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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: kidnapping

Court OK’d release of now-wanted man

A robbery and kidnapping suspect released from jail on his own recognizance under the recommendation of prosecutors has a reward for tips on his capture after missing a court hearing.

Kenneth J. Kheel, 21, is wanted on a no-bail warrant after he didn't show up for a pre-trial hearing Oct. 16. Kheel Jarred T. Many, 22; and Codi R. Allen, 23; are accused robbing two men at gunpoint after the victims arranged to buy a ring from Many at 1124 W. Nora Ave. on June 17.

A Spokane police SWAT team search ion July that included tear gas was unsuccessful, and Kheel was arrested during a traffic stop days later.

Many and Allen remain in jail awaiting trial on robbery and kidnapping charges. According to court documents, Kheel told police he was hit in the head during the attack and was “in fact, trying to stop the robbery” by Many and Allen, according to court documents.

Prosecutors recommended Judge Michael Price allow Kheel to leave jail on his own recognizance in September, and Price agreed.

“The state believes that Mr. Kheel's case is all but resolved, and sees no reason to hold Mr. Kheel for these charges any longer,” according to an order filed Sept. 2.

Now Kheel, 5-foot-6 and 130 pounds, is a Crime Stoppers fugitive. Anyone with information on his location is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submit tips online.

Kheel was released from prison in September 2010 after being sentenced in June 2009 to two years in prison with credit for 143 days served for second-degree assault. He had been arrested in January 2009 after then off-duty police Sgt. Brad Thoma suffered a minor stab wound during a confrontation with Kheel in downtown Spokane.

New charges in Forker Road homicide

The girlfriend of jailed Hells Angel sergeant-at-arms Ricky Warren Jenks has been charged with three felonies for her alleged role in the murder of a 22-year-old man whose body was found in the back of his burning car in April.

Britney Bjork, 30, is accused of helping burn Nicholas J. Thoreson's car and driving murder suspects Taylor J. Wolf, 20; Justice E.D Sims, 19; and Breeanna C. Sims, 20; from the scene at Forker Road near Bigelow Gulch. Thoreson is pictured left; Wolf is pictured lower right.

In addition to first-degree rendering criminal assistance and second-degree arson, Bjork is charged with conspiracy to commit perjury in the first-degree for allegedly helping Wolf craft false statements.

She pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Spokane County Superior Court and was allowed to stay out of jail pending trial. She declined comment today after Jenks was sentenced in U.S. District Court to two years in prison.

Wolf had been staying at Jenks and Bjork’s home at the Knotty Pines Cottages, 13615 E. Trent Ave., since before Jenks’ arrest on federal gun charges in March, according to court documents.

Detectives Bjork sent Wolf a text message early April 13 that said to tell a friend “that everything is fine that you got lost and stranded. you thought you were around bigalow but really you were by otis orchards. clear the fact that you were anywhere near that area!”

Wolf talked to Bjork over the phone from jail after his arrest. Detectives listened to the calls and say Bjork told him, “You've been with me…this whole…time,” to which Wolf responded, “I know, I never left your side.”

But detectives say Wolf also told Bjork on April 22 he was going to shoot Thoreson but “I couldn’t do it, so me and Justice did it together,” according to court documents, citing recorded phone conversations. “But we had gloves on and stuff.”

Wolf and the Simses are charged with aggravated first-degree murder, among other charges, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison because prosecuters are not seeking the death penalty.

Also charged in the case is the Simses' half-brother, who pleaded guilty in juvenile court to threatening a witness in the case. The teen is not being named because he was charged as a juvenile.

Emily K. Karlinsey, 19, who is accused of making threatening phone calls to a witness, is set to go to trial in Superior Court.

Past coverage:

May 20: Sibling murder suspects plead not guilty

May 3: Homicide victim remembered in obituary

Duo in rape revenge charged w/ assault

A couple arrested for attempted murder in Airway Heights last week will instead be charged with assault.

Elijah J. Boxley, 33, appeared in Spokane County Superior Court Wednesday on a first-degree assault charge while his girlfriend,  Molly E. Foote, 38, alias McBride, appeared on a second-degree assault charge.

The two were arrested Thursday after attacking Michael J. Martin, 46, in what they said was revenge because Martin raped Foote.

Detectives are investigating the rape allegation. Airway Heights police say Boxley and Foote attacked Martin with a knife in a car at a gas station at 220 S. Hayford Road in Airway Heights last week. Boxley allegedly struck Martin with his car.

Boxley told police he was “on fire and ready to go” after Foote said she'd been raped by Martin.

“It pretty much put me in a temporary insanity state when your best friend rapes your girlfriend,” Boxley said, according to court documents.

Police found a machete, hatchet and several knives in Boxley's car and arrested the couple for attempted murder, but prosecutors filed the lesser charges on Monday.

Boxley and Foote remain in jail.

Attempted-murder suspect ‘was on fire’

A man arrested for attempted murder in Airway Heights told police he was “on fire and ready to go” after his girlfriend said she’d been raped by the alleged victim.

“It pretty much put me in a temporary insanity state when your best friend rapes your girlfriend,” said Elijah J. Boxley, 33, according to court documents.

Boxley and his girlfriend, Molly E. Foote, 37, alias McBride, are in Spokane County Jail on $200,000 and $250,000 bond, respectively, after appearing in Superior Court today on charges of first-degree kidnapping and attempted first-degree murder.

Spokane County sheriff’s sex crimes detectives searched a Trent Avenue motel and a home in the 400 block of West 21st Avenue on Friday and seized clothing and other items as part of an investigation into claims that Boxley and Foote’s alleged victim, Michael J. Martin, 46, raped Foote on Tuesday.

Foote told Boxley on Wednesday that she’d been assaulted, and Boxley arranged to meet Martin at a gas station at 220 S. Hayford Road in Airway Heights, according to police. Foote was hiding in the back seat under a blanket and held a knife to Martin’s throat after he entered the car about 3 a.m., police say.

Martin told police he fared for his life and fought with the couple before fleeing the vehicle. He said Boxley ran over his right foot and caused him to fall over and hit his head on the asphalt.

Boxley told police the three lived together for about six months two years ago. He told police he wasn’t sure if he injured Martin but said he didn’t have any weapons.

Police say when they asked Boxley if it was Foote who cut Martin, he replied “If anybody had a knife and was doing the cutting, it wasn’t me.”

Foote told police she’d place a rope around Martin’s neck because she wanted to “pay him back” for raping her, according to court documents.

“Foote told (police) she and Eli planned to make sure Martin never did this to another woman again,” police wrote.

But Martin was too big and strong, Foote said, and their plan to subdue him failed.

Police say Foote repeatedly said that “Eli should have just left it alone. Mike is too big and strong for us to think we could have pulled this off.”

Police found a machete, hatchet and several knives in Boxley’s car.

Both Boxley and Foote have previous convictions for felony theft and DUI; Martin, who suffered minor injuries, has several felony convictions for theft. The investigation into the alleged rape is ongoing.

Robbery, kidnapping suspect arrested

A fugitive targeted with tear gas in an unsuccessful SWAT team search on Monday was arrested early today in downtown Spokane.

Kenneth J. Kheel, 21, (left) was arrested during a traffic stop by Spokane Sgt. Kurt Vigesaa near Riverside Avenue and Monroe Street just after midnight, police said.

Kheel and Jarred T. Many, 22, are accused robbing two men at gunpoint after they victims arranged to buy a ring from Many at 1124 W. Nora Ave. on June 17.

Many was arrested at the Nora Avenue home Monday buy Spokane police SWAT team members, but Kheel was not inside as police expected.

Now he's in jail awaiting his first appearance in Superior Court today on two counts of first-degree robbery and one count of first-degree kidnapping.

Kheel was released from prison last September after being sentenced in June 2009 to two years in prison with credit for 143 days served for second-degree assault. He had been arrested in January 2009 after off-duty police Sgt. Brad Thoma suffered a minor stab wound during a confrontation with Kheel in downtown Spokane.

SWAT nabs 1 of 2 robbery suspects

A Spokane man who went to prison for a fight with off-duty police officers is now wanted on robbery and kidnapping charges.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to the arrest of Kenneth J. Kheel, who is accused with Jarred T. Many, 22, of robbing two men at 1124 W. Nora Ave. on June 17.

Many was arrested at the home about 10:30 p.m. Monday by Spokane police SWAT team members and hostage negotiators. Police pumped tear gas into the home and found Anthony L. Haines, 24, hiding in the basement but not Kheel.

Haines was arrested on unrelated warrants; Kheel, 21, is still at large.

Police believe Many and Kheel escorted two men who showed up at the home to buy a ring last month, then pushed them to the floor and beat and pistol whipped them before holding them at gunpoint and stealing their money. The robbers also allegedly threatened to kill the victims if they called police, Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said in a news release. Spokane police major crimes Detective Neil Gallion developed information identifying Many and Kheel as suspects.

Anyone with information on Kheel's location is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (509) 327-5111.

Kheel was released from prison last September after being sentenced in June 2009 to two years in prison with credit for 143 days served for second-degree assault. He had been arrested in January 2009 after off-duty police Sgt. Brad Thoma suffered a minor stab wound during a confrontation with Kheel outside the Steam Plant Grill.

Thoma said Kheel and another man were harassing his fiancé, Spokane police Officer Amy Ross.

Felon arrested for kidnapping, threats

A Spokane man released from prison in March is accused of kidnapping his girlfriend and threatening to kill her.

Duane L. Comeslast, 32, is charged with felony kidnapping, harassment and car theft after his girlfriend told police he forced her into her Jeep Cherokee at 2130 E. North Crescent Ave. and drove toward Upriver Drive, where he told her “he was going to kill her and throw her body in the river where no one would find it,” according to court documents.

The woman told police she acted complaint and asked Comeslast to talk her to East Longfellow Avenue and North Florida Street to use the bathroom, knowing she had friends near the park.

She got out of the Jeep and Comeslast recognized her uncle's car and tried to drag her back to the Jeep, but she was able to break free, according to court documents.

Police arrived at her uncle's home at 4111 E. Longfellow and discovered the alleged victim with bruises and swollen lip. Comeslast was arrested and held in Benton County on a parole violation until he was transferred to the Spokane County Jail to face charges.

He appeared in Superiro Court Tuesday and remains in jail on $75,000 bond. Comeslast has previous convictions for domestic violence assault.

Comeslast and his family were featured in this 1995 article about his younger brother's arrest on murder charges.

2nd suspect arrested in Pullman robbery

A second suspect has been arrested in a home-invasion robbery in Pullman last week.

Jeremiah J. Lafave, 27, was booked into the Idaho County Jail after being arrested at a relative's home in Steites, Idaho, about 5 p.m. on Saturday.

He's awaiting extradition back to Whitman County, where he faces charges of robbery, kidnapping, burglary, theft and harassment.

Police believe Lafave and Matthew E. White, 35, of Clarkston, tied up a man at gunpoint at an apartment complex last Tuesday and stole carious items. White was arrested Thursday.

Surveillance photos and videos from a convenience store helped identify the suspects.

“Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins thanks those who provided tips and the assisting law enforcement agencies that led to the identification and arrest of the suspects so quickly,” according to a news release. 

Suspect arrested in Pullman robbery

A suspect has been arrested in a home-invasion robbery in Pullman earlier this week.

Matthew E. White, 35, of Clarkston, is in the Whitman County Jail on charges of robbery, kidnapping, burglary, theft and harassment.

Tips helped police identify him as one of two men who tied up and robbed a Pullman man at gunpoint Tuesday.  Police and the Whitman County SWAT team searched White's home in the 2800 block of 6th Avenue in Clarkston just before 8 p.m. Thursday.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Pullman police at (509) 334-0802.

Surveillance photos and videos of the suspects can be viewed here.

Five accused of kidnapping, torture

Five suspects have been accused of kidnapping and torturing a Spokane woman before shaving her head and writing “narc” and “thief” on her face.

Waylon M. “Creeper” Azure, 33, pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and torture charges Thursday in Spokane County Superior Court, five weeks after police say he helped abduct Doreen Wiker from the Select Inn, 1420 W. Second Ave., in Spokane.

Wiker said one of her assailants was in a wheelchair when he threatened her with the gun.

Read the rest of my story here.

Robbery targets medical pot patient

A home-invasion robbery targeting a medical marijuana patient led to the arrests of two suspects this week.

Nicholas S. Gardner, 28, and his girlfriend, Jill A. Benton, 26, are in jail on robbery, assault and kidnapping charges for allegedly attacking John J. Beck, 30, on Jan. 15 at his home in the 5400 block of North Lincoln Street. 

Beck has a medical marijuana prescription and grows a small amount in his basement, according to police. He'd met Benton on two occasions when she stopped by about 12:30 p.m. last Friday and stayed for about 10 minutes.

About 15 minutes after she left, two men - one with a gun and the other with a baseball bat - knocked on Beck's back door, then pushed him into the house, according to police.

They asked where his “stash” was and tied Beck's hands behind his back and feet together using electrical cords. One of the robbers said “we got the gimp” during a phone call, then fled, Beck told police.

Benton told police she'd stopped by Beck's to look for her $350 sunglasses. She said “she has no idea about any robbery,” Spokane police wrote in a search warrant. But police say her phone records showed a call just before 1 p.m. through a tower near Beck's home.

Gardner was given $150,000 bond after appearing in Superior Court Thursday. Benton's bond is at $20,000. A third suspect has not been identified.

Cards could deal cold cases new clues

One Spokane woman is hoping to combine the two for a greater good.

Rita Amunrud wants to produce decks of playing cards that feature details of unsolved homicides and missing persons cases from Spokane County and distribute them among inmates inside state prisons.

Each card would promise a reward for helpful tipsters. The cards were designed nearly three years ago, but supporters haven’t raised enough money to get them printed.

Now, as the 40th anniversary of her mother’s unsolved murder approaches, Amunrud is trying to revitalize that effort.

“It’s going to take someone coming forward,” she said. “What better way to spread the word than through playing cards?”

Read my full story here.

Jury acquits man of attempted murder

A Deer Park man was acquitted Thursday of allegations that he’d kidnapped his wife and her new lover and tried to throw them off a bridge.

 A jury of seven men and five women found David E. Epley (pictured) not guilty of two counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree kidnapping for the May 12, 2009, incident.

“I think it was grossly overcharged,” said Epley’s lawyer, Gloria Ochoa. “At most what (prosecutors) had was maybe an assault, but it was not first-degree premeditated attempted murder.”

Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Kyle Treece declined comment. The jury deliberated for about a day.

Read my full story here.

Past coverage:

Dec. 2: Trial begins in love triangle case

Oct. 5, 2009: Police: Accused killer wrote rape suspect’s alleged victim

June 1, 2009: New charges in bridge-pushing case

May 13, 2009: Man charged with kidnapping, attempted murder

Police hope for new clues in cold case

Laurie Partridge’s disappearance not only stumped detectives, it pushed her parents apart and prompted her family to move far from Spokane County.

“It determined the whole way my family lived,” said Partridge’s sister, Taryn Chambers, who lives in Florida.

Their parents reunited and remarried more than a decade later, but the girls’ mother died in 2004 not knowing what happened to Partridge, who was 17 when she left Ferris High School for home on Dec. 4, 1974.

She never made it, and no trace of her was ever found.

Spokane County sheriff’s Detective Mike Ricketts is taking a renewed look at the case and hoping the 36th anniversary of one of the county’s most talked-about cold cases will generate new clues.

“With cold cases, one of the things that is on your side is that time sometimes affects relationships,” Ricketts said. “Sometimes people who were unwilling to talk at the time become willing to talk.”

Read the rest of my story here.

Trial begins in attempted murder case

Breaking up may be hard to do, but a Deer Park man is facing substantial time in prison for the way investigators say he ended the relationship with his wife: by trying to throw her new lover off the Wandermere Bridge. 

Trial started Wednesday for David E. Epley, 37, who faces two counts of attempted first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping in connection with a confrontation on May 12, 2009.

Attorneys presented opening statements that offered very different views of what happened on the darkened bridge that night.

Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Kyle Treece described a man who hid in his wife’s car for hours as she shared a drink with her guitar instructor at Cinola’s Restaurant, at 147179 N. Newport Highway.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse’s story here.

Past coverage:

Oct. 5, 2009: Police: Accused killer wrote rape suspect’s alleged victim

June 1, 2009: New charges in bridge-pushing case

May 13, 2009: Man charged with kidnapping, attempted murder

Woman accused of assault, kidnapping

A Spokane woman accused of kidnapping her girlfriend at knife point last weekend remains in jail on $10,000 bond.

Emily J. Lystad, 25, was arrested Saturday after her girlfriend, Serena King, told police Lystad assaulted her at Irv’s bar, 415 W. Sprague Ave., and drove her to a cabin in Worley, Idaho, while threatening her with a knife.

Lystad then drove King to their home at 10714 E. Augusta Ave., in Spokane Valley, where the couple have lived for about a month, according to a probable cause affidavit prepared by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Lystad choked and hit King after tying her to their bed “with ropes that were tied to the bed frame,” according to the affidavit.

A roommate helped untie King and noticed bruises on her face, deputies said. Lystad was arrested at 312 W. 8th and reportedly admitted to deputies that she’d assaulted King and forced her into her car at knife point. Deputies described her as “remorseful.”

“Lystad admitted to saying she wanted King dead if she could not be with her,” according to the affidavit.

Lystad appeared in Superior Court Monday on first-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault charges. Her arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 16.

Report: Rape suspect posed as cop

A man accused of raping a 19-year-old woman in a Spokane park early Saturday claimed to be a police officer, then told her he would take her to jail for illegally possessing alcohol if she didn’t have sex with him, police said Monday.

According to police, Christopher M. Clough, 29, met the woman, who had been walking on Monroe Street, at about 1 a.m. in the McDonald’s parking lot at Monroe and Indiana Avenue, where he told her he was investigating rapists and offered to give her a ride home.

Believing Clough was an undercover officer, the woman got in his car but was soon handcuffed by Clough, who pointed to a cup of alcohol she was carrying and said she wouldn’t go to jail “if I gave him a piece of me,” the woman told police.

Read the rest of my story here.

Gunpoint car repossession leads to arrest

MARYSVILLE, Wash. (AP) — Police in Marysville have arrested three men from Cheney for investigation of kidnapping and robbery after the men allegedly tried to repossess two vehicles at gunpoint.

The men — 19, 33 and 45 years old — were in a pickup truck Friday night when they confronted a Mount Vernon man and his teenage in a sport utility vehicle outside a restaurant, police Cmdr. Robb Lamoureaux tells The Daily Herald of Everett. Police allege the men pointed a handgun and a shotgun at the man and son, then took the boy out of the SUV and put him in the pickup.

Officers say another man got into the SUV and demanded to go to the man’s home to repossess the other car. Police, alerted by witnesses, then stopped the car and truck and arrested the men.

Stevens Co. warns of convicted rapist

The Stevens County Sheriff’s Office is warning of a sex offender who is considered likely to reoffend and lives in Colville. 

Daniel I. Buchmann, 38, is not wanted by authorities, but he is on probation for a 2001 conviction for fist-degree rape and first-degree kidnapping and the sheriff’s office wants the public to be aware of his presence. His victim was a 14-year-old female neighbor.

Buchmann, 5-foot-10 and 200 pounds, is prohibited from entering bars, taverns, lounges, parks, playgrounds, schools or any place frequented by minors.

Buchman is living in the 1000 block of Middle Basin Road in Colville. He’s a level 3 sex offender, which is the classification considered most likely to reoffend.

Extortion claim leads to $2,500, SWAT team

A 28-year-old Spokane man suspected of kidnapping and extortion remains in Kootenai County Jail after escaping a friend’s home during a SWAT standoff Thursday in Post Falls, only to be caught later.

Post Falls police responded to a house at 204 W. 17th Ave. just before noon Thursday, where Joshua M. Moses allegedly held and beat up Joshua M. Branam, 34, on Saturday, Post Falls police Chief Scot Haug said.

Police believe Branam, of Coeur d’Alene, owed Moses money, but the investigation is ongoing. Branam’s family paid Moses $2,500 for his release, Haug said.

The homeowner told officers as they toured the scene of the beating  that Moses was in the house, and that he had a gun. Officers called the SWAT team, but Moses sneaked out the back door, Haug said.

Police apprehended Moses around 6:30 p.m. at the Post Falls Club, a bar at 611 E. Seltice Way. A 15-year-old runaway also was arrested today in connection with the Saturday incident. Branam was arrested Wednesday on an outstanding warrant, Haug said.

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