Reckless burning

Isaiah Scott Mitchell, 42, of Longview was sentenced May 14 to six months in jail after pleading guilty to first-degree reckless burning and gross misdemeanor harassment.

Longview police arrested Mitchell in December on allegations that he tracked down an 18-year-old to a one-story house at 1428 Beech Street and threatened to burn the building down if the other six people inside did not send her out. He poured gasoline on the exterior of the building and set it on fire, according to witnesses. Longview fire crews were dispatched, but police canceled the call because the fire caused no major damage.

Mitchel was originally charged with first-degree arson, threatening to bomb or injure property and two counts of felony harassment, but pleaded to reduced charges in a deal with prosecutors.


Michael Stephen Cooper, 64, of Kelso was sentenced May 30 to eight years in prison after admitting to pointing a loaded rifle at a woman and pleading guilty to first-degree assault with a deadly weapon.

He was arrested on Feb. 24 after Cowlitz County sheriff’s deputies were called out to a report that Cooper was “out of control” and held a gun to a women’s forehead, according to law enforcement records. The victim told deputies that Cooper was enraged and had threatened to kill her.

An additional charge of making threats to kill was dropped.

Indecent liberties

James Henry Nelson, 60, of Norco, Calif., was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted indecent liberties. An additional charge of burglary was dropped.

Nelson was arrested in July after a woman told Kelso police officers he entered her house in the middle of the night and climbed into bed with her, according to police records. Another man told Nelson to get out of the house and the two fought briefly, during which Nelson brandished a knife, according to police records.

The day before, the victim said, Nelson had briefly followed her on her way home after they had a brief interaction in passing.

According to a pre-sentence investigative report, Nelson said he had gone to the woman’s house to rest and make food for her, and said he believed he was the victim of a set-up and assault. He told the investigator he made an Alford plea in order to avoid a longer prison sentence.

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