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Sept. 19, 2021

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Vancouver man charged in I-5 shooting

Argument at casino caught on camera; victim hospitalized

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

A Vancouver man appeared Wednesday morning in Clark County Superior Court, accused of shooting a woman as she drove on southbound Interstate 5 following an argument at ilani casino.

The victim — identified in court records as Donneicha Brinkley, 28 — was hospitalized in critical condition as of July 22. An update on her condition was unavailable Wednesday. Court records say she suffered a gunshot wound to her forehead.

The alleged shooter — Montez Terrell Taylor, 39 — is facing charges of first-degree assault, drive-by shooting and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Judge Jennifer Snider set his bail at $750,000. He is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 11.

The Washington State Patrol responded at 6:26 a.m. July 18 for a reported crash on southbound I-5 between La Center and Ridgefield. A trooper found a car resting against the median with Brinkley inside slumped over and unresponsive, according to a probable cause affidavit. She was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver.

Investigators learned that Brinkley had been at ilani earlier that morning.

Surveillance video from ilani showed Brinkley arguing with Taylor and his partner, Valerie Stegman, at the casino. The video then shows the three leaving just before 6 a.m., the affidavit states.

In the parking lot, Brinkley approached the GMC Taylor was driving, and he accelerated toward her. They argue again on video before Taylor drives onto I-5, followed by Brinkley in a Mitsubishi, according to the affidavit.

Investigators said they saw the cars on Department of Transportation cameras driving close together and making sudden lane changes. They later saw, via the cameras, the driver’s-side windows of both vehicles rolled down, court records state.

Brinkley’s Mitsubishi crashed about a mile south of where the cars were last caught on camera. Taylor’s GMC is later seen on video speeding and crossing into Oregon, the affidavit states.

Investigators searched two residences associated with Taylor and Stegman in Vancouver and Gresham, Ore., and found three guns — two hidden in the drawer under a washer and dryer at the Vancouver home — magazines and scopes, and six phones, according to the affidavit.

The couple, both convicted felons, were at the house in Vancouver when police searched it, and they were taken to Washington State Patrol’s headquarters for questioning, the affidavit states.

Stegman told police that Taylor fired one shot at Brinkley while driving the GMC. Taylor allegedly threw the gun from the car into a body of water near Jantzen Beach, according to the affidavit.

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