‘The Trouble With Trimble’ – Part 1

‘The Trouble With Tribbles” (screen capture neatnik2009)

There are times when the “youthful indiscretion” defense holds water. Sometimes it doesn’t. So when does the “I was young and stupid” defense leak like a sieve?

Can you say, “Tyler Trimble”?

Yes, friends. Montesano City Council Member Trimble has been using the “young and stupid” defense since shortly after the discovery of fire. If you follow the bouncing ball, you may find some cracks. You may even wonder if Montesano can do better. Way better.

Let’s take a brief look at the Trimble track record from about 2007 to 2015, beginning with: Coach Pleads Guilty to Passing Nude Photos

This isn’t exactly news. Heck, the story is from 2008, based on events of August – October 2007. What you may not know, however, is that the incident was originally investigated by multiple law enforcement agencies including the Montesano and Hoquiam Police Departments, and the Washington State Patrol – as a felony.

Here’s a synopsis of that report:

Montesano Police Department contacted the Washington State Patrol’s Missing and Exploited Children Task Force with information about the possession and distribution of child pornography by a twenty year old high school coach and police explorer.

Here’s the report by the Washington State Patrol. Note page 7. (‘Fize you, I’d suit up in the nearest HazMat gear before reading):

WSP Investigative Report – Trimble

Also take a gander at the WSP Investigative Service Bureau Investigative Report filed by Det. Reginald Chapman. It’s part of the WSP report noted above. The subject is Processing of Cellular Telephone(s). That six-page report includes the results of “an examination of the cellular telephone(s) for any information that may be relevant to this investigation.”

The report says (page 3) that five messages were recovered “including the following.” The message, apparently from Trimble, is easy to miss. So here ya go:

Gonna Blow Over

If you can’t quite make that out, the message reads:

“Well things are gonna blow over and we aren’t gonna have to worry about it.

Trust me on this one. It was isolated and taken care of.”

For the record, I submitted a public record request to the Montesano Police Department last May related to “Tyler Trimble and possible child pornography as per this news story from February 2008,” and referenced the Seattle PI story.

MPD PRR 05.14.15

I filed my original request with MPD on May 14, 2015. On May 28, 2015 I received this response from Cyndi Bies, MPD Records Clerk:

“Due to the legal ambiguity arising from the impact of the April 2015 expungement order entered by the District Court in relation to the initial finding in this case upon the characterization of the records currently held by the Department which might be responsive to your records request, including the interpretation of a portion of RCW 10.97.050, City Attorney Dan Glenn advised me you should not expect to receive a response from us until Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015….”

MPD Response 5.28.15

Did you catch it? The part about “April 2015 expungement order”? More on that in Part 2.

In a memo dated June 17, 2015, then-Montesano City Attorney Dan Glenn kindly informed me that the documents requested from MPD were deemed “public record” and “not exempt from disclosure, and were to be provided.” Glenn notes, “Mr. Trimble was provided the opportunity to seek appropriate judicial protection, but has chosen to not do so. Thus, the records are being made available to you.”

Dan Glenn Memo 06.17.15

The Trouble With Tribbles

It took some time, but I got it. One hundred+ pages of investigative records and reports from the Montesano and Hoquiam Police Departments and the August – October 2007 WSP report by Det. Gardner. Including:

  • Written victim/witness statements provided to the GH County Sheriff’s Department
  • HPD Incident report by Det. Sgt. Steve Frett
  • A follow up report by HPD Det. Shane Krohn
  • Witness statements/information
  • Search warrants/return of service
  • Montesano PD case file
  • RCWs
  • WSP Investigative Service Bureau Investigative Report
  • Media coverage
  • Lots and lots of names.

I’m not going to reproduce the entire file here, for two reasons: 1) It’s a slog; 2) You will probably barf.

Here’s a quick overview: An HPD Detail Incident Report 11.13.07 begins the “Investigation Narrative” with, “This is an Agency Assist report. The Washington State Patrol is lead agency.” A Montesano case number is included. Then:

On 11-02-07, Chief Myers of Hoquiam notified investigations that we had been requested to assist in an investigation of a possible improper coach/student relationship as well as distribution of child pornography within the Montesano School District.

 On 11-06-07, Detective Krohn and myself met with Chief Sowers, Deputy Chief  Brett Vance and three detectives from the State Patrol Missing and Exploited Children Task Force to include Det. Rachel Gardner.

 Detectives were briefed on the allegations and assignments were handed out for investigation.

 Deputy Chief Vance advised us of the following:

 On 11-02-07, he was advised of a possible sex abuse or sex offense involving a 17 yoa student of Montesano High School (name redacted). It was reported that (redacted) was seeing or a friend of Montesano High School Baseball Coach, Volunteer Football Coach, and a Police Explorer with the Montesano Police Department, Tyler Trimble. (Redacted) had contacted school counselor Tami Herzog and told her that Trimble who is 20 yoa had sexually explicit pictures of her on his cell phone and he had shown and distributed the pictures to several students at the school. This information was learned after a parent found pornography on her sons phone and reported it to the school.

It devolves from there, including graphic descriptions of the photos, etc. The report is about 4-1/2 pages. A supplemental/follow up report by HPD Detective Shane Krohn continues for about four more pages.

Trimble eventually pled guilty to “telephone harassment,” a “gross misdemeanor.” (Read the report yourself. Sound like “telephone harassment” to you?)

Remember that “young and stupid” defense? Doggone if it doesn’t show up again, when Trimble ran unopposed for a city council seat in 2013. (For Common Core math grads, that’s about six years after the “phone harassment” thing.)

In an October 14, 2013 article in the The Vidette titled Trimble Seeks Seat on Monte Council, reporter David Haerle asks Trimble the following:

Vidette: How do you answer critics who question some of the skeletons in your closet? (When he was 20 years old, Trimble pleaded guilty to phone harassment for forwarding nude photos of his girlfriend, who was 17, to other people).

(If you read the full WSP report on the matter at the link above, you may question the “phone harassment-big-whoop” attitude here. ~ Ed.)

Trimble: I was young. It was a stupid mistake, but I learned that if you ever make a mistake and fall down, that you can either stay down or you can get up and be a better person. I chose to get up and become a better person.

Read that last sentence again. That’s okay. I’ll wait.

Still following that bouncing ball? Check out the Trimble timeline from 2007 forward. Like spring and summer 2013. That time frame kept investigators busy and likely kept Trimble playing hop-scotch, too. Or dodge ball?

~ To Be Continued ~