Posts tagged: second-degree murder
Stevens County Prosecutors filed charging documents Tuesday detailing the allegations against woman charged last week with killing a man believed to be her half-brother in Colville.
Deena L. Bailey, 49, remains held on a $1 million bond after she was arrested last Thursday on the charge of second-degree murder in connection with the apparent beating death of 56-year-old David S. Barr.
Two witnesses said they saw Bailey, who had hitched a ride from Plummer, Idaho, a few days before, beating on David Barr during a night of heavy drinking on Jan. 9. One witnesses said he saw Bailey swinging at Barr with a bag containing tools.
That same witness returned to the apartment later that night to check on David Barr, who refused medical attention his head wounds. However, Colville Police were summoned Thursday morning to the apartment on West 2nd Street by the victim’s brother, Robert Barr.
Inside, an officer found David Barr dead in the sitting position on his couch.
Bailey, who was discovered Thursday sleeping on the couch of a local coffee shop, agreed to answer questions but claimed she had no idea that David Barr had died. She accused David and Robert Barr of sexually harassing during the night of drinking, according to court records.
Bailey, who is also described as a cousin in charging documents, is scheduled to appear on Jan. 29 for an arraignment, Deputy Prosecutor Matt Enzler said.
The state may finish the its portion of the case Thursday against a man and woman charged with second-degree murder of a man who was shot and killed last December just a few blocks from the Spokane County Courthouse.
Defense attorneys Tom Krzyminski and Derek Reid queried Spokane Police detectives Chet Gilmore and Jeff Barrington about how the crime scene was processed and statements given by 32-year-old Melinda R. Barrera and 22-year-old David C. McLaughlin.
Barrera acknowledged firing the gun on Dec. 7 that killed 46-year-old Robert A. Nelson, but she claims that she fired a single shot into a closet, not the bedroom door that police describe as having a hole from the bullet that killed Nelson.
Krzyminski and Reid both said last week that the bullet may have ricocheted from the closet and somehow struck Nelson.
Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor
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.
A North Idaho woman who killed her uncle and burned his body has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
Melisa R. Bates, 28, is to be sentenced May 18 for the murder of Robert D. Marek, 43, last May at his home eight miles south of St. Maries, where Bates had been staying.
Bates originally was charged with first-degree murder, but the charge was reduced as part of a plea deal approved Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.
Bates shot Marek with a handgun before beating him with a metal rod, Benewah County Prosecutor Doug Payne said.
She underwent a psychological evaluation that declared her to fit to stand trial.
A 20-year-old man arrested for a 2007 murder was sentenced recently to 15 years in prison.
Derrick Gregory Martin-Armstead (right) also was ordered to pay $6,651 restitution after pleading guilty to second-degree murder for the Nov. 12, 2007, shooting death of Daniel Burgess, 30.
Burgess was killed while in the living room of a home at 2413 N. Dakota Ave.
Martin-Armstead, his girlfriend, Jaleesa D. Anderson, 22; and her brother, Marc A. Anderson, 20 (left), each were charged with a single count of first-degree murder. Martin-Armstead's charge was reduced as part of a plea deal.
The Andersons, who are out of jail on bond, are scheduled to go to trial in June.
Martin-Armstead was arrested Oct. 24 after an informant told police he'd implicated himself in the murder during conversations at the jail in May and June 2008.
Top to bottom, left to right, are Jermaine S. Bedford, 22; Kalen J. Bedford, 21; Rashad F. Toussiant, 25; Roderick D. Shanks, 21; Stafone N. “Stix” Fuentes, 27; and Tyrone J. Carell, 23. All are wanted on assault charges related to the murder.
UPDATE: All suspects except Stafone Fuentes and Rashad Toussiant have been arrested.
Law enforcement officers were in Spokane County Superior Court today to provide extra security at the arraignment of murder suspect John “Lil Danger” Castro, who is accused of shooting another rapper at a Spokane hotel.
Castro (pictured left) pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, riot, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and two counts of second-degree assault for a Nov. 27 fight that ended with the shooting death of Jose A. “Junior” Solis, 21, of Moses Lake, at a Spokane hotel. His trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 27, but that likely will be postponed.
Castro, 27, remains in jail on $1 million bond. Public defender Anna Nordtvedt said a request to reduce his bond is to be heard on Thursday. Castro faces life in prison if convicted because of two previous violent felony convictions that qualify him for the state's three-strikes law.
Eight other men are charged with assault in connection with the case. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to the arrest of the six pictured above.
Sheriff's deputies and Spokane police provided extra security at Castro's arraignment before Judge Annette Plese, which was attended by Solis's friends and family. No incidents were reported.
Police believe Castro shot Solis after Solis and other men tried to help their friend who was being assaulted.
Castro and the other suspects went to the Quality Inn on East Third Avenue after a rap concert and were kicked out of a party hosted by the Moses Lake men, police say.
One of the men argued with a woman in the hallway, and he and others began assaulting her boyfriend. The woman and a friend ducked into a room and called for help as the men continued to assault her boyfriend and kick the door to the room, according to police. Solis and others arrived from another floor to help, and Solis was shot int he chest, police say.
Surveillance video captured the suspects running to and from the melee.
Detectives are reviewing Castro's work as the rapper “Lil Danger” as they continue to investigate the case.
A young Spokane man who murdered his 56-year-old roommate and torched the home about a year ago will spend 18 years in prison.
Ryan D. Corkery, 28, was sentenced Friday in Spokane County Superior Court to 216 months in prison for second-degree murder and first-degree arson. He's been in jail since October 2010 after police found the body of William F. Hanel in his burning home at 12036 S. Player Drive.
Corkery, who was identified by Hanel’s friends as his boyfriend, said he killed Hanel because Hanel molested him and a relative, according to previous reports He and codefendant Mark A. Hoffman returned days later to burn the home.
Hoffman was sentenced in January to six months in jail for first-degree rendering criminal assistance and residential burglary. Charges against a third man, Eric Andersen, were dismissed.
Corkery was originally charged with first-degree murder, but the charge was reduced in a plea deal. A friend said Hanel graduated from Lewis and Clark High School in the 1970s and had worked as a transmission repairman. His father, L. Warden Hanel, was a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in Spokane.
A 21-year-old man shot to death at a Spokane hotel early Sunday tried to intervene in a fight when he was shot in the chest by a man his friends recognized as an aspiring young local rapper, witnesses told police.
Witnesses told police that victim Jose A. “Junior” Solis, Jr., was part of a rap group from Moses Lake in town for a concert at a downtown bar when a fight broke out with the suspected gunman, identified by detectives as John Anthony Castro, 27 (pictured).
Castro, who raps under the name “Lil Danger,” remains in jail on $1 million bond after appearing in Spokane County District Court Monday on a second-degree murder charge. If convicted, he faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole under Washington’s three-strikes law because of two previous violent convictions.
In this Nov. 14, 2003, photo, John Castro talks with police and Spokane SWAT members from a roof on East Gordon Avenue after barging inside, kicking out the residents and daring the police to shoot him. (SRPhoto/Jed Conklin)
A 27-year-old man suspected of shooting another man to death in a fight at a downtown Spokane hotel has an extensive criminal history.
John Anthony Castro (pictured in 2009) was released from prison in July 2007 after serving three years and four months for second-degree robbery, second-degree assault, delivery of cocaine, attempt to elude police and first-degree malicious mischief, according to court records.
He was arrested in November 2003 after a standoff with police that began six hours earlier when he left a home he had invaded and led police on a high-speed chase through residential neighborhoods. Castro was released from Department of Corrections supervision in July 2010.
Now he's back in custody on a second-degree murder charge for a fatal shooting at the Quality inn, 110 E. Fourth Ave., about 2:40 a.m. on Sunday.
The Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office is conducting on autopsy on the 21-year-old victim today. He has been identified as Jose Arturo Solis. Castro is being held on $1 million bond. Read more here.
Steven Tramp, the manager of Quality Inn, said the shooting involved a group originating in Moses Lake was occupying a dozen rooms at the hotel after attending a concert in Spokane. Read more from Pia Hallenberg's story here.
A young mother sobbed and promised the family of the man she stabbed to death during a chaotic road rage confrontation two years ago that she would take it all back if she could. Instead, a judge sentenced her today to nearly 16 years in prison.
Maggie M. Tyler, 28, stood before Superior Court Judge Kathleen O’Connor and read a letter she had prepared for her sentencing after being convicted by a jury in April of second-degree murder in connection with the July 6, 2009, slaying of Vitaly Shevchuk in Spokane. Tyler had argued at her trial that she was defending herself, but jurors rejected it.
“If I could turn back time, I would do that in a heart beat,” Tyler said as she cried. “None of this should have happened and I am so very sorry that it did.
By JESSIE L. BONNER,Associated Press (Idaho Statesman ph
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A man was sentenced Friday to life in prison for torturing his girlfriend's 8-year-old son, then killing him and trying to cover up the murder by stuffing rocks in the boy's pockets and dumping the body in a canal.
As 4th District Judge Darla Williamson handed down Daniel Ehrlick's sentence on a first-degree murder conviction, she said she could not force him to endure the same pain he inflicted on Robert Manwill because it would be cruel.
But the 38-year-old had committed cruel acts on Robert, such as dropping his knees on the boy's chest if the child misbehaved, in the privacy of his home, she said.
“Robert died all alone in substantial pain with no one there to care for him and love him,” Williamson said.
Robert, who read Harry Potter books and was saving his money for violin lessons, was forced to sleep in a baby crib while visiting his mother and her boyfriend the summer he died, according to authorities. The boy lost weight because Ehrlick forced him to eat the meal he hated most — oatmeal and raisins — causing him to vomit, prosecutors said.
Robert was hidden in a closet when social workers visited the home weekly to check on his mother's other son, an infant who had been previously removed from the home.
Ehrlick was convicted in June and will not have the possibility of parole. The boy's mother, Melissa Jenkins, also was sentenced Friday to 25 years in prison for her role in the 2009 slaying. She pleaded guilty in January to aiding and abetting second-degree murder as part of agreement with prosecutors.
Jenkins, 32, sobbed as she faced the boy's father, Charles Manwill, and told him that she would repent for Robert's death for the rest of her life.
“It's my fault that Robert's not with us anymore,” Jenkins said. Manwill mostly did not look at her, staring straightforward and shaking his head as she apologized.
The boy, who lived primarily with his father in New Plymouth, Idaho, was visiting Jenkins and Ehrlick in Boise when he disappeared. Prosecutors claim Ehrlick, who is more than 6-feet tall and weighed 277 pounds at the time, tortured the 50-pound boy in a pattern of escalating violence that ended with fatal injuries to his head and chest.
Authorities say Ehrlick killed Robert, then stuffed rocks in the boy's pants pockets and dumped his body in an irrigation canal. The body was found about a week after Robert's disappearance set off a massive, high-profile search across Boise.
Jenkins' tears prompted a sharp rebuke from the judge, who said the remorseful remarks were not consistent with how Jenkins allowed Robert to be beaten, failed to go to authorities and then worked with Ehrlick to cover up the death.
“I'm just not buying it that you have all that remorse,” Williamson said. “Parents who love their children would give their lives for their child.”
Manwill told the court during Ehrlick's sentencing that he would always feel guilty about what happened to his son. “I feel like I could have done more,” he said.
The judge urged him not to shoulder the responsibility for his son's death. “Please don't blame yourself, this is not your fault,” Williamson said.
Prosecutors claim Ehrlick panicked the day he killed Robert because the boy was covered in bruises and about to go home to his father. Ehrlick feared Robert would tell about the abuse and he would lose his girlfriend's other son, an infant who had been removed from the home, prosecutors said.
Jurors heard recorded interviews in which Ehrlick told police he would hide Robert in a closet when social workers visited the apartment to check on Jenkin's infant son.
“Part of the tragedy is three times a week, social workers were coming into the home to teach Danny Ehrlick how to be a better parent, and Robert was hidden in the closet,” said Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Jill Longhurst.
“He beat him and he tortured him, and Robert endured it, unable to talk to anyone, unable to tell anyone,” Longhurst said in a statement to the court before Ehrlick was sentenced.
Ehrlick did not speak at his sentencing.
The defense has rejected the notion that Ehrlick despised Robert and countered that Jenkins was responsible for much of the abuse the boy had suffered.
Ehrlick's defense attorney, Gus Cahill, stressed that his client had maintained his innocence in Robert's death and was convicted by jurors who deliberated for less than two hours.
Cahill asked the court to sentence him to at least 10 years in prison.
“He definitely loved Robert,” Cahill said. “He said he did not do these things.”
By JESSIE L. BONNER,Associated Press
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Ada County jury took just two hours Thursday to convict an Idaho man of first-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend's 8-year-old son.
Prosecutors told the panel in closing arguments that 38-year-old Daniel Ehrlick was a “ticking time bomb” on the day in 2009 when he killed Robert Manwill. The boy's body was found in an irrigation canal about a week after his disappearance triggered a massive search across the city of Boise. Robert would have turned 10 earlier this month.
Ehrlick's sentencing was set for Sept. 2. He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.
During his closing argument earlier in the day, Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Dan Dinger told jurors that Ehrlick panicked because Robert, who had been visiting his mother in Boise, was covered in bruises and about to go home to his father, who lived in New Plymouth.
“He was feeling that pressure, he was feeling that fear because that day was fast approaching,” Dinger said.
Prosecutors claim Ehrlick feared Robert would tell about the abuse and he would lose his girlfriend's other son, an infant who had been previously removed from the home. “It's been a long two years but today the system worked and we got some justice for my son,” Charles Manwill, Robert's father, told reporters after the verdict was announced.
Jurors saw autopsy photos and heard recorded interviews in which Ehrlick told police he would hide Robert in a closet when social workers visited the apartment multiple times a week to check on the infant. Dinger told jurors that Ehrlick tortured the boy and hiding Robert in the closet was part of the abuse.
“He was preying on one of Robert's fears,” Dinger said. “He knew that Robert hated to be alone.”
The boy lived with his mother, Melissa Jenkins, and Ehrlick for about seven weeks and was bruised for much of that time, Dinger said.
The defense, however, rejected the notion that Ehrlick despised Robert and countered that Jenkins was responsible for much of the abuse the boy had suffered.
The prosecution examined more than 100 witnesses but did not present evidence that proved Ehrlick had killed the boy, said defense attorney Gus Cahill.
“He's told you under oath he didn't do this,” Cahill said. “There's no confession, there's no admission.”
Prosecutors claim Ehrlick, who weighed 277 pounds that summer, tortured the 50-pound boy in a pattern of escalating violence that ended with a fatal head injury.
“He'd been hurting him all summer long, but he hurt him one last night and he killed him,” Dinger said.
In an agreement with prosecutors, Jenkins pleaded guilty in January to aiding in Robert's killing. She faces up to 25 years in prison at her August sentencing.
Spokane County Superior Court Judge Kathleen O’Connor described a series of random events that came together two years ago in an altercation that left a 24-year-old man dead and resulted in a 21-year prison sentence for the convicted felon who brought a knife to a fistfight.
The judge last week sentenced Matthew M. Nedeau, 26, to 252 months in prison after a Spokane jury convicted him in April of second-degree murder in connection with the July 6, 2009, slaying of Vitaly Shevchuk.
“All of us in this room shake our heads,” O’Connor said. “This didn’t have to happen.”
Two accused killers are on trial in Spokane County Superior Court this week for a July 2009 stabbing death.
Lawyers for Maggie Mae Tyler, 26, (pictured) and Matthew M. Nedeau, 26, say the two acted in self defense during the fight that killed Vitaly M. Shevchuk, 24.
Shevchuk died from a stab wound to the neck, which Nedeau's lawyer, John Stine, said was inflicted by Tyler after she saw Shevchuk readying to assault Nedeau with an iron pipe.
But Deputy Prosecutor Tom Treppiedi, who is handling the case with Deputy Prosecutor Eugene Cruz, said Tyler and Nedeau “continually escalated their aggression toward Vitaly Shevchuk.”
He said evidence will show that Shevchuk was trying to retreat from the fight at East 5th Avenue and South Greene Street July 6.
Shevchuk's friend Peggy Hill was first to testify after opening statements Tuesday afternoon. Also expected to testify is Savannah Frye, who was in the car with Tyler and Nedeau at the time of the confrontation.
Nathan Gilstrap also was with the group, but he was shot to death last summer. His murder still is unsolved.
Hill and Shevchuk were walking to Fred Meyer to buy cigarettes when the suspects drove by in a red Toyota, and Shevchuk yelled something at them. The car turned around, and the fight ensued. Shevchuk was stabbed in the back, then hurled a rock through the car's back window, according to testimony.
He was then stabbed in the neck and died at a hospital the next day. Judge Kathleen O'Connor is presiding over the trial. Kari Reardon is representing Tyler.
Tyler was featured in the Discovery Channel's “Behind Bars” episode filmed at the Spokane County Jail. Her relationship with her inmate boyfriend was profiled in what the show's announcer said proves “that love in lock down is still possible.”
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A Boise mother pleaded guilty Monday to aiding the killing of her 8-year-old son, whose disappearance in the summer of 2009 set off a massive, week-long search across the city.
A plea agreement was reached with Melissa Sue Jenkins that could send her to jail for 25 years and no chance of parole, Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower said.
Jenkins, 31, and her then-boyfriend Daniel Ehrlick were charged in the death of Robert Manwill, whose body was found a week after his disappearance floating in an irrigation canal southwest of Boise.
Jenkins pleaded guilty under the agreement to aiding and abetting second-degree murder. The deal still needs a judge's approval.
Investigators said Ehrlick beat the boy in a pattern of escalating violence that ended with a fatal head injury. Jenkins knew about the beatings but did nothing to stop it and concealed it from state child protection staff, prosecutors said.
Ehrlick has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and his trial is scheduled to begin in April.
Jenkins acknowledged Monday at a hearing at the Ada County Courthouse that she was aware Ehrlick was physically abusing her son, and that she had hidden the boy from Idaho Health and Welfare workers and family members so they would be not be aware of his injuries.
She also told the judge she is taking medication to manage post-traumatic stress disorder, something diagnosed after her son's death, according to the Idaho Statesman.
The boy's disappearance launched what police have described as the biggest search in Boise history.
One week after Manwill was reported missing, more than 2,300 residents spent an entire day scouring a 2-square-mile area around Jenkins' apartment. Jenkins lost custody of Manwill in 2008 but had visitation rights.
At the time of his disappearance, the boy was visiting his mother. Court records show she told investigators she should have sought medical attention for Robert on the morning of his death, when he was complaining of back, chest and stomach pain and stumbled when he tried to walk.
A Spokane man who murdered a 7-month-old girl, then assaulted her older brother, faces 12 to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced next month.
Jereme J. Bassett, 24, has been in Spokane County Jail since March 20, 2008, the day his now ex-girlfriend brought her daughter, Nevaeh Alana Miller, to Sacred Heart Medical Center with head trauma so severe doctors said recovery was hopeless.
Bassett recently pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and third-degree assault of a child and will be sentenced May 3.
“I wish he would have burned in Hell instead, but it sounds like this is the best deal we’re going to get,” said Nevaeh’s grandmother, Deborah Parks. “It’ll never replace what he took from us.”
The assault conviction stems from Bassett choking Nevaeh’s 8-year-old half-brother and slamming him into a bed after the children’s mother, Jennifer Wilcox, rushed Nevaeh to the hospital. The boy had commented to Bassett that Nevaeh “was brain dead,” according to court documents.
Bassett was unemployed and regularly watched Nevaeh and the boy while Wilcox worked.
Wilcox returned the day of Bassett’s arrest to find her baby unresponsive in the room she and Bassett shared at the West Wynn Motel on Sunset Boulevard.
Bassett had called her earlier to say Nevaeh had fallen and hit her head but seemed OK. He told police he tried to revive the child, then smoked marijuana with two friends who were visiting.
Nevaeh was pronounced dead on March 22, 2008. Her organs were donated to three babies. Parks said she stays in contact with the parents of the baby who received Nevaeh’s heart.
“That’s made a big difference,” she said.
Bassett has past convictions for possession of a controlled substance, residential burglary, and attempted first-degree theft. His criminal history calls for a standard sentencing range of 144 to 244 months.
Spokane County Superior Court Judge Annette Plese approved Bassett’s plea deal on Thursday, the same day Spokane police announced the arrest of 18-year-old Tyler L. Jamison on accusations that he assaulted his 2-month-old daughter, SkyeLynn.