PORT ANGELES — With two of three charged in a 2018 triple murder now in prison, Clallam County law and justice officials have turned their attention to the trial of Dennis Marvin Bauer.
Bauer, 52, of Port Angeles is charged with three counts of first-degree aggravated murder and a host of weapons violations connected to the Dec. 26, 2018 shooting deaths of Darrell Iverson, 57, Jordan Iverson, 27, and Tiffany May, 26.
Bauer is scheduled for a six- to eight-week trial beginning Jan. 4. He is being held in the Clallam County jail on $3.5 million bail.
Superior Court Judge Lauren Erickson set a Dec. 11 deadline for pre-trial motions in a Friday court hearing.
“We’ll argue the motions on the 17th, and we’ll have an omnibus hearing on Dec. 4,” Erickson said in a brief status conference.
Bauer’s co-defendants, Kallie Ann LeTellier and Ryan Warren Ward, were each sentenced to prison last week after pleading guilty for their roles in the murders.
“We don’t bring closure to the families until the conclusion of Mr. Bauer’s trial,” said Brian King, Clallam County chief criminal sheriff’s deputy, on Friday.
“So we have a long ways to go, but we’re extremely pleased with where we’re at now.”
LeTellier, 36, was sentenced Tuesday to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder with a firearm enhancement for May’s death.
“There is nothing that I can say or do that will ever make right in any way, shape or form what I did,” LeTellier told May’s family at her sentencing.
“I’m sorry. That seems so hollow, but I truly am.”
LeTellier has cooperated with investigators and agreed to testify against Bauer, prosecutors have said.
Ward, 39, was sentenced Thursday to life in prison with no possibility of parole. He made no statement after pleading guilty to three counts of first-degree aggravated murder and 16 other counts related to the theft, sale or illegal possession of firearms.
“We’ve spent a significant amount of resources in this investigation, and we are extremely pleased with the outcome today,” King said after Ward’s sentencing.
“We certainly look forward to the upcoming trial with Mr. Bauer.”
Michele Devlin, Clallam County chief criminal deputy prosecuting attorney, has said the state is prepared to go to trial in January.
Whether the case goes to trial Jan. 4 will depend largely on COVID-19.
Superior Court Judge Brent Basden issued a Wednesday order postponing all jury trials though Dec. 2 because of a spike in coronavirus cases in Clallam County.
“The court will continue to monitor case rates within Clallam County, and does not expect to resume jury trials until case rates fall below 75 per 100,000,” Basden said in the order.
The Sheriff’s Office said the murder victims were each shot multiple times outside Darrell Iverson’s home at 62 Bear Mountain Road in the early morning hours of Dec. 26, 2018.
Darrell and Jordan Iverson’s bodies were found under tarps in the front yard of the residence on Dec. 31, 2018. May’s body was found later that day in a locked in a shed near the home.
Investigators said Bauer shot the Iversons while LeTellier shot a fleeing May, who was Jordan Iverson’s girlfriend.
“You murdered a person who meant something, who mattered,” said Angela May, Tiffany’s mother, at LeTellier’s sentencing.
Ward was said to have shot the wounded Iversons in the head, killing them, with a .22-magnum bolt action rifle, Devlin said at his sentencing.
After the murders, Bauer, LeTellier and Ward ransacked the Iverson residence, taking firearms, jewelry, tools and other items, investigators said.
The sheriff’s investigation involved the Port Angeles and Sequim police departments, the FBI and U.S. Marshals.
“This was the largest investigation that I’ve ever been a part of,” said King, who has been a law enforcement officer in Clallam County since 1995.
Given the complexities of the case, the Sheriff’s Office purchased a “super computer” and digital forensics software to advance the investigation at a cost of about $15,000, King said.
The Sheriff’s Office also spent $40,000 on overtime for the triple murder in January 2019 alone. In comparison, the department incurred about $13,000 worth of overtime in January 2020, King said.
At her sentencing, LeTellier said she would spend the next 35 years trying to grasp the gravity of what she did.
“I can’t begin to fathom what her family has gone through,” LeTellier said of May.
“I made a decision that night and there’s nothing I can ever do to take back that split-second decision. I am just sorry.”
Angela May said her daughter was thoughtful, caring, loving, compassionate and non-judgmental.
Tiffany May was a daughter to two parents, a sister to two brothers, a niece to three uncles and one aunt, a cousin to 14 and a granddaughter to two sets of grandparents, Angela May said.
“When she walked into a room, it was brighter,” May said.
“When Tiffany smiled, it was as though her heart was smiling at you.”
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at [email protected].