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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: manslaughter

Accused bear spray robber gets $10,000 bond

The man accused of using bear spray to commit two robberies was ordered held on a $10,000 bond for a companion charge of assault.

Jeffrey M. Matthews, 29, appeared Friday before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese. However, documents had not yet arrived regarding two other robberies for which he was arrested.

Matthews was also wanted for a violation of probation for his manslaughter conviction from 2007.

 He was charged with third-degree assault after an employee at O’Reilly Auto Parts, at 2424 N. Division St., said a car drove into the parking lot last Tuesday. The driver, later identified as Matthews, began yelling at the employee and then sprayed him with the can of bear spray.

 The same vehicle was lined to two reported robberies on Friday and Saturday at the Trading Co., 13014 E. Sprague Ave., and Big Lots, 14024 E. Sprague Ave., in Spokane Valley. However, those charging documents had not yet arrived Thursday afternoon.

 Plese set Matthews arraignment at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday. See previous coverage of Matthews here.

Manslaughter charge in mother’s death

A Spokane man has been charged with manslaughter after investigators say he neglected his elderly mother while in a drunken stupor last year.

Glen Douglas Rosier, 67, left jail on $10,000 bond this weekend after his arrest on two felony charges for the death of his mother, Verna Rosier, 89.

Verna Rosier, 89, died at a hospital in February 2011 after family friend found her badly neglected inside his home at 1300 W. Woodside Place, where he’d cared for his ailing mother for 11 years, according to court documents.

The friend said Glen looked sick and made comments about wanting to hurt himself.

 She found his mother, who had heart disease, lying on her bedroom floor in urine-soaked clothes with dried blood on her body and bruises on her head.

“It’s just really sad,” Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Patrick Johnson said Monday. “He just went off the deep end, and his mom died.”

A sheriff’s deputy tried to interview Verna Rosier at the hospital but said she was unable to answer questions coherently. She died four days later.

Another sheriff’s deputy contacted Glen Rosier at the home, which he described as extremely cluttered, and said he was drunk and wearing only underwear and a tank top. Rosier told the deputy his mother often fell to the floor and that he sometimes tried to get her back in bed but often just covered her with a blanket and tried to make her as comfortable as possible, court documents allege.

He was taken into protective custody to undergo a mental evaluation.

Glen Rosier’s sister told investigators she and other family members tried to check on her mother several times but were denied access to the home by Glen.

Rosier is charged with second-degree manslaughter, with second-degree criminal mistreatment filed as an alternative charge. Johnson said the case went through several reviews by prosecutors before a charging decision was made.

Several members of Rosier’s family attended his court appearance and requested he be ordered not to contact them, which Superior Court Judge Annette Plese granted.

Rosier declined to speak with reporters.

Verna Rosier was born in Canada and moved to the U.S. in 1938, according to her obituary. Her obituary said she “entered the Irish universe” after her death and was “greeted by the entire clan waving four-leaf clovers and toasting a little Irish whiskey.”

Bonner Co. killer faces new gun charge

A Bonner County man who served 10 years in prison for the shooting death of his girlfriend in 1999 could be headed to federal prison under a recent indictment.

George John Bondurant is accused of possessing a a Remington 20-gauge shotgun on May 8, according to a grand jury indictment returned this week in U.S. District Court in Coeur d'Alene.

He faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years' probation if convicted.

Bondurant is prohibited from possessing firearms because of a felony conviction for involuntary manslaughter in 1999.

Bondurant was 21 when he was accused of shooting to death his girlfriend, Kathryn Oliver, at their home on Shingle Mill Road, northeast of Sandpoint, in February 1999.

Boundurant told investigators Oliver committed suicide. A 911 call played at his sentencing included him begging the emergency workers to hurry to the house as he held the dying Oliver in his arms. But Oliver's family described domestic abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband. Read the story from his sentencing in October 1999 here.

Bondurant served 10 years in prison, including credit for time served in jail. He was released from the Twin Falls Community Work Center on Feb. 27, 2009, according to the Idaho Department of Corrections.

A grand jury indicted him on the new charge Tuesday.

Woman gets 15 years for fatal shooting

SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) — A 45-year-old Clark Fork woman has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for the shooting death of her boyfriend during an argument in a recreational vehicle north of Priest River last fall. 

Lorraine Kathryn Kenitzki was sentenced Thursday in 1st District Court and must serve at least five years before becoming eligible for parole. Kenitzki entered an Alford plea to a charge of voluntary manslaughter in January.

Erik David Foust, 41, died Oct. 6 after being shot in the chest with a 9-millimeter pistol.

Police say Kenitzki and Foust had used meth before the shooting.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports that during her sentencing Kenitzki says she misses Foust and wishes she could undo the tragedy.

Man gets 10 years for beating death

A Spokane transient has been sentenced to 10 ½ years in prison for the slaying of a 46-year-old man last April.

Roland E. Benton II, 35, pleaded guilty last month to first-degree manslaughter with a deadly weapon for the beating death of Douglas J. Klages.

Klages' bludgeoned body was found April 30 in a small cave at Camp Caro Community Park at Dishman Hills.

On Monday, Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza sentenced Benton to 126 months, which is the high end of the sentencing range for the manslaughter charge.

The charge came with a deadly weapon enhancement that mandated two years in prison. Benton had been charged with first-degree murder before attorneys worked out a plea agreement.

In solving the case, detectives retraced Klages’ final hours and found video of him leaving a Spokane Valley Rosauers store with Benton on the day Klages’ body was discovered by hikers in the area.

Detectives arrested Benton May 5. He'd been released from jail just days before the slaying.

Past coverage:

May 5: Homicide victim hoped for fresh start

Transient faces 10-12 years for slaying

A Spokane transient faces 10 to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaguther for the beating death of a man last April. 

Roland E. Benton II pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree manslaughter with a deadly weapon in the slaying of Douglas J. Klages, 46.

Klages' badly beaten body was discovered by hikers April 30 in a small cave at Camp Caro Community Park at Dishman Hills.

 Detectives retracing Klages' final hours found surveillance video of Klages leaving a Spokane Valley Rosauers store with Benton the day his body was discovered. Benton was arrested May 5.

Benton, who appeared in Spokane County Superior Court before Judge Sam Cozza, initially was charged with first-degree murder. The lesser charge to which he pleaded guilty carries a sentencing range of 102 to 126 months.

The deadly weapon adds two years to the sentencing range, and Benton will not be eligible for an early release based on good behavior. His sentencing is set for April 25. “The victim's family members were present and were satisfied,” Deputy Prosecutor Jim Kaufman said. Klages is pictured with his two daughters. Past coverage: May 5: Homicide victim hoped for fresh start

Man in ‘97 slaying gets 7 years for gun

A convicted killer arrested in a widespread methamphetamine investigation was sentenced to seven years in prison Monday for a gun charge.

Christopher Clay Gober, 32, was on probation when a search was conducted on his hotel room in Coeur d'Alene last April.

Investigators say they found used syringes, two meth pipes, a box of .38 ammunition and lockbox inside his Dodge Charger that contained a loaded .38 caliber pistol and six rounds of ammo.

Gober is prohibited from possession firearms or ammo because of felony convictions that include manslaughter, escape, aggravated assault and intimidating a witness.

In 1998, he was sentenced to nine years in prison for shooting a Spokane Valley man to death in what Gober said was self defense. Gober originally was charged with first-degree murder for the death of Jeremy Moore, 20, who died on Dec. 23, 1997.

He was out of prison only a short while when he was arrested in the current case, which stems from a federal methamphetamine investigation that led to prison sentences for several people.

He's been attending anger management and drug addiction classes while in state prison for probation violations and is committed to continuing his rehabilitation, according to documents prepared by his public defender.

In addition to 84 months in prison, U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge ordered Gober to serve three years probation and perform 100 hours of community service.

Biker’s arrest pleases ‘01 victim’s mother

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Dolores Taylor heard the news from her daughter, who lives in Pullman.

“She said 'I finally have some good news. He's been arrested again,” Taylor recalled during a phone call Friday from her east Texas home.

Taylor was referring to Ricky Jenks.

Jenks, arrested Thursday in a police raid at the Hells Angels headquarters in Spokane, was involved in the shooting death of Taylor's son, Lonnie Earl Taylor, 37, on March 21, 2001, in what authorities described as a murder plotted by the Hells Angels, Jenks' outlaw motorcycle gang.

Taylor said she was troubled when Jenks was convicted of only manslaughter and served just 21 months in prison.

 Now she's hopeful Jenks (pictured in 2002) will go away for longer.

“If anybody belongs up there in prison, it's him,” she said.

A family member of Jenks' has not returned a phone call seeking comment. Jenks is in federal custody and unavailable for interviews.

Jenks, sergeants of arms of the Washington chapter of the Hells Angels, was arrested at the gang's headquarters at 1308 E. Sprague Avenue in Spokane Thursday. He's being held without bail on a single charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. A bail hearing is scheduled Tuesday.

Another Hells Angel member, Michael Ryan Fitzpatrick, was arrested on a marijuana charge at another location Thursday. He was released from jail on Friday.

Jenks and Joseph D. Shafer were convicted of second-degree mansluaghter in Taylor's death, which authorities say occurred during a drug rip will Taylor made methamphetamine.

Jenks was wanted on a first-degree murder charge for several months before an an off-duty sheriff’s lieutenant spotted him at a grocery store, leading to his arrest.

Taylor, a 37-year-old mechanic, was found fatally shot in a house at 1125 S. Robinhood in the Sherwood Forest subdivision in the Valley.  The homeowner told investigators that Taylor came to the house and was making meth when the shooting occurred, court documents say.

Taylor recalled attending Jenks' court hearings, which she said were packed with patch-wearing Hells Angels members.

“The courtroom was hell. We had to be escorted out.”

Taylor said she deeply disagrees with Jenks' short prison stint.

“He killed my son,” said Taylor, who lives in Jacksonville, Texas. “I'm 82, and I'm waiting for justice before I go.”

Baby sitter pleads guilty to manslaughter

A baby sitter who pushed a 3-year-old Post Falls boy, resulting in a fatal head injury, pleaded guilty Tuesday to voluntary manslaughter.

Amanda L. Skogen, 26, faces up to 15 years in prison when she’s sentenced early next year in Kootenai County District Court. Skogen pleaded guilty this afternoon and had her $1 million bond reduced to $100,000, said Post Falls Police Chief Scot Haug.

“We’re pleased to see some resolution to this case,” Haug said.

Prosecutors says Skogen was on her knees when she violently shoved Cohen Johnson on Oct. 4, causing him to fall back and hit his head.

She confessed to shoving the boy after he wet his pants and reportedly told police: “I hurt a poor little defenseless boy … And it was all my fault.

Prosecutors sought a first-degree murder charge against Skogen, which is punishable by up to life in prison or the death penalty, but Magistrate Judge Clark Peterson ruled earlier this month that involuntary manslaughter was the appropriate charge.

But Skogen and prosecutors agreed to a deal in which she pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, which carries a possible extra five years in prison, said Prosecutor Barry McHugh.

Baby sitter charged w/ manslaughter

A baby sitter accused of killing a 3-year-old Post Falls boy will be charged with involuntary manslaughter, a judge ruled this week.

Kootenai County prosecutors had sought to charge Amanda L. Skogen, 26, with first-degree murder, punishable by up to life in prison or the death penalty. 

But First District Court Magistrate Judge Clark A. Peterson ruled Wednesday that while Skogen’s actions had “incredibly grievous” consequences, they did not amount to murder.

Prosecutors say Skogen was on her knees when she violently shoved Cohen Johnson on Oct. 4, causing him to fall back and hit his head.

She confessed to shoving the boy after he wet his pants and reportedly told police: “I hurt a poor little defenseless boy … And it was all my fault.”

Idaho law allows for a first-degree murder charge if the death occurred in the course of aggravated battery on a child under 12, but Peterson questioned whether Skogen’s actions before Cohen’s death constituted aggravated battery.

Involuntary manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Past coverage:

Oct. 12: Baby sitter in boy’s death: ‘It was all my fault’

Oct. 11: Idaho baby sitter jailed on murder charges

3-crash survivor pleads guilty in fatality

 A man who has survived three one-car crashes on the same road near Plummer, Idaho, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter for an August 2009 crash.

Joseph Michael Matt, Jr., 25, of Worley, was speeding and under the influence of alcohol and methamphetamine when he lost control of his 1997 Jeep Cherokee and left Lovell Valley Road in Benewah County road, killing William “Sonny” A. Davison, 22, of Desmet.

Matt has been in two other crashes on Lovell Valley Road but was not driving in either.

A federal grand jury indicted Matt, a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, for the Aug. 18, 2009, crash in June.

He pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Coeur d’Alene. He faces a maximum of eight years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years probation when he’s sentenced Feb. 23. He remains in federal custody.

Accidental shooting kills vengeful beau

A Bonner County woman accidentally shot and killed her boyfriend as she tried to stop him from seeking revenge on her assailant, investigators said today. 

Lorraine K. Kenitzki, 45, is in jail on $10,000 bond for involuntary manslaughter after Erik Foust, 41, died of a gunshot wound Wednesday.

Foust had grabbed a gun and was trying to leave the couple’s motor home, parked north of Priest River, to find the man who assaulted Kenitzki in Pend Oreille County Sept. 28, said Lt. Doug Harris of the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office.

“She tried to sop him by taking the gun away,” Harris said. “As she was pulling way from him, it went off and he got shot in the chest.”

Harris described Kenitzki as remorseful. She was arrested the day of the shooting, which was reported about 2:30 a.m.

The couple’s motor home was parked outside the Green Owl Tavern, 4558 Peninsula Road, about five miles north of Priest River.

Kenitzki is from Clark Fork; Foust owned a home in Pend Oreille County where Kenitzki was reportedly assaulted Sept. 28 as Foust was out of town, Harris said. The Pend Oreille County Sheriff’s Office is investigating that case.

Idaho man admits ‘07 slaying in Coolin

A North Idaho man set to go to trial this week instead pleaded guilty to charges that carry up to 15 years in prison.

Keith Allan Brown, 49, (right) entered Alford pleas last Wednesday in Bonner County District Court to voluntary manslaughter and accessory to grand theft in connection with the January 2007 shooting death of Leslie Carlton Breaw of Priest Lake. 

Brown’s Alford plea means he did not admit guilt involving the killing of Breaw (left), who was shot to death he in Coolin on Jan. 23, 2007, but acknowledged a jury likely would convict him.

Brown and his wife, Tyrah B. Brown, then 25, were arrested in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., in March 2007, accused of using Breaw’s debit card. Authorities seized a station wagon and a sailboat the Browns had purchased, allegedly with money they obtained from a $55,000 escrow check of Breaw’s that had been forged.

The couple returned to Idaho and were charged with first-degree murder; Tyrah Brown (right) pleaded guilty in February 2009 to harboring a wanted felon and theft by recovering/possessing stolen property and received light jail time and probation, according to court records.

 Shortly after his arrest, Brown told the Bonner County Daily Bee that he was trying to get control of a .22-caliber rifle held by Breaw when he accidentally shot Breaw.

Voluntary manslaughter carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years in Idaho. Brown is to be sentenced Nov. 5.

The lengthy case was linked to the resignation of a Bonner County Jail chaplain who publicly objected to an early ruling that Brown was mentally unfit to stand trial.

Ferry Co. man convicted in ‘07 fatal shooting

A Ferry County man faces at least 11 years in prison after a jury convicted him of recklessly killing a man who’d let him stay at his rural home.

Philip J. “Jeb” Strong was convicted Monday of first-degree manslaughter for the April 2007 death of Trent V. Irby, 37.

Strong had been living with Irby and Irby’s girlfriend at the home on Tonasket Creek Road about 20 miles north of Republic, Wash., but the couple had asked them to move out.

Strong claimed self defense and “claimed that he was harassed by the victim on numerous occasions leading up the use of force,” said Strong’s lawyer, Stephen Graham. Strong was originally convicted of second-degree murder, but that was overturned on appeal because the jury didn’t have the option of manslaughter, Graham said.

“The prosecution’s contention was that Strong simply snapped and went in there and executed the guy,” Graham said.

But Graham said Irby had a gun that his girlfriend hid from police, because both were felons prohibited from possessing firearms.

Strong has been in the Ferry County Jail since his arrest. He faces 11.5 to 13.5 years in prison when he’s sentenced today.

Past coverage:

April 6, 2007: First-degree murder charges planned in shooting

Husband guilty in pregnant teacher’s killing

(Joel Mills/The Lewiston Tribune)

Sarah Parks’ family badly wants to know how she died.

With that in mind, they are supporting a plea agreement that will send her husband Silas Parks to prison for a maximum of 40 years, Latah County Prosecutor William Thompson Jr. said.

“I think at this point, in addition to wanting to be assured that an appropriate punishment is handed down, they also want to know exactly what happened,” Thompson said.

Silas Parks pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of voluntary manslaughter and one count of first-degree arson in connection with the death last year of his pregnant wife, Sarah Parks, a third-grade teacher at Moscow Charter School.

Silas Parks, 26, of Kendrick, Idaho, was initially charged with two counts of first-degree murder and the arson count.

But a plea deal negotiated with the Latah County Prosecutor’s Office reduced the murder charges. It also stipulated that as part of a presentence investigation, Silas Parks will describe in detail how he killed Sarah Parks and then set fire to their Moscow duplex.

Read the rest of the Lewiston Tribune story here.

Accused killer backs out of deal

A man arrested in a fatal stabbing last year turned down a plea deal today that would have sent him to prison for two years on riot charges.

Instead, Christopher Harper, 28, will go to trial on one count of second-degree murder for the March 3, 2009, stabbing death of Michael ” Mickey” Lyng, 19. He was scheduled to be sentenced today but backed out, said his public defender, Al Rossi.

Trial is set for late February. Harper is the last of three defendants facing charges for Lyng’s death.

His younger brother, Joseph T. Harper, 25, was sentenced to 75 months in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter in December. Robert T. Waters, 28, was sentenced to 65 months on Wednesday after pleading to the same charge.

“Each person who was arrested was in a little bit of a different circumstance,” Rossi said.

Joseph Harper stabbed Lyng in the upper back, but the fatal stab wound came from a larger knife wielded by one of his co-defendants, Harper’s public defender, Dick Sanger, said last month.

Chris Harper’s wife, Amie C. Schott, 20, is accused of driving the Harper brothers from the scene of the crime. She’s scheduled to go to trial next month on three counts of first-degree rendering criminal assistance.

Schott married Christopher Harper after he was in jail and unsuccessfully asked a judge in July to lift a no-contact order between them.

Lyng was at Joseph Harper’s home, 1008 W. Spofford Ave., when he stepped into a fight between Harper and another man over allegations that Harper had hit the man’s girlfriend.

Shortly after the fight, Lyng was at an apartment at 916 W. Augusta Ave. when he had a threatening telephone conversation with one of the defendants.

The three men showed up outside the apartment, and a brawl ensued before Lyng was stabbed.

Detectives recovered two knives – one from under the Maple Street Bridge – believed to be used in the killing.

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