The jury trial of two men accused of a string of burglaries, including one at a Camas home where a 10-year-old girl was home alone, began Tuesday in Clark County Superior Court.
Jacob Mattila, 19, of Amboy and Mykel Bru, 25, of Vancouver are charged with two counts of first-degree burglary, residential burglary, first-degree theft, second-degree theft, three counts of theft of a firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm and three counts of second-degree possession of stolen property. Bru is charged with an additional burglary.
A third suspect implicated in some of the burglaries, Samuel A. Scory, 23, of Vancouver, is undergoing a competency review to ensure he can help in his defense, said Deputy Prosecutor Anna Klein.
More than a dozen witnesses, mostly police officers, will be called to testify during the three-day trial in front of Judge Scott Collier. The young girl, Paityn Mock, took the stand Tuesday.
Paityn was home alone with a fever when an intruder cut a screen in an open window and entered her Camas home around 1:30 p.m. Oct. 16. She was watching “Zoey 101” on the couch in her living room, while her mother, Jenn Mock, left to buy a sandwich for Paityn from a sandwich shop about six miles away, she told The Columbian.
Paityn hid in a kitchen pantry and called 911. She started to sneak out of the pantry when she saw another intruder in the living room and darted back to her hiding place in the pantry. When the coast was clear, she left the house through the garage and hid behind a tree in the family’s yard.
Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Buckner arrived at the home near Grove Field within minutes and arrested Mattila, who reportedly confessed to police that he was the getaway driver, according to court documents.
About an hour earlier, Washougal Police Department had received a call about a suspicious vehicle parked outside a home in the 2200 block of L Street in Washougal. Mattila and Bru are accused of burglarizing that home, as well.
The defendants also are accused of burglarizing a home on Sept. 19 in the 2500 block of Northeast 104th Street and stealing a loaded Taurus .357 revolver. A deputy recovered a revolver with the matching serial number from a man who said he had purchased it from Scory, an affidavit said.
Inside the stolen Honda that served as their alleged getaway vehicle, police found credit cards belonging to victims of some of the burglaries, including a victim in Portland.
Bru and Scory also are accused of being accomplices in a Sept. 24 burglary of a Battle Ground home by Kirk Hernandez Sr., who is suspected of first-degree murder in the killing of Matthew Clark on Oct. 1. Hernandez waived his Miranda rights and told Vancouver police Detective Scott Smith that he, Bru and Scory stole numerous firearms, night-vision goggles, a sheriff’s badge and other items from the home, according to court documents. Guns stolen in the burglary were allegedly the cause of a dispute that prompted Clark’s killing, the documents state.
Court-appointed attorneys Megan Peyton and Lisa Toth represent Mattila; attorney Art Bennett represents Bru.