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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: neck tattoos

Tattoo-covered shooting suspect calls in sick for court

A man suspected of pulling the trigger in a fatal shooting at a north Spokane home last week will appear in court Friday afternoon.

The tattoo-covered accused killer, Joshua T. Tillery, 33, was expected in Spokane County Superior Court, but a court clerk said he didn't show up because he was sick.

Spokane Police Department detectives learned Tillery was hiding at 2012 N. Ruby Street on Wednesday and organized surveillance with U.S. Marshals agents at the address, prior news reports said. 

A quick swoop of authorities took Tillery into custody within five minutes, police said.

He's accused of shooting Devon Mack, 33, in the head following a heated argument with a struggle at 4508 N. Lincoln last week. 

Suspect cleared in May home invasion

A Spokane man arrested for a May home-invasion robbery has been cleared of wrongdoing in what his lawyer says was a case of mistaken identity.

Joshua Clint Epperson, 32, still faces seven felony gun, drug, burglary and theft charges for a May 1 burglary.

Police believe Epperson stole guns, electronics and jewelry from a home in the Country Homes area to help pay a $1,000 debt to his heroin dealer. Epperson's girlfriend, Chelsey M. Loe, also is suspected in the case. Investigators searched the couple's home at 51 E. Crown on May 6 and recovered meth and suspected stolen property.

Epperson was summonsed to court for an arraignment but arrested just a few days before for a May 22 home invasion robbery in the Indian Trail area. Robbery and kidnapping charges were dismissed in Spokane County Superior Court on Thursday. Epperson is to stay with a friend in North Spokane if he's released from jail. His lawyer said he possibly has a job at a tattoo parlor.

Suspects Erik J. Zacher, 26, and Nathan W. Day, 21, still are charged for the home-invasion robbery. Nathan T. McDaniels, 28, alias Gardner, was sentenced last month to 10 years in prison.

Past coverage:

May 30: Police: We saved repeat offender's life
  

Accused killer pleads guilty in gun case

A Spokane man accused of murdering a gang rival 2 1/2 years ago has admitted to unlawfully possessing the murder weapon.

Edward Lee “TD” Thomas, 26, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to felon in possession of a firearm, halting a scheduled trial.

Thomas, who has felony convictions that prohibit him from possessing firearms, faces up to 10 years in prison when he sentenced, which is scheduled for Oct. 11. The charge stems from a Ruger mini 30 rifle found in a Nissan Altima rental car near the body of John S. Williams, 38, who was shot to death on Jan. 17, 2010, outside a party at 5405 N. Crestline St.

The gun had Thomas' fingerprints on it. He was arrested in Los Angeles in September 2010 on a second-degree murder charge and is in Spokane County Jail awaiting trial. Spokane County prosecutors dismissed the murder charge but are expected to refile when the federal gun charge is resolved.

Federal prosecutors had asked a judge to allow jurors in Thomas' gun trial to know about his gang membership and the gun's link to the murder. Thomas' lawyer objected.

Gun trial linked to murder, gang rivalry

Federal prosecutors want jurors in an upcoming gun trial to know about the suspect's gang membership and the gun's link to a 2010 murder in northeast Spokane.

Edward Lee “TD” Thomas, 26, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm for a Ruger mini 30 rifle found in a Nissan Altima rental car near the body of John S. Williams, 38, who was shot to death on Jan. 17, 2010, outside a party at 5405 N. Cresline St.

The gun had Thomas' fingerprints on it. He was arrested in Los Angeles in September 2010 on a second-degree murder charge and is in Spokane County Jail awaiting trial. Spokane County prosecutors dismissed the murder charge but will refile once Thomas' federal gun charge is resolved.

Trial on the gun charge is set to begin July 23 in U.S. District Court in downtown Spokane.

The U.S. Attorney's Office has filed a motion asking that jurors be allowed to hear testimony about the shooting. Thomas' lawyer, Bryan Whitaker, has objected and points to the fact that Thomas hasn't even been convicted of murder.

“The logic here is flawless: since John Williams was shot with a firearm, Mr. Thomas could only have shot him while in possession of a firearm,” Whitaker wrote in a response to the motion. “The fallacy of this logic is that it relies completely on Mr. Thomas being the person who shot John Williams. The jury, therefore, would be invited to convict Mr. Thomas of Felon in Possession of  Firearm because the Government believes he shot John Williams.”

Thomas is accused of shooting Williams multiple times, including a final shot to his face. Police and prosecutors say the shooting stemmed from a gang rivalry, and prosecutors want to experts to tell jurors about Thomas' ties to the Atlantic Drive Compton Crips.

Police say Thomas acquired the firearm after a dispute with Jerome Danner, a member of the Grape Street Crips. The groups were at a birthday party for Ronald L. “Heavy” Shuler when a fight broke out. Williams, who was linked to Danner, punched out a window to a car in which Thomas was before he was shot by Thomas, police say.

But Whitaker said the relationship between Thomas and Danner was not based on gang member but on the fact that they each have a child with the same woman.

“The acrimonious relationship between gangs has no bearing on issues in this case. The theory here is that gang membership is the motive for possessing a firearm. That logic would permit the admission of gang-related testimony in EVERY case involving a gang member,” Whitaker wrote.

U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle has not yet ruled on the motions.

Six other men were charged in connection with the homicide, including Cedric E. “Dirty” Burton, who was sentenced to five years in prison for driving Thomas from the murder. Police say Thomas went to Antonio Cook's house after the shooting and stayed there until the next day. Cook, who reportedly supplied the murder weapon, also has been charged.

Reports of gunman led to SWAT standoff

Spokane police arrest Maceo L. Williams, 27, after a SWAT team standoff on Thursday. (SPDphoto)

A SWAT team standoff in West Central Spokane Thursday was spurred by reports that a suspected drug dealer with a gun had told people he wasn't going back to jail without a fight.

Maceo L. Williams, 27, was arrested for violating his Department of Corrections probation after police pumped pepper spray into a home at 2301 W. Broadway Ave. Williams had refused to come out of the home for hours.

Williams is a reputed gang member who told people in the neighborhood about his arrest warrant, according to court documents.

Police were watching a home at 2415 W. Dean Ave., Thursday where Williams was said to be living when they saw him leave on a bicycle. He ended up at the West Broadway Avenue apartment.

Four occupants exited at the request of police, including Candice Lyons, who described herself as Williams' “street sister.” Amanda Tucker, who identified herself as Williams' girlfriend, told police Williams had a BB gun that he used “so no one disrespects us,” according to court documents. Lyons said Williams had a 9 mm handgun.

The SWAT team used a siren and bullhorn to try to contact Williams. They also used a robot to try to establish phone contact with him before pumping pepper spray into the home.

Police seized two BB guns and baggies of suspected methamphetamine or other white drugs at the home, according to a search warrant filed Friday.

Williams was arrested last December after a SWAT team standoff at 13110 N. Addison St., in north Spokane.

Police then were looking for him and a reputed Sureno gang member, Bobby S. “Angel” Decaney (pictured left), after a woman was assaulted and robbed of methamphetamine. 

Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza in April sentenced Williams to four months in jail with credit given for about four months already served for riot and second-degree attempted theft. He also was sentenced to two years probation.

Judge Greg Sypolt sentenced Decaney, who faced life in prison if convicted of his third violent felony, to nine months in jail and two years probation in April for the same charges. He remains in jail.

51-time felon accused in car prowlings

A 51-time felon who was told by a judge 10 years ago that “the system's had enough of you” is back in jail for property crimes police suspect are related to his severe heroin addiction.

 Brian Lee Danner, 40, was stopped last week in the area of North Cedar Street and Northwest Boulevard while driving a green 1995 Jeep Cherokee belonging to another longtime felon, Johnie Leo Vick, Jr., 42.

Spokane police Officers Nick Geren and Brian Eckersley, along with Sgt. Joe Peterson, were looking for the Jeep after learning of vehicle prowlings in Spokane involving it and a 1984 Chevy Blazer also registered to Vick.

Vick was arrested the same day as Danner, June 26, when police located him working on the Blazer at Auto Zone, 2526 N. Division St. Danner had heroin on him when he was arrested, police say. Also arrested was Rabecca Hearn, 26, who police say received stolen purses from Danner.

Police believe Danner often smashes car windows to steal purses and other valuables. Danner told police he'd been prowling vehicles to support “a severe substance abuse problem,” according to court documents. Vick also told police he's a heroin addict who prowls cars to support his habit.

Vick, who has a neck tattoo that says “Ladies Love Outlaws,” could not be booked into jail because of medical reasons; police sent charging recommendations to prosecutors and expect him to be summonsed to court once charges are filed.

Danner remains in jail on $10,000 bail for charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of stolen property.

Police searched Vick's vehicles on Monday and seized suspected stolen identifications and credit cards.

Danner's remarkable criminal history, which includes at least 41 adult felonies and 10 juvenile felonies, includes 25 convictions from 2002 for second-degree possession of stolen property. He was sentenced to two years in prison by Superior Court Judge Ellen Kalama Clark.

His co-defendant, Shelly M. Ose, received nine years in prison when Judge Greg Sypolt rejected a plea bargain. Their criminal records were similar. (Ose's sentence was reduced on appeal to about four years.)

At the time, Clark said she saw no reason to give Danner, who was returned to prison for the fourth time, an exceptional sentence. She did give him a warning, however: “I'm going to remember you, Mr. Danner. The system's had enough of you,'' she said.

Her warning apparently had little effect on Danner.

He went to prison again in 2006 for property crimes in Stevens County, then returned for his sixth stay in 2010 for - again - property crimes.

Clark isn't likely to see Danner this time around; she's assigned to juvenile court but does sometimes handle adult felonies.

Assault suspect jailed on $1 mil. bond

An assault suspect charged in connection with a murder at a Spokane motel in November has been jailed on $1 million bond after police caught him returning from an out-of-state flight.

Stafone N. “Stix” Fuentes, 27, (pictured) is prohibited from traveling out of state under conditions imposed by a judge who approved a $250,000 bail after his arrest Feb. 1. Fuentes posted that bond Feb. 29.

The Spokane gang team arrested him Thursday at the Spokane International Airport as he returned from Las Vegas on a late-night flight.

Fuentes could face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of second-degree assault for a wild fight Nov. 27 fight at the Quality Inn, 110 E. Third Ave., which led to the shooting death of aspiring rapper Jose J. “Junior” Solis, 21, of Moses Lake.

Another aspiring rapper, John A. “Lil Danger” Castro, 27, (pictured) was arrested just after the homicide and remains in jail on a second-degree murder charge. Castro faces life in prison if convicted under the state's three-strikes law because of his criminal history.

Fuentes' lengthy criminal history includes two convictions for strikes: second-degree assault and first-degree robbery. He also has been convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm.

He was jailed briefly last summer after news of his uncle’s murder outside a rap concert in Montana revealed to his probation officer that he’d left the state without permission.

Spokane gang team arrests 2 fugitives

The gang team arrested two men this week in Spokane for violating their probation on violent crimes.

Christopher M. Prusch, 35, (pictured left) was booked into jail Wednesday on a Department of Corrections warrant for escape from community custody, Spokane police Officer Matt Rose said today.

His lengthy criminal history includes convictions for second-degree robbery, intimidation of a public servant and hit and run.

 A national sex offender registry website lists Prusch has having a conviction for third-degree rape in 1994, but he's no longer listed in the Spokane County sex offender registry.

Later on Wednesday, the Spokane Violent Crime Gang Enforcement Team also assisted Department of Corrections officers in arresting Ismael M. Tarango, 35, of Walla Walla, for a DOC escape warrant.

Tarango (pictured right) is a convicted killer with convictions for first-degree burglary and second-degree murder from the 1990s. He also was booked into jail.

Killer in hotel trashing left prison in ‘11

A convicted killer accused of trashing a Spokane Valley motel while celebrating he and his wife's anniversary was released from prison just 15 months ago.

Danial Caleb Peters, 38, murdered Melissa Mae Wageman, 40, on  Dec. 22, 1995, after smoking crack cocaine. He told police he didn't member beating the woman to death with 4-foot pipe but awoke to find her bloody body nearby.

The circumstances are similar to what Peters' public defender, Mike Elston, said apparently happened Tuesday night at the Pheasant Hill Inn, 12415 E. Mission Ave., in Spokane Valley.

Peters “claims a drug-educed paranoid episode” led to him destroying the room he and his wife, Danielle Lea Wozniak, 27, returned to celebrate their one-year anniversary, Elston said Thursday at Peters' appearance in Spokane County Superior Court.

Wozniak told police Peters destroyed the room after they used methamphetamine.

“I want everybody to know that I'm very sorry for the drug use that I did,” Wozniak said in court Thursday.

Peters told police “that he felt people were after him” and broke a water sprinkler in an attempt to get help, according to court documents.

He said Wozniak destroyed other items like a mirrors, lamps, air conditioner and phone, but Wozniak said it was Peters. Police responded about 6 a.m. and say the duo caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to the hotel, which had recently been renovated.

Water damage from the sprinklers means only 28 of the hotel’s 104 rooms usable. Peters and Wozniak were booked into jail on a felony charge of first-degree malicious mischief. They married in March, Wozniak said.

Wozniak's criminal history includes a single misdemeanor conviction two years ago. Judge Annette Plese ordered her to stay in jail unless she posts $2,500 bond.

Plese set Peters' bond at $5,000 and told him she had “really serious concerns about your criminal history.”

Peters said he has a “very good job” at a construction company that was set up through a church.
The couple was staying with Peters' mother, according to court testimony, but she told court officials they are no longer allowed there.

Peters was sentenced to 17 years in prison in February 1996, but his conviction and scores of others were overturned in 2004 because the Washington Supreme Court ruled the second-degree murder law was defective. He was re-sentenced in 2005.

Wageman met up with Peters while celebrating her 40th birthday at the Happy Time Tavern, 3506 N. Division St. She was killed at a nearby home where Peters had been staying with his his older gay lover after smoking marijuana and crack cocaine. Peters then used his lover's truck to take Wageman’s body to a friend’s house in Stevens County. Upon arrival, the friend handed Peters a phone so he could turn himself in.

Peters didn't deny killing Wageman but said he didn't remember doing so. Wageman was a single mother who was raising a son who, at the time, was an honor student and musician at Shadle Park High School.

Peters finished his sentence at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla in January 2011 and still is completing his two-year probation term, according to the Washington Department of Corrections.
  

Gory face-mauling attack shocks police

In this image taken from video, Miami police officers stand watch near a naked man, second from right, who was shot dead by a police officer when he refused to stop chewing on the face of the naked man next to him, partially obscured by a railing, in Miami, Saturday.  (AP Photo/The Miami Herald)

By JENNIFER KAY,Associated Press
MIAMI (AP) — It is being called one of this city's goriest crimes: A naked man was on top of another nude man along a busy highway, biting into the man's face, tearing it to pieces. A police officer arrived to help, but the mauler growled at him and continued to chew away, stopping only when he was shot to death.

 Miami police said little Tuesday about the attack, which took place Saturday afternoon in the shadow of The Miami Herald headquarters. Surveillance video from the newspaper's security camera showed cars, motorcycles, pedestrians and bicyclists passing by.

The victim, identified as 65-year-old Ronald Poppo (left), was in critical condition, with only his goatee intact on his face, the newspaper reported.

Sgt. Javier Ortiz, vice president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, said it was one of the bloodiest “and goriest scenes I've ever been to.”

“It was not only grotesque, it was just very sad, the amount of blood. It was very sad to see what happened to this gentleman that had his face eaten,” Ortiz said.

It's not clear what led Rudy Eugene (right), 31, to attack Poppo. Eugene's ex-wife, Jenny Ductant, told WPLG-TV, said he was somewhat paranoid.

“I wouldn't say he had mental problem but he always felt like people was against him … No one was for him, everyone was against him,” she told the station. She and Eugene's mother declined comment when reached by The Associated Press.

Larry Vega was riding his bicycle off the causeway, which connects downtown Miami with Miami Beach, when he saw the attack.

“The guy was, like, tearing him to pieces with his mouth, so I told him, 'Get off!'” Vega told Miami television station WSVN (http://bit.ly/L6kwWt). “The guy just kept eating the other guy away, like, ripping his skin.”

Vega flagged down the Miami police officer, who can be seen exiting his car on the Herald video. Vega said the officer repeatedly ordered the attacker to get off. Eugene just picked his head up and growled at the officer before continuing to maul his victim, Vega said.

The officer shot Eugene, but he just kept chewing, Vega said. The officer fired again, killing Eugene.

Vega refused to comment when reached by The Associated Press, saying he wanted to put what he witnessed behind him.

Detective William Moreno would not release details about the shooting, citing the ongoing investigation. The Miami-Dade County medical examiner declined to provide any information until after the autopsy, which was scheduled for Tuesday.

Ortiz said the officer, who is part of a crisis intervention team and trained to deal with the mentally ill, had no choice but to fire.

“He's clearly shaken up,” Ortiz said, adding that the officer had been administratively reassigned pending an investigation, as is standard after an officer-involved shooting.

After the shooting, the Herald's video zooms in on the scene. Most of it is blocked by an overpass, but two sets of uncovered legs can be seen. One set never moves, while the other twists and turns as if the person is in pain.

“It was just a blob of blood,” Vega said. “You couldn't really see, it was just blood all over the place.”

Court records show that Poppo has several arrests for public intoxication.

According to Miami-Dade court records, Eugene had been arrested for multiple misdemeanors, mostly marijuana-related charges. The most recent arrest was in 2009. The Herald reported that he played football at a Miami area high school in the late 1990s.

Ives Eugene, who identified himself as Rudy Eugene's uncle, described his nephew as a “nice and hard-working” man who washed cars at a local dealership.

He said his nephew had asked his girlfriend to borrow her car, but she said no. “So he rode the bicycle, and he never came back home,” he said.

Associated Press reporter Suzette Laboy contributed to this report.

Sex offender arrested in home invasion

A sex offender suspected in a violent gunpoint home-invasion robbery was arrested today.

 Joshua Clint Epperson, 32, was booked into jail on felony charges related to an early-morning attack last Tuesday in the 9600 block of North Alpine Court in the Indian Trail area.

The Spokane police Patrol Anti-Crime Team located Epperson in the 4200 block of North Atlantic Street, Officer Brian Eckersley said in a news release.

Epperson was arrested just three weeks ago for a burglary in the Country Homes area in north Spokane County and is to be arraigned Wednesday on residential burglary, first-degree trafficking in stolen property and resisting arrest charges.

He was out of jail awaiting that arraignment when police allege he partook in the robbery, which involved the victims being bound with zip ties and one being pistol whipped.

Suspects Nathan W. Day, 21, and Nathan T. McDaniels, 28, were arrested Wednesday and remain in jail.

Epperson faces charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, first-degree kidnapping, possession of a stolen firearm, two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of unlawful imprisonment and two counts of possession of a controlled substance, Eckersley said. Prosecutors filed charges on Friday.

Epperson is a level 3 sex offender, which is the classification considered most likely to reoffend. He was convicted of third-degree rape of a child in 2003. He also has a conviction for indecent liberties.

Man gets 10+ years for home robbery

A Spokane man has been sentenced to about 10 years in prison for a gunpoint robbery last year.

Jeremy L. Standon, 30, has an extensive criminal history that includes convictions for first-degree robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm, money laundering, drug possession, second-degree identity theft, first-degree burglary, theft of a firearm.

He recorded his second first-degree robbery conviction - and second strike under the state's three-strikes-and-you're-out law - when he pleaded guilty in late April. Now he's headed to prison on a 129-month sentence that will include credit for 364 days already served in jail after being sentenced this week in Spokane County Superior Court.

Co-defendant John Gibson Dean, 30, is awaiting trial. He was arrested earlier this month after a couple months as a fugitive.

Police say Dean and Standon robbed three people of money, jewelry and electronics after being allowed inside the home at 1415 N. Post St. May 9, 2011. Police paid a confidential informant $100 for information that helped identify the men.

Metal theft nets $250k restitution

A man who stole metal as part of a licensed business has been ordered to pay about $250,000 in restitution.

 Tristan M. Goiri-Christensen, 26, a former Crime Stoppers fugitive, pleaded guilty last week to first-degree theft and eight counts of first-degree trafficking in stolen property and was credited for a day already spent in jail.

He's to be on probation for a year. Goiri-Christensen is part of a band of suspected metal thieves who created a Spokane-based business, complete with licenses from the Washington Department of Revenue, to get around state laws designed to discourage theft by making it tougher for individuals to sell stolen metal to scrap yards.

The state exempts licensed businesses from the mandatory 10-day waiting period for payments of over $30 on scrap metal sold to recyclers. The thefts cost Avista Utilties thousands of dollars. Read more here.

Happy 3rd birthday, Sirens & Gavels!

Grab the party hats and get your game face on - Saturday is Sirens & Gavels' 3rd birthday.

Some of you may already be planning epic celebrations, but for those of you I caught off guard, I apologize.

The idea behind this blog was simple - a devil-worshipping sex offender called me upset that a commenter said he was not a true member of the Church of Satan. I'd already written an adequate article about the man, and his phone call certanly didn't warant a follow up. But it was too remarkable to ignore.

Since then, this blog has become a hub for crime and court news in the Inland Northwest and anything else that might pique my interest. Regular readers should expect to see original content each weekday, links to nearly all crime and courts stories on spokesman.com, and weird news from around the world on Friday mornings.

Your praise and criticism is needed and appreciated. I am best reached at meghannc@spokesman.com or (509) 459-5534.

Here's to a great future for Sirens.  Be sure to 'like' the blog on Facebook to show you're a true fan.

Also, follow me on Twitter. #hipster

Related coverage:

March 7: Woman stalked by aggressive turkey

Level 3 sex offender moves to Valley

A sex offender recently released from prison for the unlawful imprisonment and robbery of a 16-year-old is now living in Spokane Valley.

Joseph R. Wheeler, 34, is a level 3 sex offender, which is the classification considered most likely to reoffend.

He served about eight years in prison after being convicted of first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, unlawful imprisonment, harassment in April 2004, according to court records. He was credited for about 1 1/2 years spent in the county jail before he was convicted. Wheeler's victim was a stranger.

Wheeler is being supervised by the Washington Department of Corrections but is not wanted by authorities. However, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office wants people to be aware of his presence.

Wheeler is living in the 1300 block of South Robie Road, which is a few blocks from Opportunity Elementary School.

The Spokane County Sex Offender Registry is available here. Anyone with questions about the sex offender community awareness program is asked to call (509) 477-6609 or email RSOUnit@spokanesheriff.org.

Reward for tips on licensed theft suspect

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to the arrest of an accused metal thief who was part of a licensed business.

Tristan M. Goiri-Christensen, 26, is wanted on a $20,000 warrant after skipping a pre-trial conference April 27. He was scheduled to begin trial Monday on theft and stolen property charges.

Goiri-Christensen is part of a band of suspected metal thieves who created a Spokane-based business, complete with licenses from the Washington Department of Revenue, to get around state laws designed to discourage theft by making it tougher for individuals to sell stolen metal to scrap yards. The state exempts licensed businesses from the mandatory 10-day waiting period for payments of over $30 on scrap metal sold to recyclers.

Goiri-Christensen and four others are accused of stealing thousands of pounds of power lines from Avista Utilities and selling the copper wire to fuel their drug habits. The stolen metal meant a massive payday in the thousands of dollars. A business license meant it came instantly. And it was easy to obtain. Read more here.

Goiri-Christensen, 6-foot-3 and 320 pounds, last gave an address in the 300 block of East Rockwell Avenue in Spokane.

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

Woman sought in meth-fueled robbery

A new suspect has emerged in a meth-fueled robbery that led to a police SWAT team standoff at a north Spokane apartment last December.

Allison Elaine Hubbard, 30, (right) is wanted on first-degree robbery and first-degree kidnapping charges for the Dec. 1 assault of a 22-year-old woman who was choked unconscious with her own necklace.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to her arrest. 

Hubbard is accused of robbing Jennifer M. Taylor of methamphetamine on the South Hill with the help of Bobby S. “Angel” Decaney, 35, and Maceo L. Williams, 27, who were arrested later that day.

A police dog found Decaney (left) inside a couch in his apartment at 13110 N. Addison. A SWAT team had pumped tear gas into the apartment, but Decaney, a reputed Sureno gang member, refused to exit. He faces life in prison if convicted because he has two previous convictions for violent felonies.

Williams and Decaney have pleaded not guilty.

Decaney left jail early February after posting $50,000 bond. His trial is set for April 16. Williams remains in jail awaiting an April 23 trial.

Police used cell phone information to identify Hubbard as the woman who was with Decaney and Williams that night. Messages on Decaney's phone from Hubbard discussed robbing Taylor, police say. A witness also identifed Hubbard from a photo montage.

Prosecutors filed charges March 22.

Hubbard, 5-foot-7 and 220 pounds, has a criminal history that includes convictions for assault, burglary theft and drug possession. She was a Crime Stoppers fugitive in November 2010 when police identified her as a marijuana growing suspect with a “shopping list.”

Hubbard last gave a home address in the 10000 block of East Sixth Avenue in Spokane Valley.

Anyone with information on her current location is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters do not have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.

SWAT team nabs property crime suspect

In this Oct. 27, 2005 photo, Parolee Victor Luna, left, listens to his mentors Tom Murphy and Suellen Pritchard during a weekly meeting to help Luna adjust to life outside of prison. Luna was arrested this morning on stolen property charges. (SRphotoarchives)

A 30-year-old felon who pledged to turn his life around several years ago is back in jail after a long-term investigation into stolen property trafficking.

Victor Alonzo Luna was arrested after a SWAT team secured his home in the 12700 block of East 31st Avenue in Spokane Valley this morning, according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.

Luna has 10 felony convictions that include assault, unlawful possession of a firearm, riot burglary and possession of stolen property, which prompted the use of the SWAT team.

Luna was arrested without incident on a charge of first-degree trafficking in stolen property.

The Spokane Valley property crimes unit had been investigating Luna for dealing in stolen property. Detectives observed him purchase several items he believed to be stolen, police say.

Luna told investigators he purchases property from a lot of people and “that he did not want to know if the property was stolen or not,” police said. He's prohibited from dealing with pawn shops because of his criminal history, but Luna admitted to enlisting others to pawn property for him, police say.

Luna gave an extensive interview to The Spokesman-Review in 2005 while a member of  Going Home, the Washington State Re-entry Project, a pilot program to keep young felons with a history of serious violent crime from victimizing the neighborhoods in which they are released.

At the time, Luna said every day “on the outside” is a major victory.

“So many times I wanted to go back to (crime). Money’s tight, and it’s so much easier money,” Luna said.

Read the story here.

Cops: Sex offender tried to rape hooker

A sex offender jailed in California has been charged with trying to rape a Spokane prostitute at knifepoint.

Robert James Barbee, 38, also faces a federal charge of failing to register as a sex offender after investigators say he moved to the area from California without notifying authorities.

He was arrested in Oct. 17 after a woman recognized him as the man who tried to rape her Sept. 25 after she agreed to perform oral sex for $40, according to the Spokane Police Department.

The woman told police was working the corner of East Sprague Avenue and North Magnolia Street when she went with the man to an abandoned house and was attacked. The woman said she fought off the attack and was assisted by patrons at the Rainbow Room, a topless bar.

Police caught up with Barbee Oct. 17 after the woman called 911 and said her attacker approached her friend that day while they were working as prostitutes near Sprague and North Crestline Street. Officers found Barbee near East Second Avenue and South Perry Street, and he told them he'd been attacked by a man who accused him of raping a woman, according to court documents.

Barbee was arrested on a warrant out of California for failing to follow parole conditions for a theft/embezzlement against the elderly conviction. He told police he'd been in Spokane for about five weeks and was staying at the House of Charity.

A federal complaint filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Spokane alleges he failed to register as a sex offender here. He's required to do so because of a 1994 conviction for lewd and lascivious conduct with a 13-year-old child. Barbee last registered as a transient in San Joaquin County, Calif.

Spokane police Detective Brian Hamond says Barbee denied any knowledge of the incident during a phone interview in prison in Elk Grove, Calif. on Dec. 19. Barbee also denied carrying a knife, according to documents prepared by Hamond.

Spokane County prosecutors charged Barbee Dec. 20 with attempted first-degree rape and second-degree assault. He has not yet arrived in Spokane to face charges.

Man w/ ‘Sureno’ face tattoo is 3 striker

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A reputed Sureno gang member who Spokane police say stayed hidden in a couch after tear gas was pumped into his apartment faces life in prison if convicted under the state's three-strikes law. 

Bobby S. “Angel” Decaney, 35, (pictured) pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first-degree kidnapping and first-degree robbery. He already has two convictions for violent felonies.

Decaney and Maceo L. Williams, 27, are accused of holding 22-year-old Jennifer M. Taylor while another woman assaulted her and stole methamphetamine from her pocket on Dec. 1.

The female assailant choked Taylor unconscious with her own necklace and threatened to kill her, according to court documents. The incident led to a SWAT team standoff in north Spokane.

Police contacted Taylor at a hospital, where she told them she'd gotten a ride on the the South Hill from Decaney, whom she knew as “Angel” and described as having “Sureno” tattooed across his forehead. Williams, the unidentified female assailant and Michael J. Hall also were in the car, she told police.

She said Decaney stopped the car and the woman accused her of talking badly about her ex-boyfriend, who police say also is a Sureno gang member. Taylor told police lost consciousness while being strangled then awoke to the woman punching her and stealing five ounces of meth that was hidden in her bra.

Police tried to contact Decaney and Maceo at Decaney's apartment at 13110 N. Addison, but they refused to come out and the gang unit and SWAT team were called to assist. Police evacuated the area and, after a few hours, pumped tear gas into the apartment. Williams, Hall and Nicole Coffey emerged and said no one was left inside, documents say, but a Spokane police dog, Stryder, found Decaney hiding in a large zippered bag that was secreted inside a couch, according to court documents.

Williams also pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and robbery charges Tuesday in Spokane County Superior Court. Both suspects are in the Spokane County Jail. Hall and Coffey were arrested after the standoff but have not been charged.

The police investigation into the assault is ongoing.

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