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Sirens & Gavels

Archive for September 2013

Trial begins in NorthTown Mall molestation case

A Spokane jury will likely decide this week whether a 56-year-old man with a criminal history of indecent acts with minors will spend the rest of his life in prison.

The trial of Richard Payne, accused of inappropriately touching and exposing himself to a five-year-old girl at a NorthTown Mall arcade in June 2012, began today with jury selection in Spokane County Superior Court Judge Kathleen O'Connor's courtroom. The proceedings, expected to last a week or less, have been delayed multiple times by defense motions seeking to suppress comments Payne made to investigators and keep some details of his criminal history from jurors.

To read more about this item, go inside the blog.

Police: Murder suspect committed robbery day before shooting

The 19-year-old Spokane man suspected in a June fatal shooting has been implicated in a series of computer armed robberies originating on Craigslist and dating back to March.

Issiah Schauman appeared in Spokane County Superior Court on Friday facing two counts of first-degree robbery for his involvement in separate incidents at area parks where thieves posing as prospective buyers of Apple products brandished guns and made off with the loot. The appearance came several weeks after Schauman appeared on first-degree murder charges in the shooting death of Fabian McBride, 27, on June 12.

According to court records, Schauman was involved in an armed robbery taking place less than 24 hours before police say he shot and killed McBride then sped off, eventually turning himself over to authorities in Pierce County two weeks later. Schauman initiated the June 11 robbery in Liberty Park because he didn’t have money, according to an unnamed police informant. He pulled a .45 semiautomatic pistol on the female victim while another suspect, Michael Garner, snatched the woman’s Macbook laptop and ran.

Schauman was also involved in a March robbery at the same park, according to court records. He was not present for a May robbery that took place at Franklin Park, which involved Garner and Curtis Cyrus, also arrested for his role in the three burglaries.

According to Jenny Ludwig, an apartment manager where McBride lived, the spat that ended in the June shooting began when McBride accused Schauman of burglarizing a home McBride was watching for a friend.

The state requested $100,000 bond for the two robbery counts Schauman faces. He remains in Spokane County Jail awaiting an expected murder trial date of Oct. 7.

Wenatchee lawyer nominated for federal judgeship

A Wenatchee lawyer was nominated Thursday to become Eastern Washington’s newest federal judge, the White House announced Thursday.

Stanley A. Bastian
, managing partner of Jeffers, Danielson, Sonn & Aylward law firm, will replace U.S. District Judge Edward Shea, who has been placed into the federal judiciary’s senior status. He's been a finalist for two previous positions on the federal bench.

Bastian was among eight judical nominations President Barack Obama made Thursday. All are subject to Senate confirmation.

A 1983 graduate of the University of Washington School of Law, Bastian has served as an assistant city attorney in Seattle and as a law clerk in the state Appeals Court. He joined the Wenatchee law firm in 1988 and specializes in civil employment cases.

Among his most notable cases was the civil litigation surrounding the widely discredited Wenatchee sex ring investgations of the mid 1990s. Bastian was hired to defend prosecutors and sheriff’s investigators who had been sued for their roles in the controversial investigations.

Spokane teenager missing for ten days

A Spokane teenager has been missing for ten days.

Carolyn JoAnn Toner, 17, was last seen on Sept. 3, according to a Washington State Patrol report. She is a white female, about 5-feet-9-inches and 125 pounds. She has blue eyes, red hair and wears glasses.

She also goes by the nickname Poptart.

Anyone with information about Toner's location is asked to call Crime Check at 456-2233, the WSP Missing Persons Unit at 1-800-543-5678 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 (1-800-THE-LOST).

Ricin suspect appears in U.S. District Court for scheduling

Clad in a white Spokane County Jail jumpsuit and sporting a long, black beard, the Spokane man accused of sending ricin-laced letters to a federal judge and President Barack Obama appeared in court Wednesday to set a tentative timeline for his legal proceedings.

Matthew Ryan Buquet, 38, was mostly silent during an appearance in U.S. District Court for Eastern Washington on Wednesday morning, conferring in whispers with his attorneys and sipping water from a styrofoam cup. Buquet has been in federal custody since he was arrested shortly after mailing letters containing the biological toxin derived from castor seeds in mid-May. His case was recently transferred to District Judge Ancer Haggerty of Portland, Ore., because Buquet allegedly mailed one of the poisioned letters to Eastern Washington District Judge Fred Van Sickle.

According to a federal indictment filed earlier this summer, each of the letters Buquet sent read, “We have a bomb placed, we are going to Kill you! Hezbollah.”

Though the FBI has said field tests have produced positive results for the presence of ricin in the letters, Eastern Washington Assistant U.S. District Attorney Stephanie Van Marter said Wednesday the government expected to have final, peer-reviewed test results by the beginning of October. Judge Haggerty set motion hearings for January and February ahead of Buquet's expected trial date, to begin in May of next year.

The FBI discovered a total of five ricin letters mailed from Spokane in May, including missives directed to Fairchild Air Force Base, the CIA and a post office. Buquet's legal team declined comment on the pending investigation Wednesday. No one was injured as a result of the poisoned letters.

Buquet has pleaded not guilty to the three counts against him: one charge of developing, producing or possessing a known biological toxin and two counts of mailing a threatening communication. The first count carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Mailing threatening communications carries a maximum penalty of five years under federal law.

Back to school?

Remember: Just because your little one is back in the classroom, it doesn't mean they all are. Here's a gem from yesterday's Pullman police log.

13-P07307 Juvenile Problem               12:02:24 09/04/13 Aaron Breshears ACT

Reaney Park, PULLMAN, WA 99163

RP reporting a child at the park that should be at school.  Officer responded.  Child is homeschooled. 

Sheriff’s Office hosts Citizens Academy

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office is hosting an eight-week citizen's academy designed to provide an overview of what law enforcement officers do and some of  the issues they face.

The program is scheduled to begin Oct. 7 with sessions each Monday from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and sheriff's organizers are actively trying to get the word out.

Those interested in attending should contact Deputy Travis Pendell at (509) 477-6044 or by email at TPendell@spokanesheriff.org.

Suspects’ fingerprints found on murdered World War II veteran’s car

Investigators discovered fingerprints linking two teenagers to an 88-year-old World War II veteran murdered two weeks ago.

Police say Demetruis Glenn and Kenan Adams-Kinard, both 16, beat Delbert “Shorty” Belton to death Aug. 22 while he sat in his car, according to an affidavit. Investigators found Glenn’s prints on the exterior read driver’s side door and the interior of the rear driver’s side passenger door. Adams-Kinard’s prints were on the exterior driver’s door and the interior of the rear driver’s side passenger door.

Belton’s body was found wedged between the front bucket seats, with his lower body from the neck down folded into the back seat area, according to the affidavit.

Friends said Belton was in his car near the Eagles Lodge, waiting to meet a friend for a game of pool. Adams-Kinard claimed in a letter that the teens were planning to meet him there to purchase crack cocaine, but Belton “tried ripping them off.”

Glenn and Adams-Kinard will appear for an arraignment on Sept. 12 at 3:30 p.m. Both face charges of first-degree murder and two charges of first-degree robbery.

Police seek man who abandoned backpack of drugs

Spokane Police detectives need the public's help identifying a man who ran from a security guard last month, abandoning a backpack full of drugs as he fled.

The suspect was seen in the downtown area on Aug. 1 at 2:30 p.m., according to a news release. Police did not indicate the exact amount or how many drugs were in the man's backpack.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Drug Tip Line at 509-625-8210.

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