Sirens & Gavels

Deal approved in '04 home invasion

A man who recently returned to Spokane from federal prison will be released on probation in a plea deal approved today for a five-year-old home invasion robbery.

DeAndre S. Gaither, 30, served about 5 years in prison on a federal cocaine conviction that came about six months after he and four others were accused of an armed home invasion on East Fairview Avenue on Oct. 6, 2004.

In what his lawyer called a "manifest injustice," Gaither wrote repeated letters to Spokane County officials asking to resolve the case, but it wasn't until he completed his federal prison sentence that he was transferred to the Spokane County Jail to face seven counts of first-degree robbery and one count of first-degree burglary.

He had his first appearance last week and pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree robbery Tuesday; Deputy Prosecutor Mark Cipolla dropped the remaining charges in a deal approved by Spokane County Superior Court Judge Harold Clarke.

Gaither was sentenced to 41 months in prison but credited for time already served on the cocaine conviction. Four others convicted in the home invasion robbery of four adults and three children are serving sentences of up to three years each.

The case gained attention in 2005 when a judge allowed one defendant a one-week furlough from jail to get married and he failed to return. He was arrested a couple weeks later.

Read more here.

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