Sirens & Gavels

Tankovich erases the smile just in time

By Thomas Clouse

The hate crime trial in Coeur d’Alene taught one of the defendants to check his gear before he draws a practical joke.

Deputy Prosecutor Art Verharen used an erasable board to have a witness draw how the Tankovichs' pickup, which had a swastika and “born to kill” written in the dirt, parked in front of the home of Kenneth Requena in Coeur d’Alene.

During a trial break, Frank Tankovich (right) drew a smiley face on the board. But to Tankovich's chagrin, he didn’t realize it was a permanent marker until he tried to erase the face before Kootenai County 1st District Judge John Luster returned to the courtroom.

At one point, Tankovich improvised by scribbling over the black permanent marker with the blue erasable marker. But Luster’s break lasted long enough for Tankovich to finally rub the board clean.

Read Clouse's complete coverage of the trial's opening day here.




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