In the first week of June, Clallam County deputy prosecuting attorneys dismissed felony charges stemming from two alleged Sequim crimes, one with two defendants, each facing a count of rape, and a second, separate case with two defendants, each facing two counts of manslaughter.
Cases get dismissed in two ways, with or without prejudice.
To maintain their ability to bring a person to trial, prosecutors occasionally will dismiss charges without prejudice to keep their ability to refile at a later date. Otherwise, if the case goes to trial and prosecutors do not have witnesses available, a judge can dismiss the charges with prejudice, meaning the case is over.
Deputy prosecutors indicated they needed more time to line up witnesses and evidence for trial in both the John Packer and Carolyn Hardwick alleged negligent adult care case and the reported Jonathan Pardo and Matthew Villeneuve rape case.
Prosecutors hope to refile charges against the four former defendants once complications are ironed out.
In March 2005, Clallam County prosecution charged both Packer and Hardwick with two counts of manslaughter in the second degree, one count of criminal mistreatment in the first degree and two counts of criminal mistreatment in the second degree. However, earlier this month the charges were dismissed without prejudice.
The charges originated from the reported mistreatment of victims in the pairs residential care facility, Clallam County deputy prosecuting attorney Ann Lundwall said of the former Garden Grove adult foster home. Those alleged victims were elderly as are the states witnesses. The doctor of our key witness indicated there were very serious concerns with her ability to give testimony due to the condition of her health.
Lundwall said she intends to reopen the case once the witness is fit enough to testify at trial. She indicated it was not a decision taken lightly and that prosecution conferred with the alleged victims families before making the decision.
While criminal charges are dismissed for now, some of the families have a civil suit against the pair for the reported mistreatment of their tenants and the state no longer allows them to commercially care for the elderly.
Hardwick, 61, and Packer, 36, faced the felony manslaughter charges for allegedly causing the death of three patients at their now-defunct adult care home. The criminal mistreatment charges stemmed from their reported mistreatment of five patients between 2001 and 2002.
The residential care facility, located at 510 Pine Court in Sequim, was licensed to the married couple, who operated it from 1998 until their license was revoked by the state in 2002.
In January of this year, Sequim Police received a report of an alleged rape at the Red Ranch Inn. Prosecutors charged Pardo and Villeneuve with rape in the third degree after police investigations indicated the pair allegedly met a 19-year-old Sequim woman online and reportedly took things too far after they met in person.
Prosecutors requested the pairs charges be dismissed without prejudice, which occurred earlier this month.
We were running on deadline, since each defendant has the right to a trial within a certain amount of time, and we were unable to line up witness interviews in time, deputy prosecuting attorney Courtney Popp said. If we didnt have witnesses lined up, it could have been dismissed without the possibility of refiling charges, which is what we intend to do once we have things in order.
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