Alleged leader of attack pleads not guilty

By on Wednesday, August 25th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News Featured Stories

WALLA WALLA – A Pendleton man arrested Aug. 8 after allegedly organizing a group last month to arm themselves and beat up the people he claims stole a vehicle from him was arraigned Monday in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Charles Thompkins Jr., 63, entered a not guilty plea. No trial date has been set yet. He is charged with first-degree robbery, three counts of first-degree assault, first-degree burglary, criminal mischief, and harassment. He is currently being held in the Walla Walla County Jail on a $150,000 bond.

On the night of July 5, a large group joined Thompkins in going to Walla Walla to confront people on the 200 block of Prospect Avenue he claims were in possession of his stolen SUV.

The police report said one of the members of the Pendleton group gave the people inside the shop two minutes to come out or they were coming in. That’s when someone inside the shop called 911. The caller reported shots were fired and stayed on the line. The suspects can be heard coming into the shop and the beginning of a fight. Three people were injured.

On Aug. 12, Walla Walla County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jennine Christensen filed three counts of first-degree assault, one count of first-degree robbery, one count of first-degree burglary and one count of criminal mischief against two minors, ages 16 and 17, as well as Jeremiah A. Thompkins, 18, of Pendleton, Habukkuk A. Thompkins, 20, of Pendleton, Santiago R. Lara, 20, of Milton-Freewater, Ira O. Toledo, 20, of Pendleton, and Carlos R. Johnson Jr., 21, of Pendleton. Three of the charged are Thompkins’ sons. All have warrants for their arrest. Habukkuk A Thompkins also has an additional charge of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm because of a previous felony conviction of first-degree theft in Umatilla County.

On Thursday, Aug. 19, Carlos R. Johnson Jr., 21, of Pendleton, appeared in court. His bail was set at $150,000 and arraignment was set for Sept. 7. He is charged with one count of robbery in the first-degree – armed with firearm, three counts of assault in the first degree – armed with firearm, one count of burglary in the first-degree – armed with firearm and one count of criminal mischief. All are felonies.