Yelm resident Vanda Boone
Jeremy Pawloski reports for The Olympian:
“Thursdays [Jan. 6] order declaring Bernard Keith Howell competent means he can be tried for Vanda Boones homicide on the Yelm-Tenino Trail…
He was arraigned Thursday, immediately after Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor declared that he was competent. During a hearing in September, Tabor had declared Howell incompetent and ordered him to head to Western State for a 90-day evaluation.
At Western State, doctors administered medications in an effort to restore Howells competency, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney James Powers confirmed outside court. In Washington, a criminal defendant is incompetent when he or she lacks the capacity to understand the nature of the proceedings against him or her or to assist in his or her own defense as a result of mental disease or defect.
Powers and Howells defense attorney, Patrick OConnor, said they do not expect any other competency issues to arise as they prepare for trial. Howells trial is scheduled for the week of Feb. 28…
Boone, 60, had worked for Radiance Herbs and Massage in Olympia . She studied at Ramthas School of Enlightenment and had moved from New York City to the Yelm area in March. She was a native of Brazil.”
Read a history of the case by Sharyn L. Decker in the Lewis County Sirens news reporter.