Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 9
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Attempted jewett burglar sentenced to nearly 12 years

Many people remember the afternoon of Oct. 30, 2007 when a local woman casually walked into Jewett Hall and stole valuables that had been sitting in the unlocked rooms of residents attending class at the time. After being followed, the woman was apprehended by three members of the Jewett residence life staff and Associate Director of Security Craig McKinnon.

“We looked outside of our window and saw this lady being held down, just shrieking. It was frightening,” said first-year Jewett residents Lizzie Bragg and Becca Sexton, recalling that afternoon.

Amanda Warren, 27, pleaded guilty on Jan. 7 of six crimes including the three counts of assault, burglary and theft from the Whitman campus incident. Officials said that Warren also hit Walla Walla University in College Place multiple times before her final stop in Jewett.

“She received a 141-month prison term, and will be subject to 24 months community supervision after she gets out,” said McKinnon. He added that the prosecuting attorney, Jim Nagle, was going to press 17 felony charges against her.

“She was looking at over a 16-year conviction if they took her to court on everything,” said McKinnon. Since 2001, Warren has had five convictions.

A plea bargain was set to allow Warren 12 years in prison if she pled guilty to six of the 17 crimes. The incident in Jewett was a clear case in which most of the charges were drawn up. Warren pled guilty to the six crimes and was ordered by Walla Walla County Superior Court Judge Donald W. Schacht to pay around $11,000 in compensation to victims.

The security measures around campus have only changed slightly after the incident. “I think people are more aware of who comes in and out of the building, at least,” said Jewett Resident Director Jon Lundak. McKinnon added that rooms are constantly left open and residents are left to be victims of burglary.

“Over 80 percent of all thefts that occur on college campuses occur within the campus itself. No one thinks that their possessions have been stolen so they don’t call security on it. Students get complacent and get a false sense of security because it feels like home here and at home you don’t lock your room,” said McKinnon, stressing the importance of taking basic safety measures.

For the 2008 Residence Life training, McKinnon lectured the new staff about informing fellow students about the dangers of leaving doors unlocked or wide open, pointing out the possibility of physical assault. Nancy Tavelli, associate dean of students, agreed and emphasized the Amanda Warren incident should have been a wake-up call.

Tavelli said that she has seen and heard of thefts happening around campus, but said that Warren was different.

“She’s kind of an anomaly. She’s a drug addict and has a long criminal history,” said Tavelli.

According to a report from the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Warren has a methamphetamine addiction.

“At least she’s off our streets. It saves a lot of people pain and suffering,” McKinnon said.

To view criminal activities and up-to-date incidents reported by campus security, go to dailysecuritylog.wordpress.com.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Whitman Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *