Arrest made in assault that may be related to vehicle death

Hoquiam Police traveled to Kelso on Thursday to arrest a suspect wanted on felony burglary and assault charges that officers said stemmed from a retaliatory attack related to an ongoing vehicular homicide case in Ocean Shores.

Timothy W. Stuart, 34, was arrested in Kelso by Hoquiam Detective Sgt. Shane Krohn and Detective David Blundred on a Grays Harbor County Superior Court warrant from a Hoquiam incident reported July 7 in the 400 block of Karr Avenue.

Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers said Stuart was identified as one of two suspects who allegedly kicked in the the front door of the Karr Avenue residence to assault Rebecca G. Hebel, 21, who had been the driver in a May 6 car crash in Ocean Shores that caused the death of her fiancé, Bryan J. Moorman-Trader, 25.

One of the suspects in the home invasion was armed with a pistol and the other with a baseball bat, according to the police report. The suspect with the bat allegedly chased and struck Hebel several times during the attack, in which she sustained head lacerations. Police also said one of the suspects painted over a tattoo Hebel had received in memory of Moorman-Trader.

Myers said there is evidence the attack on Hebel is directly connected to the Ocean Shores incident and that Stuart has ties to Moorman-Trader and his family.

“It appears the motive behind the assault was in retaliation for the death,” Myers said.

Hebel has pleaded not guilty to the vehicular homicide charge.

According to police reports, Hebel admitted to driving the car in which Moorman-Trader was a passenger. But she told police the collision near Ocean Shores Elementary School was not her fault. Police reports also state that Hebel told police she was drinking before the collision, but said that she was not intoxicated when a van swerved into her lane and the vehicles collided.

When the burglary and assault was first investigated in July, police collected clothing and other evidence linked by DNA testing to one of the suspects as well as to Hebel and the attack, the police report said.

After the DNA tests came back, an arrest warrant for Stuart was issued Nov. 21, and police were tipped he was now in Kelso, where he was found at a friend’s home, police said.

He was brought back by the two detectives and is being held in Grays Harbor County Jail on the warrant that sets his bail at $500,000. Myers noted that Hebel also had a warrant out for her arrest for missing a recent court date and she was subsequently booked on that charge as police were processing the assault and burglary case.