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Alleged Bainbridge pot grower may change plea

The Bainbridge Island man charged with the illegal manufacture of marijuana among other charges may change his plea to guilty at an upcoming hearing.

The cases for Eldon Wihau Hamblin, 37, took a turn this week when court officials scheduled a new hearing for Tuesday, May 14 in order to change his pleading from “not guilty” to “guilty.”

Prosecutors noted that Hamblin’s plea of not guilty still stands, and remains official until the May 14 court appearance.

“Nothing is definite until the defendant signs the paperwork,” said Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney Jonathan Salamas.

Hamblin currently faces a slew of charges spanning two cases that include the manufacture of marijuana, unlawful possession of a firearm, violation of a court order, harassment and tampering with a witness.

Hamblin was arrested in January after a former roommate told Bainbridge Island police that Hamblin threatened to kill his family. After Hamblin made the threat, he allegedly grabbed a gun and drove away.

When police investigated the incident, they discovered a large marijuana grow operation in a building behind Hamblin’s residence on North Street near Agate Pass Road. He was arrested shortly thereafter.

While in jail, Hamblin allegedly made several phone calls — which were recorded on the jail’s line — to his wife.

Despite a court order prohibiting Hamblin from contacting his wife, and his self-admitted knowledge that he was being tapped, he allegedly told his wife to hide a gun that was at the North Street house. Hamblin was allegedly in possession of the firearm, but was not allowed to own it due to his status as a convicted felon.

Police found the gun and added the unlawful possession of a firearm, and the violation of a court order, to his list of charges.

 

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