Centralia Man Accused of Threatening Woman in Car With Knife Asserts Innocence 


Bail has been set at $200,000 for a Centralia man accused of threatening a woman with a knife and forcing her to drive from Centralia to an intersection in Thurston County on Sunday. 

The man, Shane M. Culp, 38, had reportedly asked the alleged victim to drive him to a hospital earlier that day “to detox after doing drugs all night” and she agreed, according to court documents. 

She later returned to the hospital to pick him up after Culp reportedly asked “to go to a different location,” but while they were on the way, Culp reportedly said “he was feeling better” and wanted to go to a residence in Morton. Culp then reportedly asked to return to Centralia, and the woman turned around and drove back to Centralia. 

They ultimately pulled into the parking lot of the Centralia Safeway and stayed there “quietly for a while until Culp got excited again” and asked the woman to drive him 10 miles to the intersection of Tilley Road and Old Highway 99 in Thurston County, near the unincorporated community of Sunnydale between Tenino and Grand Mound. 

The woman reportedly said she was not going to drive him there, at which point Culp allegedly “pulled out a small folding knife, opened it and told (the victim) if she didn't drive him there he would ‘gut her,’” according to court documents. 

The victim later told law enforcement she “believed if she did not drive him there he would follow through with his threat.” 

She reportedly began driving to a family member’s residence “but Culp realized what she was doing and again made a threat to ‘gut her,’” according to court documents. The victim later told law enforcement she “decided to drive him to the location out of fear he might hurt her.” 

When they arrived, Culp reportedly “exited the vehicle and walked off,” according to court documents. The victim drove back toward her residence and “when she felt safe, she called 911 to report the incident.” 

Thurston County deputies were unable to assist in locating Culp at the time the incident was reported, according to court documents. Two days later, on June 14, Culp reported to a local Department of Corrections office for an unrelated case and he was placed under arrest. He reportedly provided a statement to law enforcement “wherein he denied any such events occurring,” according to court documents. 

Culp was booked into the Lewis County Jail and has since been charged with one count each of second-degree assault, unlawful imprisonment and harassment, threat to kill. All charges were classified as domestic violence (DV) offenses. 

His preliminary hearing in Lewis County Superior Court was initially scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, but Culp had an emotional meltdown while appearing in court virtually from the jail and Judge James Lawler opted to set Culp’s case over for the next day.   

“Of course Mr. Culp adamantly denies any allegations at this time,” said Defense Attorney Rachael Tiller at Culp’s preliminary appearance hearing on June 16. 

While Tiller requested that bail be set no higher than $50,000 due to Culp’s financial situation, Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead requested the $200,000 bail due to Culp’s criminal history, including the fact that he was most-recently released from jail on June 1, less than two weeks before the alleged incident occurred.  

“Given the severity of the DV allegations in this case as well as his very extensive felony history and warrant history … the state’s request is warranted,” said Judge Joely Yeager, who set Culp’s bail on Thursday. 

Yeager also granted Halstead’s request for a no-contact order protecting the alleged victim for the duration of the case. 

Culp’s next court appearance is an arraignment hearing scheduled for June 23.