Accused Brothers Released to Return Home

By Lois Krafsky-Perry
Citizen Review Online


Port Angeles, WA---“Let’s talk conditions of release,” said newly hired attorney, Thomas Olmstead to presiding Superior Court Judge George Wood, July 29 at the Clallam County Courthouse. Olmstead, of Kitsap County, appeared before the court on behalf of Mitchell, (18) and Matthew, (22) Zenobi of Joyce, WA.

The two brothers were arrested July 18, while riding their dirt bikes, near their home, on Joyce Piedmont Road.

Washington State trooper, Travis Beebe chased the pair and it was stated in reports that they showed no license plates, mirrors, or turn signals.

Both of the Zenobis were carrying handguns, in side holsters, in plain sight. [Carrying weapons unconcealed is legal]. Apparently one of them resisted the officer, who was reaching for the young man’s gun, according to court records. They were then charged with resisting arrest and reckless driving.

Matthew was charged with attempted assault in the second degree with a weapons enhancement, a felony, while Mitchell was charged with felony third degree assault, with a weapons enhancement. Both pleaded innocent to criminal charges. Their arraignment took place July 23 in Port Angeles and the brothers were incarcerated in lieu of $250,000 bond each.

At the time of their arrest, the pair refused to give their birth dates, and the younger referred to their father as his legal representation. Their father, Ken Zenobi, who was out of state at the time of the arrest, later gave the birth dates of the brothers at the July 29 hearing.

The opposing attorney argued that they continue to be held, in that there was no proof that they had any prior criminal records. The court did a quick search and it was determined that neither of them have prior arrest records.

Olmstead appealed to the court and said, “they did not do anything to initiate the chase and they are no danger to the community.” He continued by listing the jobs the brothers do for the home, farm, and family.

Olmstead also referred to the soaring community support for the Zenobi brothers. He stated that although they exercised their right to be silent, it should not be held against them.

In written correspondence from their mother, Renee Zenobi said, “Why did my sons run from the State Patrol? I wasn’t there but I know how I feel when I see one (terrified - even just in passing, they aren’t at all friendly and I know my boys and how they feel...”). She said her boys were stopping in a safe spot less than a quarter of a mile away, at a pull-off, not on a corner, and were not slowing down, to allow Beebe not to run them down, as he was pushing them so hard and they feared they could be killed. She said they had to wait until the road got wider---less than 25 seconds later.

“It’s a sad story for two young men who did the right thing,” she said. The mother also said, “they told me they hope I never have to go through the accusations and the browbeating that they went through. It was beyond what they have ever experienced.”

Her sons have been home-schooled by their parents and have worked on the family farm all of their lives. Her answer as to why her sons were on the road with their dirt bikes: “The trail runs out and the other road is just a minute away.” “The biggy is why the side arms? she queried. She cited dangers such as cougars, bears, break-ins, and drug trafficking in their area. She stated that people on meth are dangerous and “robbing the neighborhood blind.”

She said her boys are often asked by neighbors to watch their places for them when they are not home.

Judge Wood explained to the court and to the brothers individually. “I have been on the bench for 12 years and have seen a lot of things such as murders, lootings, and assaults. I have read this and it is one of the most bizarre things I have ever read. I don‘t know what went on, but it does concern me,” said Judge Wood.

He mentioned the community support that the brothers have received and referred to the crowded courtroom, where approximately 70 friends and family had gathered.

Judge Wood listed rules for their release to home and parents. The following conditions are to be obeyed by Matthew and Mitchell Zenobi, which includes no driving of any kind of vehicle, no possession or access to firearms, curfew 9 pm to 6 am (unless with parents), remain in contact with their attorney, and no contact with patrolman Beebe.

Matthew and Mitchell were released on their own recognizance.

Olmstead then requested the complete personnel file of Officer Beebe and a video, which was apparently in the patrol car.

August 26 at 1 pm is set for a status meeting for the accused brothers. October 12 is their arraignment date.



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