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Oak Harbor burglary suspect accused of witness tampering

An Oak Harbor woman is facing a possible prison sentence for allegedly offering $1,000 to a family she burglarized in exchange for them dropping charges against her, court documents state.

Prosecutors charged Shelly J. Minnick, 52, in Island County Superior Court Aug. 11 with residential burglary, taking a motor vehicle without permission and driving while her license was revoked.

The felonies were charged with “aggravating circumstances,” which may increase a sentence. Namely, Minnick is accused of using a position of trust to commit the crimes and victimizing a particularly vulnerable person.

Minnick is accused of burglarizing the home of a 95-year-old man while he was in the hospital. The man’s daughter stopped by his rural Oak Harbor home May 23 and found a stranger, later identified as Minnick, in the house, according to the police report.

Minnick claimed she had permission to be in the house and that “a black man” had stolen the elderly resident’s van, the police report states.

A deputy, however, had allegedly stopped Minnick in the stolen van two days earlier for driving without a license, the report states.

The van was impounded.

On Aug. 12, the man’s daughter reported to the county prosecutor’s office that Minnick offered her and her father $1,000 in exchange for them dropping the charges against her, according to the detective’s report on the incident.

A judge had ordered Minnick not to have any contact with the alleged victim or witness.

Prosecutors charged Minnick on Aug. 18 with two counts of tampering with a witness and one count of violating a court order.

Minnick could face more than two years in prison if convicted of the burglary and car theft charges, plus any aggravating circumstances would add to the sentence. She could also face nearly four years in prison if convicted of the witness tampering charges.

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