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In brief: Kitsap County will drop marijuana possession cases

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. – The Kitsap County prosecutor is the latest law official to drop cases against defendants charged solely with marijuana possession.

Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge said he doesn’t believe juries will convict pot possession defendants after voters approved Initiative 502, which will legalize up to an ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and older on Dec. 6.

Hauge estimates that between 20 and 100 cases will be dropped, some of them in the form of arrest warrants for those who failed to show up for court on charges. But he said people charged with crimes beyond marijuana possession will still face prosecution.

Prosecutors in other counties in Washington – including Spokane, King, Pierce and Clark – have decided to dump misdemeanor marijuana cases recently.

West Side man pleads guilty to punching arthritic older dog

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. – A 25-year-old Port Orchard man has been sentenced to 45 days in jail after he pleaded guilty to punching an elderly dog with arthritis.

The Kitsap Sun reports that Daniel Joseph Heidt pleaded guilty to first-degree animal cruelty charges on Monday.

Charging documents say a vet who treated the 13-year-old animal before it was euthanized said bruising on her side and a collapsed lung were likely caused by “blunt trauma.” The dog’s heart was misplaced as well.

Heidt was caring for the dog while the owner found a permanent home for it.

The alleged assault occurred two or three days before the dog collapsed on June 30.

Heidt previously was convicted of second-degree robbery for aiding a man who robbed a Wheaton Way KeyBank in September 2010.

Tacoma couple face charges in false workers’ comp case

TUMWATER, Wash. – A Tacoma couple have been charged with falsely claiming workers’ compensation benefits and pocketing $223,000.

The state Department of Labor & Industries said 63-year-old Jamie S. Beroth collected $100,664 in benefits between March 2009 and July 2011 for a workplace injury claim. Her husband, 67-year-old Lawrence Beroth, also received $123,094.02 in time-loss benefit payments from August 2009 to October 2011 for an industrial injury.

Both claimed they were unable to work during that period. But department investigators allege the couple continued working on their drywall business.

The couple pleaded not guilty last Thursday in Pierce County Superior Court.


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