News

Klahowya grad killed at Eastern Washington campsite

By RACHEL BRANT

Staff writer

Jerid Sturman-Camyn, a 2005 Klahowya Secondary School graduate, died shortly before 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, in Pend Oreille County after being dragged 13 miles behind a pickup truck.

Sturman-Camyn, of Seabeck, was camping with friends at 45-year-old Wendell Sinn Jr.’s campsite on LeClerc Creek Road in Pend Oreille County. Some of the eight young people were drinking heavily when witnesses said Sturman-Camyn, a mixed martial arts fighter, “lost control of his temper and repeatedly threatened those at the campsite with bodily harm” and armed himself with an axe, according to a Pend Oreille County Sheriff’s Office news release.

Sinn Jr., of Newman Lake, Wash., reportedly feared for his safety and those at the campsite, so he told a 17-year-old boy to get into his 1996 Ford F250 pickup truck, “start it and be ready to leave if things got bad,” according to the news release. Sinn Jr. later allegedly placed one end of a rope around the truck’s trailer hitch and the other end around Sturman-Camyn. He then yelled for the 17-year-old boy to drive away. The boy did not know the 20-year-old man was attached to the truck and drove away in fear, dragging him for miles and causing his death.

“It’s always sad news to hear about the loss of a student,” said Brad Hamblet, KSS football coach and former wrestling coach.

Hamblet coached the 20-year-old Eastern Washington University student to numerous football and wrestling victories during his high school career at KSS.

Sturman-Camyn was a standout athlete at Klahowya, earning the Central Kitsap Reporter’s 2005 Male Student Athlete of the Year award.

As a member of Klahowya’s football team, Sturman-Camyn, a linebacker, was named the Nisqually League’s Defensive MVP his senior year, in which he helped the Eagles to a first-ever state football berth. As a wrestler, he earned the then-highest state-placement in KSS history, taking second place at 189 pounds as a senior. He also placed seventh in 2004.

“He was driven to succeed,” Hamblet said. “He had all the attributes both mentally and physically to be an outstanding athlete.”

Katharine Gleysteen, Central Kitsap School District executive director of secondary teaching and learning, has known Sturman-Camyn since he was 9 or 10 years old. Gleysteen’s sons and Sturman-Camyn played sports and graduated from KSS together. Gleysteen was principal of KSS during Sturman-Camyn’s tenure at the school.

“He was a standout student,” Gleysteen said. “He was so bubbly and happy.”

Gleysteen and Hamblet said Sturman-Camyn made a huge impact on his classmates and teachers at KSS and he will be missed by many.

“He was a popular young man,” Gleysteen said. “There will be many, many former students that will be impacted. He was a well-liked young man at our school.”

Hamblet said Sturman-Camyn was an important part of the school’s football and wrestling teams. Hamblet tried to keep in touch with his former athlete when he came home from college to visit family and friends.

“He was a rock for his teammates,” Hamblet said. “He had a really big, positive impact on his peers.”

“He was a very bright, handsome human being,” Gleysteen said. “It’s sad that his life was cut short.”

Sinn Jr. was booked into the Pend Oreille County Jail for second-degree murder. At press time, his bail was set at $100,000. The Washington State Patrol’s Crime Investigative Division is assisting the Pend Oreille Sheriff’s Office with the ongoing investigation.

Sports Editor Aaron Managhan contributed to this report.

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