BHS alumnus pleads guilty to rape and burglary

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A Blaine High School alumnus pled guilty to rape and burglary and was booked into the Whatcom County Jail pending a sentencing hearing.

On January 6, Shaquille Tyrique Woods, 21, appeared in Whatcom County Superior Court and pled guilty to third-degree rape and first-degree burglary in two separate court cases. According to court records, the guilty plea was part of an agreement with deputy prosecuting attorney Evan Jones, who will be recommending that Woods serve 14 months for the rape count and 24 months for the burglary count.

The sentences would run concurrently. Woods will later be subject to supervision and community custody. For the rape count in particular, Woods will also be subject to DNA testing and will be required to register as a sex offender.

For the rape count, Woods made a so-called “Alford” plea, which means that he is pleading guilty but is not admitting to committing the criminal acts. As part of the plea deal, other charges were dropped, including charges for taking indecent liberties and possession of a stolen firearm.

Prior to making the guilty pleas, Woods was advised of the charges, his constitutional rights and the maximum penalties. He was also advised that the court is not bound by the recommendation of counsel as to sentencing, and that he would have no right to appeal his sentence if he pled guilty.

Following his pleas, Woods was remanded into the custody of the Whatcom County Jail pending a pre-sentence investigation for sexual offenses. A judicial order was made for a pre-sentencing report to be returned to the court within 60 days.

Woods’ charges stemmed from a number of separate incidents. The rape charge followed incidents between June 1, 2015 and February 5, 2016 in which Woods allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse with females who did not consent and clearly expressed their refusal by their words or conduct.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed with the court, officers initially responded on July 17, 2017 to a report of a sexual assault that had occurred in February 2016 in Blaine. Woods was friends with the victim’s brother and had spent the night at the victim’s home. He allegedly went to her bedroom in the middle of the night, removed her clothes, pinned her to the bed and raped her.

Later, while the case was still ongoing, Woods was allegedly involved in other criminal activity, according to another affidavit of probable cause filed with the court. On December 11, 2017 at about 4:37 a.m., deputies responded to a residence on Axton Road in Whatcom County for a reported burglary in progress. While en route, law enforcement was alerted to a single-vehicle crash nearby. The crashed vehicle was similar in description to a vehicle seen fleeing the scene of the burglary.

At the crash scene, deputies interviewed the two occupants of the crashed vehicle, including Woods, who was the passenger. The driver, Justus Garza, was arrested for driving under the influence and Woods was released because the burglary investigation was ongoing.

At the scene of the burglary, the homeowner reported that the suspect had opened a closed but unlocked window, reached in and attempted to move furniture out of the way so that they could gain entry into the residence. The suspect ran off when the homeowner yelled out. The homeowner indicated that they heard a person running away through the darkness.

Woods later admitted to being at the scene of the burglary and reaching into the residence to open the window. He stated that Garza had driven them to the Axton Road home “to fight” the occupants. He said that he knew Garza was armed with a revolver and that another participant was armed with an AK-47-style assault rifle. However, another participant said that Woods carried the assault rifle up to the residence.

At the crime scene, a shoe print was found matching the tread and size of Woods’ size-18 shoes. A search warrant was granted to search Garza’s vehicle in which an AK-47-style assault rifle was located; the rifle had been reported stolen in another case. At the time, Woods was subject to a sexual assault protection order that prohibited him from obtaining, owning, possessing or controlling a firearm.

The very next day, Woods allegedly threatened to kill another person for stealing Woods’ “lean,” a street name for codeine cough syrup. At the time, the street value for a single bottle was $500 to $1,000. Woods was allegedly on an audio call with the victim and yelled, “When I see you, you’re dead. I’m going to kill you.” Following the threat, Woods was arrested for felony harassment but denied the allegations.

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