Security business owner pleads not guilty to withholding evidence

Print Article

John Abens, who opened Moses Lake Security in 2010, is facing a felony charge for allegedly withholding surveillance evidence related to the November armed robberies of two Moses Lake convenience stores.

EPHRATA - Moses Lake Security business owner John Abens pleaded not guilty to allegedly withholding evidence related to the two convenience stores armed robberies last month.

Prosecutors charged Abens, 55, with first-degree rendering criminal assistance for allegedly refusing to give police a disc containing surveillance footage from the Sage and Sand Motel on Pioneer Way in Moses Lake, according to court records.

Moses Lake police obtained information that one of the robbery suspects, Cruz Vasquez, was seen leaving the motel the afternoon of Nov. 11, prior to the second armed robbery at a Moses Lake convenience store, and may have been dressed in the same clothing worn during the two armed robberies.

It was initially reported in a Dec. 16 Columbia Basin Herald story Vasquez and another suspect, Daniel N. Garza, 18, were staying at the motel. Moses Lake Police Capt. Dave Sands later clarified they were not staying there, but Vasquez allegedly frequented the motel lobby to buy drinks from the vending machine. Police believed the Nov. 11 surveillance footage from the hotel would have captured Vasquez near the vending machine.

According to court records, police requested a copy of the surveillance video from the motel owners, who were reportedly out of town for an extended period of time. The owners told police Moses Lake Security would have access to the recording and could recover the video. Abens was later contacted by police and made a copy of the video. He reportedly left a voicemail for one of the detectives to come pick up the disc. Police allegedly attempted to meet with Abens twice on Nov. 19, leaving at least two voicemails, which were never returned. Police tried to contact Abens several other times but did not hear back.

Abens was finally contacted and told police he was heading to Seattle for medical reasons and could provide the disc when he returned.

Abens was contacted Dec. 4 after returning to Moses Lake and allegedly refused to turn the disc over to police, according to court records, hanging up on several officers numerous times.

Abens was later arrested on South Division Street and a search warrant was issued for his Moses Lake home, although he later said the disc broke in his trunk.

In a previous interview with the Columbia Basin Herald, Abens questioned why police did not obtain a search warrant for the motel, where the video could have been recovered in a locked room. Moses Lake police said they were told the video evidence at the motel was deleted and Abens had the only copy left.

Abens was released from jail because of medical concerns at the request of jail medical staff, according to court records. He could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Trial was set for March 5 in superior court.

Print Article

Read More News

The Latest: Seoul, Washington to talk over missile limits

AP

July 29, 2017 at 12:26 am | PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) The Latest on North Korea's launch of its second intercontinental ballistic missile (all times local): 3:55 p.m. South Korea says it plans to hold talks with the...

Comments

Read More

North Korea says 2nd ICBM test puts 'entire' US in range

AP

July 28, 2017 at 11:28 pm | PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Saturday the second flight test of an intercontinental ballistic missile demonstrated his country can hit the U.S. mainland, hours a...

Comments

Read More

Mets bolster bullpen getting AJ Ramos from the Marlins

AP

July 28, 2017 at 11:18 pm | SEATTLE (AP) The New York Mets acquired reliever A.J. Ramos from the Miami Marlins for a pair of prospects: Class A pitcher Merandy Gonzalez and outfielder Ricardo Cespedes. New York is seeking...

Comments

Read More

WA Spokane WA Zone Forecast

AP

July 28, 2017 at 10:07 pm | WA Spokane WA Zone Forecast for Friday, July 28, 2017 _____ 461 FPUS56 KOTX 290504 ZFPOTX Zone Forecast Product for Eastern Washington and North Idaho National Weather Service Spo...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(509) 765-4561
PO Box 910
Moses Lake, WA 98837

©2017 Columbia Basin Herald Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X