Deputy prosecutor's role in Doug Wrenn arrest being investigated
A King County deputy prosecutor is on paid leave while Seattle police investigate her connection to former Huskies basketball-player-turned-convict Doug Wrenn.
Seattle Times staff reporter
A King County deputy prosecutor is on paid leave while Seattle police investigate her connection to former Huskies basketball star Doug Wrenn, who has been charged with harassing a former girlfriend.
Leah Altaras, 33, was seen by a maintenance worker at the Bellevue condominium building where Wrenn lived on the night of his arrest. The maintenance worker told investigators that he saw Altaras get out of her car and go into the home about an hour after his April 16 arrest for allegedly harassing an ex-girlfriend, according to a search-warrant affidavit written by Seattle police Detective Pam McCammon.
Wrenn has been charged with repeatedly harassing his ex-girlfriend through phone calls, text messages, photographs and emails. Approximately 500 forms of communication occurred after the couple broke up, police said.
McCammon wrote in the warrant that she believed that after Wrenn's arrest, Altaras had possession of the phone Wrenn used to make the bulk of the harassing calls.
Police, in their affidavit for a search warrant, said they are investigating the crimes of cyberstalking and telephone harassment. Investigators do not say in the court filing whether Altaras is being investigated for allegedly committing a crime.
Seattle police spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb declined to comment on Altaras, except to say she is part of "an active and ongoing investigation."
On May 22, King County Superior Court Judge Sharon Armstrong granted police permission to search Altaras' Beacon Hill home, her office in the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, her white 2002 Jaguar and her cellphone, according to several filings in the case made available Tuesday at the King County Superior Court Clerk of Court's Office.
Since Wrenn's arrest, Wrenn and Altaras have spoken frequently, police said. He has been in the King County Jail since April 16.
Among the snippets of their taped jailed conversations listed by McCammon in the warrant affidavit was one on April 19, three days after Wrenn's arrest, when Altaras told Wrenn she "has the phone."
McCammon in the three filings — which include an affidavit for a search warrant, the search warrant and the inventory and return of search warrant — does not describe Altaras' relationship with Wrenn.
When police executed the warrant May 23, officers seized five cellphones from Altaras. Police did not say whether any of the phones belonged to Wrenn.
Altaras could not be reached for comment. She has been with the Prosecutor's Office since 2006 and has been on administrative leave since May 25, said spokesman Dan Donohoe.
Wrenn, who is in jail in lieu of $350,000 bail, has been charged with telephone harassment and cyberstalking in Seattle Municipal Court.
Kimberly Mills, spokeswoman for Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, said Wednesday t her office "has not received a police report on the deputy prosecutor and does not have a role as such."
"She is listed as a potential witness in the Wrenn case that our office is handling," Mills wrote in an email.
This the second time in nearly a year that Altaras has been investigated by Seattle police and been placed on administrative leave for having ties to people suspected of crimes.
In April 2011, police stopped Altaras' car in search of a man who had allegedly just beaten up his girlfriend, according to court charges. The man, identified in charges as Thomas Anthony Woods, had 8 grams of cocaine in his pocket when he was arrested, according to charges. Woods was charged with drug possession and second-degree assault.
He later pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault and interfering with reporting with domestic violence, misdemeanors. The Seattle City Attorney's Office handled the case because Altaras' connection posed a conflict of interest.
Altaras was reprimanded by the Prosecutor's Office, said Donohoe.
In February 2009, Wrenn was convicted of two counts of second-degree assault with a handgun after he threatened two people at a Bellevue intersection in March 2008. He was sentenced to a year and a day in prison.
Wrenn, who attended O'Dea High School, played two seasons at the University of Washington. As a sophomore, he averaged 19.5 points and was voted first-team All-Pac-10 by conference coaches after the 2001-02 season. Wrenn chose to forgo his senior season to declare for the NBA draft.
Undrafted, he played several years in minor basketball leagues and overseas. Wrenn last played in South Korea in December 2007.
Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf and reporter Christine Clarridge contributed to this report, which includes information from Times archives.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @SeattleSullivan.