Olympia murder suspect faces drug charges stemming from 2009 police chase near Chehalis

An Olympia murder suspect was in Lewis County Superior Court Friday to face drug charges resulting from a November 2009 police chase in which two men in a red Corvette attempted to elude a bevy of law enforcement vehicles and a blockade on Rush Road near the intersection with Jackson Highway outside Chehalis.

Robert J. Maddaus Jr., 40, of Rochester, was the passenger in the Corvette where police found large amounts of meth, cocaine and heroin. He is facing murder charges in connection with the shooting death of Shaun A. Peterson, 40, whose body was found handcuffed on Capitol Way in Olympia two weeks before Lewis County law enforcement apprehended Maddaus.

The driver of the Corvette, Centralia career criminal Robert Russell, 46, was acting as an informant for Olympia Police, according to a Thurston County Sheriff's Office incident report. Russell is being held in the Lewis County Jail on four unrelated criminal cases and also as a person of interest in the Aug. 21 triple murder in Salkum.

Witness testimony in Lewis County Superior Court documents says Russell sent two men to the Salkum home to collect a debt from 53-year-old David J. West Sr., who was killed along with his 16-year-old son David J. West Jr., and 50-year-old Mineral resident Tony E. Williams. Russell was not arrested in the car chase incident and Olympia police declined to comment on how or why he was used as an informant.

The incident report says Russell attempted to stop but was held at knifepoint by Maddaus and told to keep driving. A Washington State Patrol aerial video provided to The Chronicle last year shows the Corvette stopping near Maurin Road and then speeding away past three cruisers. The Corvette was disabled after a maneuver in which the car was intentionally bumped, causing it to spin out into a ditch.

When the car was searched, police and deputies found a pistol, about $35,000 cash and a backpack containing two and a half pounds of methamphetamine, nearly a half pound of cocaine and almost one-third pound of heroin, according to charging documents in Thurston County Superior Court.

Maddaus is charged in Lewis County with possession of meth, cocaine and heroin with intent to deliver, plus unlawful possession of a firearm. Prosecutors in court Friday suggested Maddaus would be moved between the two counties for his court dates. He is set to appear in Lewis County Superior Court again on Sept. 30.

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