Oak Harbor home invaders armed with tools
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
April 21, 2011 · Updated 4:31 PM
A 48-year-old Oak Harbor man is being held in jail on $400,000 bail after he and another man committed a home-invasion robbery armed with a hammer and a screwdriver last week, court documents allege.
Island County Deputy Prosecutor Eric Ohme charged the suspect, Richard Weatherford, in Island County Superior April 14 with first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and second-degree assault. The robbery and burglary were charged with two aggravated circumstances — rapid recidivism and multiple current offenses — which increase the potential sentence.
Lt. Mike Hawley with the Island County Sheriff’s Office investigated the alleged armed-robbery-gone-wrong that occurred at a residence off Wilson Road on North Whidbey just before noon on April 11.
Residents Jacob Woessner and his friend, Dawn Dunsmore, were sitting on a bed watching TV when two suspects broke the door down and came into the bedroom. Both suspects were wearing red bandanas over their faces and one had on sunglasses; one man was armed with a hammer and the other had a screwdriver, Hawley wrote.
The two robbers demanded that the couple give them “everything,” Hawley’s report states.
Instead, Woessner jumped up and punched one of the robbers in the face, knocking his sunglasses off, then started wrestling with the man. The other suspect whacked Woessner in the head with a screwdriver, the report states.
During the tussle, Woessner was able to pull off the robber’s bandana and immediately recognized him as Weatherford, Hawley wrote. Woessner had previously worked with Weatherford on a job site.
Weatherford was able to break free. He grabbed the hammer and smashed Woessner’s cell phone, then grabbed a cell phone out of Dunsmore’s hand and left with it, Hawley wrote.
The two robbers fled the residence, but Woessner chased them. Weatherford and his accomplice got into a blue Jeep Cherokee and started driving away, with Woessner trying to pull Weatherford out of the passenger seat, the report states.
The driver drove in reverse, dragging Woessner along the driveway, until he finally let go of Weatherford, according to the report.
The next day, Hawley arrested Weatherford at his sister’s home in the Rolling Hills development. Weatherford denied any involvement in the robbery.
Ohme said detectives are still working on identifying the other robber.
According to Ohme, Weatherford was charged with the aggravating factor of rapid recidivism because he had recently pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine and was under supervision by the Department of Corrections when the robbery occurred.
If convicted of the charges against him, Weatherford could face up to 14 years and three months in prison under the standard sentencing range.Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.