Men found guilty of burglarizing Camas house

Girl, 10, was home alone at the time; sentencing set for next week

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

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A Clark County jury has convicted two men of burglarizing a Camas house on Oct. 16 where a 10-year-old girl was home alone.

Jacob Mattila, 19, of Amboy and Mykel Bru, 25, of Vancouver were found guilty Thursday of residential burglary.

Mattila also was found guilty of first-degree burglary of a Washougal home on the same night, residential burglary on Sept. 19 of a Vancouver home, two counts of theft of a firearm, first-degree theft and unlawful possession of a firearm. He was found not guilty of possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

Bru was found not guilty of first-degree burglary of a retired police officer's home in Battle Ground and theft of the former officer's 13 firearms.

Both men are now in jail pending their sentencing at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday by Superior Court Judge Scott Collier.

Deputy Prosecutor Anna Klein said she plans to request DNA testing of a cigarette found at the scene of the Washougal burglary for which Mattila was convicted Thursday. If the cigarette tests positive for Bru's DNA, she said she would charge him in that burglary.

A positive DNA test of a cigarette at the scene of the Camas burglary may have helped Klein win the only conviction of Bru on that count Thursday. That cigarette was a Marlboro, as is the one from the Washougal burglary, she said during closing arguments Thursday.

A third suspect implicated in one or more of the burglaries, Samuel A. Scory, 23, of Vancouver, is undergoing a competency review to ensure he can help in his defense, Klein said.

After a nearly three-day trial, the jury took about five hours to reach their unanimous verdict.

The Camas burglary made national news last year because of the quick-thinking 10-year-old girl who called 911 as she hid from the burglars in a kitchen pantry.

The girl, Paityn Mock, took the stand Tuesday to describe her ordeal.

The girl 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 her 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 confessed to police that he was the getaway driver, Klein said.

The tan Honda with a black stripe, which Paityn said was parked in her driveway, was stolen. Mattila was found not guilty Thursday of possession of a motor vehicle; the defense had argued that there was no proof that the vehicle was stolen.

"What did Mr. Mattila know when he picked up the Honda?" said attorney Megan Peyton, during closing arguments. "He didn't know anything other than he was picking up the car and driving others around. ... There was no statement that he knew it was stolen."

Klein said Mattila, Bru and another accomplice were on the prowl for "guns and gold" during the countywide burglary spree. Court records indicate the stealing spree might also have extended into Portland; a credit card found in the burglars' pillowcases of booty was linked to a Portland woman.

On Sept. 19, Mattila and an accomplice or accomplices burglarized a home in the 2500 block of Northeast 104th Street and stole a loaded Taurus .357 revolver, among other items, Klein said.

Just before Mattila and Bru broke into Paityn's house, they broke into a home in the 2200 block of L Street in Washougal, where they swiped a semiautomatic handgun, other weapons and valuables, Klein said. A charge against Bru for that crime was dropped on Friday, Klein said. But she said she still plans to pursue the case.

Bru also wasn't convicted of participating in a Sept. 24 burglary of a Battle Ground home that belonged to a former police officer. Kirk Hernandez Sr., who is a suspected of first-degree murder in the killing of Matthew Clark on Oct. 1, is accused of being involved in that burglary. Guns stolen in the burglary were allegedly the cause of a dispute that prompted Clark's killing, according to court documents.

Bru's attorney, Art Bennett, said there wasn't enough evidence to convict Bru of that burglary.

Paris Achen: 360-735-4551; http://twitter.com/Col_Courts;http://facebook.com/ColTrends;paris.achen@columbian.com.