WALLA WALLA — A local business owner accused of pouring grease on the property of YMCA director Randy Grant pleaded innocent in Walla Walla County Superior Court on Tuesday.
James Sanders, 46, 124 E. Main St., is set for trial on Aug. 20 on the charges of second-degree malicious mischief and three counts of criminal trespass in the second degree.
Sanders, co-owner of Public House 124 restaurant, reportedly has confessed to Grant and police that he dumped a mixture of food debris, chemicals and grease on Grant’s lawn last fall and winter, but defendants typically enter innocent pleas at their initial arraignments in court.
That allows further time for exploring possible defenses and entering into plea negotiations with the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Those actions often result in guilty pleas later to reduced charges or with favorable sentencing recommendations.
Sanders is not in custody pending the outcome of this case.