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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Christapher Harris

Bomb maker in fatal explosion sentenced

A man who brought a bomb to a party that led to the death of a 28-year-old man was sentenced today to about three years in prison.

Christapher A. Harris, 21, (left) is to serve 39 months for second-degree manslaughter and possession of an explosive device, Spokane County Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza said.

A jury in September voted 9-3 to acquit Harris of first-degree manslaughter for the Nov. 6, 2010, explosion that killed Cody R. Hathaway, 28, (right) outside a family costume party.

Another jury convicted him of the lesser charge last month. 

Hathaway died after a bomb exploded and sent a piece of shrapnel into his neck.

The bomb was one of several Harris brought to the party at the invite of co-defendant James J. Crouchman, who lit one of the devices.

Crouchman, 36, was sentenced to 10 months in jail last month for unlawful possession of explosives and reckless endangerment.

Manslaughter conviction in fatal explosion

After the first jury decided 9-3 to acquit him of first-degree manslaughter, a second jury handed down a unanimous second-degree manslaughter conviction against the man who built a homemade bomb that killed a Spokane man at a belated Halloween party in 2010. 

Christapher A. Harris, who turns 21 on Sunday, faces about three years in prison at his sentencing, scheduled for Jan. 6. Harris was convicted of killing 28-year-old Cody R. Hathaway (pictured right) on Nov. 6, 2010, north of Chattaroy.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

2nd trial ending in fatal bomb explosion

Closing arguments are underway in the second trial of a man charged in the explosion of a homemade bomb that killed a Chattaroy man.

Christapher A. Harris, 20, (pictured) is charged with manslaughter for the Nov. 6, 2010, explosion that killed Cody R. Hathaway, 28, outside a family costume party.

A jury in September voted 9-3 to acquit Harris of the charge, but verdicts must be unanimous. The jury did convict co-defendant James J. Crouchman and Harris of possession of an explosive device and Harris of possession of a stolen firearm.

Crouchman's second trial for second-degree manslaughter is scheduled for Dec. 27, but he is expected to instead plead guilty to a misdemeanor.

The bomb was one of several Harris brought to the party at the invite of Crouchman, who lit one of the devices. Hathaway approached the device and it exploded, sending a piece of metal into his neck that severed arteries and killed him.

Harris was arrested after ditching bomb-making material in Idaho. He's been out of jail for his trials.

Past coverage:

Feb. 28: Manslaughter charges filed over deadly explosion

Nov. 8, 2010: Man killed in explosion outside party ID'd

Manslaughter trial begins for 2 suspects

Trial is set to being today in the case of two men charged with manslaughter after a homemade bomb killed a 28-year-old man outside a party north of Chattaroy last fall.

Opening statements are to begin at 9:30 a.m. in front of Spokane County Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza.  Christapher A. Harris (left) is charged with first-degree manslaughter and James J. Crouchman second-degree manslaughter for the Nov. 6 explosion that killed Cody R. Hathaway (below).

Harris also is charged with possession of a stolen firearm and possession or manufacture of an incendiary device. If convicted, he faces 95 to 125 months in prison, prosecutors said in February. If convicted of second-degree manslaughter, Crouchman faces 26 to 34 months in prison. Harris was arrested on an explosives charge just after the incident.

Police say he brought the device and other homemade bombs to the party, then removed bomb-making materials from his Spokane apartment and dumped them in Idaho to avoid investigators.

Crouchman told police he ignited one of the devices in a poorly lighted area, then saw Hathaway emerge from the area and collapse after the explosion.

Medical Examiner Sally Aiken recovered a metal fragment from Hathaway’s neck that appeared to be from a CO2 canister. Aiken believes Hathaway died when the canister struck the left side of his neck and severed an artery and jugular vein, according to court documents.

Harris is represented by James Kirkham. Crouchman is represented by Chris Phelps. Dale Nagy is prosecuting.

Past coverage:

Feb. 28: Manslaughter charges filed over deadly explosion

Nov. 8: Man killed in explosion outside party ID'd

Bomb suspects charged w/ manslaughter

Manslaughter charges have been filed against two men for a deadly explosion outside a party north of Chattaroy last fall.

Christapher A. Harris, 20, (left) and James J. Crouchman, 35, pleaded not guilty Monday in Spokane County Superior Court. Neither is in custody.

Harris is charged with first-degree manslaughter and Crouchman second-degree manslaughter after a homemade bomb exploded outside a home at 3110 E. Dennison-Chattaroy Road on Nov. 6 and killed Cody R. Hathaway, 28 (below).

 “He died because they were using illegal devices,” said Sgt. Bill Beeman of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Although authorities don’t believe anyone intended to kill Hathaway, the charges allege Harris’ reckless actions and Crouchman’s negligence caused the death.

Hathaway's mother, Gloria Hathaway, said the party was an annual gathering for friends and family and that Harris was not invited but showed up at Crouchman's behest.

Read my full story here.

Past coverage:

Nov. 8: Man killed in explosion outside party ID'd

Bomb materials recovered in Idaho

A 20-year-old man charged in connection with an explosion that killed a man last weekend dumped bomb-making materials in a rural area in North Idaho, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday.

Christapher A. Harris was released from jail on his own recognizance Monday as detectives continued to investigate an explosion outside a costume party at 3110 E. Denison-Chattaroy Road that killed Cody Hathaway, 28.

Investigators believe Hathaway was checking on an ignited bomb that failed to detonate when the device exploded. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Another partygoer admitted to igniting the device. Detectives searched Harris’ apartment at 7723 W. Sunset Highway and his Chevrolet truck after a friend said he’d helped Harris load bomb making materials into the vehicle after Hathaway’s death.

Detectives found materials near a road in Osborne, Idaho, on Tuesday that included evidence of a methamphetamine lab. The investigation is ongoing.

Past coverage:

Nov. 9: Officials ID man killed by explosive device

Suspect in fatal explosion leaves jail

A teenager accused of bringing bombs to a party that then exploded, killing a 28-year-old man, left jail Monday night.

Judge Michael Price allowed Christapher A. Harris, 19, to leave jail on his own recognizance after appearing in Superior Court on a felony bomb charge.

 Cody J. Hathaway, 28, died after checking on a homemade explosive device that was ignited outside a home at 3110 E. Dennison-Chattaroy Road late Saturday. Investigators say the device hadn’t exploded right away, but blew up after Hathaway approached.

Harris, 19, was arrested Sunday after 19-year-old John M. Williams, a roommate of Harris’ girlfriend, said Harris had gone to work after the party and told co-workers he’d taken explosives “and a guy died.”

“Williams said at one point Harris chuckled and said, ‘Huh, I killed someone,’” according to a probable cause affidavit.

Read my full story here.

Suspect in deadly explosion due in court

A young man accused of bringing explosives to a party that killed a 28-year-old man is due in Spokane County Superior Court this afternoon.

 Christapher A. Harris, 19, is facing a felony charge of possession or manufacture of an incendiary device. Detectives are searching his truck today.

Investigators believe he brought the homemade explosives to a party Saturday night in the 3100 block of East Denison-Chattaroy Road.

When one didn’t explode right away, the victim apparently approached the device, which then exploded. Partygoers initially thought the victim was joking. Read more here.

Harris is pictured at the Kootenai County Jail in January, where he was booked on a drunken driving charge. He pleaded guilty in April and was given a year of probation, a 90-day driver’s license suspension and a $500 fine.

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