Vancouver woman gets 42 months in robbery of Oregon man

She was initially charged with attempted murder, kidnapping

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

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A 23-year-old Vancouver woman was sentenced Wednesday to more than three years in prison for her role in the robbery, kidnapping and attempted murder of an Oregon man Nov. 28 near Vancouver Lake.

Joanna Kyrstin May Speaks pleaded guilty in Clark County Superior Court to first-degree robbery and tampering with a witness as part of a plea bargain. In exchange, prosecutors dismissed charges of first-degree attempted murder, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree rendering criminal assistance and receiving a bribe.

Vancouver police had claimed that Speaks had helped plan and participated in the robbery, kidnapping and attempted murder of Freddie A. Landstrom.

Anthony Lowe, Speaks’ attorney, said that Speaks’ boyfriend, Pedro “Junior” Godinez Jr., 20, had forced Speaks to help in the robbery by holding a gun to her head. Godinez allegedly kidnapped Landstrom, robbed him at gunpoint and then shot him repeatedly before Landstrom managed to escape through a swamp to the lake’s marina.

Godinez is scheduled to go to trial July 29.

Speaks later hid evidence in a trash bag and asked a neighbor to dispose of it at a dump, which accounted for her guilty plea to tampering with a witness.

“The case constantly changed as we got more information from more witnesses,” said Deputy Prosecutor Dan Gasperino on Wednesday. “As the trial approached, the crimes she pled guilty to today were very apparent. However, the attempted murder and kidnapping she was charged with as an accomplice were not so clear. … The reduced charges more accurately reflect (her involvement).”

He noted that Speaks had some culpability. He said after the crime, she bragged that she had fooled police.

Superior Court Judge Barbara Johnson sentenced Speaks to 42 months in prison for the crimes, a sentence mutually agreed upon by the defense and prosecution.

Court documents indicate that Landstrom told police he met Speaks six weeks before the attack while walking in Milwaukie, Ore. Speaks said she was destitute, so he offered her $50 to clean his house, a proposition Speaks accepted, the court documents say.

Late on Nov. 27, Speaks called Landstrom and invited him to her apartment in East Vancouver, Speaks said in her guilty plea statement. When Landstrom arrived around 2 a.m., Speaks directed him into a bedroom, which Godinez then entered, court documents say. Godinez allegedly told Speaks to leave the bedroom and pointed a gun at Landstrom, stating that he was Speaks’ boyfriend. Godinez ordered Landstrom at gunpoint to drive to an area on Lower River Road in Landstrom’s 2012 Nissan Sentra, court documents say.

Once at the lake, Godinez allegedly ordered Landstrom to get on his knees and to hand over his ATM card and personal identification number. Godinez accused Landstrom of lying about the number and then shot the victim in the head, shoulder, elbow, abdomen and hand, court documents say.

Landstrom grabbed the gun, and the two struggled until Landstrom was able to flee, according to the court documents. Landstrom survived the injuries.

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