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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Coeur d'Alene Tribe

Idaho killer returns to prison for assault

A convicted killer who left prison in 2008 is headed back there after a jury in southwest Idaho convicted him of assaulting a family member with a large knife.

Donald Leonard Houser, 39, was living in Plummer in 1995 when he shot his former girlfriend, Angela LeSarte, to death in front of Bobbie's Bar in Plummer.

LeSarte's father is former longtime Coeur d’Alene Tribal Chairman Bernard LeSarte. She was the mother of four children.

Houser was sentenced to 15 years in prison in February 1996 for second-degree murder and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence. He began his five-year probation period on Oct. 30, 2008, and worked part-time on a ranch in Washington County and at a hardware store in Weiser, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. He started working full-time as a self-employed mechanic in November 2010.

Houser was arrested on Aug. 22 for aggravated assault. He was sentenced in April to two to three years in state prison. He was sentenced today to two years in federal prison for violating his probation on the murder conviction. One year of his federal sentence will run concurrent to the state sentence, the other will run consecutive, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

3-crash survivor pleads guilty in fatality

 A man who has survived three one-car crashes on the same road near Plummer, Idaho, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter for an August 2009 crash.

Joseph Michael Matt, Jr., 25, of Worley, was speeding and under the influence of alcohol and methamphetamine when he lost control of his 1997 Jeep Cherokee and left Lovell Valley Road in Benewah County road, killing William “Sonny” A. Davison, 22, of Desmet.

Matt has been in two other crashes on Lovell Valley Road but was not driving in either.

A federal grand jury indicted Matt, a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, for the Aug. 18, 2009, crash in June.

He pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Coeur d’Alene. He faces a maximum of eight years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years probation when he’s sentenced Feb. 23. He remains in federal custody.

CdA tribesman jailed for deadly car crash

A man who has survived three one-car crashes on the same road near Plummer, Idaho, is in federal custody on a manslaughter charge for a crash last summer. 

Joseph Michael Matt, Jr., a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, was charged in connection with an Aug. 18 crash on Lovell Valley Road in Benewah County that killed William “Sonny” A. Davison, 22, of Desmet.

Davison died after the 1997 Jeep Cherokee Matt, now 25, was driving left the road and vaulted nearly 250 feet, taking off the tops of two trees.

Investigators couldn’t immediately determine who was driving the Jeep but now say Matt was driving too fast and was drunk and high on methamphetamine, according to a grand jury indictment unsealed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Coeur d’Alene.

Matt is to be arraigned today on one count of involuntary manslaughter. The charge carries a maximum eight years in prison. 

Matt has been in two other crashes on Lovell Valley Road but was not driving in either.

In March 2009, Matt’s sister, Veronica J. Matt, and mother, Juanita A. Garcia, 42, died after the 2003 Chevy Blazer Veronica Matt was driving veered off the road.

Joseph Matt was in the car, along with 25-year-old Dianna Matheson, of Worley, niece of former tribal councilman David Matheson, tribal officials and Idaho State Police said.

Joseph Matt and Diana Matheson also were injured on the road in a crash on Lovell Valley Road in October 2000. The two were passengers in a 1987 Chevy Cavalier that went off the road.

Teen on bathroom break flees court

PLUMMER, Idaho - A teenager who escaped a courthouse after being allowed to use the bathroom today was recaptured about five hours later.

Timothy Allen had been in a Kootenai County juvenile detention center after his arrest following a police pursuit in early February. Allen was taken to tribal court at a Coeur d’Alene Tribe justice center in Benewah County today to face charges unrelated to the February pursuit when he made his escape.

Allen asked to use the bathroom and when he was permitted to do so, he fled the justice center on foot, still in handcuffs, KHQ reported.

Coeur d’Alene Tribal Police found him near Plummer High School about five hours later.


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