Bail set at $25,000 for Port Angeles man suspected in crime spree

PORT ANGELES — Bail was set at $25,000 Monday for a Port Angeles man suspected in a recent crime spree.

Brandon K. Hall, who was released from the Clallam County jail last week after he allegedly sped through a school zone in a stolen 2018 GMC Yukon on Sept. 7, was re-arrested Friday for allegedly driving a stolen truck, attempting to break into a safe at Olympic National Park and stealing a knife from a hay shed, the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said.

Hall, 34, is now being held in the Clallam County jail for investigation of residential burglary, possession of a stolen vehicle, second-degree burglary and third-degree theft.

Formal charges are expected to be filed Wednesday.

Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jesse Espinoza requested a $50,000 bail for Hall in a Monday court hearing.

“It looks Mr. Hall has been on something of a crime spree since late August, possessing multiple stolen vehicles, breaking into Olympic National Park property multiple times and committing three burglaries over the weekend,” Espinoza told Superior Court Judge Erik Rohrer.

“He has six warrants for failure to appear from 2010 though ’17 and he hasn’t shown any interest in following the court’s orders, having committed several burglaries and possessed a stolen car while on conditions of release for this other case.”

“I think Mr Hall is a risk to the community and doesn’t follow court orders,” Espinoza added.

Defense Attorney Harry Gasnick of Clallam Public Defender asked Rohrer to release his client on his personal recognizance, saying Hall had appeared in court on his prior case.

Hall was charged Sept. 11 with one count of possession of a stolen vehicle for the Sept. 7 incident near Roosevelt Elementary School east of Port Angeles.

“Your honor, I remind the court that much of what the prosecution asserts as verities are mere accusation at this point in time,” Gasnick said.

“My recollection, your honor, is that the purpose of the court system is actually to make determinations of whether or not accusations are verities.

“It sounds like in their presentation for purposes of addressing conditions of release that the state is appearing to seek to bypass the judicial system, jumping the gun and deeming their accusations as simple truths,” Gasnick added.

“They are not. They are mere accusations.”

Espinoza countered that Hall allegedly said he was “shocked” when Superior Court Judge Christopher Melly released him without bail last week.

Gasnick said he “can’t even begin to fathom how to address counsel’s statement.”

“I think it’s a commentary on how reasonable this court tries to be,” Rohrer told Gasnick.

“I think it’s sometimes perceived by the public and by other participants, including defendants, as ridiculously reasonable. That’s just my take on it.”

Rohrer agreed that the new allegations against Hall were merely accusations. He set bail at half of what the state requested.

“I’m getting tired of it, and I think the public’s getting tired of it, so I’m going to set some bail,” Rohrer said.

Rohrer then denied Hall’s request for a bail lower than $20,000, which would allow him to be an inmate trustee.

Port Angeles police responded to a reported residential burglary on the 4600 block of Old Mill Road, where Hall was arrested Friday, officer Bruce Fernie said in court papers.

Hall was found to be in possession of a knife stolen from a nearby hay shed, police said.

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office alleged that Hall and a friend drove a stolen truck to the Heart of the Hills entrance station earlier Friday, where Hall attempted to use an acetylene torch to cut into a safe, according to a news release.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

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