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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: shooting

Shooting victim’s family angered by sentence

The family of a 24-year-old woman shot by a man sentenced to 31 months in prison earlier this week following a January robbery attempt says they are angered they were not informed of the plea deal before it was approved.

But the victim advocate on the case said the woman who was shot declined to participate in the trial proceedings, and restitution was ordered to cover her medical bills.

“We didn't know anything about it,” said Susan Debles, who identified herself as the grandmother of Brittnei J. Fawver. Fawver was shot three times in the chest by Jahvory Kinard during what investigators called a drug deal gone wrong Jan. 3. Debles said she sat by her granddaughter's side for a week as a tube sucked fluids out of her chest and kept her from suffocating. A bullet ricocheted off her rib, saving her life, Debles said.

“If that bullet would not have hit her rib, it would have pierced her heart and her lung,” Debles said. “She would have drowned in her own blood.”

Lori Sheeley, a victim advocate with the Spokane County Prosecutor's Office, said there were multiple attempts to reach Debles before the plea deal went through.

“We definitely did as much as we could, given the circumstances,” Sheeley said.

Kinard - who is the older brother of Kenan Adams-Kinard, one of the teens accused in the fatal beating of 88-year-old Delbert Belton - pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree robbery in the case. The pleading was part of a deal to close two cases, the other an incident stemming from an armed standoff with a cab driver in September 2012, Kinard's attorney Steve Reich said Wednesday.

Debles said the family received notice of Kinard's sentencing in the mail two days after the pleading took place. She said the prosecutor in the case, Tom Treppiedi, was not returning her phone calls.

“You know he's going to do it again,” Debles said of Kinard. “You can just tell by the look on his face. Next time, he's going to kill somebody.”

Sheeley said Monday that Debles had not returned several messages.

Treppiedi was not immediately available for comment Friday.

After the shooting, Fawver served 73 days on a charge of money laundering that Debles said is unrelated to the drug deal. The 24-year-old is currently in custody of the Benton County Jail for a probation violation.

Federal judge says witnesses can talk about houseboat shooting in assault case

Jurors in a federal case against a man who allegedly assaulted a National Park Service ranger last fall can hear details of the officer-involved shooting that followed, a federal judge ruled this week.

Michael Sublie faces criminal charges stemming from a confrontation on his houseboat moored at the Kettle River Campground in September. Ranger Matthew Phillipson claimed he heard pops after he said Sublie shoved his partner, Joshua Wentz, from the boat's gangplank during an altercation about loud music being played after campground quiet hours. Phillipson fired, striking boat occupant Casey Hartinger in the side.

U.S. District Court Judge Justin Quackenbush is hearing the case. In a pretrial conference last week at the federal courthouse in Spokane, Quackenbush heard arguments from defense attorney Roger Peven and U.S. Assistant Attorney Tyler Tornabene on the admissibility of testimony about the shooting.

The government said the shooting followed the alleged criminal activity, and thus should not be discussed at trial because it might prejudice a jury. Peven said the alleged assault and shooting took place at the same time and information about both should be admitted at trial.

“I contend they were contemporaneous, at worst,” Peven told Quackenbush last week. He said the events transpired in less time than it took to recount them.

Quackenbush said he had to determine whether the testimony about the shooting, as Hartinger is planned to be called as a witness, “would generate more heat than light.”

In a written ruling issued Monday, Quackenbush ruled limited testimony about the shooting would be allowed. Any discussion of whether the shooting was justified, that Phillipson acted negligently or used excessive force will not be allowed in the courtroom as that is the subject of an ongoing internal investigation and the parties are mulling civil action, Quackenbush said.

“None of those issues are before this court,” Quackenbush wrote.

Peven had also objected to an investigative agent from the National Park Service being allowed to sit at the prosecution's table during the trial. Quackenbush disagreed with Peven, and the agent will be allowed to confer with Tornabene throughout the trial.

Another conference is scheduled for mid-May, with a jury trial expected to begin later that month. Sublie faces up to a year-and-a-half in jail if convicted.

Houseboat owner says he was recorded following shooting

The owner of a houseboat charged with assaulting a National Park Service ranger during a dispute about loud music before another opened fire, injuring a guest, says he was recorded secretly after the shooting.

Michael Sublie has been charged with assault and obstruction of justice stemming from the Sept. 14 incident at the Kettle River Campground just northwest of Kettle Falls. According to court documents, rangers Joshua Wentz and Matthew Phillipson approached Sublie's boat - moored for an end-of-the-summer party, witnesses said – after 10 p.m., established quiet hours on the secluded, federally owned property.

Wentz used pepper spray and a stun gun in an attempt to subdue Sublie, then was pushed from the gangplank, according to court documents filed last week. Phillipson opened fire with his service weapon, striking passenger Casey Hartinger in the side.

Hartinger was standing near his children, aged 10 and 14, when he was fired upon, according to court documents.

U.S. Assistant Attorney Tyler Tornabene asked a judge to preclude all evidence of the shooting from jurors' ears, arguing Phillipson fired after the commission of the alleged crimes. But Sublie's attorney, Roger Peven, said in filings Tuesday the events occurred simultaneously, and it would confuse jurors to divide the two.

“The shooting happened literally during the middle of the interaction between Mr. Sublie and Ranger Wentz when Ranger Phillipson discharged his weapon,” Peven wrote.

Peven also alleges that Sublie was surreptitiously recorded by National Park Service rangers during a discussion with a local police officer who responded to the scene. Sublie was placed in a National Forest Service patrol car when he spoke with the officer, whom he knew, according to court documents. Peven wrote rangers placed a recording device in the car to keep tabs on what was said.

Hartinger received medical attention from medical technicians already present at the scene, according to court documents. He was later treated at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane and released. He has not been charged with any crimes in the incident.

A jury trial in the case is tentatively scheduled for May. Sublie, who is not in custody and has no other criminal history, faces up to a year-and-a-half in prison if convicted.

Trial delayed for boat owner in Kettle River Campground shooting

Michael Sublie will not be back in a federal courtroom until January to face charges of obstructing a federal law officer and violating National Park Service noise restrictions during an incident in September when a ranger fired and struck a partygoer on Sublie's boat.

Citing the ongoing investigation by multiple agencies into the shooting, both the government and Sublie requested a continuance for a hearing scheduled Tuesday afternoon. U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Rodgers approved a delay of the hearing until January, with an expected trial date now scheduled for February.

Sublie pleaded not guilty to all charges shortly after the Sept. 14 confrontation, the details of which remain under wraps by the Washington State Patrol and Investigative Services Branch of the National Park Service, who are both looking into the incident. A Spokesman-Review request for investigative materials was denied via email earlier this month by the WSP because of the ongoing investigation.

Sworn statements filed in court said Sublie became verbally confrontational when two rangers attempted to board his boat investigating excess noise. The standoff turned physical, and Sublie shoved one of the rangers off the gangplank, according to court documents.

Friends and family of Sublie and Casey Hartinger, the man who was struck in the ribs by a bullet fired by a ranger, say the incident occurred following an end-of-the-summer party held by local law enforcement and emergency services personnel. A rally was held supporting Sublie and Hartinger outside the Stevens County Courthouse last month.

The Park Service and WSP continue to withhold the names of the two officers involved in the shooting incident. Supporters of Sublie and Hartinger have identified the rangers as Josh Wentz and Matt Phillipson.

U.S. attorney asks for more time to investigate Kettle River campground incident

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Spokane petitioned the U.S. District Court last week to provide more time to investigate the events that led to a National Park ranger shooting a Kettle Falls man on a houseboat last month.

Michael Sublie, the owner of a houseboat currently moored on private property along the Kettle River branch of the Columbia, faces federal charges after Park Service rangers approached him for excessive noise at a remote beach Sept. 14. According to investigators, Sublie was verbally and physically defiant when rangers attempted to board the vessel and turn down the music.

Several demonstrators who turned out for a rally in support of Sublie and Casey Hartinger, the man shot by park rangers, said the incident followed an annual gathering attended by area law enforcement and hospital staff at the beach, and the shooting is just another in a list of grievances they share against the Park Service's law enforcement efforts.

In documents filed Sept. 26, Assistant U.S. District Attorney Tyler Tornabene said his office needed more time to collect investigative reports from various agencies involved in the case. The Washington State Patrol and Investigative Branch of the Park Service are looking into the circumstances leading to the shooting and examining whether there was any professional misconduct on the part of the rangers.

An initial order required the Attorney's Office to provide all discovery to defense counsel within 14 business days of the arrest. Tornabene wrote that timetable would be insufficient to complete the investigation.

“The United States is mindful of its discovery obligations and intends to fully and timely comply with those obligations,” Tornabene wrote.

Sublie is due in court for a pretrial status hearing later this month. Hartinger has not yet been charged in connection with the incident.

Police continue search for Grant County shooting suspect

Multiple law enforcement agencies continue their search for a shooting suspect who shot a man multiple times in the stomach Friday morning.

Arnoldo Cazares Mendoza, 20, fled a blueberry orchard in a pickup truck after a shooting that occurred around 7:30 this morning, Grant County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kyle Foreman said. Mendoza’s relationship to the victim is unknown. Multiple field workers witnessed the shooting, Foreman said.

Anyone with information on Mendoza's wherabouts is asked to call 911.

Check out the original story by The Spokesman-Review's Kip Hill here.

Suspect describes Oregon coastal killings, meth use

COQUILLE, Ore. (AP) — A Douglas County man accused of aggravated murder has testified he was using methamphetamine throughout a weekend family trip to the coast and was feeling paranoid before shooting his mother-in-law’s 19-year-old husband and her 70-year-old former husband.

The World of Coos Bay reports that Timothy Henson of Myrtle Creek took the stand Tuesday.

He testified that he’d been in confrontations all weekend with Milton Leach, the former husband of 47-year-old Ruth Micheaux.

He’s accused of killing Leach and George Micheaux III on U.S. 101 north of Bandon in September.

Henson testified, in his words: “I didn’t know who was on my side and who wasn’t.”

Henson’s wife was injured in the gunfire but survived.

Suspect identified in Warden shooting

WARDEN, Wash. (MCT Regional News) — Grant County authorities are searching for Ramon O. Morfin in connection to the shooting Sunday night in Warden that left two injured.

Warden police have an arrest warrant for Morfin, 19, on suspicion of two counts of first degree assault. Morfin is about five feet six inches tall and reportedly has a tattoo on the right side of his forehead reading “F13,” related to the Florencia 13 street gang, according to the sheriff’s office.

The two victims shot in Warden were also identified Monday.

LaShawne Bethea, 31, was shot in the leg and back after allegedly getting into a verbal altercation with Morfin at an apartment complex at 800 S. County Rd. in Warden about 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Morfin pulled out a handgun, allegedly shooting the intended victim, LaShawne Bethea, 31, in the leg and back. The other victim, identified as Derek Duplichan, 20, was struck by a stray bullet in the leg during the altercation. Both victims were treated at Samaritan Hospital in Moses Lake and released, according to Kyle Foreman, of the Sheriff’s Office.

Morfin reportedly fled the scene following the incident and is still at large.

Anyone who knows where Morfin is should contact the Warden Police Department at 509-762-1160.

Brother arrested in man’s slaying near Colville

COLVILLE, Wash. (AP) — The Stevens County sheriff’s office says deputies arrested 48-year-old Eric Harris on Monday night for investigation of murder in the shooting death of his 43-year-old brother Larch Harris at a home near Colville.

The sheriff’s office says the shooting took place Sunday as the brothers were arguing over a horse saddle. Their father recently died and they disagreed over the estate.

Woman arrested in death of Sunnyside man

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Yakima County sheriff’s detectives have arrested a 20-year-old woman in the death of a 23-year-old Sunnyside man whose body was found Friday in the trunk of his girlfriend’s car on the Yakama Nation reservation.

The sheriff’s office says the suspect was tracked through phone records.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports (http://bit.ly/1a73LKw ) the sheriff’s office hasn’t said whether the woman arrested is the girlfriend.

Alberto Gabriel Martinez was last seen alive on Thursday night. The autopsy was scheduled for Monday.

2 men wounded in Warden shooting

WARDEN, Wash. (AP) — The Grant County sheriff’s office says two men were wounded in a shooting Sunday night at an apartment complex in Warden.

Two men were arguing when one pulled out a gun and wounded the other man and a bystander. The sheriff’s office says the injuries are not life-threatening.

The suspect fled and police are looking for him.

Colville shooter still at large

A man who allegedly shot his brother to death in Colville is still at large today.

Eric Harris, 48, is being sought by Stevens County sheriff’s deputies in connection with an early Sunday fight that left his brother, 43-year-old Larch Harris dead from a gunshot wound, authorities said.

When deputies arrived at Eric Harris’ home where witnesses reported the shooting occurred, the suspect had already left, according to the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies are hoping to obtain a warrant for Eric Harris’ arrest, said Sgt. Loren Erdman with the sheriff’s office. Harris has an extensive criminal history, including several reports of assault, Erdman said.

“It’s definitely a possibility that he’s dangerous,” he said. “We haven’t found the weapon he had, so there’s a possibility he’s armed.”

Eric Harris is 5-foot-5 and 170 pounds. He has brown hair, hazel eyes and several tattoos. Anyone with information about his location is asked to call 911 or the Stevens County sheriff’s dispatch at (509) 684-5296.

$500,000 bond for Browne’s Addition shooting suspect

Justin C. Werle appeared in court Wednesday afternoon and was given a $500,000 bond. Photo: Nicole Hensley

A missing work glove led to a shooting between a Browne’s Addition apartment tenant and his building’s handyman.

Spokane Police officers arrested Justin C. Werle Tuesday night after they closed off several blocks in the neighborhood and called a SWAT team to find the alleged shooter at the Pacific Terrace Apartments in the 2200 block of West Pacific.

The victim, identified as Zachary Bergstrom in court documents, told authorities a feud began earlier on Tuesday when Werle confronted him about a missing work glove, he told authorities. A shoving match started later that day between the two and Werle pulled out a gun and shot Bergstrom in the neck in the building’s alleyway.

Bergstrom clutched his neck and ran to the manager’s office where 911 was notified of the shooting, court documents show. He was alert and talking when medics took him to the hospital.

A K-9 unit dog tracked an unsuccessful lead to another apartment, officers said, but detectives called Werle’s mother, Donna Werle, and learned he wasn’t there.

She told detectives Werle called her and said he did not want to be taken alive and would shoot himself, but she convinced him to wait for police at her home. Officers found Werle walking near 13th Avenue and Coeur d’Alene Street.

Spokane cop shooter still at large

A gunman fired several rounds at a Spokane police officer early this morning, missing the officer but striking his patrol car.

The shooting occurred as the officer, who has not been identified, was guarding the scene of a shooting several hours earlier in the 1100 block of West Frederick.

The gunman has not been identified, and detectives from the drug, gang and major crimes units are poring over tips, said spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe.

“Just definitely protect yourself,” DeRuwe said. “If they’re going to shoot at us, they’re not going to hesitate to shoot at the community.”

Read the rest of my story here.

2 cops hurt in West Side shooting

By GEORGE TIBBITS

Associated Press Writer

SEATTLE (AP) —

Two sheriff’s officers were wounded while responding to a dispute at a home between two brothers — the third shooting of law enforcement officers in Washington state in the last three months.

The officers killed the gunman before they were rushed to the hospital. One was listed in stable condition, the other was in critical condition in the intensive-care unit.

Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said the sergeant and a deputy were shot at around 8:45 p.m. Monday while responding to an altercation between David E. Crable and his brother near Eatonville, a rural community in the Cascade foothills. The home is about 15 miles west of Mount Rainier National Park and 50 miles south of Seattle.

Crable, 35, (right) shot the two officers before he was killed when they returned fire, Troyer said, adding that the gunman has a history of “terrorizing” his family.

The names of the officers were not immediately released. Troyer said the officers were met at the door by Crable’s brother, Troyer said. When the deputies entered the house, Crable opened fire from upstairs, hitting one of the officers multiple times.

“This is somebody that was laying in wait for our guys,” Troyer told reporters near the shooting scene. “There’s not much we’re going to be able to do when somebody is hiding and arming themselves and we have somebody else inviting us into the residence and the second person opens fire on us.”

Crable’s family tried to help the wounded officers by providing first aid, Troyer said.

Deputies said the brother was cooperating with investigators and did not call him a suspect.

“It looks like people that were in this residence went out of their way to help our people,” he said.

Read the rest of the AP story by clicking the link below.

Man accused in carjack shooting said victim owed money

A man accused of shooting another man in an apparent carjacking attempt Friday told police he was trying to get money the victim owed an acquaintance, according to court documents filed Monday.

Joseph P. Ellery, 30, (left) pulled a gun he jumped in the Mitsubishi 3GT coupe that Donald G. Young was driving before Young grabbed the gun and it “just went off,” Ellery reportedly told police.

Young, who family members said is in his 50s, is in critical condition at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center with a single gunshot to his upper body, according to court papers.

Ellery is in Spokane County Jail on $25,000 bond after appearing in court Monday on one count of first-degree assault.

After Young collapsed in the street, Ellery tried driving the Mitsubishi from the scene but ran after he couldn’t get it started, police said.

He was arrested after a police dog tracked him to a dog house in the 2500 block of North Normandie.

Also arrested was Richard P. Hoffman, 34, who police say was driving his 2001 Chevy pickup with Ellery when Ellery got out and approached Young, according to court documents.

Hoffman is charged with drug possession. Hoffman (right) told police he heard a woman in a Ford Explorer that was between his pickup and Young’s Mitsubishi scream for help as the Mitsubishi rocked back and forth.

“Several witnesses began approaching and Hoffman yelled at them to get back because he (Ellery) had a gun and he just shot someone,” according to court documents.

Ellery has previous convictions for burglary and criminal mischief and Yellowstone County, Mont.

In August, he was credited for 67 days served in Spokane County Jail after pleading guilty to second-degree burglary and attempted theft of a motor vehicle in Spokane County, according to news archives.

It’s unclear if Ellery is related to Justin Jay Ellery, the 24-year-old accused of armed robberies at Zip Trip and Papa John’s.

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