ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here

Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: evidence

Alleged robber is 4-foot-8, 85 pounds

A suspect has been arrested in a June 6 armed home-invasion robbery in northeast Spokane.

Brettly E. Sanderson, who turned 16 last week, was charged as an adult with seven counts of first-degree robbery, but the charges were refiled in juvenile court when prosecutors realized he was 15 at the time of the crime.

The victims at the home in the 2900 block of North Hogan Street say they recognized Sanderson when he and two other men, one of whom had a sawed-off shotgun, forced their way into the apartment demanding drugs and money, according to court documents.

One of the victims was struck in the head with the butt of the shotgun, police say. Seven people were in the apartment at the time; stolen items included a 1997 Honda Civic, $50, two laptops, a PlayStation 3 and stereo speakers. Police found the Civic stripped of its tires and wheels near West Gordon Avenue and West Glass Avenue later that night.

Sanderson is 4-foot-8 and weighs 85 pounds, according to court documents.

Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Mark Cipolla filed charges against Sanderson on Monday. Spokane police searched his home in the 2600 block of East Sinto Avenue about 3 a.m. Thursday. The SWAT team was presence, but the occupants responded to a knock and no force was used to enter the home.

New police evidence facility opens

Worker Jeffrey Reeder helps install a high-density mobile shelving system in the City of Spokane's new evidence storage facility aWednesday. (SRphoto/Colin Mulvany)

Spokane-area law enforcement welcomed the opening of a new evidence storage facility Wednesday.

The 66,000-square foot facility at 4010 E. Alki Ave. has fire suppression capabilities not found in the previous 17,000-square foot facility on West Gardner Avenue.

The city announced plans to buy the warehouse in June 2010, more than a year after voters rejected a tax to pay for a new building.

The city borrowed from the main reserve and investment fund while consolidating work space in other buildings to eliminate the need for leased space. The savings went toward purchasing the new building, which cost about $3.4 million with upgrades.

“It's about a 100 percent improvement over our current facility,” said Tom Bell, police evidence technician.

Employees will be transferring evidence to the new facility over the next week.

Mayor Mary Verner said the new facility fills a crucial community need.
“Without the retention of evidence, justice cannot be served,” Verner said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Verner said the new facility should serve Spokane Police Department and Spokane County Sheriff's Office for 50 to 75 years.

Whiskey bottle could hold clues in theft

A whiskey bottle could hold clues in a burglary at the Chapman Lake Resort near Cheney.

Someone cut a padlock from a gate overnight Wednesday and stole about $3,000 worth of tools and tool cabinets from an equipment trailer, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office said today.

The victim said the thief or thieves apparently used a shovel and ax to pry open the side door of the trailer before stealing  two Craftsman-brand tool boxes, one a red four or five-drawer unit and the other a smaller yellow unit.

But the thief left a bottle of whiskey in the front office area, and Deputy Todd Saunders seized it for fingerprint examination.

Several of the items had been moved closer to the door, indicating someone may have planned to make a return trip. Only one family currently lives at the resort.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Evidence hearing set for Edgar Steele

A judge will review evidence in the Edgar Steele murder-for-hire case at a hearing Wednesday in Boise.

Federal prosecutors are concerned about reports from two defense experts that they say are repetitive and lack the substance needed to be admitted at trial, which is set to begin with jury selection next Tuesday in Boise. One report is a “copy and paste” of the other, prosecutors say.

Trial was to begin March 7, but prosecutors wanted defense expert Dr. George Papcun excluded from trial, and U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill said he couldn't issue a ruling then. Prosecutors then joined in the defense motion to continue trial, leading to the delay.

Winmill said he would review Papcun's report at the evidence hearing. On March 17, defense filed an expert notice for Dennis Walsh, but prosecutors say Walsh's report is identical to Papcun's report. They've asked for Walsh's testimony to be excluded or for him to provide “a more full report,” accoridng to court documents.

Winmill is to consider those issues on Wednesday.

In a memorandum filed Monday, prosecutors cited case law that says courts “may conclude that there is simply too great an analytical gap between the data and the opinion proffered” and exclude testimony.

They said neither Papcun nor Walsh submitted reports that indicate their testimony will be based on sufficient facts or reliable principals.

“Interestingly, the opinion provided in George Papcun's report seems to have been “cut and pasted” into Dennis Walsh's report verbatim,” according to the memo.

The reports say the recordings, which investigators say show Steele discussing the murder plot with hitman-turned-FBI-informant Larry Fairfax, are unreliable and “do not accurately reflect the sounds and conversations that actually occurred.”

But prosecutors say they do not offer details.

“The experts unsupported opinion that the voices on the recordings are dubbed or do not belong to Steele is designed to confuse the jury,” accoridng to the memo.

Steele's lawyers, Gary Amendola and Robert McAllister, were not immediately available for comment. 

Steele was to undergo a mental health examination last week in Boise at the request of prosecutors.

His wife, Cyndi Steele (left), said he will not be presenting an insanity defense, rather, Steele's lawyers will argue that he was under the influence of medication and could have been easily influenced and manipulated by Fairfax. 

Those expected to testify for the defense include Daryl James Hollingsworth (right), a Bonner County Jail inmate who recently pleaded guilty to aggravated assault.

Hollingsworth may have had contact with Steele and/or Fairfax while in jail.

Past coverage:

April 13: Audio experts to testify at Steele trial

June 20, 2010: Arrest puts Steele back in public eye

Read more past coverage here.

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Sirens & Gavels.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here