Bail doubled after obscene gesture

Sequim man accused of hate crime, arson

PORT ANGELES — Bail has been set at $100,000 for a Sequim man accused of a hate crime, arson and fleeing from police.

Samuel Elliot Ketchum, 39, repeatedly used the F-word and raised his middle finger at the court Thursday, prompting Superior Court Judge Brent Basden to double the requested bail amount.

“Mr. Ketchum’s extraordinary disrespect and contempt for the court and this process creates in the court’s mind an extraordinary risk of what he might do when he gets out,” Basden said after muting Ketchum’s microphone.

“I believe he is a substantial risk to commit a violent crime.”

Deputy Prosecuting attorney Sarah Woolman had requested a $50,000 bail for Ketchum based on the nature of the allegations.

The Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will consider filing formal charges against Ketchum at his next court appearance at 1 p.m. Monday.

Ketchum was accused of stating that he was “going to kill me an (N-word)” before attempting to ram a car occupied by a Black man on Ediz Hook at about 2:20 a.m. Wednesday.

Port Angeles police alleged that Ketchum also set fire to the entrance sign at Coast Guard Group Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles and destroyed a light that illuminates the sign.

A woman who was in the car with the man who Ketchum allegedly threatened with racial slurs said she had to veer out of the way to avoid the pickup that Ketchum was driving.

“I don’t know if he is drunk or crazy,” the woman told dispatchers.

Ketchum drove with his head out of the window of the pickup while holding a bottle of vodka and directing his middle finger at pursuing police, Officer Tyler Mueller wrote in the arrest narrative.

Police used spike strips to stop the Toyota pickup on Marine Drive.

Mueller said he deployed a stun gun to stop a fleeing Ketchum, who threatened to kill the officer and repeatedly used the F-word while he was being handcuffed, court papers said.

Police found in the pickup what appeared to be two Molotov cocktails and a gallon of accelerant, Port Angeles Deputy Chief of Police Jason Viada said in a Wednesday interview.

“The state’s concerned by the facts here,” Woolman said at Ketchum’s bail hearing.

Defense attorney Harry Gasnick requested that Basden release Ketchum on his personal recognizance, noting that he had family in the area who had raised concerns about his mental health in civil court pleadings.

“My understating is he is a gentleman of very limited financial resources,” Gasnick said.

“Because you guys extorted me, A—holes,” Ketchum said, interrupting his attorney. “F— you.”

Basden muted Ketchum’s microphone a second time before imposing a $100,000 bail.

The judge also signed an order for Ketchum to have a competency evaluation.

“It may be that some of Mr. Ketchum’s behavior in the courtroom today is a result of mental health issues,” Basden said.

“For that reason, I’m not finding him in contempt (of court) and just imposing jail time in the hopes that perhaps we can sort that out.”

________

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at [email protected].

More in Crime

Jared Bauer, Dennis Bauer’s son, testifies in his father’s triple-murder trial Wednesday in Clallam County Superior Court. (Rob Ollikainen/For the Peninsula Daily News)
Bauer’s son not an alibi for his father

Prosecution witness delivers testimony during proceedings

Dr. Eric Kiesel, the medical examiner who performed autopsies on the bodies of Tiffany May and Darrell and Jordan Iverson in January 2019, uses a manakin to show the trajectory of bullets during Dennis Mavin Bauer’s triple murder trial Monday in Clallam County Superior Court. Michele Devlin, county Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, looks on.
Murder trial testimony details 19 gunshot wounds

Medical examiner: At least two types of ammunition used

Man charged with second-degree murder

Suspect turns self in after 12-hour manhunt

Alleged mail bandit arrested

Man accused of forging checks

The jury was shown an ammunition clip during testimony last week in the Dennis Bauer murder trial.
Triple-murder trial resumes Monday

Dropped gun clip possible link

Driver in rollover unhurt

Man’s vehicle destroyed

State Patrol Forensic Analyst Johan Schoeman, left, and Michele Devlin, deputy prosecuting attorney, on Monday show the jury in Dennis Bauer’s murder trial the tarp that was wrapped around the body of victim Darrell Iverson. (Paul Gottlieb/Peninsula Daily News)
Eyewitness tells of role in killings

Defense attorney in Bauer trial focuses on inconsistencies

State Patrol Detective Michael Welander displays drone photographs from a triple-murder investigation from Jan. 1, 2019. (Rob Ollikainen/for Peninsula Daily News)
Trial for triple murder resumes

Attorneys show crime scene photos

Report: Woman fit for trial

Assessment says accused shooter Kay Ann Beebe can take part in defense

Most Read