Sirens & Gavels archive for Jan. 2011

MONDAY, JAN. 31, 2011

Police: Man attacked officers with bat 

A man was arrested after charging at two Spokane police officers with a baseball bat early Saturday morning. Michael A. Bernal, 29, was arrested after Officers James Erickson and James Christensen responded to the 200 block of East Crown Avenue at 1:57 a.m. for a...

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Woman's suspicions spark burglary bust 

Two burglary suspects were arrested early today after a watchful resident grew suspicious of two men who parked a car in her neighborhood. Brian Keith Belton, 35, and Tracy K. Whiting, 44, were detained near West Marc Drive and North Pinecrest Drive in north Spokane...

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Inmate in guard's death has Spokane ties

The inmate suspected of killing a corrections officer in Western Washington is a sex offender serving life in prison for the abduction and rape of a Spokane-area real estate agent in 1995. Byron Scherf, 52, who has a long history of violent sexual assault, is...

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2 child molesters register as transients

Two sex offenders considered likely to reoffend have registered as transients in Spokane County, the Sheriff's Office announced today. , Russell Allen Clinger, 45, (right) was released from prison in 2006 after being convicted of first-degree child molestation in 2000. His victim was a 7-year-old...

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Rape suspect underwent sex therapy

A 23-year-old Spokane man accused of a year-old rape underwent sex offender treatment as a teenager. Louis Victor Kuster underwent treatment after he was accused of sexually harassing and inappropriately touching four girls while a middle school student in Stevens County. He pleaded guilty to...

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SATURDAY, JAN. 29, 2011

Man wanted for leading organized crime

A suspected methamphetamine dealer who investigators say equipped his Spokane Valley home with surveillance video and a tripwire while orchestrating an identity theft scheme is wanted by police. Detectives spent months building a case against Ronald R. Foreman, (left) who left jail on $40,000 bond...

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FRIDAY, JAN. 28, 2011


Burglar wanted after ditching drug rehab 

A convicted Spokane burglar who was given drug treatment instead of prison is wanted by police after leaving his rehabilitation center. Richard C. Hebert, 23, was ordered in December to complete residential drug treatment in lieu of a two-year prison sentence but left the center...

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Officer's trial over Zehm death delayed 

The criminal trial of Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. has been delayed again. U.S. District Judge Fred Van Sickle agreed to a request by defense attorney Carl Oreskovich to change the date of the trial despite objections from a federal prosecutor. The trial,...

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Catapults used to hurl marijuana into US

HERMOSILLO, Mexico (AP) — Drug smugglers are using an ancient invention as a new way to move marijuana across the border from Mexico to Arizona. The discovery of two "drug catapults" in the Mexican state of Sonora marks the latest twist in the cat-and-mouse game...

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n this image released by Austrian Police and made Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011, a bank robber wearing a mask depicting U.S. President Barack Obama enters a bank in Handenberg, Austria. Police say the man, nicknamed the "Obama Robber" by local media, is wanted for six heists since 2008. The most recent took place Thursday, where the Obama-resembling suspect made off with an undisclosed amount of money after threatening bank employees with a gun.  ((AP Photo/Austrian Police))

Armed 'Obama robber' hits Austria banks

VIENNA (AP) — Say, isn't that the president with a gun in his hand? Actually, no, but it sure looks like it. Austrian authorities are searching for a bank robber who uses an unusual disguise: He wears a Barack Obama mask during his holdups. Police...

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High court throws out murder conviction

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington's Supreme Court threw out a defendant's aggravated murder conviction Thursday because he wasn't present when his lawyers, prosecutors and judge agreed by e-mail to dismiss seven people from his jury pool. In the 5-4 decision, the justices said criminal defendants have...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 27, 2011

Gunfire at Spokane police earns 13 years

A Spokane man who opened fire on a police officer during a two-day crime spree was sentenced Wednesday to 13 1/2 years in prison. Tony E. Dawson, 21,(left) pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and attempted first-degree robbery and was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Sam...

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Speaker targeted by FBI duped UO, too

A motivational speaker who once worked in Spokane and is now the subject of an FBI investigation was an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon. William G. Hillar falsely claimed to have earned a doctorate from the university, according to this article from my...

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Valley theft, burglary spree earns 2 years

A crime spree that included vehicle prowling, burglary and prescription fraud earned a 23-year-old Spokane Valley woman about two years in prison this week. Jenalee Jean Hall, who police say is a cousin of Eddie Ray Hall , was sentenced Tuesday to 25 months in...

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Daniel Strange (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman Review)

Jury rejects man's excessive force claim

A jury Wednesday exonerated a Spokane County Sheriff’s detective who has been the subject of several excessive force complaints. The jury found unanimously for Spokane County in a case that began with a traffic stop on Jan. 22, 2006 by Jeff Welton, who was a...

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2nd deputy hurt in shooting goes home

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) — The Kitsap County sheriff's office says the second of two deputies wounded during a deadly shootout in the parking lot of the Port Orchard, Wash., Walmart has been released from the hospital. The agency says 48-year-old Andrew Ejde (Eh-dah) was...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 26, 2011

Sleepy juror removed from Strine trial

A juror was removed from a vehicular homicide trial today after falling asleep and telling a judge it was OK she'd missed testimony because she already knew the topic well. "I was marginally OK until she volunteered the last part," said Superior Court Judge Tari...

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Watchful woman helps bust theft suspect

A suspected car prowler was arrested early today after a woman spotted him stash stolen property before he pilfered a neighbor's garage. Loren Camron Kintner, 31, was arrested near Trent Avenue and Ella Street following the report of suspicious activity in the 8100 block of...

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Eddie Ray Hall pleads guilty 

One of Spokane's most notorious career criminals has pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge. Eddie Ray Hall, 46, (right) faces five to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to distribution of 50 grams or more of a mixture of substance containing methamphetamine....

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Suicide suspected in June bridge death

Police now believe a Spokane man found dead and bound with a rope under the Sunset Bridge last June committed suicide. Detectives found a suicide note written by William P. Pickard, said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, spokeswoman for the Spokane Police Department. The nylon rope used...

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$1 offer leads to armed robbery attempt

A panhandler tired to rob a man at knifepoint Monday after he agreed to give her a dollar, police say. Shayna L. Edens, 29, was arrested on a first-degree robbery charge outside Huckleberries market, 926 S. Monroe, after a man said she'd threatened him with...

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Stolen monster truck leads to arrest

A 42-year-old man is accused of stealing a monster truck from a Spokane Valley car dealership. Steven W. Dungan appeared in Superior Court on a car theft charge Tuesday after police say he crashed the stolen truck at an apartment complex about eight blocks from...

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Police chase rekindles robbery charge 

A man arrested in a police pursuit that damaged two patrol cars late Monday has been charged with robbery for an alleged incident at the Northtown Mall in November. Kenneth S. Crowston, 47, (pictured in 2003) is charged with second-degree robbery after a Sears security...

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Class action lawsuit targets Taco Bell meat

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Taco Bell officials on Tuesday rejected claims made in a lawsuit that the meat in their tacos, burritos and other products is not all beef. Taco Bell President Greg Creed said in a statement that the lawyers who filed the lawsuit...

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