Suspected Greenbank burglary accomplice pleads ‘not guilty’

Langley attorney David Carman stands with Codie Burley in Island County Superior Court Monday. Burley was allegedly involved in a burglary in Greenbank that left a man paralyzed.

The second of two Coupeville men facing charges for a burglary gone bad pleaded not guilty this week.

Codie Burley, 19, entered his plea during an arraignment hearing in Island County Superior Court Monday, Sept. 14. He is facing one count of burglary in the first degree as an accomplice for a summertime burglary that left a Greenbank man paralyzed.

Also facing charges is Paul Schmakeit, 20.

Burley was arrested Aug. 29 and appeared in court in jail-issued orange attire. Represented by Langley attorney David Carman, they asked Judge Vickie Churchill to release him on his own personal recognizance. His bail was set earlier at $150,000.

Carman said Burley was not the assailant in the incident, that he is from Coupeville and has significant ties to the community, and that he has no criminal history aside from one undecided case.

“We believe $150,000 is considerably high in this case,” Carman said.

Letters of support from about half a dozen family members were submitted to the judge on Burley’s behalf; the man’s father, Charles Burley, was also present and appealed to Churchill for mercy. He said his son’s family and daughter were all on Whidbey Island, that they would make sure he didn’t miss court dates and that he is not a bad person.

“He’s just a good boy and we want to have him back,” he said.

Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Eric Ohme argued that Burley did represent a flight risk. He said sheriff’s deputies apprehended him fleeing out the back door of his home, allegedly carrying his infant daughter. He also noted that the unresolved case Carman mentioned was for a December 2013 trespass case.

He was amenable to a reduced bail, however, suggesting it be set at $75,000.

Churchill set bail at $65,000, but not before also noting the police report that alleged Burley was caught trying to flee out the back door with his daughter. Burley remained quiet, but shook his head at the comment. The judge also mentioned a moment involving his mother before he was taken away. An officer claimed they were whispering and that she reached for his pocket — police found marijuana inside.

Churchill ended with an observation directed at Burley’s supporters.

“I would suggest his family and friends don’t totally know who Codie is,” Churchill said.

The burglary occurred July 27 at the home of 68-year-old Dennis Phillips in Greenbank. According to court documents, Phillips came home to find Schmakeit inside; he went after the man, tackling him in his yard. Phillips’ back was broken during the scuffle, and Schmakeit’s finger was bitten.

Police believe the burglary was drug motivated due to the presence of a medical marijuana growing room in Phillips’ home.