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Friday, Jun 10, 2005County: Snohomish
Disposition: Civil Case
Case Images: 2 files available
Person of Interest: Caroline Pepperell
A jury ended 6 years of horror for a Snohomish family -- a rocky period that included a poisoned dog, a fired police chief and a city torn apart. And it all began with an argument between neighbors.
"It's almost a Greek tragedy that it had to go as far as it did," said Raymond Harvie.
It all began in 2005 when Gayle and Raymond Harvie say their neighbor's son stole their motorcycle.
When the Harvies refused to drop the charges, they say their neighbor poisoned two of their pets with a chemical used by animal control officers to euthanize dogs. One of the puppies died.
"The scariest thing we had in regards to this, was that it was a poison, and that was petrifying to us," Raymond Harvie said. "And that's why we were so afraid and we've lived in fear for quite some time over that."
Their neighbor, Caroline Pepperell, became the focus of two investigations: one into the poisoning, and another into whether she used her job with the Sultan Police Department to get information on the Harvies and harass them.
The city fired Pepperell, but a judge reinstated her.
She denied poisoning the dogs, and when the sheriff's department couldn't prove it, prosecutors declined to charge her. So, the Harvies looked to a civil suit to find justice.
"That's a serious matter, that's a serious issue with a person that they would cross that line," said Gayle Harvie.
This week, a civil jury ruled against Pepperell, awarding the Harvies nearly $70,000. But even if the Harvies get the money, the cost of the 5-year battle is high -- not just in legal fees, but the $60,000 spent on a security system to find the peace shattered by the poisoning.
"We move out into the country thinking it's going to be a quiet neighborhood," Gayle Harvie said. And you get out here and something like this happens, and you almost feel like a prisoner on your own property."
Sultan's police chief was fired for lying during the investigation and was eventually charged with a misdemeanor and sentenced. Pepperell was never charged in the case, but has since been fired again by Sultan for a separate incident.
- KOMO News - May 31, 2011
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