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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Gonzaga University

Daiquiri Factory owner: Zags appear frequently in bar ads

Editor's note: A previous version of this blog post incorrectly reported the claims Gonzaga was making against Jamie Pendleton. The post has been updated to correct those reporter errors.

The owner of the long-shuttered Downtown Daiquiri Factory is continuing his fight against Gonzaga University, arguing several area bars use the school's trademarks in their advertisements without penalty.

The attorney for Jamie Pendleton, whose controversial business closed its doors in June, responded to the school's request for an injunction this week by filing multiple examples of the school's familiar bulldog mascot and Zags logo in social media postings for bars around town, mostly in the neighborhoods surrounding the Catholic college.

Gonzaga sued for alleged trademark infringement in April, saying the bar that infamously named one of its cocktails “Date Grape Kool-Aid” created confusion by featuring the bulldog mascot and logo in several of its promotions. The bar changed the drink's name a few weeks after opening in response to public outcry.

A federal judge agreed with Gonzaga, ruling in September that confusion could occur and ordering Pendleton to cease using the mascot and logo in promotions. The point was largely moot at the time, as the business had lost a rent battle with the owner of its downtown office space earlier in the summer and ceased operations.

The fight now is over how much damage was caused by Pendleton's use of the logo and mascots in what's known as an unfair competition claim and who should pay the legal fees for the trademark proceedings. John Pierce, Pendleton's attorney, said the school is requesting unreasonable actions from his client and that finding in favor of the school would “unconstitutionally (limit) a person's right to free speech.”

Legal filings show multiple bars, and potential competitors of the Daiquiri Factory's, using “Spike” the bulldog, photos of the men's basketball team and references to the “Zags” in promotions.

“Other similar cases have found the use of collegiate marks by local businesses as part of their trade names is an old and venerable tradition,” Pierce wrote in his rebuttal to the university.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled in Yakima for early next month, according to court records.

Shannon Stiltner responds to Zags tickets complaint

The girlfriend of convicted Ponzi scheme artist Greg Jeffreys said she's fulfilling court-ordered restitution and denied victimizing anyone in a response filed in federal court over the weekend.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for Eastern Washington filed a motion last week after it came to light Shannon Stiltner, who spent seven months in federal prison after pleading guilty to misprision of a felony for her role in Jeffreys' scams, had received a cash gift of $2,700 from her mother that she used to buy Gonzaga men's basketball tickets for the upcoming season. U.S. Assistant Attorney Sean McLaughlin called the purchase “a slap in the face” to the two named victims in court documents owed a little more than $58,000 in restitution.

In rebuttal, Stiltner's attorney John B. McEntire IV called the motion, which would require all cash gifts received by Stiltner to be given to the debtors until they've been repaid in full, “awfully aggressive.”

“Before receiving the $2,700 cash gift from her mother for the Gonzaga tickets, Ms. Stiltner contacted her supervising probation officer to explain the situation and seek advice. Ms. Stiltner’s supervising probation officer “staffed” the issue with her supervisor, who ultimately concluded that so long as Ms. Stiltner contributed 10% of this one-time cash gift ($270) towards her restitution obligation, then she would be fully compliant with the Court’s restitution order. “

- John B. McEntire IV
Response to United States' motion

McEntire said that Stiltner paid $270 of her own money in order to receive the cash gift and pay for the Zags tickets.

In support of the motion, McEntire writes that Stiltner is making restitution payments to victims of Jeffreys' scams, not her own. When pleading guilty to charges, Stiltner admitted only that she knowingly kept herself from learning that Jeffreys was involved in fraud, not that she actively participated in his schemes.

“Nowhere did Ms. Stiltner ever admit knowing that Mr. Jeffreys was engaged in a scheme to defraud investors – because she did not,” McEntire wrote.

Stiltner also argues that the government's request is not feasible, because it would require cash gifts of any amount to be turned over to the two named victims.

“Or let’s say, as another example, that Ms. Stiltner forgets her wallet and her friend offers to buy her lunch,” McEntire wrote. “Under these circumstances, Ms. Stiltner could not accept the $8 or $11-dollar gift for lunch.”

U.S. District Judge Rosanna M. Peterson will decide whether Stiltner's restitution order should be changed. No oral argument has been scheduled, and Peterson could rule as early as this week.

Program to find reduced-price lawyers

A first-of-its-kind program that pairs lawyers and law students to help middle-class families in need of legal work begins in Spokane this week.

Dignitaries including Washington Supreme Court Justice Steven Gonzalez, Gonzaga Law School Dean Jane Korn and Spokane City Attorney Nancy Isserlis will announce the program at a 10:30 a.m. event today.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Gonzaga students attacked, robbed

A Gonzaga University graduate student was beaten unconscious when he tried to stop two women from stealing his friend’s purse early Thursday.

Spokane police tracked the suspects using a GPS program in an iPhone stolen from the victims.

Arrested were Tayone D. Akers, 20, (pictured) Anthony J. Walker, 20, and Ronald R. Scott, 18, and two 16-year-old girls.

Read the rest of my story here.

Citizen recognized fugitive from news

An alert citizen helped police arrest prolific theft suspect Wednesday after recognizing him from news reports.

Officers found Sean Alexander Blair, 31, outside Safeway, 3900 N. Market St., after a citizen called in about 6:30 p.m.

“Thank you Spokane for helping YOUR police department keep you safe!” Spokane police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said in a news release.

Blair already was facing felony theft and drug charges when police identified him as a suspect in Nov. 17 thefts at the Davenport Hotel, which occurred as the Tri-State Grain Growers convened at the upscale hotel in downtown Spokane. Read more here.

DeRuwe identified Blair Wednesday as one of four repeat offenders whose arrests “would have a positive impact on our crime trends.”

The others are Christopher C. McCracken, who was sentenced last month to 12 months in jail for violating a protection order and is wanted by the Department of Corrections; Christopher J. Searight, 29, who is wanted for not paying his fines on felony convictions from 2004, and Shaun P. Davis, 39, who is wanted by the DOC.

See their photos at the Spokane Police Department's Facebook page.

Man wanted for stealing from Davenport

UPDATE: Blair was booked into jail about 8 p.m. Jan. 11.

Police say a longtime felon dressed in casual business clothes to blend in while stealing laptops from a convention at the Davenport Hotel. 

Sean Alexander Blair, 31, already was facing felony theft and drug charges when police identified him as a suspect in the Nov. 17 thefts, which occurred as the Tri-State Grain Growers convened at the upscale hotel in downtown Spokane.

Surveillance video shows Blair enter the hotel without a backpack about 8 p.m. without a backpack, according to court documents. It then shows him leave a half hour later carrying a backpack that was reported stolen from the convention. The backpack contained a Dell laptop. Another laptop also was reported stolen from a backpack at the convention.

Colfax farmer Randy Seuss, chairman of the U.S. Wheat Associates, said he saw a man matching Blair's description about 8:20 p.m. in the convention, according to court documents. He noticed the man did not have an event identification badge and was picking up handouts from display booths.

Detective Crystal Jolly was familiar with Blair from thefts of laptops at local hospitals and the Gonzaga University library. Blair always carries the stolen computers in backpacks, she said.

Blair was out of jail waiting trial on seven felony charges for those thefts and an unrelated methamphetamine charge when the heists at the Davenport occurred.

Now he faces a $20,000 warrant for two new counts of second-degree theft, and no-bond warrants for the previous cases because he violated his conditions of release by allegedly committing new crimes.

Spokane police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe identified Blair today as one of four repeat offenders whose arrests “would have a positive impact on our crime trends.”

The others are Christopher C. McCracken, who was sentenced last month to 12 months in jail for violating a protection order and is wanted by the Department of Corrections; Christopher J. Searight, 29, who is wanted for not paying his fines on felony convictions from 2004, and Shaun P. Davis, 39, who is wanted by the DOC.

See their photos at the Spokane Police Department's Facebook page.

Video shows suspect in GU law caper

Get Adobe Flash player

Here's a news release from Sgt. Dave Reagan:

Detectives are seeking the public’s help to identify a woman who stole a laptop computer from the Gonzaga Law Library.

Security video shows the thief (in front) entering the library with a child and a female companion about 7 p.m. on June 21.  Detectives also want to identify the second female.

Witnesses saw the lead female near the laptop which had been left on a table top.  No one in the library at the time recognized the thief as a student, and when she quickly exited the library carrying a backpack, one witness followed her.

The witness saw her retrieve the child and leave in a maroon or burgundy “American-looking” four-door car, according to police.

Gonzaga security staff was able to locate video of the suspect, the child and companion as they entered the library.  The white female suspect is in the lead and was described as between 35 and 39 years old, 5’03” tall and 180 pounds..

Anyone with information about either woman’s identity is asked to contact Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.
  

Prop. 8 judge speaking at GU tonight

The federal judge who ruled California's Proposition 8 unconstitutional will be speaking today at Gonzaga Law School.

Retired U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker will be discussing cameras in the courtroom in a lecture titled  “Hauptmann’s Ghost.”

“The lecture’s title refers to the media frenzy surrounding the trial of Richard Hauptmann, who was convicted of kidnapping and killing the Lindbergh baby in 1932,” according to a news release. “The subject of media in the courtroom is an ongoing controversy in the federal courts.”

The lecture, part of the annual Justin L. Quackenbush Lecture series, begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Barbieri Courtroom at the Gonzaga University School of Law.

Gonzaga hires new law school dean

Gonzaga University School of Law announced this week that it has hired a new dean who will start July 1. 

Jane B. Korn, the vice dean at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, has been selected as the law school’s first female dean, according to a news release.

The announcement followed a seven-month search.

Korn replaces Earl F. Martin, who became dean in July 2005 and stepped down to become Gonzaga’s executive vice president.

Law professor George Critchlow has served as acting dean last year and during the current academic year.

Fatal shooting suspect back in Spokane

A Spokane man suspected of shooting his 20-year-old girlfriend to death was transported back to Spokane Thursday after undergoing treatment at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

Spokane police officers drove to King County Jail to take custody of Tristen Nebrae Jordan, 24, and bring him to Spokane, where he was booked into on a second-degree murder charge. He's to appear in court this afternoon.

Jordan, a former Marine, allegedly shot Samantha Clark Franco about 1:30 a.m. Dec. 12 on the 800 block of East Augusta Avenue before turning the gun on himself.

Police found him on the Gonzaga University campus near the McCarthey Athletic Center with a gunshot wound to the head. He was arrested after leading police on a short foot chase and taken to Harborview for treatment.

Spokane police hired Seattle police to guard Jordan while in the hospital. Friends said Franco had a 9-month-old baby and lived with her mother at the Augusta Avenue home.

Past coverage:

Dec. 15: Murder suspect a former Marine

Dec. 13: Police: Murder suspect shot self on Gonzaga campus

Murder suspect is former U.S. Marine

Friends say a man accused of shooting his girlfriend to death before attempting suicide on the Gonzaga University campus is a former U.S. Marine who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Tristen N. Jordan, 24, remains at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Angela Gilbert, of Spokane, said he’s under heavy police guard and that his family has not been allowed to see him.

“Never in a million years would we think he would have shot somebody,” Gilbert said. “He really is a loving and kind person, and he’s all about religion.”

Read my full story here.

Past coverage:

Dec. 13: Police: Murder suspect shot self on Gonzaga campus

Murder victim: ‘Street kid’ w/ ‘huge heart’

Friends said a woman shot to death by her boyfriend on Sunday had a 9-month-old baby and lived with her mother at the Augusta Avenue home.

Michael Trout, who said he’s known Samantha Clark Franco (right) for about 10 years, said she attended Havermale High School but never graduated.

“She was pretty much a street kid,” Trout said. “She had a very tough life.”

Trout said Franco hadn’t been dating her accused killer, Tristen Jordan (left), long. He said he’s heard the couple was partying at the home when they got in an argument and Franco asked Jordan to leave. Jordan left, but returned with a gun, Trout said.

Police have not said what led to the deadly confrontation.

“I still haven’t grasped the fact that I’m not going to be able to go to her house and see her,” Trout said. “I can’t even imagine what her mom is going through.”

Read my full story here.

Shattered glass seized in prowling arrest

A recent vehicle prowl police patrol near Gonzaga University led to the arrest of a 32-year-old Spokane man and the seizure of shattered glass inside his backpack.

Spokane police Corporal Kevin Keller was in street clothes and an unmarked car near East Cataldo Avenue and North Columbus Street last Friday when he spotted a man later identified as Timothy L. Gunning, 32, looking in the passenger windows of parked cars, police announced Wednesday.

Officers Kyle Heuett and Shawn Pegram, also undercover, watched as Gunning stopped at a car parked in front of them then left quickly when he noticed them watching him, according to a news release.

Police stopped him on Hamilton Street near Gonzaga and said he appeared nervous “glancing back and forth as if he was deciding whether to fight or find an escape route,” according to a news release.

Police patted him down and found two stolen credit cards stolen in a prowling near Gonzaga two days earlier. They arrested him and found other credit cards as well as personal checks and social security card they suspect is stolen.

“Officers also located a quantity of shattered vehicle glass and a single Honda key in Gunning’s backpack,” police wrote. “Those items were seized as evidence. ”

Gunning, who has previous convictions for drugs and stolen property, is at Geiger Corrections Center on $2,500 bond.

5 women report run-ins with fake cop

Authorities are warning of a police imposter who is targeting women near the Gonzaga University campus.

After a student told police she’d been pulled over last week by a uniformed man who claimed to be a police officer, four other women reported similar incidents, including one in north Spokane and one in the lower Logan Neighborhood.

No violence has been reported, but police are concerned the man’s behavior may escalate, said Tom Michaud, crime analyst for the Spokane Police Department.

Read my full story here.

GU students warned of police imposter

Gonzaga University is warning students of a police imposter after a man impersonated an officer stopped a student near campus.

The man was wearing a dark blue uniform and told the woman she had failed to yield to pedestrians after he stopped her about 3:15 p.m. Oct. 5 at Cincinnati and Desmet.

He asked for her identification and had the woman open her glove compartment and trunk before leaving. The student reported the incident to Spokane police. The man was driving a tan Cadillac Escalade with Washington plates. The Cadillac had red and blue flashing lights across the top of the windshield, but no other police markings.

Gonzaga security reminded students in an email Wednesday to pull over in a visible location and to call 911 for verification of an officer’s identity if suspicious.

The impostor is described as a white man in his early 40s, 5-foot-11 with a medium build and buzzed blond hair.

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

GU joins forces with police to fight fraud

Spokane’s three city fraud detectives now have help from a dozen Gonzaga University accounting students.

In a new program called the Justice for Fraud Victims Project, three supervised student teams gather the paperwork needed so a business owner can recover money, plus help law enforcement prosecute the criminals.

Read Tom Sowa’s story here.

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