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Sirens & Gavels

Wed., Feb. 17, 2010, 12:18 p.m.

Fugitive lawyer due in court today

Claude K. Irwin, Jr., the fugitive disbarred Spokane lawyer captured in Mexico after more than a decade, is back in Spokane.

Irwin, 62, is due in Spokane County Superior Court this afternoon via video feed from the jail, where he has been in custody without bail since about 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Irwin had been in jail in Los Angeles since Jan. 27, after he stepped off a plane from Mexico.

He was detained in Mexico City and thought he was just being deported when he arrived in Los Angeles, authorities said, but he was arrested on a felony warrant for first-degree theft out of Spokane County Superior Court when he arrived on U.S. soil.

The charge contends Irwin took at least $230,000 from a dead woman's estate that was meant for her beneficiaries, including two colleges and a minister.

He also faces hefty claims from creditors and investors he's accused of duping in a failed multimillion-dollar, 390-acre real estate development near Harrison, Idaho, Powderhorn Ridge Ranch.

Irwin, who declined in a jailhouse interview, disappeared in 1997 but resurfaced on a Web site in 2000 under the name "Koyote Karlos." He apparently had been stationed in southern Mexico all these years, operating a tour business that U.S Marshals used to capture him.

Federal agent Robert Doty used a false name to contact Irwin, who was living under the name Miles Becker, through a Web site promoting the tour business.

Past coverage:

Fugitive developer captured in international ruse

To catch Koyote Karlos, you'll have to move fast

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