NK murder suspect arrested in Kingston

Reports say fight that led to killing was over fentanyl

After avoiding arrest for murder for over two months, Caleb Sloan of Bremerton was taken into custody Dec. 9 in Kingston after a vehicle crash and short pursuit.

Sloan was wanted in connection with the Oct. 3 murder of Brandon Egeler in Poulsbo. A second suspect, Askel Strom, was arrested in Pacific County Oct. 27.

Felony arrest warrants for second-degree murder and first-degree burglary were issued for both men in early October. Sloan faces additional felony charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and attempting to elude a police vehicle. Judge William Houser set bail at $1 million for the initial murder and burglary charges, followed by an additional $25,000 for the newer felonies.

Sloan, 29, faces life in prison and $50,000 in fines if convicted. He pled not guilty to all charges in his arraignment in Kitsap County Superior Court Dec. 11.

At 1:45 p.m. Dec. 9 Kitsap deputies were notified that the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office was in pursuit of a stolen gray Acura Integra with Sloan at the wheel, a Kitsap sheriff’s Facebook post reads. Jefferson County deputies lost sight of the vehicle heading into Kitsap County on the Hood Canal Bridge.

Kitsap deputy Shane McClelland located the car on Highway 104 between Port Gamble and Kingston and pursued it. He followed the car into Kingston where Sloan crashed into an Amazon delivery truck at the intersection of NE West Kingston Road and South Kingston Road NE, the post states. Sloan ran from the car to the beach and after a brief foot pursuit, McClelland captured Sloan.

As a precaution, Sloan was taken to St. Michael Medical Center in Silverdale before being transported to the Kitsap jail for booking.

Court records

In court, Kitsap County sheriff’s probable cause papers show on Oct. 3 a 911 call was made by Zachery Carter at 1:29 a.m. He was frantic and reported his friend Egeler was shot in his 5th-wheeler trailer in the 3100 block of NE Lincoln Road in Poulsbo. Carter alleged Strom shot Egeler after breaking in the door to the trailer and beating him up first, along with Sloan.

Carter said he came home around midnight and a number of people were there. He went to bed, but awoke to someone pounding on the door saying, “If you don’t open the door it’s going to get ugly.”

Sloan came in wearing a mask, and they started beating up Egeler with a baton as he was curled up in a fetal position on a bed with his small dog. Carter then heard a shot go off. Egeler was bleeding everywhere.

Carter said the two men had been at his trailer two nights prior looking for Egeler and that Strom had pointed a gun at Carter. Strom was wearing a mask that night but it fell off.

Carter said a possible reason for the fighting was they thought Egeler had 500 grams of fentanyl. Carter said he didn’t think his friend really had it, but was saying it as a joke that was obviously taken seriously.

Carter said he was scared of the two attackers and had purchased a gun from a friend as protection. He threw it into the woods after the attack, and it was found by investigators.

Egeler died of a gunshot wound to his neck and head. A .45 caliber shell casing and projectile were found in the trailer where Carter described the shooting took place.

Tough to catch

Law enforcement had a tough time trying to catch the two suspects since the killing.

Strom was captured after Pacific County sheriff’s deputies pursued him twice, losing him once, then spiking his tires after his vehicle was spotted a second time.

Sloan was almost captured multiple times in Kitsap County Oct. 31.

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office received a tip that Sloan was seen using a certain vehicle. On Halloween, a deputy spotted a vehicle matching the description and attempted to stop it but was unsuccessful, a KCSO news release states. The vehicle was lost after a short pursuit.

Later that day, a vehicle matching the suspect description was involved in a crash at the intersection of Bethel Road and Cedar Road in Port Orchard. A person believed to be Sloan was seen leaving the scene in a yellow car with black racing stripes.

That car was later spotted by a deputy near the post office on Bethel-Burley Road and was stopped. The driver was cooperative, however, a passenger jumped behind the wheel and sped away. The deputy was then unable to locate the vehicle, per the release.

Soon after, a KCSO detective on his way home spotted the yellow car at the Sun Outdoors RV Resort at 9515 Burnham Drive in Gig Harbor. A K-9 unit searched for the car’s occupants but was unable to locate anyone.

They got help

KCSO was aware that Sloan was getting help from people in the Kitsap/Pierce County area to evade law enforcement, including transportation and money. Those people known to have assisted Sloan, and anyone else who is found to have helped him, will be under investigation for their actions and may face criminal charges, officials have said.

One such person was in Superior Court Dec. 8 facing charges of rendering criminal assistance in the first degree. Bail for the 40-year-old Poulsbo woman was set at $100,000. She faces 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fines.

Sheriff’s documents say the woman knew Sloan was a fugitive in the killing of Egeler, and assisted him anyway.

The documents say on Dec. 7 in the 3200 block of Sawdust Hill Road in Poulsbo a detective and postal inspector followed up on a stolen vehicle case. The vehicle was stuck in the mud on an embankment.

As they were there, another vehicle approached. Officers thought Sloan could be inside it, so a deputy turned on his siren and attempted to stop the vehicle. It took off at a high rate of speed. It was last seen eastbound on Bond Road. The stolen vehicle was impounded and searched with the owner’s consent. Inside were a firearm, a debit card for Sloan and video that shows Sloan’s face and tattoos.

The suspect woman was questioned the next day. She said she had no idea who was in the car as it was observed near the stolen vehicle and that had evaded police. But the site was near where the suspect woman lives. Inside the vehicle with the suspect woman while she was being questioned was the girlfriend of murder suspect Strom. Other witnesses said the suspect woman had been seen the previous day with Sloan.