Woman arrested for campground assault reaches plea deal

No additional jail time to be served

Posted 6/9/22

A woman arrested for kidnapping and assaulting her girlfriend at Hoh Oxbow Campground last July was sentenced Friday to reduced charges in Jefferson County Superior Court after reaching a plea deal …

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Woman arrested for campground assault reaches plea deal

No additional jail time to be served

Posted

A woman arrested for kidnapping and assaulting her girlfriend at Hoh Oxbow Campground last July was sentenced Friday to reduced charges in Jefferson County Superior Court after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors.

Laura Ashley Silva, 32, pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal trespass (domestic violence) and unlawful display of a dangerous weapon during a change-of-plea hearing May 27.

Late last week, Silva was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Keith Harper to 364 days in jail, with 284 days of the sentence suspended for five years, on each of the two counts.

Silva was also given credit for 80 days she already spent in jail before her release on bail last September. A registered nurse, she has been living in Florida since her release and has attended all of her court hearings since then via Zoom.

Harper also signed an order barring Silva from having any contact with the victim in the case.

Silva declined to make a statement when asked by Harper if she had anything to say before the judge announced the sentence.

“No, your honor, thank you,” she said.

Silva was arrested after sheriff’s deputies were called to Hoh Oxbow Campground on US Highway 101 late on the night of July 1.

According to court documents, the victim said she had been at the camping site with Silva, her on-and-off-again girlfriend, when Silva began hitting her and then started to chase her around a picnic table.

Silva then grabbed a rubber mallet, the victim said, and tried to hit her with it. The woman then said Silva had grabbed a large stick that had been holding up a garbage bag at their campsite and began swinging it until it hit the picnic table and broke.

The woman ran away to get help, but Silva grabbed her by the shirt and tried to pull her back toward the campsite. The victim told authorities she felt a hard object press into her back, which she thought was a gun. The woman said Silva told her, “You know what this is. I’m going to kill you,” according to court documents.

The victim told police Silva had been carrying a gray gun in a pink holster on her hip, and had threatened her in the past.

She also told police that Silva tried to force her into a Toyota Yaris, but then “ripped their dog away” from her, got in the car and sped away. 

Silva went off the road and drove the vehicle into a ravine as she tried to leave.

The victim then said she ran over to the car and got the dog and tried to help Silva out of the Toyota, but ran away and hid in the woods when Silva started yelling at her, according to court documents.

Two campers told a deputy they had heard the pair arguing about cheating, and the dog, then saw the Toyota speed away before hearing it crash into the ravine. They also said they saw Silva get out of the car and run up the road toward US 101.

One of the witnesses said he had seen Silva grab the dog, get in the car, and speed away, then watched Silva get out of the Toyota after she crashed it.

She was very agitated, he said.

Another witness said she saw Silva come back to the campground after crashing the car, looking for her girlfriend and the dog. 

The witness said she found the girlfriend hiding in the bushes and she was “shaking from fear,” and the girlfriend told her, “Please don’t let her find me or she will kill me.”

Silva refused to talk to a deputy called to the scene or give her name. She was later identified by the license plate number of the car and her driver’s license photo.

A deputy found a black-and-gray Glock pistol during a search of the car.

Authorities had actually been searching for the victim in the case for weeks.

In a follow-up interview with the victim, the woman claimed she and Silva had been traveling from Michigan to Washington but once they crossed the border into Idaho, Silva began going through her phone while they were stopped at a gas station.

She said Silva then announced they were going to Washington. Silva then took her phone, identification, money, and credit cards, and she also said Silva repeatedly assaulted her over the next two weeks.

During a subsequent stay at a hotel in Ellensburg, she said Silva punched her in the head and told her new name “was Lucky, like a dog, and forced her to lay under a desk in the corner of the room while Silva packed,” according to court documents.

When the pair stopped at a trailhead along Interstate 90, she also said Silva put a gun in her face and told her she was going to kill her. She told a deputy that Silva “wanted to cut me and hang me upside down from a tree and let all my insides come out so the bears can eat me.”

She also claimed Silva also threatened to make her watch as she killed their dog, and said she was assaulted with the gun and made to beg for her life.

At a stop at Sahara Creek DNR Horse Camp in Pierce County, Silva’s girlfriend told police they again got into an argument while camping and Silva was afraid someone would call police so they packed up their campsite and left. She said she left a note behind at the campsite with her name on it that said, “Please help me call cops.”

Workers from the Department of Natural Resources later found the note and put a post on Facebook that asked campers to be on the lookout for two women who had been at the horse camp.

The post on social media included a photo of the note, and said two women had been seen in an altercation at the camp and one of the women had been grabbing the other by the hair and arm, and was chasing her around.

During a stop at another remote location, Silva’s girlfriend said Silva again assaulted her after they pulled over. She began hitting her and then bit her on the face, then took a safety pin and stuck it in the victim’s neck, allegedly saying, “This is your jugular. If I stab you there you’ll bleed out. I’ll just throw you out the car into the river or whatever.”

Silva had no prior criminal history before her arrest, and during earlier court proceedings, her attorney noted that no one had actually witnessed Silva trying to force her girlfriend into her car.

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  • ecorep

    Sounds a little light to me, different rule book for women and gays

    Thursday, June 9 Report this