Couple pleads not guilty to thefts

Separate four-day trials set for July

A couple accused of stealing multiple trucks, tools and mail throughout the Sequim area and eluding police earlier this month pleaded not guilty to multiple charges in Clallam County Superior Court.

Separate four-day trial dates were set Friday for David Brown, 32, of Lakewood and Joanie Squires, 33, of Tacoma with Brown’s trial tentatively set to begin on July 5 and Squires’ on July 11.

Deputy prosecuting attorney Sarah Woolman said the couple is not being tried together and she asked for separate jury pools.

Sequim police officers report the couple met in Port Townsend on May 5 before coming to Sequim and allegedly stealing landscaping tools, mail and trucks.

Brown is charged with first-degree robbery, attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, theft of a motor vehicle, possessing a stolen vehicle and two counts of possessing stolen mail.

Squires faces charges of being an accomplice to first-degree robbery, attempting to elude a police vehicle, possessing a stolen vehicle, possessing a stolen vehicle in the second degree, two counts of possession of stolen mail and driving under the influence.

Squires was arrested by Sequim police the same day of the alleged incidents after crashing a truck on a rock in front of Hurricane Ridge Veterinary Hospital on North Seventh Avenue.

Days after Brown fled a police pursuit, law enforcement arrested him on May 8 in Jefferson County.

Bail was set at $100,000 for Brown and $50,000 for Squires.

Defense attorney Seth Doherty asked on Friday for Squires’ bail to be lowered as she has no criminal history, has children, several jobs and resides with her mother.

However, judge Simon Barnhart said Doherty must appeal the bail amount to Judge Lauren Erickson since she set the amount on May 10.

Erickson set Brown’s bail after deputy prosecuting attorney Michele Devlin said Brown had seven prior felony charges and went on a “crime spree.”

Police said the couple drove to Sequim in a reported stolen truck from Fife and were first seen in the morning, stealing about $2,100 in landscaping equipment near South Rhodefer Road.

A green truck was stolen from a Sequim resident sometime afterward, police reported, with Brown appearing in video surveillance exiting from it and unsuccessfully attempting to break into a Lexus SUV in the 500 block of South Ninth Avenue.

Squires appears on video following in the Fife truck, police said.

The green truck was abandoned minutes later on the 700 block of West Washington Street, where Brown was seen on video surveillance transferring items to a Ford F-450 bucket truck.

Later, a silver GMC pickup was reported stolen on West Bell Street, police said.

The truck’s owner tried to stop Brown, police said, but the owner saw Brown reach for something which he thought could be a weapon so he exited and his thumb was slammed in the door.

He also attempted to stop Squires, but he was kicked and she accelerated away from him, court documents report.

Police said the couple later drove into westbound traffic along Washington Street, nearly causing multiple wrecks. Brown struck one vehicle, although there were no injuries reported.

At one point, his vehicle crashed into landscaping in the 500 block of West Washington Street, and an officer attempted to stop him; however, Brown drove away, court documents stated.

After her arrest, Squires told police she had been drinking alcohol and smoking methamphetamine about an hour prior, police said.

Inside the truck Squires was driving, police recovered 27 pieces of mail from nine different Sequim addresses from the Sunland area to River Road. Police report video surveillance shows Brown allegedly breaking into a mailbox unit near Grant Road, too.

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Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].