Judge dismisses indictment against Rachelle Waterman

Posted: Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A judge this morning dismissed Rachelle Watermans seven-count indictment charging her with conspiracy and murder in the 2004 slaying of her mother, 48-year-old Lauri Waterman, on Prince of Wales Island.

In court this morning, Ketchikan District Attorney Stephen West said by telephone that he intended to refile charges against the 17-year-old Craig girl Tuesday afternoon. But Juneau Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins ruled West would have to do it without Watermans statements to investigators on the day of her arrest in November 2004.

Collins ruled the statements were admissible before the trial. This morning she said the testimony was coerced and the context misrepresented to the grand jury. Those statements served as the foundation to the indictment, Collins said.

Watermans trial ended Feb. 14 with the jury deadlocked on all charges.

The prosecution alleges that Waterman conspired with two 24-year-old Prince of Wales men, Jason Arrant and Brian Radel, to have her mother killed on Nov. 14, 2004. The younger Waterman, then 16, was representing Craig High School at the state volleyball tournament. Radel testified at the trial to kidnapping her mother from her Craig home and killing her in a remote part of the island. Arrant testified that he told Radel to kill the woman because the defendant asked him.

Rachelle Waterman has been lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center since late 2004, when Collins set her bail at $150,000. This morning Collins reduced Watermans bail to $50,000 and said it could be secured by bond, allowing her the opportunity to post $5,000 for her release.

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