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Sirens & Gavels

Wallace’s alleged accomplice free on bond

A Spokane man accused of helping the fugitive who shot two sheriff's deputies is out of jail after posting $100,000 bond this week.

Robert Lee “Bo” Ruth, 42, posted the bond through Bulldog Bail Bonds on July 2 after being in the Spokane County Jail since June 20, according to court records.

Ruth appeared before Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque on Thursday and pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of first-degree rendering criminal assistance.

Members of the drug task force were looking for fugitive heroin trafficking suspect Charles Robert Wallace at Ruth's family's property on North Alcan Street on June 19 when they followed Ruth's SUV and a Chevy Tahoe with a young couple and a man in a disguise they believed could be Wallace.

The SUV stopped at Roundy’s Kawasaki on North Newport Highway for about a half an hour before Ruth drove north and the Tahoe went south.

Task force members directed Deputies Matt Spink and Mike Northway to identify the passengers of the Tahoe and warned that Wallace “was believed to be armed and had made statements that he was not going back to jail,” according to court documents.

Just after the Tahoe stopped on Elm Road just off the highway, Wallace exited and opened fire on Spink and Northway. Spink was struck once in the leg; Northway was hit four times and may have bled to death had a citizen not helped control heavy bleeding from an artery in his left arm, police officials say.

The driver of the Tahoe and a passenger, Joshua Vincent Fowler and Brittany A. McCullough, sped away and Wallace ran away, stole an 87-year-old woman’s Honda Accord then fled the area before shooting himself after a 21-mile chase.

Officer Beau Brannon, who owns a home on Princeton Avenue that was rented by Ruth, called Ruth right after the shooting and told him what happened.

Police say Ruth lied to the officer and said he hadn’t talked to Wallace since June 14, then changed his story and said he’d seen Wallace but didn’t know where he was. He then hung up on the officer and refused to answer his phone.

Ruth and his girlfriend and their infant son moved out of the Princeton home after a home-invasion robbery on May 29 in which Ruth was shot in the leg. David F. Smith, 40, is suspected in that case.

Ruth has seven felony convictions; his last occurred in 2000.


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