A defendant in a Milton-Freewater kidnapping and robbery case told jurors the real crime was a prostitution deal that went south.
Trial began Wednesday in Umatilla County Circuit Court, Pendleton, for Skyler Ian Glasby, 27, of Dayton, Washington. Judge Lynn Hampton is presiding. Glasby and co-defendant John Adam Phillips, 33, of Walla Walla, have separate trials for kidnapping, assault, robbery and more. A third defendant, Samantha Kaye Noethe, 23, Kennewick, cut a deal with prosecutors in October and pleaded guilty to one count each of second-degree robbery and kidnapping.
The state has accused the two men of beating and robbing Andrew Litchfield, 31, also of Walla Walla, then taking him against his will early Sept. 1, 2015 in Milton-Freewater then kicking him out of a vehicle near Bennington Lake east of Walla Walla.
Glasby took the stand Thursday afternoon and told the jury of eight women and four men he made a mistake when he lied to a detective about his involvement in the events that night, but he was telling the truth now. Defense attorney Thomas Gray of Pendleton said Noethe testified for the state that she and Phillips concocted a plan to beat and rob Litchfield, then brought in Glasby and later met to split up the cash.
Glasby told jurors Noethe lied, there was no plan, but he knew what went down.
The group met outside Milton-Freewater around 3:30 a.m. that morning. Phillips and Noethe are boyfriend and girlfriend, Glasby told the court, but she accepted money from Litchfield to “get a room together” at the Wildhorse Resort & Casino motel near Pendleton.
Glasby said he was going with them to gamble and, while he did not have a license, he drove Phillips’ car and planned to take back roads to the casino to avoid cops. Noethe drove Litchfield in a second car. The groups stopped at a food mart, Glasby said, then hit the road.
Moments later, Glasby testified, Phillips got a call from Noethe, who wanted to break off the transaction with Litchfield when he made statements about raping her. Noethe pulled into the parking lot at Orchard Homes, apartments at 311 N. Elizabeth St., Milton-Freewater, and Glasby and Phillips followed.
Phillips got out and told Litchfield to hit the road, Glasby claimed, but Litchfield protested he already paid Noethe. Glasby said there was a confrontation and a police car cruised by.
Glasby said he hustled out of the car, fearful an officer would recognize him and arrest him for illegal driving. An angry Phillips returned, Glasby said, and they left, and he was again at the wheel.
Glasby told jurors he and his friend argued, so he pulled over and got out. By then it was around 4 a.m., and he walked away and called a friend. Kelly Haggerman testified she picked up Glasby around 4:30 a.m. and brought him to her place, where he stayed until around noon.
Glasby’s trial wraps up Friday, and Phillips has a two-day trial starting Tuesday with Circuit Judge Christopher Brauer presiding. Noethe’s sentencing is Thursday, Jan. 21, in Hampton’s courtroom.