Prosecutors Upset Over Release Of Bi-Mart Suspect
The Yakima County prosecutors office is upset that a 32-year-old Yakima man arrested in the arson and burglary at a Yakima Bi-Mart store is being released without bail. Prosecutor Joe Brusic says they asked that Joshua Hellum be held on $50,000 bail. But Yakima County Superior Court Judge Gayle Harthcock released him without bail using a ankle monitoring device. Brusic says two of the 25 guns stolen from the store have yet to be recovered. "This is a very concerning situation for Yakima County. Our position in court was that he should be held in jail and bail set at $50,000."
But the judge decided to go against the prosecutors office recommendation and release 32-year-old Joshua Hellum. Brusic says while out his phone calls or text messages are not monitored only his location. Brusic says other arrests are pending and they hope to recover all the stolen guns. Hellum faces charges including arson and burglary charges in connection with the January 17 fire at the 40th Avenue Bi-Mart.
Brusic says they may file a motion asking to judge to reconsider her decision. And The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry, announced a reward today for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the theft of 27 firearms from Bi-Mart. If you have any information contact 1-800-ATF-GUNS (800-283-4867).