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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Sgt. Joe Peterson

Police use family to find fugitive

   Recently filed court documents show how Spokane Police on Monday tracked down the man who has been charged with Oct. 1 shooting in which his girlfriend suffered a bullet wound to the face: They followed the family.

   Joshua D. Graham, 30 appeared Tuesday before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese. She ordered him held on a $250,000 on the charge of first-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm.

   At the hearing, Graham’s mother, Donna Hilliard, claimed that the shooting was an accident and that her son didn’t turn himself into police because family of the victim, 19-year-old Justine Fry, had threatened to retaliate against Graham.

   But the whereabouts of Graham was solved after Detective Ben Estes learned that Graham had been in contact with Hilliard, and his brother, Justin Graham, who also appeared in court Tuesday to support his brother, according to court records.

   Acting on that information, Sgt. Joe Peterson and Officer Glenn Bartlett began watching Graham’s family and they followed Justin Graham as he drove to a home at 1117 W. Cleveland Ave. Just before noon on Monday, Justin Graham left that home with Justine Fry.

   The officers approached the home, according to court records, and talked to the home owner who confirmed that both Joshua Graham and state Department of Correction fugitive Nicholas D. Renn were in the home.

   Someone inside the home slammed the door shut, and Peterson and Bartlett called in the SWAT team, which was able to arrest both men.


Man charged in attack ordered held

   The man charged with attacking a 62-year-old woman during a burglary last month that left her with serious injuries told police he was just trying to get out of her house when he threw an elbow at her.

   David J. Bassford, 38, appeared Monday before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese who ordered Bassford remained held on a $100,000 bond. He faces the charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery and second-degree assault.

   On Sept. 6, police responded to 907 E. 8th Ave. after Rebecca Laurence said she found a man she didn’t know in her home trying to steal a camera.

   Laurence “yelled at him and ran up and grabbed the camera,” Sgt. Joe Peterson wrote in court records. “The suspect struck her in the face several times until she fell to the floor. (He) then hit her several more times while she was lying on the floor.

   “The suspect then picked Laurence up and threw her down a long flight of concrete stairs while maintaining possession of the camera and other items,” Peterson said. “The suspect then fled the scene.”

   The case broke when a witness said that on Sept. 6, he had been given a ride by David Bassford to his apartment, which is directly across from where Laurence lives.

   Bassford then told another witness, Gerry Ellerding, that he had just broken into a home and was surprised by a woman and forced to flee. Bassford then asked Ellerding to give him an alibi by claiming that Bassford was at the garage all day.

   On Friday, Peterson and another officer arrested Bassford and he agreed to talk to them.

Bassford told the officers that he knocked on Laurence’s door and when she didn’t answer, he went around to the back door and entered the home.

   “Bassford said he took several items including a camera and was then confronted by a woman,” Peterson wrote of Bassford’s statement. “When he turned to leave the residence, the woman grabbed his right shoulder and he swung his right elbow at the woman in order to let her go.”

   Department spokesman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said in an earlier news release that Laurence suffered “significant” injuries.

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