$2M Bail Ordered for Sex Offender Suspected of Shooting Eastern Washington Officer
SW Washington Man Sentenced to 14 years for Burglary, Groping

Source: Google News

Cameron Probert / Tri-City Herald

A man accused of shooting a Pasco police officer this week was shocked by a nearly $2 million increase in his bail.

“Objection!” Devontea L. Wright yelled as Judge Diana Ruff increased the amount from $100,000 during a Friday hearing.

The 27-year-old man appeared from jail by video in Benton County Superior Court on charges of second-degree assault and illegally possessing a gun in an unrelated crime in May.

Wright is accused of pointing a gun five months ago at a woman he was arguing with inside the 3 City Sports Bar. Charges were filed days after the threat and a $100,000 nationwide warrant was issued for his arrest.

But it wasn’t until this week that a U.S. Marshals task force and Pasco police found Wright and tried to arrest him outside a home on Riverview Drive on Thursday afternoon.

Pasco officials have release limited details about what happened but said Office Jeremy Jones, the husband of a Richland city councilwoman, was wounded and kept in the hospital overnight.

The same day, Wright appeared in court.

Benton County Deputy Prosecutor Brendan Siefken told Judge Ruff that Wright resisted arrest and “caused a Pasco police officer to be shot.”

Pasco police officials later confirmed to the Herald that Wright fired the gun that injured Jones.

In court, Siefken argued that Wright poses a grave threat to community safety and that bail needed to be raised to $2 million in light of the shooting allegation, as well as claims he resisted arrest and that he’d avoided being arrested for several months.

Wright is a registered sex offender in Oregon and has other prior convictions, according a Herald online records search.

While Wright’s defense attorney Eric Scott said they wanted to wait for a later hearing to argue about bail, Wright was incredulous.

“Why are you going to set a bail at $2 million when that’s not even probable cause for an assault let alone unlawful possession of a firearm?” Wright asked the judge.

Ruff responded that another judge had previously found probable cause to hold him and issued an arrest warrant.

Scott argued the illegal gun possession allegation was based on the Oregon sex abuse conviction, which wasn’t serious enough to revoke his right to have a gun. But Ruff said that would need to be argued at a future hearing.

Pasco officer shot

Charges have yet to be filed in Franklin County in connection with Thursday’s shooting.

Though it happened in the city limits, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident since it involved a Pasco police officer. Investigators have not said whether any officers fired a weapon during the arrest.

After Jones was shot, other officers provided first-aid until Pasco medics could take him to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland.

“During the arrest, Officer Jeremy Jones was shot,” Pasco Chief Ken Roske said in a video posted on Facebook. “Life-saving measures were immediately provided by our responding officers.”

He was released from the hospital Friday afternoon and given a police escort back to his Richland home, according to video posted on Facebook.

“There is no emergency at Kadlec hospital,” Pasco police posted on Twitter. “We are just getting ready to take Officer Jones home.”

Jones, a 16-year veteran of the Pasco department, is the husband of Richland Councilwoman Jhoanna Jones.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family,” Richland police said in a Facebook post. “Thank you to all the brave men and women of the Pasco Police Department.”

Downtown Pasco shooting

Earlier this year, in March, Jones was one of two officers who shot at a man threatening them with a knife in downtown Pasco. The assailant died, though the investigation into the details of the officer-involved shooting is ongoing.

Officials have said Jones was called to the report of a stabbing on March 13. When he arrived, Gabriel T. Artz reportedly tried to attack the window of his patrol car with a knife.

He circled the block and got out of his patrol car about the same time that Officer Jasen McClintock approached Artz.

Dash camera video shows Artz walk up to the officers while they yell at him to drop the long-bladed knife. He looks like he’s about to throw the knife when the two officers fire.

They provided first aid until paramedics arrive, and he was taken to Kadlec hospital where he died.

The Regional Special Investigations Unit is conducting the independent investigation into what happened. The team is called in for officer-involved shootings across Benton, Franklin and Walla Walla counties, under a Washington state law.

Wright’s past crimes

Wright’s most serious crime is his oldest, according to online court records.

In 2011, he was 16 and living in Hermiston, Ore., south of the Tri-Cities when he was sentenced to six years in custody for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl, according to the East Oregonian newspaper.

He had turned 16 less than month before his arrest for sexually abusing the girl while babysitting two younger children.

According to the Oregon State Police sex offender registry section, he is not compliant with registering since his release from a juvenile facility.

Since his release, he has two convictions are misdemeanor assaults in 2018.

He also was convicted for failing to appear at a court hearing in 2018, which is a felony in Oregon, and sentenced to nearly two years in prison.

Currently, he is still wanted in Oregon for failing to show up for a sentencing hearing in August 2021 after pleading guilty to attempting to commit a felony, fourth-degree assault and second-degree criminal mischief, all misdemeanors.

Last May, Wright allegedly threatened a woman during an argument inside the 3 City Sports Bar on Columbia Drive. She said Wright was the “baby daddy” of one of her friends.

A security guard told police that he saw the arguing and told them to either stop or leave. Wright started to go, but the woman yelled at him again and he reportedly took out a chrome-plated pistol, racked a round and started approaching her, according to court documents.

The woman told officers he pointed the gun at her head, the guard told officers he stepped between the two and told the man to leave, according to court documents. Wright left and the woman called 911.

He was charged a few days later but never arrested on the warrant until this week.