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Sirens & Gavels

2 plead not guilty to attempted murder

A man charged with attempted murder and kidnapping pleaded not guilty Tuesday and was ordered to remain in jail on a $750,000 bond.

 Gary L. Houchins, 29, appeared Tuesday before Spokane County Superior Court Judge Michael Price in connection with a July 11 incident in which he is accused of using duct tape and zip ties to trap a boy in a basement, then attacking the boy’s father.  Houchins pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted first-degree murder, attempted first-degree robbery, first-degree kidnapping and third-degree assault.

Assistant Public Defender Kari Reardon asked Price to release Houchins on his own recognizance and pointed out that he turned himself in as soon as he learned law enforcement issued an arrest warrant for him.

According to court records, Houchins and 19-year-old Cecelia L. Rocha – who also pleaded not guilty Tuesday on charges relating to the same case and remains in jail – visited a Mead home and inquired about a room to rent. They returned later that night wearing nylon stockings as masks and armed with a pistol and baseball bat. The assailiants secured the boy to a wall in the home’s basement.

When the boy’s father returned home, the pair attacked him, according to court records. During the attack, Houchins tried to snap the man’s neck, Spokane County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Reagan said in an earlier news release. The boy freed himself, escaped out a basement window and alerted a neighbor.

The neighbor went to the home armed with an ornamental sword, but suffered a baseball bat wound to the head that required medical attention. The assailiants fled into the woods.

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Thomas Clouse
Thomas Clouse joined The Spokesman-Review in 1999. He currently is an investigative reporter for the City Desk and covers federal, state and local courts.

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