Judge keeps Freeland kidnapping suspect in jail
By JESSIE STENSLAND
South Whidbey Record Staff Reporter
April 3, 2012 · Updated 2:18 PM
A 22-year-old Greenbank man accused of kidnapping and rape likely won’t be getting out of jail anytime soon.
George Downey made his first appearance in Island County Superior Court on Monday. His attorney asked that he be released from jail awaiting trial on his own recognizance, but the judge didn’t agree.
Downey pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree kidnapping, one count of first-degree rape with forcible compulsion, two counts of burglary in the first degree, a felony violation of a court order, a misdemeanor violation of a court order and assault in the fourth degree. All the counts, except one burglary, were charged as domestic-violence related.
Downey’s attorney, Terry Smith of Oak Harbor, asked Judge Alan Hancock to release his client without bail. He’s currently being held in Island County Jail in lieu of $750,000 bail.
Smith said Downey’s parents and grandmother have agreed to supervise Downey while he lives with them and works all day at a farm belonging to a family member. His parents, grandmother and a friend of the family addressed the court on his behalf. His mother promised to “watch him like a hawk” and make sure he does hard labor every day on the farm.
Smith pointed out that Downey was cooperative with law enforcement since his arrest and had no criminal history prior to the incident.
But Deputy Prosecutor David Carman argued against any change in the bail amount. He said “it wasn’t a particularly isolated incident” since Downey had previously violated a no-contact order that barred him from contact with the victims in the kidnapping case.
In addition, Carman argued that the seriousness of the alleged violent crimes makes him a danger to the public.
Judge Hancock agreed that Downey would present “a substantial danger” and refused to alter the bail or other conditions of his release.
Downey is accused of abducting his ex-girlfriend and her 4-year-old boy from a home on East Harbor Road near Freeland. He allegedly raped the woman and threatened to kill himself and the victims by driving off Deception Pass Bridge, according to a deputy’s report on the incident.
About an hour after the abduction, deputies with the Island County Sheriff’s Office pulled over Downey’s Jeep on Highway 20 near Coupeville, saving the woman and child. Sheriff Mark Brown said the office was in the process of issuing an AMBER Alert — a child abduction broadcast — at the time of the arrest.
Deputy Darren Crownover wrote the probable cause narrative of the incident. At 10:42 a.m. Friday, March 16 a 22-year-old woman called 911 to report that Downey, her ex-boyfriend, was at her home in violation of a restraining order. The woman screamed and then the phone went dead.
Crownover and two other deputies quickly arrived at the house, but nobody was there. The window on the front door was broken and the door was ajar. The deputies went inside to check on the woman’s welfare and found blood on a banister and door.
Crownover noted in his report that he is familiar with the issues between Downey and his ex-girlfriend. He realized that the woman’s son was also missing. The deputies put out an “attempt to locate” on the woman and child, as well as Downey’s Jeep.
At 11:26 a.m., two deputies located and stopped the Jeep on Highway 20 at Jacobs Road.
During an interview with a detective, the woman explained that Downey broke into her house by breaking a window. She was hiding in the bathroom until Downey broke down a door. She and her boy fled to a bedroom and hid in a closet until Downey dragged her out by the hair while she was holding the child in her arms, according to the deputy’s report.
Downey drove away with the woman and child in his Jeep. Downey told the woman that “he was going to drive them off the Deception Pass Bridge and kill them all,” the report states.
Downey drove to a vacant home in Greenbank, where he allegedly took the woman inside and raped her.
Afterward, Downey returned the woman to the Jeep and continued driving north with her and the child. He told the woman that “he was going to drive off the Coupeville Wharf and kill them all,” the report states. But a short time later, the vehicle was pulled over by deputies.
In an interview at the jail, Downey admitted to the deputy that he broke into the house and took the woman and boy, Crownover wrote. Downey claimed he had consensual sex with the woman and that he was intending to turn himself in when he was stopped by deputies.Contact South Whidbey Record Staff Reporter Jessie Stensland at email@example.com.