Guilty pleas in kidnap, assault

One man sentenced to five years in prison

PORT TOWNSEND — Two of the four Port Townsend men accused of kidnapping and torturing another resident have pleaded guilty to reduced charges.

Robert John Cuevas, 19, and Isaiah William Peoples-Morse, 18, appeared Friday in the Jefferson County Superior Court, where they admitted to kidnapping and assaulting Dennis Shaw on Nov. 10, 2020.

Peoples-Morse was sentenced to five years in prison on Friday while Cuevas is expected to be sentenced July 23.

During Friday’s hearing conducted by Superior Court Judge Keith Harper, both men pleaded guilty to second-degree kidnapping with deliberate cruelty and second-degree assault with deliberate cruelty, both Class B felonies.

The kidnapping charge has a standard range of 22 to 29 months in prison with an additional 18 months in community custody, while the assault charge has a standard range of 15 to 20 months in prison and an additional 18 months in community custody, according to court documents.

The pair, along with Zachary James Barbee, 44, and Giuseppe D. Glanz, 20, were charged in March with first-degree kidnapping with deliberate cruelty, first-degree assault with deliberate cruelty and first-degree robbery with deliberate cruelty by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Anna Phillips.

The pair also pleaded guilty to a charge separate from the Nov. 10 incident.

Cuevas pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen firearm, which has a standard sentencing range of 15 to 20 months in prison.

Peoples-Morse pleaded guilty to residential burglary, also a Class B felony, after he entered the apartment of Port Townsend resident Allisondra Shackelford on Jan. 22.

Shackelford, a single mother, lives in the apartment below Peoples-Morse and his girlfriend.

Shackelford spoke at the hearing on Friday, outlining aggressive behavior Peoples-Morse had reportedly acted out against her before his arrest for the burglary, including allegedly vandalizing her car and making obscene and vulgar comments and gestures toward her.

Shackelford said she is trying to find a new place to live with her sons, as she no longer feels safe in her apartment.

Harper offered Peoples-Morse the opportunity to respond to Shackelford’s statement, and Peoples-Morse started to claim she was lying before Harper interrupted him and moved on to his sentencing.

Phillips asked for Peoples-Morse to be sentenced higher than the standard range for the kidnapping charge and the top end of the standard range for the two other charges due to the deliberate cruelty and his extensive criminal history.

“There needed to be significant consequences,” she said. “We feel this is a fair resolution.”

Harper agreed with her recommendation and sentenced Peoples-Morse to 60 months in prison with an additional 18 months in community custody for the first-degree kidnapping, 17 months for the second-degree assault and 14 months for the residential burglary.

Harper also signed a no-contact order barring Peoples-Morse from contacting Shackelford and Shaw. The order also requires him to turn over any firearms he owns to the county Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Glanz and Barbee’s next court appearances are scheduled for July 30 and Aug. 13, respectively.

On Nov. 10, the four allegedly trapped, beat and drugged Shaw over the course of several hours in their house, hitting him with fists and clubs. They debated killing him, according to the probable cause report.

Shaw also was burned by cigarettes and shot with a BB gun in the eye, causing him to go blind in that eye. He said Peoples-Morse put Suboxone strips into his mouth, the report said.

Eventually, Shaw was forced to change clothes and lie down in the back of a pickup, according to the police report. He was driven about 8.5 miles from the residence and dumped on or near Anderson Lake Road, where he was found by a person who called 9-1-1.

More of the about the Nov. 10 incident can be read at https://www.peninsuladailynews.com/crime/charges-filed-in-alleged-torture.

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Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected]

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