Crime

Trial for Stidd, accused of killing Olympia woman Gail Doyle, postponed to September

VIDEO: Bail set at $2 million for Thurston County murder suspect James Stidd

James E. Stidd was arrested near Ritzville early Thursday morning and booked into the Thurston County Jail on suspicion of second-degree murder and four counts of unlawful possession of a firearm. He is suspected of killing Gail J. Doyle, of Olymp
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James E. Stidd was arrested near Ritzville early Thursday morning and booked into the Thurston County Jail on suspicion of second-degree murder and four counts of unlawful possession of a firearm. He is suspected of killing Gail J. Doyle, of Olymp

The trial for James E. Stidd, suspected of killing Olympia woman Gail Doyle, has been postponed to September.

Stidd, 66, had been scheduled for trial beginning March 6, but the trial was delayed at a Wednesday hearing in Thurston County Superior Court. The new trial date is Sept. 11.

Stidd faces one count of second-degree murder while armed with a deadly weapon, four counts of first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, and one count of tampering with physical evidence.

Attorney Richard Woodrow, who represents Stidd, said the trial was delayed in part because the case’s prosecutor has another large trial starting soon. Deputy Prosecutor Scott Jackson is also working on the case involving Andre Thompson and Bryson Chaplin, who face assault charges resulting from an alleged May 21, 2015, attack on Olympia Police Officer Ryan Donald. Their trial is scheduled to begin March 20.

Thurston County Prosecutor Jon Tunheim told The Olympian in January that prosecuting Stidd’s case will be difficult because Doyle’s remains have not been recovered, but not impossible.

On June 8, the search for Doyle reached a detached garage on Stidd’s property on Longhorn Loop, south of the Olympia Regional Airport. Detectives reportedly found spattered blood and a hammer with blond hairs around it.

For weeks, the search for Doyle’s remains focused on a remote Eastern Washington landfill. Sgt. Carla Carter said June 14 that the Sheriff’s Office was about 90 percent sure that Doyle’s remains were there. Stidd allegedly took some items to the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center shortly after Doyle went missing, and detectives believed that Doyle’s remains might have been among them.

Investigators also dug up Stidd’s backyard, with no results.

Amelia Dickson: 360-754-5445, @Amelia_Oly

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