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Sirens & Gavels

Fri., Sept. 4, 2009, 5:44 p.m.

Detectives just now examining Crenshaw’s cell phone

Justin Crenshaw walks past family members of Tanner Pehl on July 8, 2008. It was the family's first time seeing Crenshaw in person. He successfully asked Judge Tari Eitzen for a new lawyer at the hearing, saying an employee of the public defender's office was close friends with Sarah Clark's family. (The Spokesman-Review)
Justin Crenshaw walks past family members of Tanner Pehl on July 8, 2008. It was the family's first time seeing Crenshaw in person. He successfully asked Judge Tari Eitzen for a new lawyer at the hearing, saying an employee of the public defender's office was close friends with Sarah Clark's family. (The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane County Sheriff's detectives are just now searching the cell phone of a double-murder suspect, more than a year and a half after his arrest, according to a search warrant filed in Spokane County District Court.

Justin W. Crenshaw, 21, is set to go to trial Oct. 12 for the stabbing deaths of Sarah A. Clark and Tanner E. Pehl in February 2008.

Crenshaw had moved to Spokane from Las Vegas to reunite with his long lost sister, who he found on MySpace. Clark was his sister's best friend. Pehl worked with Crenshaw at Brooklynn's Woodfire Grill in north Spokane.

Police think Crenshaw murdered Clark and Pehl as the three were drinking at the home where Pehl lived with his family. He tried burning the home, located at 512 E. Elm, to cover up the crime, according to court papers.

A bloody fingerprint linked Crenshaw to the crime scene, and detectives saw small cuts on his hands believed to have been inflicted by the victims, court papers show.

Crenshaw's Oct. 12 trial date has shown no signs of getting delayed. Prosecutors filed a witness list last month. But detectives on the case filed the search warrant for the cell phone yesterday, giving the impression their previous work was incomplete.

Detective Jim Dresback directed questions to sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan, who was not immediately available for comment.

The phone has been with the sheriff's office since Crenshaw's arrest on Feb. 28, 2008. Dresback and digital forensic specialist John Schlosser scoured its data Wednesday morning, according to the search warrant.

Check out past coverage here.

Pehl was a budding musician known for his guitar skills. Here's a youtube video his friends posted of him playing "Disarm" by the Smashing Pumpkins. Knowing his tragic fate, the lyrics are haunting.




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