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Charge against Sutherland dropped

Prosecutor’s Office also lowers suspended license infraction to traffic ticket

The+charge+for+failing+to+transfer+a+vehicle+title+after+45+days+against+Matthew+Sutherland%2C+the+Democratic+candidate+for+Washington%27s+9th+Legislative+District%2C+was+dropped+by+the+Whitman+County+Prosecutor%27s+Office.
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Charge against Sutherland dropped

The charge for failing to transfer a vehicle title after 45 days against Matthew Sutherland, the Democratic candidate for Washington's 9th Legislative District, was dropped by the Whitman County Prosecutor's Office.

The charge for failing to transfer a vehicle title after 45 days against Matthew Sutherland, the Democratic candidate for Washington's 9th Legislative District, was dropped by the Whitman County Prosecutor's Office.

DYLAN GREENE | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

The charge for failing to transfer a vehicle title after 45 days against Matthew Sutherland, the Democratic candidate for Washington's 9th Legislative District, was dropped by the Whitman County Prosecutor's Office.

DYLAN GREENE | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

DYLAN GREENE | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

The charge for failing to transfer a vehicle title after 45 days against Matthew Sutherland, the Democratic candidate for Washington's 9th Legislative District, was dropped by the Whitman County Prosecutor's Office.

IAN SMAY, Evergreen reporter

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The Whitman County Prosecutor’s Office dropped the failure to transfer vehicle title within 45 days charge against Matthew Sutherland on Wednesday.

Sutherland, who is running as the Democratic candidate for Washington State’s 9th Legislative District Pos. 2, had the infraction dismissed by the Whitman County District Court on Wednesday night, Campaign Manager Josh Maasberg said.

Merritt Decker, Whitman County senior deputy prosecutor, confirmed the issue around the title transfer had been resolved.

“It’s a standard offer I give to anybody in a similar situation,” Decker said. “When I get multiple counts like this, I usually drop one count and amend the other then add a steeper fine.”

As part of the deal, Sutherland paid off the infraction that caused his license to be suspended and went through the process of having his license reinstated, Decker said. After this, Decker reduced the charge to a speeding ticket while completely dropping the title transfer charge after Sutherland registered the vehicle.

“We kind of use it more as a shtick to get the person legally driving again,” Decker said. “I asked for a stiffer fine than usual since there were two offenses.”

Sutherland’s license was reinstated Wednesday morning, Maasberg  said, and his vehicle is now fully registered.

About the Writer
IAN SMAY, Evergreen reporter

Ian Smay is a senior journalism & media production major, with an emphasis in broadcast news, from Dayton, Washington. He is also minoring in criminal...

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Charge against Sutherland dropped