Jury finds man guilty in attempted drug deal, robbery at Lynden home

A jury found Jeremiah Winchester guilty of all but one drug charge in connection with the attempted robbery that resulted in his son's death last fall in Lynden.

After deliberating for just over a day, the Whatcom County Superior Court jury found Winchester guilty of attempted possession of heroin, first-degree attempted robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm Thursday afternoon, April 19. The jury found him not guilty of attempted possession of methamphetamine.

The jury was deadlocked, however, when it came to his co-defendant, Johnny Arellano, who was facing just the robbery charge. Arellano's attorney, Carl Munson, argued that Arellano knew only one person at the house where the robbery occurred and had no knowledge that a robbery was being planned. Superior Court Judge Charles Snyder declared a mistrial for Arellano, and a new trial date may be set as early as Friday.

For the most part, the trial revolved around Winchester and his actions on the night of Nov. 22, when Prosecuting Attorney Dave McEachran argued that Winchester set up a drug deal at a Lynden house with plans of robbing the dealer.

The defense had claimed that Winchester was intending to act as a freelance bounty hunter that night, and the drug deal was just a pretext to get the dealer to the house to apprehend him before he could jump bail.

When the dealers arrived, things went wrong quickly. Winchester was shot in the face, and his son, Jesse Winchester, 22, was shot and killed.

Two brothers, Oscar and Salvador Rodriguez, were never caught and are believed to be in Mexico. One of them likely shot both Winchesters, according to investigators.

A date has not been set for Jeremiah Winchester's sentencing.