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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: homcide

Extremist in fire faced child rape charge

Investigators work the scene where a day earlier Steven Stanbary used a gun to hold off police and firefighters while a house burned to the ground in Washougal, Wash. on Dec. 8. (AP Photo/Zachary Kaufman, Pool)

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — A white supremacist with Idaho ties who is suspected of killing his wife and her sister and shooting at firefighters before he died in their burning home on Dec. 7 had been scheduled to surrender the next day to face a child rape charge, authorities said.

 Authorities didn't know before the incident that suspect Steven D. Stanbary of Washougal had a history of being heavily armed, schizophrenic, anti-government and violent, Clark County senior deputy prosecutor Dustin Richardson told The Columbian in a story Thursday.

“Had that been clear, the whole process of having an attorney turn him in … might have been different,” Richardson said.

Before the fire, Richardson had just a basic criminal history that showed Stanbary had only misdemeanor convictions because more serious charges had been reduced by plea bargains or other circumstances.

It was later learned that police in Idaho had discovered six AK-47s and a grenade launcher in Stanbary's possession during a 1994 arrest. But that case was dropped to a minor assault in a plea deal.

In addition, information emerged that Stanbary had stopped receiving treatment for delusional schizophrenia in 1988 when he refused to take medications. At that time, his then-wife, Debra Hughes, told Idaho police she believed he was dangerous.

Richardson said he might have changed his plans for letting Stanbary turn himself in through his attorney if the records had shown a pattern involving weapons. However, police generally don't seek more information on criminal histories of suspects unless the cases show a specific pattern of criminal behavior or dishonesty, he said.

The prosecutors credited the media for bringing those additional details to light after Stanbary's violent death.

Reports released Wednesday show Washougal police suspect Stanbary molested a girl over a number of years beginning when she was 9 and ending several years before she reported it in December 2010.

Richardson had concerns about several aspects of the case and said he didn't believe he had strong enough evidence to charge Stanbury until late November. Stanbary was supposed to turn himself in with an attorney on Dec. 8.

“He obviously had different plans,” Richardson said.

On Dec. 7, gunfire and exploding ammunition kept firefighters away from his burning home. The three bodies were later found inside.

Stanbary's wife, Leona, told police she suspected the girl may have made up the abuse story so she could move out and live with her boyfriend.

“I'll kill him if it happened,” Leona Stanbary told the detective, referring to Steven Stanbary, the police report said.

The girl and her boyfriend said in separate interviews with police that Steven Stanbary was a binge drinker who became nasty when inebriated.

Stanbary was arrested in Bonner County in December 1994 after threatening to kill his ex-wife, children and himself. He was found to have numerous weapons, including AK-47s.

Drive-by shooting kills ‘Dougie’ rapper

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) M-Bone of the rap group Cali Swag District, which scored a hit last year with the song “Teach Me How to Dougie,” was killed in a weekend drive-by shooting as he sat in a car outside a liquor store, police said Monday.

The motive for Sunday night's shooting was under investigation, Lt. James Madia said.

The 22-year-old Inglewood man, whose real name is Mante Ray Talbert, was sitting alone in his car shortly after 10:30 p.m.

“Another car pulled alongside, gunshots were fired, and the victim was struck twice in the head,” Madia said.

Talbert died at a hospital.

Witnesses gave varying descriptions of the fleeing car, Madia said.

Talbert was “the victim of a random act of violence,” said a statement from Cali Swag District's publicist, Greg Miller.

“He was a hardworking, passionate artist and dancer that will be deeply missed,” Miller said.

Bandmate C-Smoove tweeted Monday that his life changed drastically in the blink of an eye, and added “rip mbone.”

Cali Swag District's hit “Teach Me How to Dougie” is based on the “Dougie” dance, which first appeared in Texas and is noted for its leaning stances, shoulder and arm movements.

The dance was not only performed in dance clubs and the streets but by celebrities as well, from Wolf Blitzer to Washington Wizards star John Wall; even first lady Michelle Obama recently performed the dance as part of her “Let's Move” initiative.

“Teach Me How to Dougie” spent several months in the top 10 of Billboard's hot rap songs. The group also performed the dance on several television shows.

Remains are woman missing since ‘94

Human remains found in Stevens County two years ago belong to a Spokane Valley woman missing since 1994, sheriff’s officials recently confirmed.

A death certificate for Kay L. Melius was issued Nov. 22 after the University of North Texas confirmed remains found in 2008 belonged to her. The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office received the certificate on Thursday.

Investigators have long suspected foul play in her disappearance.

A suspect in her slaying died in January 2008, but Detective Mike Ricketts is hopeful the recent discovery will generate more clues.

“I want to know what happened to her and who was involved,” Ricketts said.

Melius, 48, was an alcoholic who suffered from asthma and emphysema and lived on welfare, officials said.

Her 1978 Chevy Impala was found parked in downtown Spokane after she was reported missing in May 1994.

She last lived at a motel west of Spokane with her boyfriend. All her belongings were at the motel after she disappeared, and her disability check arrived and remained uncashed.

Now investigators want to know how she ended up near Fruitland, where hunters discovered her remains in 2008.

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

Past coverage:

June 3, 2004: Decade-old disappearance still a mystery

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