SEQUIM — The second partner in a May “crime spree” through Sequim agreed to a plea deal for theft charges in Clallam and Pierce counties.
Joanie Lee Squires, 34, of Tacoma was sentenced to 19 months in prison on Thursday in Clallam County Superior Court along with 27.75 months of community custody upon release after entering an Alford plea to charges of her role in stealing and/or helping steal vehicles in Sequim and Puyallup.
According to court documents, she didn’t address the court at sentencing, but wrote, “I am making my plea of guilty as an Alford plea, which means that although I am not admitting guilt (I) believe that the prosecutor would present evidence that would likely cause the jury to convict me and I am pleading guilty in order to take advantage of the prosecutor’s sentencing recommendation(s) … ”
Squires and fiancee David Michael Brown drove to Sequim on May 5 in a stolen truck and they attempted to steal and/or stole landscaping equipment, mail and multiple vehicles, and drove recklessly with Brown striking a vehicle, according to court documents.
At one point, Brown crashed into landscaping at Westside Pizza as police attempted to stop him, but he drove out of the area. He was later arrested while trying to break into a vehicle in Jefferson County on May 8, court documents state.
All the stolen vehicles suffered some damage but were recovered along with all stolen property, said deputy prosecutor Sarah Woolman at a prior hearing.
Squires was arrested May 5 after crashing a stolen truck into a landscaping rock, according to law enforcement.
Her plea deal concerned three counts of being an accomplice to theft of a motor vehicle, attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle with special charges for endangering a police officer, and possessing a stolen vehicle.
Charges for second-degree possession of stolen property, two counts of possession of stolen mail and driving under the influence were dropped.
Two of Squires’ motor vehicle theft charges stem from Dec. 12, 2020, when she worked with an accomplice to lure a man from his home so they could steal an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), according to the probable cause statement provided by Kevin Benton, Pierce County deputy prosecuting attorney.
Judge Lauren Erickson revoked Squires’ rights to own a firearm on Thursday and ordered her to pay a $500 victim assessment fee and $100 DNA fee at $40 a month upon release.
Court documents note this was Squires’ first felony charge and she has chemical dependency that contributed to the offenses.
An original hearing to set a trial date was postponed so Squires could receive a competency evaluation due to previous head trauma. She was later cleared to proceed, however, and was granted more time between hearings for the plea deal sentencing to understand the conditions better before signing to the plea agreement, according to court documents.
Brown, of Lakewood, agreed to a plea deal on Aug. 11 to serve eight years for nine crimes between Clallam and Pierce counties. Some of his charges were carried over from Pierce County as an agreement between the counties as a stolen truck and firearms from Sequim were recovered at a Puyallup 7-11 in April.
Erickson ordered him to a chemical dependency evaluation and any recommended treatment, and he’s prohibited from traveling into Clallam County in the future except for mandatory court appearances.
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]