged with second-degree burglary.
While on Monday Meagher said he wasn’t sure if the allegations warranted a second-degree burglary charge, on Tuesday he said police confirmed Dodds would have had to enter a secured and fenced area to access the property.
Meagher asked for increased bail of $10,000 and for Dodds to be taken back into custody Tuesday, citing new information about the suspect’s alleged ties to the Juggalos — a term used to describe fans of the band Insane Clown Posse, which has been identified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a gang.
“What has changed from yesterday (is) the perception that this may have been an inadvertent trespassing, as opposed to what we know now,” Meagher said.
He added that Dodds has previously been accused of trespassing in the neighborhood.
“These folks are afraid of him,” he said.
Tiller argued against the increased bail. Superior Court Judge Joely O’Rourke maintained Dodds’ unsecured bail but required it had to be cosigned by his mother. He will also have a curfew and other conditions of his release.
His next court hearing is scheduled for Thursday.