Courtroom rampage lands Warneka back in jail

By on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

WALLA WALLA – Lucas Chad Warneka, 41, of Walla Walla is back in Walla Walla County Jail. He had been released pending trial on a charge of harassment by telephone in 2020. Police arrested him after they found him destroying the historic courtroom in the U.S. Post Office last week.

Now his bail has been doubled to $10,000 – half for the harassment charge against him and another $5,000 for his courtroom rampage. He is charged with first-degree malicious mischief. Officer Michael Loudermilk described the scene when he and another officer entered the courtroom

“Warneka had destroyed antique wooden doors, at least one pew bench in the waiting area, ripped up pieces of the floor, damaged the judge’s bench and a desk in front of it,” he wrote in his official court statement. “Warneka caused damage to multiple climate control boxes and light switches throughout the second floor of the post office as well.”

Loudermilk said that while they were taking Warneka to jail, the suspect said the courtroom was his property, which is why he caused the damage. The crime with which he is accused is a felony carrying 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both.

The earlier case against Warneka alleges that the suspect sent death threats to a woman whose family owed him money. He denied making overt death threats and told an arresting officer that the automated voice from the text to land line did that.

The trial on the harassment case is scheduled for April 26 with a pretrial hearing set for April 7. A trial date has not yet been set for the malicious mischief case.

Graphic via