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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Shellye L. Stark

Eitzen denies Stark motions, again

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen has denied a request by convicted killer Shellye L. Stark’s lawyer to reconsider her denials of a new trial or arrest of judgment.

Julie Twyford had filed a motion that included a declaration from a Spokane County Jail inmate who said another inmate had told her her father served on the Stark jury and discussed details of the case when he wasn’t supposed to.

“Even if true, does it make a difference?” Eitzen said at today’s hearing. “Even if a juror talked to someone about what was going on in jury deliberations, is that in and of itself grounds for a mistrial?

“Is the rememdy some sort of sanction to the juror? I’m pretty sure the remedy isn’t vacating the verdict. Again, let the Court of Appeals decide.”

Also at issue for the defense is Eitzen’s sentencing Stark to consecutive sentences for first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Twyford has argued the sentences should be served at the same time, but Eitzen said that’s another issue for the Court of Apeals to handle.

Stark’s mother, two sisters and teenage son attended the hearing, along with Spokane police detective Kip Hollenbeck.

Judge to hear motion in Stark murder case today

Judge Tari Eitzen is scheduled to hear a motion today from convicted killer Shellye L. Stark’s lawyer.


Julie Twyford filed a motion May 11 alleging juror misconduct and asking Eitzen to reconsider Stark’s 50-year sentence and Eitzen’s denials of motions for a new trial and an arrest of judgment.

The state filed a response this week, and the hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m. in Spokane County Superior Court.

It’s a busy day for Eitzen.

Earlier today she presided over a deposition hearing for Samuel Thomas IV, 22, a witness in a first-degree murder case against two men, Henry J. Holloway, 26, and Jalil K. Handy, 21. Both are charged with killing Anthony E. Dennis, 43, last October. Police say Holloway killed Dennis, a crack dealer, out of greed. Holloway’s trial is scheduled for July; Handy’s is set for September.

Handy appeared in court today with his attorney, Chris Bugbee, who questioned Thomas about Hardy’s involvement in the killing and whether Hardy had asked for a share of the profits.

Thomas said he hadn’t, and described seeing Holloway burn his bloody clothes in a barbecue. It appears as though Bugbee is working to drop of reduce Handy’s murder charge, as was done with Thomas.

Thomas was originally charged with first-degree murder but pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery and was sentenced to 12 months in prison with credit given for 103 days served, records show.

Steve Garvin represented the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office.

Police search killer’s boyfriend’s computers

A search warrant filed this week regarding the Spokane police investigation into the boyfriend of convicted killer Shellye L. Stark reveals new details.


The day police arrested Brian L. Moore in Anahiem, Calif., on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree murder, a Post Falls private investigator Moore hired, Ted Pulver, gave detectives a zip drive that he said contained a conversation between Moore and Michael Kendall, Moore’s former Orange County business partner.

“Moore later filed an alleged extortion complaint against Kendall in an attempt to prevent Kendall from cooperating with the police investigation,” wrote Detective Kip Hollenbeck in the search warrant, which was filed Tuesday in Spokane County District Court. “Your affiant believes probable cause exists to search this zip drive to examine the contents for any evidence related to this investigation.”

Pulver (featured left in an April 2008 photo by the SR’s Kathy Plonka) and Kendall are witnesses in the case against Moore, who’s accused of helping Stark plan the Dec. 9, 2007, murder of her husband, Dale Robert Stark, then working with her to concoct a sordid tale of spousal abuse to support a self defense claim.

A jury rejected that claim after a two-week trial in March, and Stark was sentenced to 50 years in prison last month. She remains in Spokane County Jail.

Her new lawyer, Julie Twyford, filed a motion last week asking Judge Tari Eitzen to reconsider the length of Stark’s sentence and Eitzen’s past rejection of motions for a new trial and an arrest of judgment. Included with the filing is a declaration from inmate Christine W. Warman.

Warman said she was in a holding cell with Stark and four other inmates on April 30. After Stark left, one of the inmates said her father served on the Stark jury and said jurors discussed details of the case when they weren’t supposed to, Warman said.

The state has not yet filed a response to that motion. Once that happens, Eitzen will set a hearing to rule on the motion.

Stick with The Spokesman-Review for updates.

Update: the state filed a response this week, and it’s now in the online court system. Eitzen has a hearing set for 3 p.m.

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