Sirens & Gavels

Men deny hate crime allegations

Three brothers accused of harassing a Coeur d’Alene man because of his ethnicity say they simply asked to buy electrical equipment from the man and were stunned when he pulled a gun on them.

Ira Gino Tankovich, 47, Frank James Tankovich, 46, and William Michael Tankovich Jr., 49, (left to right) were indicted by a grand jury under Idaho’s hate crime law.

In court Friday, their lawyers characterized the Aug. 16 incident as a misunderstanding blown out of proportion after Aryan literature was distributed in Coeur d’Alene.

“I can’t see this case surviving a trial,” said Daniel Cooper, public defender for Frank Tankovich. “I just can’t fathom a jury returning a conviction.”

Read my story here.

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