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Sirens & Gavels

Gunfire over $40 leads to standoff

A Spokane man celebrated the holiday in jail after he was teargassed and arrested during an hours-long Christmas Eve standoff.

Robert T. Finkbeiner, 44, is set for trial next month for allegedly shooting a woman in her leg last March during a fight over a $40 debt.

Two young children were in the room when Finkbeiner pulled the gun, police said. Finkbeiner was allowed to leave jail pending trial on assault, burglary and robbery charges, but a warrant was issued Dec. 7 after prosecutors said Finkbeiner had contacted the alleged victim, Rachel A. Mitchell, 24, several times recently to try to persuade her not to testify.

“Mitchell stated she has full intent to show up in court against Finkbeiner because he should not get away with shooting her over $40,” according to court documents.

Finkbeiner also is charged with five counts of unlawful possession of a firearm for guns seized at his apartment at 1924 W. Gardner in March.

Finkbeiner was living at 121 S. Haven St. when police tried to arrest him about 9:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

A SWAT team used chemical agents to help take him into custody. Finkbeiner remains in jail on $50,000 bond. His girlfriend, Julie K. French, was arrested on second-degree rendering criminal assistance after telling police he wasn't at the house. French was released on her own recognizance on Christmas.


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