Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Deputies located two suspects of a violent assault, which ended with the victim being transported to the hospital for his injuries after he was ambushed and struck in the head with a hammer. The suspects were charged with Attempted Murder 1st Degree and Criminal Conspiracy to Commit Murder.
On December 11, 2018, at approximately 12:30 a.m., Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the 15400 block of North Edencrest Drive, in North Spokane County, for an assault call.
The caller stated a male, covered in blood, was at his front porch. Arriving Deputies contacted the 22-year-old victim who was bleeding profusely from injuries to his head.
The victim stated he was at his residence and heard a knock on his front door. When he answered, an adult male was standing on his porch. The male/suspect said due to the icy roads, he lost control of his vehicle and slid into the victim’s vehicle. When the victim stepped out of his house to check on the damage, the suspect began hitting him in the head with a hammer. The fight continued through several neighboring yards, ending with the victim taking the hammer away from the suspect and then hitting the suspect with it. The victim said he pulled the suspect’s shirts off during the fight and also bit the suspect on the arm before the suspect ran away. The victim stated he began screaming for help and a neighbor came to his aid.
While talking with the victim, a truck which was observed in the area when Deputies first arrived, drove past again. The victim stated the truck had driven past three times and believed it might be involved. Deputies in the area located the truck and conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle. The driver, identified as 50-year-old John H. Tollefson said he had just left a family member’s home in the area where he had spent most of the day. During an interview, Tollefson stated he knew the victim and was driving past after leaving his family member’s home. He said he was being “nosey” due to his daughter’s past with the victim. Tollefson could not be tied to the crime at the time of the traffic stop and was released after he declined to answer additional questions.
A K9 Unit attempted to locate the suspect but was unsuccessful.
The bloody hammer, the suspect’s shirts, and other evidence was collected at the scene. The victim was transported to a hospital for treatment of his injuries.
After further investigation, Deputies learned Tollefson hadn’t been to the family member’s home in a few days. Deputies went to Tollefson’s residence in the 4300 block of W. Osage Way and learned Tollefson had been with 44-year-old Eric D. Kaiser, who matched the assault suspect’s description, earlier in the evening but neither were at the residence at that time.
Deputies began looking for Kaiser, Tollefson, and the truck Tollefson was driving when he was stopped. The truck was later located parked at Tollefson’s residence. As Deputies arrived at the scene to attempt to contact the two suspects, Kaiser and Tollefson walked out of the residence. Kaiser had a large injury to the top of his head, as well as scrapes and what appeared to be a bite mark to his arm.
Both Kaiser and Tollefson were detained and later arrested. Kaiser was transported to a hospital for treatment, prior to being transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail.
Major Crimes Detectives, called to assist with this investigation, believe Tollefson and Kaiser acted together to devise a plan to lure the victim from his residence where Kaiser ambushed him, striking the victim in the head several times with a hammer. This vicious, pre-planned attack was directly related to contentious ending of the relationship between Tollefson’s daughter and the victim.
Earlier today, Kaiser and Tollefson were both charged with Attempted Murder 1st Degree and Criminal Conspiracy to Commit Murder 1st Degree.
Deputy Mark Gregory
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office
Spokane Valley Police Department
Public Information Officer