Kelowna reporter in jail
With audio files from Shelby Thom, Radio NL. Thom interviewed Mike Blateman with the Kennewick Washington Police Department. Below is part of the interview.
Allegations of infidelity and subsequent death threats are at the root of a bizarre tale that has landed a 25-year-old Kelowna reporter in jail in Washington State.
Tieja MacLaughlin, who worked for Shaw, the Kelowna Daily Courier and who was a stringer for Castanet, was arrested in a Kennewick, WA hotel room Saturday after allegedly threatening to kill 19-year-old Tri-City American hockey player Jackson Playfair.
As a result, she has been arrested, but not yet charged, on felony threats including harassment.
According to Playfair he and MacLaughlin began dating in July of last year while he was a member of the Spokane Chiefs.
Playfair described their relationship to Kennewick police as 'a rocky one.'
Kennewick police spokesman Mike Blatman, contacted by CHNL reporter Shelby Thom, says MacLaughlin had made arrangements to come to Kennewick and visit Playfair over the past weekend.
"However, that did not come through. She was upset over an alleged infidelity," says Blatman.
"She attempted to make contact and apparently at one time made threats to that 19-year-old to kill him as a result of that infidelity."
Blatman says police visited MacLaughlin at her hotel room Friday and warned her to return home to Kelowna.
"She failed to do that. Over the next 24 hours she sent over 50 text messages to the 19-year-old (Jackson)," says Blatman.
"As a result of that she was recontacted and as a result of recommendations from the prosecutors office she was picked up and arrested on felony threats/harassment and booked into the Benton County jail."
According to a report published in The News Tribune, MacLaughlin appeared in Benton County District Court Tuesday on an investigative hold for felony threats.
The judge instructed her to have no further contact with Playfair while the case is pending.
Officials with the Tri-City Americans' hockey team refused comment, directing all questions to local police.
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