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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: knives

Idaho killer returns to prison for assault

A convicted killer who left prison in 2008 is headed back there after a jury in southwest Idaho convicted him of assaulting a family member with a large knife.

Donald Leonard Houser, 39, was living in Plummer in 1995 when he shot his former girlfriend, Angela LeSarte, to death in front of Bobbie's Bar in Plummer.

LeSarte's father is former longtime Coeur d’Alene Tribal Chairman Bernard LeSarte. She was the mother of four children.

Houser was sentenced to 15 years in prison in February 1996 for second-degree murder and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence. He began his five-year probation period on Oct. 30, 2008, and worked part-time on a ranch in Washington County and at a hardware store in Weiser, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. He started working full-time as a self-employed mechanic in November 2010.

Houser was arrested on Aug. 22 for aggravated assault. He was sentenced in April to two to three years in state prison. He was sentenced today to two years in federal prison for violating his probation on the murder conviction. One year of his federal sentence will run concurrent to the state sentence, the other will run consecutive, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Victim says sexuality prompted attack

A knife assault that nearly killed a man early Saturday began after the victim described himself as gay, according to Spokane police.

The 28-year-old victim was drinking with a friend at a home in the 400 block of South Fiske Street when a man approached them on the porch and began talking. The victim said he was gay, “and an argument ensued about him being gay,” accordeing to court documents.

The victim said the man, identified by police as Jesse D. Bell, 21, calmed down, and they talked for about 45 minutes, but Bell again got angry and a fight ensued.

Bell walked away, and the man realized he’d been stabbed and his friend was cut on her hand. Another man also sustained a small stab wound.

Police contacted Bell, and he told them he’d told the man he would stab him if he did not get off of him as they were fighting. He said he thought he stabbed the man once but was unaware he’d stabbed anyone else.

Bell was arrested for first-degree assault. He remains in jail on $100,000 bond after appearing in Spokane County Superior Court on Monday.

The victim was treated for stab wounds to his torso, back and arm, including one that punctured his right lung. His heart stopped beating at the hospital but emergency room staff revived him.

‘Take a Midol’ remark leads to assault

A dispute over a dinged car in a parking lot led to an assault arrest when a woman brandished a weapon after being told to “take a Midol,” Spokane police say.

Shawna M. Sweet, 23, is accused of striking Derek Boyer’s hand with the butt of a large hunting knife that was still in its sheath.

Boyer was sitting in a parked car outside the Smoker’s Outlet, 928 W. Indiana Ave., on Monday when Sweet opened the passenger door to the car she was in and it struck the car Boyer was in, according to court documents.

A verbal confrontation ensued, and Boyer told Sweet to “take a Midol” and called her a derogatory term that refers to her sexual orientation. Boyer told police that Sweet charged at him and pounded his hand with the butt of the knife. He struggled to get free and Sweet hit the car roof, denting it.

Police reviewed surveillance video that shows the incident happened how the victim and witnesses described.

Sweet told police she struck Boyer's hand with her fist, according to court documents.

Car stolen at knifepoint during cleaning

A woman was carjacked as she vacuumed her Chevy Camaro at a car wash near Browne's Addition Saturday night, Spokane police say.

Larry D. Vermillion, 43, is accused of stealing the woman's car at knifepoint from the Brown Bear car wash, 1821 W. Sunset Ave., about 8 p.m., then drunkenly driving through downtown Spokane before colliding with a taxi cab.

Phyla J. Beell flagged down police and said the man told her “Steve” sent him before he threatened her with the knife, according to court documents. Beell told police she climbed out the driver's window of her 1993 Camaro because the driver's door doesn't open.

Beell contacted a friend inside the Sunset Junction, and the two chased the stolen Camaro down West Third Avenue before losing site of it on South Howard Street.

Police say the Camaro crossed lanes, went the wrong way and slowed down to about 5 mph to drive through a parking lot before running a red light at Third and South Browne Street and being struck by the taxi.

Vermillion was booked into jail on charges of first-degree robbery, second-degree assault and attempting to elude police.
  

Man arrested for November robbery

A suspect has been arrested for a knife-point robbery at a northwest Spokane convenience store last November.

Christopher Jeremy Jay Eby, 35, is jailed on a first-degree robbery charge for a Nov. 13 hold-up at Zip Trip, 2020 W. Francis Ave, that netted $58.

Police identified him as a suspect through witness reports of a 1994 Pontiac Grand Am in the area. Police say Eby and his wife drove the car to the area earlier that day from a home in Nine Mile Falls.

The couple were living at a home in the 6200 block of North Maple Street.

Spokane police Detective Jeff Barrington said in court documents completed June 14 that Eby matches surveillance video of the robber. Deputy Prosectuor Mark Cipolla charged Eby with first-degree robbery on June 19, and he was arrested Thursday night.

Eby's last felony conviction in Spokane County was for possession of heroin in 2009. He also has convictions from the early 1990s for third-degree assault, first-degree malicious mischief, second-degree burglary and taking a motor vehicle without permission.

The same Zip Trip was robbed at gunpoint May 31. A man who robbed the store at gunpoint in January was sentenced in April to 6 1/2 years in prison.

Convicted killer arrested in CdA stabbing

Police on Wednesday arrested a convicted killer accused of trying to kill another man in a stabbing Monday night north of Coeur d’Alene.

 James H. Kountz, 56, was arrested about 5:40 p.m. in the same wooded area near U.S. Highway 95 and Wilbur Avenue where he stabbed another transient, James R. Hoglen, 42, on Monday.

Read the rest of my story here.

Cop finds robber asleep across street

A man who robbed a convenience store of a drink and beef jerky at knife point didn't get very far early Sunday, police say.

In fact, Officer Scott Haney believes he found him passed out across the street with the stolen goods surrounding him.

Haney found a man matching the description of the robber asleep across the street while responding to a report of a robbery just before 4 a.m. Sunday at the nearby Tesoro gas station, 901 E. Sharp Avenue.

The suspect, later identified as James Joseph Tolman, 45, was booked into jail on first-degree robbery and resisting arrest charges.

A bystander had contacted Haney while he was interviewing the Tesoro clerk and told him there was a “man down” on the sidewalk in front of the Star Bar.

Haney saw a large pair of scissors and a large canned beverage sticking out of the man's front sweatshirt pocket. He also saw an empty package of jerky with its contents scattered around the sleeping man. The man also wore  a Washington State University sweatshirt, which is what the clerk said the robber was wearing, and he matched the height and weight of the robber.

The officer said Tolman resisted arrest, so Gonzaga University security officers Bary Loe and John Johnston helped him.

Police say Tolman had confronted the Tesoro employee with a small knife as he tried to leave the store with the items. A corporal photographed the items as well as Tolman's face, which police say “was injured during the arrest process.”

Tolman is in the Spokane County Jail on the new charges as well as a U.S. Marshals' hold. He was convicted of gun charges in U.S. District Court in 2004.

Suspect’s friend deplores ‘stupid’ crime

A 17-year-old boy was arrested for a knife-point robbery early Tuesday that even his friend said was stupid.

Edward D. Sjoquist is accused of threatening three people with a knife and stealing a wallet near North Monroe Street and West Cleveland Avenue about 12:35 a.m.

One of the victims told police another man approached her attacker and yelled at him and the two ran into a nearby home.

Police contacted that man, who said he and Sjoquist were walking to McDonald's when Sjoquist said he was going to rob someone. The man said he ran up to Sjoquist after the attack and told him “he was stupid and smacked the wallet” out of his hand.

Police found marijuana in Sjoquist's pants pocket when he was booked into juvenile detention center. He's to be charged as an adult with three counts of first-degree robbery.

Suspect in knife attack jailed in Idaho

A suspect has been identified in a May 1 attack that left a man with stab wounds to his chest and head in the West Garland District.

Fingerprints on a Coors Light can at the scene of the stabbing matched those of Joshua David Fleming, 31, who has been in jail in Kootenai County since May 18.

Fleming is accused of stabbing Eric Stensgar, 29, several times in the upper chest and head. Stensgar was found in alley in the 600 block of West Garland Avenue and treated at a local hospital. He told Spokane police he was drinking Coors Light and Goldschlager schnapps hard liquor when a man asked if he could drink with him.

They shared the alcohol, and Stensgar said his next memory was awaking in the alley with stab wounds. Stensgar underwent surgery at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center for life threatening injuries, including a stab wound that entered his brain, according to court documents.

Prosecutors issued a $125,000 warrant for Fleming's arrest on May 21. By that time, Fleming already had been arrested on a probation violation for a grand theft conviction in Kootenai County. He waived extradition from Spokane May 18 and remains in the Kootenai County Jail.

Spokane police didn't know this when they issued a news release Tuesday calling for tips on his location.

Fleming has at least nine felony convictions in Spokane County beginning in 1996, inlcuding first-degree robbery, attempted second-degree assault, first-degree possession of stolen property, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance.

Prints on knife lead to hit-and-run arrest

Fingerprints on a knife left at the scene of a hit-and-run crash last September recently led police to identify a suspect.

 Michael L. Bridges, who was released from prison last year for another hit-and-run crash, is accused of crashing a Chevrolet Malibu into a vehicle at the intersection of Wellesley Avenue and Belt Street Sept. 8. The other driver injured her arms, back and neck.

Witnesses say the at-fault driver run from the crash into a yard in the 4800 block of North Cannon Street. One witness said Bridges, 26, dropped a knife when he heard he witness mention it to a 911 dispatcher.

Bridges' girlfriend at the time, who owns the Malibu, told police he asked her to report the car as stolen so he wouldn't get in trouble.

Police submitted a charging request to prosecutors March 27 after the forensic unit informed them of the fingerprint match on the knife.

Bridges has a previous conviction for hit-and-run related to a crash in 2008 during a police chase. He was sentenced in January 2010 to 30 months in prison. He was sent to work release on Jan. 6, 2011, and was released on probation on July 6, according to the Washington Department of Corrections.

Bridges' freedom didn't last long. He's been in the Spokane County Jail since February on unrelated charges of eluding police and kidnapping.
  

Cops: Assailant requested bigger knife

A woman accused of stabbing her longtime boyfriend said she wanted a bigger knife so she could cut him deeper, witnesses told police.

Cathleen A. Parke, 50, was arrested Saturday at an apartment on North Washington Street in Medical Lake after deputies found her boyfriend, Steven M. Mitchell, 56, being treated for two stab wounds in his upper body about 5:10 a.m.

Witnesses said the couple were arguing outside when they came inside the house and Mitchell was covered in blood. Mitchell said “I can't believe you stabbed me,” and Parke said she wanted to get a bigger knife so she could cut him deeper, according to court documents.

Parke told another witness that she stabbed Mitchell after he hit her. Spokane County sheriff's deputies seized a 3-inch folding knife from the apartment, as well as a bloody blanket, pillow and clothing.

Bizarre stabbing leads to $250k bond

A bizarre stabbing at a north Spokane apartment late Saturday led to the arrest of a 20-year-old man.

Spokane police say the woman Kurt J. Clausen is accused of stabbing has no idea why he attacked her. She said Clausen said nothing during the incident, which occurred as she exited her bathroom at 49 E. Pine Ridge Ct., according to court documents.

The woman said Clausen was waiting for her with a knife and stabbed her in the upper chest, then dropped the weapon and ran from the apartment about 11:30 p.m., police say.

A Washington State Patrol trooper contacted Clausen just after midnight near West Main Avenue and North Lincoln Street in downtown Spokane. Police responded and arrested him on a first-degree assault charge.

Officers say Clausen admitted to stabbing the woman and said he told her there was something in a room in the apartment, then attacked her as she exited that room, according to court documents.

Clausen remains jailed on$250,000 bond after appearing before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese on Monday.
  

Plea replaces life sentence w/ 3 years

A Spokane man whose three-strikes trial was halted because of concerns about racist comments made by jurors has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

 Bobby S. Galloway, 24, was sentenced to three years in prison for third-degree assault after pleading guilty last week before Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno.

Galloway already has two convictions for violent felonies. Had he been convicted of first-degree assault as originally charged, a judge would have no choice but to sentence him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Galloway was arrested last May after stabbing a man outside the Top Hat Tavern, 6412 N. Division St.

He was on trial in February, but Spokane County Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen declared a mistrial after a juror reported inappropriate, racially toned comments being made in the jury room, court officials say.

2 men accused of robbing teen w/ knife

Two men were arrested for allegedly robbing a teenage woman at at knife-point outside an East Sprague Avenue convenience store last weekend.

Richard Jeffery Lee, 52, is accused of robbing the 19-year-old woman as she exited the Quick E Mart at 4123 E. Sprague Ave. about 8:50 p.m. Friday.

The woman said Lee put a four-inch knife to her throat and demanded money as Rikki Lynn Morrison, 53, stood by.

The woman she she removed all the change and cash from her pockets before Lee and Morrison ran away, according to court documents.  She called 911 from her home in Spokane Valley, and sheriff's deputies located the suspects near the scene of the crime. The victim identified Lee and Morrison as her assailants.

Lee is jailed on $75,000 bond for first-degree robbery. Morrison, who said in court Monday that he didn't do anything, is jailed on $15,000 bond for the same charge.
  

Police subdue armed man w/ bean bags

Spokane police saved the life of a suicidal man on Sunday who was armed with a knife.

The 32-year-old man's family had left the location near 1500 E. Pacific Ave. because they were concerned for their safety, police said.

Officers arrived about 7:50 p.m. and the man exited the home with a knife to his throat and told police he wanted to die. He refused their commands and advanced on officers with the knife before they shot him with several bean bag rounds and he dropped the weapon, police say.

The man was taken to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation. He commended officers at the hospital, saying “You were trying to save my life without taking my life,” according to a news release.

“This is an example of a potentially lethal encounter which police face,” according to a news release. “Officers were able to use several of their “less-lethal” tools in this situation to take control of the scene without anyone being seriously injured.”

The National Suicide Lifeline is available at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). More information on suicide prevention is available through the Spokane Regional Health District.

School ties help ID suspects in robbery

Two suspects in a knifepoint robbery at Shopko in January were identified after a store employee realized she knew one from high school.

Blaine Allen Cornwell, 23, is charged with first-degree robbery and three counts of second-degree assault for allegedly threatening three employees at Shopko, 9520 N. Newport Highway, with a knife while stealing merchandise on Jan. 30.

Jaime K. Neel, 24, is charged with first-degree rendering criminal assistance for allegedly driving Cornwell from he scene.

A store security officer watched Cornwell steal items with Neel after putting new shoes on layaway and providing employee a name of “Blaine,” according to court documents.

Another employee recognized Neel as a former high school classmate and helped police identify the two.

Neel was arrested Tuesday and released from jail on her own recognizance after appearing in court Wednesday.

Cornwell is wanted on a $50,000 warrant.

Tips sought on knife-wielding begger

Spokane Valley police are trying to identify an “aggressive panhandler” who threatened a store manager with a knife on Sunday.

Officer Clay Hilton responded to Harbor Freight near Sprague Avenue and Sullivan Road, where the manager said a panhandler had opened a customer's vehicle door and asked for money about 8 p.m.

She brandished a knife and walked toward the manager when he confronted her, then made an incoherent statement and ran north, police said. She got into a white Ford F-150 truck and drove away.

She was described as white, 5-foo-5 with a thin build. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Panhandling is illegal in Spokane Valley.

Witness sought in three-strikes case

Police are looking for a witness in an assault case that could put the defendant in prison for life. 

Morgan S. Snider, 23, (right) is expected to testify in the first-degree assault trial of Bobby S. Galloway, but police said this week that she still has not been located.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen declared a mistrial Monday in Galloway's case after a juror reported inappropriate, racially toned comments being made in the jury room, court officials say.

Galloway (left) faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of felony assault because he already has two previous convictions for violent felonies.

Galloway, 24, is accused of stabbing Mickey Davis during a fight May 5 outside the Top Hat Tavern, 6412 N. Division St.

His new trial is set to begin April 2. Snider is wanted on misdemeanor driving warrants.

Anyone with information on Snider's location is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Man pleads not guilty in fatal stabbing

A man accused of stabbing another man to death in downtown Spokane pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a second-degree murder charge.

David J. Fagundes, Jr., 34, is accused of killing Casey W. Anderson, 23, during a fight that included Anderson peppery spraying Fagundes, according to court documents.

Anderson fell into traffic near the intersection of Third Avenue and Howard Street about 4:50 a.m. Feb. 19 with two stab wounds to his back and bite marks on his forehead.

Anderson broke into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment, assaulted her and stole her cellphone, police say. He then went to Fagundes’ apartment at 225 S. Wall St., where the men fought and Fagundes bit Anderson on the forehead several times.

The two men fell to the floor and “Anderson apparently ‘fell’ on top of a ‘butterfly knife,’ ” according to documents prepared by police.

Detectives say Fagundes became uncooperative during questioning and tried to grab a concealed firearm. He was disarmed and detained after a brief struggle.

Fagundes has a felony conviction for burglary in Montana in 1996 that prohibits him from possessing firearms. He also has a conviction in Bonner County for felony battery.

Fagundes remains in jail on $100,000 bond after his arraignment Tuesday before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese.

Body found downtown; suspect arrested

A man was found dead from a stab wound in a downtown Spokane street early Sunday.

The man has not been publicly identified, but suspect David Joseph Fagundes, Jr., 34, has been jailed on a second-degree murder charge.

The victim was found near the intersection of Howard Street and Third Avenue shortly before 5 a.m., according to the Spokane Police Department.

Police dispatched major crimes detectives to the scene. A portion of Third Avenue was closed to traffic for about four hours as police scoured the scene for clues.

Fagundes also faces a charge of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm because of a previous felony conviction, according to the jail roster. '

Fagundes has a felony conviction in Bonner County, Idaho, for felony battery. He also had a misdemeanor warrant there for failing to pay fines on convictions for driving without privileges and failure to provide proof of insurance.
  

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