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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department

Bayview murder suspect unfit for trial

COEUR d’ALENE, Idaho (AP) — A district judge has suspended the criminal case against a Bayview man accused of attacking four neighbors with a hammer, killing one, because a psychologist has determined he’s unfit to stand trial.  

 The ruling last week is in the case of Larry Cragun, 31, who is charged with first-degree murder and other felonies in the Dec. 19 death of Patricia Heath, 43, and attacks on others.  

Cragun has been ordered into the custody of the Idaho Department of Correction for care and treatment. First District Judge Benjamin Simpson also ordered a progress report on Cragun’s status in 90 days.  

Kootenai County Prosecutors Barry McHugh told The Coeur d’Alene Press the case will no longer go forward until Cragun understands the charges and is better able to assist in his own defense.  

Cragun is accused of bursting into his neighbors’ trailer home and attacking them with a hammer and knife. He has pleaded not guilty.   

The attack at 34552 N. Limekiln Road in Bayview followed weeks of problems between the Heaths and Cragun, including bizarre claims by the suspect that authorities say were unfounded, including an allegation that Heath's son was “placing pubic hair in Cragun's food,” according to a police report.

After the attack, customers at JD's Resort told authorities that Cragun had said he needed to call 911 because he'd killed three or four people. He didn't complete the phone call. Instead, he grabbed a customer's beer “drank it, and left a dollar on the bar,” according to the police report.

Witnesses told police Cragun posted flyers suggesting there was an umbrella submerged in Lake Pend Oreille that, along with GPS tracking satellites, allowed the government to read peoples’ minds.  

Heath died of massive head trauma the day after the attack, and three others were injured. He also faces two counts of first-degree attempted murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault and burglary.  
The judge ordered a mental health evaluation for Cragun in March.

The evaluation was conducted by Dr. Chad Sombke, of Boise, who concluded Cragun is unfit mentally to proceed with his case.

Past coverage:

Dec. 20: 1 dead, 3 injured in Bayview hammer attack

CdA man accused of attacking store clerk

A 29-year-old Coeur d'Alene man has been arrested for a robbery that occurred outside 7-Eleven in Hayden last week.

Timothy Wesley Allen is accused of assaulting a clerk and stealing her purse as she left work just after 10 p.m. on May 11.

Allen was arrested Saturday about 4:30 p.m. at his home on Coeur d'Alene Lake Drive, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department. He remains in jail on charges of robbery, grand theft, and aggravated battery.

Allen's arrest history in Kootenai County includes charges of inattentive driving, burglary, shoplifting, a probation violation and two warrants in Benewah County.

7-Eleven employee robbed in Hayden

A robber attacked a 7-Eleven employee in Hayden Wednesday night, the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department said today.

The woman was walking to her car after her shift about 10 p.m. when a man grabbed her purse and ran eastbound along Hayden Avenue.

A sheriff's K-9 tracked the man's scent to where investigators believe he may have gotten into a car.

The victim was treated for minor injuries at Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d'Alene.
  

Masked gunman robs North Idaho store

A masked gunman robbed a store north of Hayden Tuesday night and specifically requested a pack of Marlboro Red cigarettes.

The man entered the Alpine Country Store, 17568 North Highway 95, about 11 p.m. and forced the clerk to empty the cash register while pointing a gun at her, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department.

The man fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. A sheriff’s dog tracked the robbery to a where investigators believe he may have escaped in a vehicle, possibly a blue Dodge Intrepid.

The robber is described as 5-foot-11 and wearing a brown “Bomber” type jacket, gloves, black pants a black hat and a black mask.

Driver soon regrets drunken pick-up

An Athol man quickly regretted picking up a drunk man who was laying in the middle of a downtown Coeur d'Alene street last weekend.

According to police, Micah A. Wulff, 25, allowed the man into his truck just before 3 a.m. on Saturday but kicked the man out while northbound on Ramsey Road.

The angry man struck Wulff's truck, then swung at Wulff with a metal baton when confronted, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department.

The man then “racked” the slide of a pistol and pointed it at Wulff. Wulff drove away and called police.

An Idaho State Police trooper arrested suspect Mason D. Brown, 22, in the 2400 block of West Dakota Avenue.

Brown had a handgun and said he was from Spokane Valley, according to a news release. He was booked into jail on charges of attempted aggravated battery, aggravated assault and intoxicated person with a firearm.

Before and after: Montana fugitive

A Butte man arrested after a police shooting that killed his passenger in North Idaho had escaped from a halfway house in Helena last October.

Mark Marion Maykopet, 24, is pictured at the far left in 2009, courtesy of the Montana Deparmtent of Corrections.

The picture to the right is at the Kootenai County Jail after his arrest Monday night.

Investigaors say the deadly police shooting occured just after Maykopet rammed an Idaho State Police car.

Christie Ann Little, 40, (right) was shot by a trooper and pronounced dead at Kootenai Medical Center on Monday. 

Charges filed against Maykopet allege he rammed Cpl. Dan Howard’s patrol car during a police chase.

Kootenai County Sheriff’s Lt. Stu Miller said he could not confirm that Howard is the trooper who fired the shots, but authorities said previously that the trooper who fired shots did so after the Jeep collided with his patrol car.

Read my full story here.

Man gets 2+ years for breaking boy’s leg

A Post Falls man will spend at least two years in prison for breaking the leg of his fiancée’s child, according to the Kootenai County Prosecutor's Office.

Michael Robert Edinger, 27, was charged after he and his fiancée, Rebecca L. Mullin, took Mullin’s 2-year-old son to Kootenai Medical Center Sept. 24 with a broken leg.

District Judge Lansing Haynes this week sentenced Edinger to 10 years in prison with elgibility for parole after two years.

Mullin’s son was in Edinger’s care at the time he was injured. Edinger initially said the boy injured himself while they were playing, but nurses said the injury – a spiral fracture of the left femur – is extremely rare and likely caused by abuse.

Edinger, who police said “sat emotionless” during an interview, eventually told authorities he “snapped” while changing the boy Sept. 23 and “grabbed the boy’s leg, twisted it, and slammed it to the floor,” police said.

The boy also had several other broken bones that appeared to be weeks old, nurses said.

“The long sentence imposed by Judge Haynes is justified by the nature of this crime, especially taking into consideration that a defenseless child was seriously injured,” Kootenai County Prosectuor Barry McHugh said in a news release. “Mr. Edinger’s lack of remorse for his conduct is troubling.”

Hammer attack victim improving in CdA

A woman seriously injured in a hammer attack that killed another woman is improving at a Coeur d'Alene hospital.

Lorraine Y. Wallis, 58, has been upgraded to fair condition, Kootenai Medical Center employees said Wednesday. 

Wallis was in critical condition after being beaten with a hammer at a mobile home in Bayview on Sunday. Patricia A. Heath, 43, died from head injuries suffered in the attack.

Their neighbor, Larry W. Cragun, 31, remains in Kootenai County Jail on $1 million bail on charges of murder, burglary and aggravated battery. H

Heath's husband, Michael L. Heath, did not require medical attention. Jedidah M. Heath, 21, was treated and released the day of the attack.

The attack at 34552 N. Limekiln Road in Bayview followed weeks of problems between the Heaths and Cragun, including bizarre claims by the suspect that authorities say were unfounded.

Cragun reportedly visited three Bayview businesses after the attack and said he'd killed four poeple with a hammer.

Customers at JD's Resort also told authorities that Cragun had said he needed to call 911 because he'd killed three or four people. He didn't complete the phone call. Instead, he grabbed a customer's beer “drank it, and left a dollar on the bar,” according to a police report.

Past coverage: Dec. 20: 1 dead, 3 injured in Bayview hammer attack

Neighbor dispute ends in deadly attack

A North Idaho woman died Monday after she and three others were bludgeoned with a hammer in what authorities describe as an ongoing neighbor dispute that took a violent twist.

A suspect, Larry W. Cragun, 31, was arrested after employees at several Bayview businesses said he walked in after the attack and said he’d “just killed four people with a hammer,” according to police reports.

Cragun, who residents say has a history of odd behavior, remains in Kootenai County Jail on $1 million bail, charged with murder in the beating death of Patricia A. Heath, 43. Three others survived the attack, though one remains in critical condition.

The attack at Heath’s mobile home at 34552 N. Limekiln Road in Bayview followed weeks of problems between her family and Cragun, including bizarre claims by the suspect that authorities say were unfounded.

Read my full story here.

Bayview hammer attack investigated

Four people reportedly were hospitalized this afternoon apparently after being attacked in their Bayview, Idaho trailer home by a hammer-wielding neighbor.

Details were sketchy and the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department did not return calls Sunday seeking information, but residents said authorities at the scene of the attack indicated four people were injured, some with head wounds, and rushed to area hospitals. No condition reports were available. The attack occurred at a mobile home along Limekiln Road, said Herb Huseland, who lives nearby.

Husseland said the suspect, who is his next door neighbor, reportedly called the sheriff’s office from a local restaurant to turn himself in. Recently, the suspect had “tacked up a letter to the community accusing the government of invading his mind,” Huseland said in a posting on his community blog, Bay Views, about the attack.

Huseland is a freelance writer who contributes to The Spokesman-Review’s soon-to-be-discontinued Handle Extra section covering neighborhood news in North Idaho.

Hayden man kills self during traffic stop

A Hayden man died Wednesday after shooting himself in the face during a traffic stop in Dalton Gardens, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department.

Robert J. Kilborn, 48, was driving a red Chevrolet Blazer when a deputy tried to stop him at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday near Government Way and Hanley Avenue for having a faulty exhaust system, according to a Sheriff’s Department news release.

Kilborn failed to stop and continued driving at about 20 miles per hour. Police followed him east on Hanley then south on Valley Street before he pulled into a driveway at 6167 N. Valley St. in Dalton Gardens, where a friend his apparently lived.

Read the rest of Chelsea Bannach’s story here.

No charges in fatal Rathdrum stabbing

No charges will be filed against a Rathdrum man in the Sept. 24 stabbing death of his daughter’s boyfriend, Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney Barry McHugh announced today.

Based on the investigation by the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department, 47-year-old Scott A. Johnson was acting in self-defense when he fatally stabbed Brandon S. DeLuca after an argument in their Rathdrum home.

“This is a tragedy that no one, including the Johnson family, wanted to take place,” McHugh said in a news release.

Read the rest of Chelsea Bannach’s story here.

Past coverage: Sept. 27: Slain man is deputy coroner’s grandson

Police: CdA man broke young boy’s leg

A Coeur d’Alene man is accused of breaking the leg of his fiance’s child over the weekend. 

Michael R. Edinger, 27, is jailed on two counts of cruelty to children after he and his fiance, Rebecca L. Mullin, took Mullin’s 2-year-old son to Kootenai Medical Center on Saturday with what nurses said was an “unexplainable broken leg,” according to a police report.

Mullin sobbed during interviews with police, but Edinger “sat emotionless,” according to the report, which was prepared by the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department.

Mullin said the boy was out of their sight when they heard a loud scream and found him at the bottom of a stairway.

But nurses said the boy’s injury - a spiral fracture of the left femur - is extremely rare and most likely caused by abuse.

The boy also had broken bones that appeared to have been inflicted several weeks ago, nurses said.

The couple, who work at Buck Knives in Post Falls, blamed the boy’s injuries on his clumsiness, but Edinger eventually told police he’d lost his temper and broken the boy’s leg while changing his diaper on Friday, police said.

Edinger’s parents arrived as he was being arrested, and Edinger reportedly told them what he’d done. Investigators “heard Edinger’s mother tell him that he shouldn’t be apologizing to her, but to the little boy that he injured,” according to the report.

Edinger remains in the Kootenai County Jail on $100,000 bond. His next court appearance is scheduled Oct. 7.

Slain man is deputy coroner’s grandson

A 22-year-old Rathdrum man stabbed to death by his girlfriend’s father Friday night in what investigators say was self defense is the grandson of Kootenai County Deputy Coroner and Democratic candidate for coroner Jody DeLuca Hissong.

Brandon S. DeLuca initiated the fight with Scott A. Johnson, 47, during an argument with DeLuca’s 23-year-old girlfriend in a trailer they shared at the Prairie Schooner Estates, 2215 E. Highway 53 in Rathdrum, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department.

An autopsy is being conducted today at Holy Family Hospital in Spokane, which conducts criminal-related autopsies for Kootenai County, Major Ben Wolfinger said. Investigators will then forward the case to the prosecutor’s office for a charging decision.

Johnson has not been arrested.

“It’s looking a lot like it was self defense,” Wolfinger said.

DeLuca was arguing with his girlfriend when Johnson intervened and the two began brawling, Wolfinger said.

The fight prepared to break up, but DeLuca then lunged at Johnson, and Johnson stabbed DeLuca in the chest, investigators said.

DeLuca collapsed in a nearby trailer. Witnesses rendered first aid, but he was pronounced dead at Kootenai Medical Center. The initial 911 call came in at 7:55 p.m.

Man’s case is perfect ‘welcome back’ post

A report from the Coeur d’Alene police report caught my attention a couple weeks ago.

A flower shop owner said a man who claimed to be an Iraq war veteran duped her out of a $100 order, and police said the suspect had recently been jailed for similar crimes. After some initial reporting I wavered on whether it was worth a story. Then I left for two weeks.

Imagine my reaction when I learned the same guy made news after he failed to return to the Kootenai County Jail after a one-day furlough and was arrested in Seattle with the help of a TV news crew.

Registered sex offender Ferrell David Arnold II, 32, (right) returned to custody after talking to a TV news crew at Seattle’s Hempfest, who recognized him and alerted authorities.

Arnold had been given a furlough Aug. 18 after pleading guilty to grand theft and forgery in two cases. He was to be sentenced Oct. 15; the plea deals dropped two felony theft and fraud charges.

The forgery conviction stemmed from him reportedly stealing checks and debits cards from a girl’s mother’s home after he met the girl at a Coeur d’Alene bar.

Like the alleged flower shop theft, Ferrell allegedly lied to the victims about his military service. One victim “is active military and said he was able to find several lies in Ferrell’s stories of being in the military and just returning from Afghanistan,” according to a July 21 report from Spokane police. Arnold also allegedly stole a debit card and cash from a woman he stayed with after meeting at a Coeur A’lene bar. (The Coeur d’Alene Press wrote a hilarious story about the theft here.

Arnold also is charged with failing to register as a sex offender. He was convicted of lewd conduct with a minor under 16 in Washington County, Idaho, in 1997, according to state records.

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department released his photo the media late Aug. 19 after he skipped town, but that didn’t stop Arnold from yakking away to a Seattle TV station while hanging out in a busy park.

Hayden man accused of shooting at deputies

A Hayden man is accused of shooting at Kootenai County Sheriff’s deputies, then surrendering after they returned fire.

Kerry Noel Damiano, 22, was arrested early Saturday after deputies responded to East Chilco Road near Chilco Lake, north of Hayden, about midnight on a report of trespassers causing a disturbance.

Damiano is accused of firing one shot at the deputies before they returned fire and he surrendered.

Damiano was booked into the Kootenai County Jail on one count of aggravated assault.

He has past convictions in Kootenai County for providing false information to law enforcement regarding offense/identity and driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent, according to news archives.

Ex-caretaker accused of kidnapping woman

 A man already accused of assaulting a woman he used to care for now is accused of kidnapping her from the Coeur d’Alene Casino, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department. 

John M. Costa, 47, of Chewelah, appeared in Kootenai County District Court today after he was arrested Saturday about 4:20 p.m. on suspicion of first-degree kidnapping.

He’s accused of kidnapping a 49-year-old woman he used to care for from the Coeur d’Alene Casino, then taking her to a hotel in Plummer to try to persuade her to drop battery charges against him in Washington, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Costa faces possible assault charges in Benewah County for the incident at the hotel.

Security detained Costa after he took the woman back to the casino, where her son and caregiver found her. Deputies responded to the casino for a report of a man causing a disturbance.

The woman was taken to Kootenai Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

Court documents show Costa was not facing criminal charges in Washington involving the woman, but the Department of Social and Heath Services sought a protection order  for the victim after she declined to press charges against Costa.

The woman was hospitalized Jan. 27 after Costa allegedly assaulted her and threatened her with a gun. He’d been staying at her home “because of her care needs and his house was flooded due to a pipe breaking.”

He’s now in Kootenai County Jail on $50,000 bond.

Body found in river is Spokane fugitive

 A body found in the Spokane River west of Post Falls last weekend has been identified as 31-year-old Spokane fugitive wanted since December on car theft charges. 

A bail bonds company had offered a $1,000 reward for tips that led to the arrest of Christopher M. Schelling (left) after he failed to show up for a hearing in Spokane County Superior Court. When he didn’t show up for court in December, the bond company distributed wanted posters near a home on East Columbia Avenue that’s been linked to an ongoing drug and stolen property investigation.

On Saturday, a young man walking near South Richards Road, west of Post Falls along the river, found a body that aurthorities identified Tuesday as Schelling. Investigators identified Schelling through his tattoos.

Schelling’s body had “no obvious trauma,” said Major Ben Wolfinger of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department. But the initial autopsy results did not reveal his cause of death, and detectives are trying to determine how Schelling ended up in the river, Wolfinger said.

He was wearing clothes indicating cooler weather and appeared to have been in the water for several weeks or months, according to the Sheriff’s Department. He’d been reported missing and was last seen Dec. 3, Wolfinger said.

Schelling posted $40,000 bond in November on several felony charges stemming from arrests last summer, but the bond company started looking for him when he didn’t show up for court in December.

Crime Stoppers also offered a reward for tips that led to Schelling’s capture, but authorities had no leads until Schelling’s body was found Saturday.

Schelling was a longtime felon with convictions for attempting to elude a police vehicle, second-degree burglary, second-degree theft, drug possession and unlawful possession of a firearm.

He was charged last summer with second-degree theft, two counts drug possession, two counts of possession of a stolen motor vehicle, resisting arrest and possessing a motor vehicle theft tool.

A police dog helped capture him in June after he wrecked a stolen Suzuki motorcycle in Millwood Park, then ran from deputies into a nearby home.

A Crime Stoppers news release on Jan. 12 said he last listed in the 300 block of South Dishman Road in Spokane Valley. A news article about a robbery in which he was arrested in 2000 listed his hometown as Newport, Wash.

Anyone with information about Schelling is asked to call Detective Jerry Northrup at (208) 446-1300.

Crash leaves SUV in spectacular spot

A crash in Hayden Monday left an SUV entangled in power pole wires and partially suspended above the ground.

Timothy J. Toboyko’s 1997 Chevy Suburban was balanced on its back left corner, facing upward at a 45-degree angle, after Toboyko crossed into the eastbound lanes while westbound on Orchard Avenue, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators don’t know what caused the crash, but they say alcohol was not a factor. Toboyko had stopped at the intersection before he crossed Government Way and stuck a stop sign, then hit the power pole.

The area was without power for about a half an hour. Toboyko was taken to Kootenai Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

The picture was sent to KHQ TV by Rachelle Wolfe.

Suicidal gunman was sued for ‘05 shooting

 The man who shot his wife’s ex-husband before killing himself had been sued for a shooting incident in 2005.

Chad L. Moore, 35, (left) was serving as his own lawyer in a lawsuit filed by 70-year-old Orville Robert Boyd, who accused him of negligence and recklessness in a March 20, 2005, incident near Athol.

Moore and a friend, Ryan W. Beamer, were shooting Glock pistols on a private road about one mile north of Chilco Road when Boyd approached on an ATV with a gunshot to his right chest.

Moore called 911, and Beamer ran up the road to meet medics. Moore told a Kootenai County Sheriff’s deputy he’d been target shooting there since he was a small child, according to a report.  The shooting was ruled accidental, and Moore was never charged with a crime. The police report listed his employer as a Coeur d’Alene lumber company. He told police he’s worked there for 15 years.

Boyd sued Moore and Beamer in 2007. Moore began serving as his own lawyer in September “due to lack of funds,” according to a letter he wrote in the Kootenai County District Court file.

A five-day jury trial is scheduled for August.

Moore was found dead last week after an overnight manhunt. Before he killed himself, Moore shot and killed Ryan William Taylor, 28, the ex-husband of his pregnant wife.

Taylor had confronted Moore at his Hayden apartment March 9 after hearing from his ex that Moore hit her.

A memorial fundraiser was held for Taylor Saturday at The Grail nightclub in Huetter. His funeral took place earlier today.

Past coverage:

Family: Jealousy, abuse led to murder

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