Tieja MacLaughlin (via Instagram)It may be surprising that the story of Tieja MacLaughlin and Tri-City Americans right winger Jackson Playfair has captivated the Canadian national interest moreso than the arrest of Justin Bieber, but this is a story of sex, crime and cross-border intrigue. After it came out Wednesday morning that MacLaughlin, a 25-year-old reporter working in Kelowna, B.C., had been arrested in Benton County, Wash., for allegedly driving into America with plans to kill her hockey-playing boyfriend Playfair after learning Playfair had cheated on her.
Prosecutors decided Thursday to file charges. MacLaughlin has been held in jail without bail since Saturday night, via the Tri-City Herald:
One count of felony harassment with domestic violence was filed against Tieja MacLaughlin in Benton County Superior Court.
Bail was set at $50,000.
MacLaughlin is scheduled to appear in court Friday. At that time, she may enter a plea to the new charge.
This is quite the week for Playfair, who has never drawn a lot of attention to himself. At 19, he has just six career WHL goals to his name in 95 games with the Spokane Chiefs and Tri-City Americans, but his name and story was picked up internationally Wednesday on several high-profile websites such as Deadspin and the Huffington Post, as well as almost every newspaper in Canada. He had been dating the 25-year-old MacLaughlin, a Wilfrid Laurier graduate with a lengthy resume who currently covers the Kelowna Rockets for the Daily Courier.
Hockey players, who are not only young and fit, are also often on the road with their teammates and aren't known for being the most faithful partners. But that's just one aspect to the bizarre story. We will probably learn in the coming weeks that there is more to the tale beyond the original threat allegedly made to Playfair. According to Kennewick, Wash., police, during a phone call with Playfair early Saturday morning MacLaughlin "told Playfair that 'he would be dead by the end of the night'". All we've learned today is that MacLaughlin will be in court tomorrow and may enter a plea and given the viral nature of this story, I'm sure we'll hear more details over the coming days and weeks.
UPDATE: The affidavit filed by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Brendan Siefken, can be found at Kelowna's Castanet.com. It seems that after several threatening messages, MacLaughlin alerted Playfair that she had arrived at the border, and the hockey player contacted law enforcement, who found MacLaughlin early in the morning:
Law enforcement was contacted about the incident and they located the defendant at the Super 8 Motel in Kennewick at approximately 04:30 hours. Law enforcement advised her of the reason for the contact and informed her that they were investigating the threats she made to Mr. Playfair. The defendant denied threatening to kill Mr. Playfair and advised that Mr. Playfair had threatened to ruin her career and her life.
Officers advised her that they would not arrest her at the time but that Mr. Playfair just wanted to be left alone. She was advised that she should get some rest and go back home. Officers reported that she appeared to ignore the warning and (were) advised that she needed to talk to Mr. Playfair before she left.
She was advised that he did not wish to speak with her and she needed to leave when she woke up in the morning. Officers advised her that if she continued to call or text him that she would be arrested. The defendant agreed that she would not talk to Mr. Playfair and that she would leave town.
Later that day, Mr. Playfair contacted law enforcement and advised that the defendant had sent him approximately 20 to 25 more text messages after law enforcement advised her to not contact him.