Crime

‘Troubling issue’ with law enforcement results in juror dismissal from Bass murder trial

Timeline of the 1989 Mandy Stavik murder case

Thirty years after the murder of Amanda "Mandy" Stavik in 1989, Timothy Bass is scheduled to face trial for first-degree murder in May. A reported DNA match led to Bass' arrest in December 2017.
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Thirty years after the murder of Amanda "Mandy" Stavik in 1989, Timothy Bass is scheduled to face trial for first-degree murder in May. A reported DNA match led to Bass' arrest in December 2017.

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Bass on trial for Stavik’s death

Timothy Bass was convicted in Whatcom County Superior Court for the 1989 murder of Amanda Stavik.

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A male juror has been excused from the first-degree murder trial of Timothy Forrest Bass because of contact with law enforcement over the weekend, according to information provided during a pre-trial hearing Monday morning in Whatcom County Superior Court.

David McEachran, who has been called as a special prosecutor for the case, called the information about the juror a “troubling issue.”

Whatcom County Chief Criminal Deputy prosecuting attorney Erik Sigmar said it was inferred from the police report that the juror was sharing trial testimony with his son.

Starck Follis, director of the Whatcom County Public Defender’s Office and one of three defense attorneys handling Bass’ case, said it appeared the juror was mad at the sheriff’s office and was trying to use his position on the jury as some sort of leverage.

The juror, who was identified as Juror No. 3, was excused from service, and one of the four alternates has taken his place.

More details about the incident involving the juror were not immediately available. The Bellingham Herald has filed a public records request for more information on what led to the juror’s dismissal.

The state rested its case against Bass on Friday, and the defense is expected to call its first witnesses today.

Background on the Mandy Stavik case

On Nov. 24, 1989, 18-year-old Amanda “Mandy” Stavik went for a jog near her home in Clipper, near Acme, and never returned. Her body was found three days later in the south fork of the Nooksack River. She was wearing only her jogging sneakers and socks.

In December 2017, 51-year-old Timothy Forrest Bass, of Everson, was arrested in connection with Stavik’s 1989 death. Bass’ fellow coworker turned in a plastic cup and Coke can he drank out of. Bass’ DNA reportedly matched the suspect profile created from evidence taken from Stavik’s body during an autopsy.

Bass is currently on trial for first-degree murder.

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About our coverage

Reporter Denver Pratt will be in court every day of the Timothy Bass trial for the 1989 death of Amanda “Mandy” Stavik. Bass is accused of first-degree murder.

Check back weekdays for concise updates from court. Or, sign up for our Breaking News newsletter for updates.

You can also follow the reporter on Twitter @DenverPratt or @BhamHerald for live updates.

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Reporter Denver Pratt joined The Bellingham Herald in 2017 and covers courts and criminal and social justice. She has worked in Montana, Florida and Virginia.
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