A judge will decide next week whether the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office can file additional charges against Andre Thompson and Bryson Chaplin.
Deputy prosecutors said Thursday they hope to file third-degree theft charges against both defendants.
The two men already are facing assault charges resulting from the alleged May 21, 2015, attack on Olympia Police Officer Ryan Donald. Each suspect faces two counts of second-degree assault, and Chaplin faces an additional charge of third-degree assault based on an alleged confrontation with a grocery store employee before Donald tried to apprehend the men.
The new charges would stem from the brothers’ actions prior to the alleged assaults. Chaplin would be charged with three counts of third-degree theft, and Thompson would face one count of third-degree theft for allegedly stealing beer from Safeway on Cooper Point Road in west Olympia.
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The proposed charges come only weeks before Chaplin and Thompson are scheduled to go to trial Oct. 31.
Deputy Prosecutor Wayne Graham announced at a Thursday hearing that he hoped to file the new charges. Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor declined to immediately arraign Chaplin and Thompson on the charges.
Instead, a hearing will be conducted Oct. 13, giving attorneys on both sides of the case a chance to argue their points before Tabor makes his decision.
The Prosecutor’s Office filed the initial charges against Thompson, 24, and Chaplin, 22, in September 2015. The brothers are accused of attacking Donald with skateboards in the early hours of May 25, 2015, when he was trying to apprehend them after the incident at the nearby Safeway.
The officer shot Thompson and Chaplin, and reported that he feared for his life. Donald was cleared of any wrongdoing — the Prosecutor’s Office decided that there wasn’t a legal basis to charge him with any crime, and a review board determined that Donald didn’t violate department policy.
The alleged thefts from Safeway were a discussion topic during Thursday’s hearing before Graham announced the potential charges. Attorney George Trejo, who represents Chaplin, filed a motion to exclude testimony during trial about the first two alleged thefts. He argued that Thompson and Chaplin had not been charged as a result of those allegations.
Graham argued that testimony about the alleged thefts should be allowed, as it illustrates the defendants’ mindset — and their level of inebriation — prior to and during the alleged assault on Donald.
“Why would these two young men attack an officer?” Graham asked. “Why? Because they had been committing crimes all night.”
Attorney Sunni Ko said Chaplin’s and Thompson’s physical state could be determined through other means, such as lab results that have been made available to attorneys.
Tabor granted the motion because theft charges hadn’t been filed, and because Safeway employees may not have known about the prior alleged thefts when they reported an assault at the store. However, this ruling could be amended based on testimony from store employees, he said.