Josie Jordan Makens, 27, appeared in Wallowa County District Court Sept. 20 on two separate cases. The first involved Makens allegedly pointing a loaded 12-gauge shotgun and threatening the alleged victim. The resulting six charges for the May 21, 2017, incident included attempt to commit a Class B felony, unlawful use of a weapon, menacing, recklessly endangering another person, pointing a firearm at another and harassment.
The second alleged crime took place also in May after Makens was released from jail after the first incident. She was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and one count of criminal trespass in the second degree. She pleaded not guilty on all the charges from both cases.
Makens also had several violation of release agreement charges against her. She also pleaded not guilty on those charges.
Makens participated in a settlement hearing with the district attorney’s office the previous week. No settlement was reached. Her attorney Brent Smith requested a trial although he told Judge Russell West he held out hope for a settlement hearing.
After a query about Makens complying with her urine analysis tests mandated by the court, assistant DA Rebecca Frolander said the defendant had not complied with the court’s order since Aug. 3. Frolander said Makens reported for a test on Aug. 3, which was positive for opiates.
In response to West’s reply on what she wanted to do, Frolander said she wanted Makens signed up for tests by the end of the day.
West asked Smith why he shouldn’t have his client remanded into custody as previous tests had tested positive for methamphetamine and the opiate incident was after his client had been in treatment.
Smith replied that his client had a number of negative tests and that the cost was prohibitive.
After warning Makens about the consequences of failure, which could include arrest, the judge said he would follow Frolander’s recommendation. He also said he didn’t believe the story about the cost of tests.
“You have $6,000 on the books for bail, and that came from somewhere,” he said.
West then scheduled a two-day trial for the initial two felony charges and an additional half-day trial for the three contempt of court and probation charges.
Matthews case awaiting DA review
Kevin Matthews, 19, Wallowa, appeared Sept. 20 on one count of unlawful sexual penetration in the first degree and three counts of sexual abuse in the first degree. The first charge is a Class A felony while the remaining three charges are Class B felonies. The first charge stipulated that the alleged victim was under the age of 12.
Matthews appeared shackled and in yellow jail garb and was represented by attorney Rick Dall. West asked Dall if his client was ready to enter a plea, and Dall said he was still working on it because a comprehensive evaluation of Matthews by a doctor had yet to be reviewed by the DAs office. He added that the office had made an initial plea offer to his client, and it was Dall’s opinion that the evaluation could result in a different offer from the DA.
Frolander requested three weeks to review the evaluation and talk it over with the alleged victim’s family before making a plea offer to Matthews. The defendant waived his right to a preliminary hearing, and West ordered an Oct. 18 court appearance to monitor the case.
Matthews was returned to custody.
Johnson negotiating deal
Joseph Troy Johnson, 31, Wallowa, appeared Sept. 20 for a plea hearing on five charges including strangulation, a charge of menacing, one count of criminal mischief in the second degree and two counts of harassment. The first two charges allege domestic violence on the part of Johnson and stemmed from a May 4 incident on Whiskey Creek Road in Wallowa.
Jared Boyd served as Johnson’s court-appointed attorney and said his client had rejected a plea offer from the DA’s office. Boyd asked for a two-day trial date but offered further negotiations with Frolander.
West gave Johnson and Boyd two weeks to negotiate a plea offer, if a settlement wasn’t reached, the trial would be scheduled.
Vichi criminal record in question
David Arthur Vichi, 41, Wallowa, appeared Sept. 20 for a pre-trial hearing on charges of fourth degree assault constituting domestic violence. The incident took place on or about Nov. 1 of last year. Dall represented Vichi and started the hearing by saying his client maintained his previous criminal history was incorrect and could hurt his client’s chances in court.
West asked Frolander if she had looked into the matter, and she said she was working with the California officials to determine Vichi’s criminal history. She did say it appeared Vichi had been in prison in the state for custodial interference at one point and had been sent back at least twice.
West asked if the state was prepared for trial, and Frolander said it was and planned to call three witnesses, including the alleged victim. The trial is set for Oct. 4.