Sequim-area woman charged in robbery, set to be arraigned

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM — A Sequim-area woman has been charged in Clallam County Superior Court in connection with robberies to which investigators originally though she was merely a witness.

Michelle Patricia McNeill, 28, will be arraigned Friday at 9 a.m. in Clallam County Superior Court after being arrested last week for investigation of first-degree robbery and booked into the Clallam County jail Nov. 29, according to documents filed in Clallam County Superior Court.

McNeill, who is no longer listed on the Clallam County jail roster, was first approached by Clallam County sheriff’s deputies Nov. 16 as a witness to two robberies that had been reported by the alleged robbery victim that same day, said Sheriff’s Sgt. John Keegan.

As investigators interviewed McNeill, she told them she and at least three other confederates had conspired to rob the alleged victim while at a friend’s house with the alleged victim Nov. 14, Keegan wrote in the motion for determination of probable cause filed in Clallam County Superior Court.

‘Wad’ of cash

McNeill told investigators that she and two male friends, later identified by McNeill as Richard Hedrich and Andrew Luquette, had noticed a large “wad” of cash next to the alleged victim’s wallet, which the alleged victim had left out that day, Keegan wrote.

While at the house, McNeill said Luquette and Hedrich concocted a plan to use a BB gun designed to look like a real handgun to scare and rob the alleged victim after meeting with the victim and McNeill at Port Williams Beach northeast of Sequim the next day, Keegan wrote.

The afternoon of Nov. 15, the alleged victim arrived by car at the beach parking lot with Hedrich in the passenger seat while McNeill drove her own car, Keegan wrote.

All waited for Luquette to arrive, with McNeill telling investigators the plan was for Hedrich to take the alleged victim’s purse and pretend to rob Luquette, all while threatening to shoot both McNeill and the alleged victim with a BB gun if they got out of the car, Keegan wrote.

Fear of shooting?

McNeill told investigators, however, that she knew she was never in danger of getting shot, Keegan wrote.

Hedrich, who had gotten into McNeill’s car with McNeill and the alleged victim, then took the alleged victim’s purse and got out of the car with the stated intention to rob Luquette, though Luquette also was in on the plan, Keegan wrote.

Luquette and Hedrich then drove from the beach parking lot in Luquette’s car, with McNeill and the alleged victim following them in their own cars, Keegan wrote.

McNeill told investigators that Hedrich did not find the alleged victim’s wallet in the purse he took from the alleged victim, which caused Hedrich and Luquette to stop their car, Keegan wrote.

Hedrich then ran back to the car the alleged victim was in and asked about the missing money, with the alleged victim responding that it was in the car McNeill had arrived in, Keegan wrote.

McNeill said she did not have the money, so her associates developed a second plan: McNeill was to give the alleged victim a ride home, and another associate, later identified as Rebecca Walton, would rob the alleged victim when they got there, Keegan wrote.

When McNeill and the alleged victim approached the alleged victim’s home, an individual — whom McNeill later identified as Walton — wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and a bandana put a gun to the alleged victim’s head, Keegan wrote.

McNeill told investigators that she and Walton both felt bad about robbing the alleged victim, Keegan wrote.

“McNeill said Walton commented to her that she could not believe they’d done this for $84,” Keegan wrote.

Keegan said county sheriff’s deputies are still investigating the other individuals McNeill said were involved in the alleged robberies and have not made any additional arrests.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 04. 2012 5:52PM
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