A man expected to be charged with attempted second-degree murder and assault of an officer — and who is a person of interest in the homicide of his mother — was being held on $5 million bail in the Clallam County jail on Friday.
Bret Allen Kenney, 34, made his first appearance in Clallam County Superior Court on Friday. He is scheduled to be arraigned at 1 p.m. Tuesday on expected charges of attempted second-degree murder, assault on a police officer, disarming a police officer and driving under the influence of drugs.
Law enforcement are also investigating Kenney as their lone person of interest in the death of his mother, Teri Ward, according to Chief Criminal Deputy Brian King.
Ward was found dead of homicidal injuries, King said, at her home in 100 block of Senz Road in Sequim on Thursday, the same day Kenney was taken into custody for investigation of an attack on an unidentified Sequim officer.
Kenney appeared in court via video from the Clallam County jail Friday handcuffed at the court’s orders with five deputies around him.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michele Devlin said Kenney’s “character speaks volumes” as he was released from prison on Jan. 14, and has a criminal history that includes four prior cases of assault on police officers.
Kenney has convictions of second and third degree assaults, robbery in the first and second degree, taking a motor vehicle without permission, third degree assault, domestic violence and unlawful imprisonment.
Law enforcement reported two shots were fired Thursday’s struggle. Because the encounter with a law enforcement officer involved shots fired and police officers, the investigation is being done by the Kitsap Critical Incident Response Team (KCIRT) , a multi-agency task force of 10 law enforcement agencies in Kitsap, Mason and Clallam counties.
The officer had stopped Kenney at 4:31 a.m. near the intersection of Third Avenue and Washington Street on Thursday before an altercation unfolded, said Cpt. Randy Plumb of the Bremerton Police Department, spokesperson for KCIRT.
Plumb said it was a “routine traffic stop.” The car was registered to Ward, according to court documents.
In court, Devlin said Kenney assaulted the officer and he “fought for his life” for about two minutes before bystanders helped. During the altercation, Kenney allegedly got the officer’s gun and it discharged, she said.
One bystander who helped the officer, said Kenney demonstrated “superhuman strength and he believed that if Kenney got the firearm out, Kenney was going to shoot the officer in the head,” according to court documents.
Video surveillance showed that after the officer interviewed Kenney at the truck window, Kenney jumped out of the truck as the officer walked back to his patrol vehicle and began to assault him, police said..
Both the Sequim officer and Kenney sustained non-life threatening injuries and were treated and released from the Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles.
Later that morning at about 8:40 a.m., local law enforcement received a request for a welfare check on a woman living on Senz Road.
Port Angeles police officers found a deceased woman, later identified as Teri Ward, Kenney’s mother, according to King.
King said the scene continues to be actively investigated by the response team and that Kenney is the only person of interest.
He said an autopsy is pending and that the death appears to be the result of homicidal violence, he said.
Devlin said in court Friday that $5 million bail was requested because Kenney could be dangerous to the community, due to the seriousness of his crimes, and because he might not appear in court.
Judge Brent Basden agreed, and dded that if Kenney were released, he would be on required home monitoring, not be allowed firearms, not be allowed to leave the state, and not commit further criminal violations.
When Basden asked Kenney if he needed representation, Kenney replied, “What do you think?”
Harry Gasnick, public defense attorney, was appointed to represent Kenney.
Sequim city attorney Kristina Nelson-Gross said in a press release that state law requires any incident with shots fired be investigated by an Independent Investigative Team, and in this instance, Sequim police are not involved in the investigation.
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].