McKinstry pleads ‘not guilty’ to Kitsap murder charge | Around the Island

Recycling drive on tap today

An electronic recycling drive will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at Bay Hay and Feed.

This is the last recycling event of 2008, and all electronics and CFLs (compact fluorescents and tubes) will be accepted for disposal. Items to be recycled include computers, keyboards, printers, cell phones, stereos and TVs, among others. Prices for recycling range from 25 cents for inkjet cartridges to $80 for console TVs with wood cabinets.

Proceeds from the recycling drive will benefit Sustainable Bainbridge, an organization designed to bring island businesses together to coordinate environmentally friendly efforts.

The electronic recycling drive is co-sponsored by Kitsap County Solid Waste Division, which deals with recycling on Bainbridge. For information on Sustainable Bainbridge and a full list of accepted recyclables, visit For additional details specific to the drive, contact Els Heyne at

Introducing Athena the owl

The female barred owl at West Sound Wildlife Shelter has been christened Athena, thanks to not one, but seven contestants in the shelter’s “Name the Owl” contest.

Islanders Ruth Aufderheide, Lola Ayer, Lori Grove, Regina Hall Naomi Howard, Emily Soth and Conner Thompson all chose the name Athena, the Greek goddess of both wisdom and war, who is sometimes pictured carrying an owl.

The barred owl, which was brought to the shelter after being hit by a car in 2007, will join the shelter’s great horned owl Orion as the second education animal in its program.

Orion was named for the hunter of Greek mythology in a 2007 contest.

“We’re building the Greek pantheon here,” shelter Executive Director Kol Medina said.

Contest winners have been invited to have their pictures taken with Athena Saturday.

The public is also welcomed to the shelter for an open house from 1 p.m to 3 p.m. Sunday. The shelter is showcasing its new administration building, which was moved to the current site a year ago with support from the Bainbridge Rotary Club. Visitors can also tour the shelter’s upgraded animal hospital and meet Athena and Orion.

‘Not guilty’ McKinstry plea

Garrett J. McKinstry, charged with murdering his father, pled not guilty by reason of insanity in Kitsap County Superior Court Oct. 10.

McKinstry, a 2004 graduate of North Kitsap High School, allegedly stabbed his father, Ordway Elementary School counselor Jeff McKinstry, on Oct. 11, 2007 at their South Kingston Road home.

For the last six months, McKinstry was deemed incompetent to stand trial by doctors at Western State Hospital, a mental health evaluation and recovery center in Tacoma, where he was held.

Competency, explained Kevin Hull, Kitsap County deputy prosecutor, means the person to stand trial is aware of who they are and what is going on around them. Hull said competency is often restored through medication.

“It’s not uncommon for someone to seek this (insanity) defense when there’s really no question who committed the crime,” Hull said. “The defense isn’t even arguing that point.”

McKinstry will head back to Western State Hospital where he will undergo a forensic evaluation and doctors will offer an opinion if McKinstry was insane at the time of the homicide.

McKinstry’s defense attorney, David LaCross, said they have 15 days from the Oct. 10 court date to do the evaluation.

“I think it’s a tragic case,” LaCross said. “I expect that the evaluation of Mr. McKinstry will show that he was insane at the time of the homicide.”

LaCross said McKinstry could have issues with competency during the trial if he goes off his medication.

Although the next trial date is set for Oct. 27, the evaluation by Western State Hospital doctors may not be ready. In that case, the trial will be postponed.

– Kelly Joines

North Kitsap Herald

Auditor, judge hopefuls clash

Candidates for contested Kitsap County Superior Court and auditor positions had a rare face-to-face meeting at the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce Wednesday afternoon.

The candidate’s forum allowed judicial candidates Bruce Danielson and Jeanette Dalton, and auditor hopefuls John Clark (R) and Walter E. Washington (D) to contrast their positions and touch on issues that have surfaced during the campaign.

This year’s auditor’s race centers on budgeting authority, while the judge candidates have argued whether an arbitrator has judicial experience and the value of local practice.

Danielson has served as an arbitrator in King County, the value of which has been challenged by Dalton and her supporters.

“As an arbitrator I have handled a wide variety of cases,” Danielson said. “I have needed to employ a variety of skills. When you handle a divorce there can be elements of land-use law and property law. You need experience in different areas. It is not all about one thing.”

Dalton countered that her many years of experience were incontestable.

“During my 24 years of experience I have gained a 360-degree perspective of the legal system,” Dalton said. “I have prosecuted aggravated murder cases and worked as a defense attorney, to make sure that everyone has been treated fairly. I have worked as a pro-tem judge and made sure that trials run smoothly.”

In the case of the auditor position, Clark asserted that budget authority should reside with the auditor rather than the county commissioner’s office. This was disputed by Washington, the current county auditor, who said the law requires the auditor to issue a “budget call letter.”

Clark repeated his promise to mount a legal challenge to the commissioner-centric budget process, whether he wins the auditor’s office or not.

The candidates also discussed the voting process. Clark, an opponent of all-mail voting, thinks there should be several “secure ballot drops” throughout the county for voters who want a more reliable path than the U.S. Mail – there are five secure locations for citizens to drop off ballots around the county on election day.

While elections generate the most publicity, Washington pointed out that the auditor’s office has three other responsibilities: Licensing, financial services and records management.He said his background gives him the edge, and that he is the best qualified to perform all these functions.

– Charlie Bermant

Port Orchard Independent

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