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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: James Crabtree

Chronic DUI suspect Crabtree sentenced

A chronic drunken driving suspect who badly injured a sheriff's deputy in a crash about 10 years ago has been sentenced to two years in prison on drug charges.

James Lee Crabtree, 51, is in the Spokane County Jail awaiting transport to prison after being sentenced to 24 months for possession of a controlled substance and delivery of a controlled substance.

He was sentenced last month to a year in jail and two years probation for a felony DUI charge.

Crabtree was a Spokane County sheriff's deputy in the 1980s. He went to prison for vehicular assault in 2003 and was arrested in November 2011 on suspicion of drunken driving after motorists noticed him passing out at the wheel of his car.

Police found an open can of Four Loko in the car, but his blood-alcohol level was under the legal limit for driving, and he was never charged. His current convictons stems from drunken driving and meth arrests in April and July.

In January, Crabtree was assaulted in a home-invasion robbery in which two assailants demanded “dope and money,” according to court documents.

Man gets 3 years for drug robbery

  A man who robbed a former sheriff's deputy with long intoxicated driving history has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Matthias “Payback” Piggot, 30, (right) robbed James L. Crabtree (left) on Jan. 21, 2011, at an apartment in the 12700 block of East Shannon Avenue with a woman Crabtree said had been at his home two days earlier.

That woman, Sandy K. Perreira, 30, was sentenced to 15 months in prison in November after pleading guilty to residential burglary, third-degree assault and three counts of possession of a controlled substance.

Crabtree told police he grabbed a folding knife but dropped it after he was threatened with the hammer. He told his attackers he didn't have any drugs or money, so the two left with his checkbook, wallet and credit cards, according to court documents. Crabtree suffered a concussion in the attack.

Piggot's criminal history includes convictions for domestic violence and attempting to elude police.

In June, he was suspected of stabbing a man in Spokane Valley but an uncooperative victim halted the police probe. He also was present when Andrew T. Burns allegedly shot a man in June 2010.

Chronic DUI suspect arrested again

A chronic drunken driving suspect was arrested on new drug charges early today. 

A warrant already had been issued for James L. Crabtree after he was caught driving on July 3, which violates his release conditions on drug and DUI charges from his last arrest April 22.

A sheriff's deputy arrested Crabtree, 50, in Spokane Valley about 4 a.m. today after an anonymous caller reported Crabtree as a possible domestic violence suspect.

Deputies learned of his arrest warrant and located him at 10500 E. Broadway Ave., where they say he had a cigarette pack with meth and a glass pipe with burnt methamphetamine residue.

Crabtree, a real estate agent, told police he uses meth, according to court documents.

Public defender Kevin Griffin asked for Crabtree to be released or for his bond to be lowered because of his strong community ties and diligence in showing up for court.

But Deputy Prosecutor Mary Doran said Crabtree's problem “is not so much failure to appear as it is failure to comply.”

Superior Court Judge Kathleen O'Connor agreed and imposed a bond of $25,000 for both cases. He also has $100 bond for a driving while suspended charge.

“Mr. Crabtree has apparently some serious drugs issues and also apparently some serious driving issues,” O'Connor said.

It's Crabtree's third felony arrest since November, when he was picked up on suspicion of drunken driving after motorists noticed him passing out at the wheel of his car.

Police found an open can of Four Loko in the car, but his blood-alcohol level was under the legal limit for driving, and he hasn't been charged.

Then in April, he was arrested on drug and DUI charges after an early-morning traffic stop.

Also, in January, Crabtree, who was a Spokane County sheriff's deputy in the 1980s, was assaulted in a home-invasion robbery in which two assailants demanded “dope and money,” according to court documents.

Crabtree was convicted of vehicular assault in 2003 for causing a crash that nearly killed sheriff's Lt. Earl Howerton. That conviction means any DUI arrests are felony cases.

Repeat DUI suspect Crabtree jailed again

A man with a history of driving while intoxicated was arrested again early today in Spokane Valley.

James L. Crabtree, who was a Spokane County sheriff's deputy in the 1980s, was arrested on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine and felony driving while under the influence after a traffic stop at East Mansfield Avenue and North Pines Road about 1:15 a.m.

Deputies say Crabtree, 49, appeared to be high on methamphetamine when they approached him. He was stopped for driving with an inoperable left headlight.

He failed field sobriety tests, and a sheriff's deputy found a baggie of methamphetamine in his pocket. Crabtree agreed to give a blood test after speaking to an attorney over the phone.

“Crabtree then spontaneously said that he was 'screwed' because he knew methamphetamine would be present during an analysis of his blood,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

Crabtee also said there were other bags of methamphetamine in his car, along with a material used to cut the drug to make it weigh more, according to the affidvait.

Deputy Chuck Sciortino searched Crabtree's 2005 Buick this afternoon and found two one-eighth baggies of meth, a misdemeanor amount of marijuana “and what appeared to be a buy/owe list” regarding drug sales, Sgt. Dave Reagan said in a news release tonight.

Crabtee, who seriously injured sheriff's Lt. Earl Howerton in a cocaine-induced crash in 2001, was arrested last November on suspicion of drunken driving after motorists noticed him passing out at the wheel of his car. Police found an open can of Four Loko in the car, but his blood-alcohol level was under the legal limit for driving, and he hasn't been charged.

In January, Crabtree was assaulted in a home-invasion robbery in which two assailants demanded “dope and money,” according to court documents.

Crabtree remains in jail on $10,000 bond after appearing in Spokane County Superior Court today.

Drug robbery targets chronic DUI suspect

A violent home-invasion robbery in Spokane Valley last month targeted a former sheriff's deputy with a history of DUI crashes.

James L. Crabtree, 49, was struck in the head with a claw hammer early Jan. 21 by a man who demanded “dope and money,” according to charging papers filed Wednesday against suspects Matthias “Payback” Piggot and Sandy K. Perreira, both 29 (pictured left to right). 

The man, who detectives believe was Piggot, had arrived at the apartment in the 12700 block of East Shannon Avenue with a woman Crabtree said had been at his home two days earlier, police say. Detectives believe that woman was Perreira.

Crabtree told police he grabbed a folding knife but dropped it after he was threatened with the hammer. He told his attackers he didn't have any drugs or money, so the two left with his checkbook, wallet and credit cards, according to court documents. Crabtree suffered a concussion in the attack. His girlfriend, Cheryl L. Dassow, told police the robbers threatened to harm them further if they reported the attack.

Perreira faces an additional forgery charge for cashing a check on Crabtree's Numerica Credit Union account. She also faces drug and malicious mischief charges for an unrelated incident last December. 

Piggot's criminal history includes convictions for domestic violence and attempting to elude police. In June, he was suspected of stabbing a man in Spokane Valley but an uncooperative victim halted the police probe. He also was present when Andrew T. Burns allegedly shot a man last June.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest Piggot, who last gave an address in the 2900 block of North Maple Road, and Perreira, who last gave an address in the 800 block of East Sitka Avenue.

Anyone with information on their locations is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

In November, Crabtree, (left) who worked as a Spokane County sheriff's deputy in the 1980s and caused a crash that injured Lt. Earl Howerton in 2001, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after motorists noticed him passing out at the wheel of his Cadillac and blocked in his car. Police found an open can of Four Loko in the car. But Crabtree's blood-alcohol level was under the legal limit for driving, and prosecutors haven't yet filed charges.

Prosecutor: DUI case lacks evidence

The Spokane County deputy prosecutor who didn’t file a felony drunken driving charge against a man with a history of dangerous crashes said she’s not sure she has enough evidence to make the charge stick. 

James L. Crabtree, 49, appeared in court Tuesday and was told that a previous judge’s order that he not drive was lifted because prosecutors had not filed charging documents.

Deputy Prosecutor Mary Ann Brady said she expects to eventually charge Crabtree with something, but possibly not the felony driving under the influence charge being sought by investigators.

 Read the rest of Tom Clouse’s story here.

Past coverage:

Nov. 30: No charge means DUI suspect can drive

Nov. 23: Man faces felony Four Loko incident

Nov. 18: Motorists block path of negligent driver

No charge means DUI suspect can drive

A Spokane man with a history of DUI crashes was allowed to walk out of court Tuesday with his driving privileges intact after a prosecutor failed to file paperwork on time in his latest arrest. 

James L. Crabtree, who worked as a Spokane County sheriff’s deputy in the 1980s, appeared Tuesday for arraignment on a felony DUI charge stemming from an incident on Nov. 17 where several motorists noticed him passed out at the wheel of his Cadillac.

The other drivers used their cars to prevent him from leaving the scene after Crabtree, 49, rear-ended another car at the intersection of East Broadway and North Pines Road, Spokane Valley Police Cpl. Dave Thornburg said.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse’s story here.

Past coverage:

Nov. 23: Man faces felony Four Loko incident

Nov. 18: Motorists block path of negligent driver

Man faces felony for Four Loko incident

A 49-year-old man who injured a sheriff’s deputy in a drunken crash nine years ago has been charged with felony driving under the influence for an incident last week in Spokane Valley, officials announced today.

 James L. Crabtree, a local real estate agent who worked as a Spokane County Sheriff’s deputy in the 1980s, was arrested last week after other motorists block his vehicle at East Broadway Avenue and North Pines Road and told officials he appeared to be passed out at the wheel.

A Spokane County sheriff’s deputy smelled alcohol on Crabtree’s breath and found an open container of Four Loko in his car, the caffeinated alcoholic beverage now banned in Washington. Crabtree also allegedly had the prescription pill Clonazepam in his pocket.

He left jail on $3,500 bail after appearing in Superior Court Thursday on a drug possession charge.

Crabtree acknowledged he had drunk two beers and had a blood-alcohol level of .065, according to court documents. The legal limit for driving is .08. Crabtree received deferred prosecution for a DUI in 1997, then was sentenced to five years in prison in 2003 for vehicular assault after a drunken crash that nearly killed Earl Howerton of the Sheriff’s Office.

He was again convicted of drunken driving in 2007. Washington law allows for drunken driving suspects with prior convictions for vehicular homicide or vehicular assault while under the influence to be charged with a felony. Crabtree is to be arraigned Nov. 30.

Four Loko can found in DUI suspect’s car

A 49-year-old Spokane man with a history of driving under the influence was arrested in Spokane Valley Wednesday after concerned motorists blocked his path. 

James L. Crabtree, a local real estate agent who worked as a Spokane County Sheriff’s deputy in the 1980s, left jail on $3,500 bond Thursday after appearing in Superior Court on a drug possession charge. He’s prohibited from driving under an order from Judge Sam Cozza.

A Spokane County sheriff’s deputy smelled alcohol on Crabtree’s breath and found an open container of Four Loko in his car, the caffeinated alcoholic beverage now banned in Washington. Wednesday was the last day it could legally be purchased.

Crabtree’s friend Glenn Sap said the can belonged to a man who Crabtree had dropped off just minutes before his arrest.

Read my full story here.

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