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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: first appearances

Girl Scouts peeper now a sex offender

A man arrested after a woman saw him wearing a red g-string and no pants outside a Girl Scouts gathering will be released from jail but must register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Martin J. Green, 29, pleaded guilty today to felony second-degree burglary and a gross misdemeanor sex offense of communication with a minor for immoral purposes.

Green was credited for time spent in the Spokane County Jail, where he's been since his arrest Jan. 22. A woman called police after spotting Green without pants outside the building at 1404 N. Ash St., where the Girls Scouts were hosting a slumber party.

Police say Green was wearing sweat pants when they caught up with him after a brief foot chase, but they were untied and he had a “pocketful of condoms.”

Green's g-string, pocketful of condoms and lack of pants “gives me a great cause for concern for our community,” a prosecutor said at his first court appearance.

Past coverage:

Jan. 23: Girl Scouts peeper wore g-string

Teen arrested hours after leaving jail

An 18-year-old man allowed to leave the Spokane County Jail after an arrest for burglary this week made good on his promise to return to court - but not in the right way.

Reshawn S. Zinnerman was arrested in connection with another burglary that occurred just hours after he left the Spokane County Jail.

Superior Court Judge Annette Plese allowed the teen, who has no substantial criminal history, to leave jail without posting a bond, which is common for suspects who have shown no reason to believe they won’t appear for future court hearings.

But Zinnerman allegedly didn’t take Plese’s standard order to commit no crimes to heart, which she imposed Wednesday afternoon during his first court appearance. About 6:40 a.m. Thursday, A woman living in the 2000 block of East South Crescent Avenue spotted a man she later identified as Zinnerman peering into her bedroom. He ran, but his shoe prints led to the backdoor of a home in the 2000 block of East Nora. Police arrested Zinnerman there and say he told them he’d just been released from jail for a burglary arrest.

Plese wasn’t so nice when she saw Zinnerman in her courtroom the next day - 24 hours after she first met him. The judge imposed A $50,000 for the charge – attempted residential burglary - and a $35,000 bond for the first burglary charge.

That means he’ll have to come with about $8,500 cash to get out - most bail bond companies require a 10 percent payment.

Zinnerman said in an interview at the Spokane County Jail Friday evening that his first arrest was the result of a “stupid mistake.”

 In that case, Zinnerman was arrested for a break-in at 803 E. Wabash Ave. after a woman also spotted him looking through windows at the residence. Police say he stole a bottle of Hydrocodone from the apartment.

Zinnerman said he walked to his aunt’s home after being released from jail. He was to get a ride to his parents’ home in Nine Mile Falls but was arrested before that happened. He said he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and denies trying to burglarize the home.

A graduate of Wellpinit High School, Zinnerman said he’s to begin classes at Spokane Falls Community College this year. He said he hopes to study “anything, really, as long as I’m on the right track.”

“I’m taking this as a learning experience,” he said.

Police: Girl Scouts peeper wore g-string

A man arrested for voyeurism outside a Girl Scouts gathering in Spokane was wearing a red g-string and no pants when a woman spotted him early Sunday, officials say.

 Martin J. Green, 29, had a “pocketful of condoms” in his untied sweat pants when police arrested him after a brief foot chase near the Girl Scouts office at 1404 N. Ash St., said Deputy Prosecutor Patrick Johnson.

Green's g-string, pocketful of condoms and lack of pants “gives me a great cause for concern for our community,” Johnson said today at Green's first court appearance.

Assistant Public Defender Mike Elston disagreed.

“I fail to see the significance of the allegation of the g-string or the condoms,” Elston said. “The allegation is he looked through a window.”

Green is pictured in court courtesy KHQ.

Officers responded to the office about 12:45 a.m., where the group was holding a slumber party. Police lost sight of Green but caught up with him in the 1700 block of West Mission Street.

A Girl Scouts employee identified him as the shoeless man she saw looking into the building's windows while holding his pants in front of his legs, police said.

Green told police he left his home in the 1500 block of West Sharp Avenue after an argument with his girlfriend and happened to walk by the building. Green said he didn't know the building belonged to the Girl Scouts but he ran because he knew he was trespassing, according to court documents.

Green served eight years in prison in Georgia for a violent crime conviction in 1999, according to court testimony.

Superior Court Judge Annette Plese today set his bond at $10,000. He's to be arraigned Feb. 7.

Woman fakes heart attack in court

A Spokane woman faked a heart attack during her son's first court appearance on a drug charge Monday, court officials said.

An ambulance rushed to the Spokane County Courthouse but did not transport the woman, who had fallen to the floor after Judge Michael Price imposed $1,000 bond for her 29-year-old son on a drug possession charge.

“She fell into the aisle and was yelling 'I'm having a heart attack,'” Price said.

Though suspicious, court officials immediately called 911, and a transport deputy tended to the woman outside the courtroom.

The woman's son told court officials there was a 10 percent chance his mother wasn't faking.


‘86 murder suspect’s bond set at $1 mil

A suspect in the 1986 murder of a Spokane woman remains in jail on $1 million bond after making his first appearance before a Spokane County judge Thursday.

Police obtained new DNA samples from Gary Lyle Trimble, 62, that will be analyzed to see if they match DNA found on three other Spokane murder victims, said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, spokeswoman for the Spokane Police Department.

Trimble appeared via video feed from Spokane County Jail, where he was booked about 3 p.m. Wednesday after being extradited from Teton County, Mont. He's pictured with his public defender, Kari Reardon, and Deputy Prosecutor Jack Driscoll.

Read my full story here.

Past coverage:

Jan. 4: Suspect in '86 murder headed back to Spokane

Nov. 2: Murder suspect fights return to Spokane

Oct. 25: Montana man arrested in 1986 death of Spokane woman

Cops: Girlfriend’s hoodie reveals robber

A 28-year-old man accused of robbing a downtown Spokane convenience store remains in jail on $75,000 bond after appearing in Superior Court today.

Zachariah T. Puckett was armed with a 12-inch kitchen knife when threatened a clerk at Divine food mart and gas station, 1428 W. 2nd Ave., and stole more than $200, according to Spokane police.

Puckett was wearing a sweatshirt that zipped all the way to the top of the hood with two eyes pictured on the front of the hood.

Police found Puckett’s girlfriend wearing the same sweatshirt a short while later at 151 S. Adams Street, then saw a pile of cash “laying on the bed from the open front door,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

The woman allowed police to search the apartment. They found Puckett in the laundry room.
He and his girlfriend were regular customers at the store. (Disclaimer: So am I.)

Puckett already had a warrant out for his arrest for failing to show up for a court hearing related to a second-degree theft case. Now he’s in jail on a first-degree robbery charge, too.

Killer’s beau jailed on $2 million bail

A 2007 murder case in which a jury rejected the killer’s claims of forced prostitution and other abuse continued in Superior Court today as the convict’s boyfriend appeared on murder charges.

Brian L. Moore, 44, remains in Spokane County Jail on $2 million bail after appearing on charges first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder for the Dec. 9, 2007, shooting death of Dale R. Stark.

Police don’t believe Moore was present when Stark was killed, but they believe he persuaded Shellye L. Stark to commit the crime in order to access the man’s assets, including a life insurance policy.

Spokane police Detective Kip Hollenbeck traveled to California this week to pick up Moore, who recently completed a 21-month federal prison sentence for an unregistered rifle and firearms silencer  found in his Orange County warehouse last year.

It’s the second time prosecutors have pursued murder charges against Moore. They withdrew the original charges in October 2009 after a judge ruled key evidence from a private investigator hired by Moore and Stark couldn’t be used against Moore.

The new charges were filed just days before Moore was sentenced in U.S. District Court on the federal weapons charges.

Public Defender John Whaley said the case against Moore is weak.

While reading the 20-page affidavit supporting the charges, “I never saw what the state must be thinking of as the smoking gun in this case,” Whaley said.

Moore was working as a paralegal in Southern California when he met Stark (pictured), who advertised online as a traveling prostitute named Nikita Jennifer.

Moore, who declined an interview request, has said his legal work focused on helping women escape prostitution and abusive relationships, but Spokane investigators believe he used that profession to manipulate women with low self-esteem for financial gain.

During a jury trial in March 2009, Shellye Stark claimed self defense and told sordid stories of forced prostitution and other abuse at the hands of her husband.

But jurors rejected her claims, which investigators believe were thought of, in part, by Moore. She’s serving a 51-year prison sentence.

The information used to support the news charges against Moore does not appear to be substantially different than what was presented last fall.

Moore and Stark’s former private investigator, Ted Pulver, remains a key witness, describing Moore as bragging about the plot and discussing Dale Stark’s life insurance policy in detail.

Dale Stark’s life insurance money went to his son with Shellye Stark, who then funneled money to Moore and his mother to pay her legal defense, according to the affidavit.

A 2007 yellow Pontiac Solstice convertible police say the couple bought with the money remains in police custody.


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.

Last Hoopfest suspect now in Spokane

The last of four men charged with attempted murder for a shooting at Hoopfest has been transported to the Spokane County Jail. 

Marquis D. Johnson, 21, (right) appeared in Superior Court today on two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, 10 counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of riot after arriving in Spokane from the Benton County Jail on Thursday.

Johnson was being held on a probation violation after he was arrested at Hoopfest on June 26. He’d only been out of prison since June 6 after serving about three years for a gun-related assault conviction.

Prosecutors allege Johnson was with Miguel C. Garcia, 19; Adam Doe, 19; and Rashjel C. “Reggie” Cage, 23, when Garcia fired a gun at least three times, injuring three bystanders.

Witnesses said Cage passed the gun to Garcia, who fired it and passed it to Doe, who was arrested at gunpoint after trying to flee the scene, police said.

Johnson was identified “as being present at the time of the shooting in close proximity to Cage and Garcia,” according to court documents. “They were both actively involved in the argument before and after the shooting.”

Kalen J. Bedford, who was arrested the day of the shooting on a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, apparently was targeted by the gunfire - he is listed as the intended victim in a fist-degree attempted murder charge.

Five of the 10 alleged attempted-murder victims are identified only as Jane or John Doe. First-degree assault is included as a an alternative charge in each case.

Defense attorneys told a judge last week that prosecutors don’t have a legal basis for the charges, but Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Garvin said the “theory” of his office is quite straightforward: “When you point a gun at someone … what other intent do you have but to cause their death?” 

Defense attorney David Partovi, who is representing Garcia, said after last week’s hearing that under Garvin’s theory, prosecutors should have charged former Spokane police Officer Jay Olsen with attempted murder in connection with his shooting of Shonto Pete on Feb. 26, 2007.

Read more here.

Lawyer: Fugitive was in Cali for cuz’s funeral

A Spokane man accused of trying to run two men over with his car last fall left the state to attend his cousin’s funeral in the Long Beach/ Compton area of California.

But Cedric E. Burton, 23, wasn’t allowed to leave the county, and he never sought permission to do so.

Now he’s back in Spokane County Jail after being arrested in Los Angeles County.

His public defender, Mark Hannibal, said Thursday that Burton had a round-trip plane ticket that would have put him back in Spokane in time for his next court appearance on attempted murder charges.

“It was a family-type emergency,” Hannibal said.

A warrant was issued for Burton’s arrest after his girlfriend told police he’d assaulted her and threatened to take their young daughter to California.

Prosecutors said that violated Burton’s release condition on the attempted murder charges from last fall.

Judge Ellen Kalama Clark, saying she was “real concerned about Mr. Burton’s behavior,” increased Burton’s bail on two counts of bail jumping from 10,000 to $30,000. She also increased his bail on the attempted murder charges to $200,000 from $100,000. That’s in addition to a new harassment charged filed today that includes a $100,000 bond.

Deputy Prosecutor Eugene Cruz, sitting in for Mark Cipolla, had requested $1.5 million bail. Shortly after Clark rejected that request, prosecutors filed an additional charge against Burton relating to an alleged violation connected to a 2008 case. He’ll be back in court on that charge, along with the new harassment charge, today.

Hannibal said prosecutors “overcharged” Burton for the alleged incident last fall.

“I’m a little bit surprised that the state’s charged that as two count of first-degree attempted murder,” he said.

Court documents show police investigated the incident as a second-degree assault case.

A second suspect, Charles Willy Jackson, still is wanted. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to his arrest.

Police say Burton, who has convictions for drug dealing and second-degree assault, is a gang member and was present at a party in January in which John S. Williams was shot to death, according to court documents related to theongoing investigation. Burton’s previous conviction for second-degree assault stems from a fatal gang shooting in 2005. The list of defendants in that case includes at least four men involved in the ongoing Williams murder investigation.

Past coverage:

May 3: Warrant issued for accused would-be killer

Police: Robber held toddler at knifepoint

A home-invasion robber held a toddler at knife-point to coerce a woman who later used a MySpace photo to identify him, according to police.

The suspect, Pierre J. Davis, 21, appeared in Spokane County Superior Court on Tuesday, more than four months after police say he held a knife to a 2-year-old boy’s throat while demanding debit card information from the boy’s mother.

Detectives used interviews and a search warrant for cell phone records to develop a case against Davis after the woman spotted his photo on MySpace. He was booked into jail on Monday. Court documents do not identify two additional suspects but said each was armed with a knife. 

Read the rest of my story here.

It’s not the first time Davis has been linked to a crime connected to the once-popular social networking site.

He has a conviction for riot in connection with a February 2008 gang-related shooting that stemmed from a message posted on a Murder 1 Crips gang member’s MySpace page. The message targeted a rival gang, the Blocc Hustler Crips, of which Davis was reportedly a member, according to court documents. Read more here.

Teen killer accused of assault at Spokane jail

A teenager sentenced last week to 10 years in prison for the strangulation murder of a Spokane woman is accused of assaulting another jail inmate Tuesday night.

Deputies say Matthew T. Shope, 19, attacked Joshua J. Mulvey, 26, in the Spokane County Jail just before 7 p.m., according to court documents filed today.

Mulvey (right), who’s being held on theft charges related to an alleged cross-country Craigslist rip off, suffered a fractured bone in his face and briefly lost consciousness, jail deputies said. He was treated at a Spokane hospital, according to court documents.

Shope appeared in Superior Court today on one count of second-degree assault.

Shope was sentenced April 20 to 134 months in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder for the Oct. 6, 2008, strangulation death of 28-year-old Jennifer L. Siria. His accomplice, Michael A. Quinones, 29, was sentenced to 25 years in prison March 25 after pleading guilty to first-degree murder.

Last fall, investigators say Shope wrote letters to the estranged wife of jail inmate David E. Epley after he and Epley grew close in jail.

‘She wasn’t fleeing. She was just moving.’

A woman found in Portland with two children who’d been ordered to return to state custody is back in Spokane.

Patricia J. Lyons, 25, is in jail on $15,000 bond after she pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Spokane County Superior Court.on one count of second-degree assault.

Spokane police say she stabbed her 50-year-old ex-boyfriend April 3. The alleged stabbing caused Child Protective Services to order Lyons’ 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son back to state custody, but Lyons left Spokane before police could locate them.

Police and CPS urged the public to keep an eye out for Lyons before Portland police found her daughter at an elementary school on Thursday. Police found Lyons and her son at a nearby motel. Police took the children into protective custody but couldn’t arrest Lyons because Spokane County hadn’t issued a warrant.

Her lawyer, David Partovi, said in court today that the case has been blown out of proportion.

“She wasn’t fleeing. She was just moving,” Partovi said.

Lyons entered a not guilty plea during her first appearance today.

Partovi helped Lyons turn herself in Monday night.

Fugitive mother returns to Spokane

A woman found in Portland with two children who’d been ordered to return to state custody is back in Spokane.

Patricia J. Lyons, 25, is due in Spokane County Superior Court on one count of second-degree assault after police say she stabbed her ex-boyfriend April 3.

The alleged stabbing caused Child Protective Services to order Lyons’ 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son back to sate custody, but Lyons left Spokane before police could locate them.

She was on the run for several days before Portland police found the girl at an elementary school on Thursday.

Lyons recently enrolled the girl at the school after telling officials at a Spokane school she was moving out of state.

Police found Lyons at a motel with her son. Lyons was booked into Spokane County Jail Monday at 8:10 p.m.

Suspect arrested in burglary-turned-stabbing

A burglary suspect accused of stabbing a homeowner was arrested this weekend after nearly three months as a fugitive. 

Ronald D. Piercy II, 46, is in Spokane County Jail on $75,000 bail after appearing in court today on charges of first-degree burglary and second-degree assault.

Crime Stoppers had been offering a reward for tips leading to his capture since Dec. 30, one day after a man living in the 200 block of East Empire Ave. returned home with his wife and 14-year-old daughter to find Piercy standing in his garage, according to court documents.

Piercy is accused of stabbing the man in the left forearm “with an unknown object” before fleeing, police said.

Police found a 1997 Buick Skylark with its keys in the ignition parked across the street from the home. The Buick was registered to Ronald Piercy, Sr., of Endicott, and Piercy reportedly told police it belonged to his son, who was in Spokane visiting his girlfriend.

The younger Piercy, who has convictions in Idaho, Washington and California, was booked into jail Friday evening. His arraignment is set for April 6.

Police: Fight over $40 debt leads to shooting

A shooting in a Spokane apartment last weekend where two young children live landed a 44-year-old man in jail on an assault charge.

Robert T. Finkbeiner is accused of shooting Rachel A. Mitchell in her left leg during a fight over a $40 debt at 813 E. Sinto on Sunday.

Mitchell was visiting a friend when Finkbeiner confronted her about money he said her boyfriend, a Spokane County Jail inmate, owed him, according to court documents filed Wednesday. Mitchell told police Finkbeiner shot her in the left leg. Her friend’s 3-year-old and 9-month-old children were in the room when he pulled the gun, police said.

Police learned of the case when Mitchell went to a hospital with a gunshot wound. She initially lied to investigators about what happened, according to court documents.

Finkbeiner was booked into jail Tuesday after police searched his apartment at 1924 W. Gardner. He appeared in Superior Court Wednesday on one count of first-degree assault.

Report: Trucker helped rescue rape victim

A Cheney man is accused of kidnapping a woman and raping her before she escaped to safety with the help of a passing trucker.

Charles V. Huckabee, 47, has been in Spokane County Jail on $100,000 bail since his arrest March 16.

The woman told police Huckabee attacked her on March 8 after the two left “an informal bonfire gathering” at a bar in Medical Lake. He told her they were going to friends home but drove erratically to a trailer park, where he forced her to ingest a “small, dark solid substance” that she said effected her balance, according to court documents prepared by Cheney police.

“He basically terrorized her into submissive compliance to his demands,” according to court documents.

Huckabee told police the sex was consensual. The woman said she ran from the trailer and was driven by a tucker to a Cheney fast food restaurant.

Huckabee’s arraignment is scheduled for March 30 on charges of first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment.

Huckabee, who reportedly told the victim he’d served 12 years in prison, had been arrested a day before the alleged attack after his wife said he’d threatened her, according to court documents.

News archives show he was involved in a big methamphetamine bust as a Cocolalla, Idaho resident in 1997.

Geiger inmate accused of hiding weapon

A metal bar sharpened into a dagger was found in an inmate’s cell at Geiger Corrections Center this week.

Alan M. Lloyd, 32, is accused of making the weapon out of a metal bar inside his brace, according to court documents. Guards found the item during routine cell checks Tuesday night.

Lloyd appeared in Spokane County Superior Court Thursday on a felony charge of possession of weapon by a prisoner.

His bond was set at $10,000. He’d been at Geiger on $15,000 bond for a residential burglary charge from January.

Documents: Couple’s ex-lover detailed fraud

A main witness against a Spokane Valley man accused of running a check fraud ring agreed to cooperate with police after ending a sexual relationship with the suspect and his wife, according to court documents.

The woman told police she used methamphetamine with Ronald R. Foreman and his wife while helping with a large fraud that police say Foreman operated from his home.

Now Foreman, 43, faces drug charges as well as a charge of leading organized crime. A SWAT team raided his home at 13718 E. 21st Ave. on Thursday evening.

Foreman, who called the allegations “preposterous” in a court appearance last week, appeared in Spokane County Superior Court on Monday on a charge of delivery of a controlled substance.

Read the rest of my story in tomorrow’s Spokesman-Review.
Past coverage:

Suspect denies leading fraud ring

Massive check fraud ring uncovered in Spokane Valley

Man accused of threatening Spokane judge

A Missoula man is accused of threatening to kill a Spokane judge with the state Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals.

Brian G. Corntassel, 49, appeared in Superior Court Monday on one felony charge of intimidating a judge for threats allegedly made to Judge John D. Fairley.

Fairley oversaw the appeal of four claims that Corntassell had filed with the state Department of Labor and Industries.

A staff member with Gov. Christine Gregoire’s office said in December Corntassell had told her in a phone call that “he was going to put a bullet in the head of a judge,” according to court documents.

On Jan. 4, Corntassel reportedly told another state employee that Fairley was crooked and he wanted to shoot him, then pin a complaint letter to his chest, according to court documents.

Corntassel apologized to an investigators and said his threats weren’t serious, police said. He was booked into jail Friday on a $50,000 warrant after being arrested in Montana.

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