Kelowna reporter now charged
Charges have officially been laid against Tieja MacLaughlin.
The 25-year-old Kelowna resident was formally charged with one count of felony harassment with domestic violence Thursday afternoon in Kennewick, WA.
A Superior Court Judge set bail at $50,000.
MacLaughlin, a freelance news/sports reporter for a number of media outlets in Kelowna, made headlines around the world this week when it was revealed she had been arrested in a Kennewick hotel room after allegedly making death threats to her boyfriend Jackson Playfair.
Playfair, 19, is a hockey player with the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League.
He is also the son of Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach and former NHL'er Jim Playfair.
MacLaughlin worked as a host on Shaw TV and she covered the Rockets games for The Daily Courier. She was also a freelance writer with Castanet until Jan. 12.
Castanet has obtained the affidavit filed by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Brendan Siefken.
The affidavit states:
Police reports indicate that in Benton Country, on or about the 17th day of Jan, 2014, the defendant and Jackson Playfair had a telephone conversation that turned heated. At the time of the conversation, the defendant and Mr. Playfair had been in an on-again, off-again dating relationship that dated back to the summer of 2013. At the time of the conversation, Mr. Playfair was living in Kennewick, WA and the defendant was in Kelowna, British Columbia where she was living.
During the conversation, Mr. Playfair admitted to the defendant that he had cheated on her with another girl while in Spokane. The defendant became upset and began to make verbal threats towards him. She advised him that by tomorrow night he would be dead. Mr. Playfair advised that she threatened to kill him several times during the phone conversation. Mr. Playfair advise that prior to the conversation he and the defendant had planned to spend time together in the Tri-Cities on Jan 19 when they defendant came down to visit. Mr. Playfair advised that at the time of the conversation he was not concerned with his safety because she was in Canada and he was in the Tri-Cities.
Mr. Playfair advised the defendant to not come down to the Tri-Cities for their previously planned visit. The defendant advised that she was coming down that day, that he did not have a choice and that he needed to have things figured out or things were going to get very bad. Mr. Playfair asked her to not come down several times and she advised that she was coming down and that when she sees him it would be his last game of hockey he plays.
Mr. Playfair advised that the defendant made threats in the past to hurt him and herself when they had previous arguments. The phone conversation ended with the defendant telling him that she was going to hurt him the way he hurt her. Mr. Playfair ended the conversation and went to bed.
The next morning Mr. Playfair had additional messages from the defendant who advised that she was at the border and was on her way down. He contacted her and again advised her not to come down. She again advised that he had better have things figured out or things will go bad for him. Mr. Playfair then travelled to Seattle for a match and when he got back on the bus after the match he noticed more messages from the defendant advising that she was in Tri-Cities. Based on the defendant's prior threats and her presence in the Tri-Cities, the victim became worried that she might carry out her threats to kill.
Law enforcement was contacted about the incident and they located the defendant at the Super 8 Motel in Kennewick at approximately 04:30 hours. Law enforcement advised her of the reason for the contact and informed her that they were investigating the threats she made to Mr. Playfair. The defendant denied threatening to kill Mr. Playfair and advised that Mr. Playfair had threatened to ruin her career and her life.
Officers advised her that they would not arrest her at the time but that Mr. Playfair just wanted to be left alone. She was advised that she should get some rest and go back home. Officers reported that she appeared to ignore the warning and (were) advised that she needed to talk to Mr. Playfair before she left.
She was advised that he did not wish to speak with her and she needed to leave when she woke up in the morning. Officers advised her that if she continued to call or text him that she would be arrested. The defendant agreed that she would not talk to Mr. Playfair and that she would leave town.
Later that day, Mr. Playfair contacted law enforcement and advised that the defendant had sent him approximately 20 to 25 more text messages after law enforcement advised her to not contact him.
MacLaughlin is scheduled to appear in court in Kennewick Friday afternoon.
According to Siefken, the charge is a Class C felony which carries a maximum sentence of five years and a $10,000 fine.
"She is facing substantially less time as the State of Washington has standard sentencing ranges that vary based on the Seriousness Level of the offense and the offender’s criminal history," says Siefken.
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