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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: stabbings

1 arrested for stabbing near fire station

A firefighter standing outside a station at West 1st Avenue and South Walnut Street Friday witnessed a stabbing and treated the victim's head injury, authorities say.

Dean Carr was on the south side of the fire station when he saw a man approach two people who were sitting in the grassy area just south of the station about 6:15 p.m., according to court documents.

Carr called 911 when a fight broke out and saw the assailant pick up two sleeping bags and walk away. He treated the man for a stab wound to the head and identified Richard A. Sala, 21, as the attacker. Spokane police had found a knife with blood on it in Sala's right front pocket, documents say.

Sala, who has previous convictions for assault, said he fought with the couple because he believes the sleeping bags belong to him, police say. He was arrested for first-degree robbery. The sleeping bags were recovered.

Two hours later, another stabbing was reported at 2305 W. Dean Ave. Suspect Kenneth W. Middleton, 32, was arrested for first-degree assault for allegedly attacking a man who was arguing with the man's own wife.

Both men appeared in Superior Court on Monday.

Woman sentenced in road rage murder

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.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

June 3: Man in fatal street fights gets 21 years

April 29: Man, woman guilty in fatal 2009 stabbing

April 20: Man, woman on trial for fatal '09 stabbing

2 murder charges dropped in plea deals

Two Spokane residents arrested on murder charges in Benewah County face less than a year in custody under recent plea agreements.

  Kelly A. Miller, 40, (left) and Stephen Milton, 22, (right) pleaded guilty to felony criminal accessory charges for helping Miller's husband, Jody Miller, 40, and her son, Irael Kennedy, 21, after a fatal stabbing in Plummer April 17.  

Milton was sentenced to five years in prison, but a judge retained jurisdiction over the case, which means he'll undergo treatment with the Idaho Department of Corrections for three months to a year, depending on what prison officials decide, said Douglas Payne, Benewah County deputy prosecutor.

Kelly Miller has not yet been sentenced but faces the same time, Payne said.

Jody Miller (left) and Kennedy (right) are scheduled to go to trial in October on first-degree murder charges, but Payne said that likely will be delayed.

 The men are accused of killing Antowyn D. “Tony” Swiney, 37, (left) at his girlfriend's home in Plummer after Swiney left a Spokane bar to avoid a confrontation.

Jody Miller used to date Swiney's girlfriend, officials say.

The four were arrested in Spokane hours after the murder.

Past coverage:

May 25: Boy says he witnessed Plummer murder

April 23: Romantic tie figures in murder case

Felon accused of stabbing man in back

A suspect has been arrested for an assault in which a man was stabbed in the back.

Stephen J. Heidt, 26, was arrested Friday, one week after a stabbing that left Daniel Kelly, 30, with a stab wound in his back.

Spokane police responded to the 4800 block of North Lacey Street about 8:41 p.m. Aug. 12 and found Kelly with the non-life threatening injury. A K-9 team unsuccessfully searched for the assailant, whom Kelly identified as “Steve” or “Stephen,” according to police.

Witnesses identified Heidt from photo montages, and Heidt was charged last week with first-degree assault. He remains at the Spokane County Jail after appearing in court on Monday.

Heidt, who has previous felony convictions, was arrested in June 2010 after trying to flee police in a stolen car.

Officers found several weapons in the car, including a hatchet and meat cleaver. He pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen motor vehicle a month later.

2nd suspect arrested in hotel stabbing

Spokane police on Wednesday arrested a second suspect for an attempted gunpoint robbery at a motel last month.

Walter S. Reiter, 31, is due in Superior Court this afternoon on robbery, assault and unlawful possession of a firearm charges for an incident at the Comfort Inn, 923 E. 3rd Ave., on July 25.

A TV station employee recognized Reiter and suspect Jason M. Doyle, 32, from surveillance photos released to media.

The tipster told police he's known Reiter and Doyle since middle school and that suspects are best friends. Doyle was arrested last week on charges of first-degree attempted robbery, first-degree assault and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

The victim, Dustin T. Hayes, of Omak, told police he was staying with his girlfriend at the motel when he was assaulted by two men and threatened with a shotgun.

He said he prevented the men from taking his duffel bag “even though they were overpowering him and he was being stabbed,” according to court documents. Hayes wrestled the shotgun away from the men, but one grabbed it as the fled the motel. The men also stole Hayes' Los Angeles Dodgers baseball cap after they couldn't get the duffel bag, police said.

Hayes said he didn't know the men but believes they were trying to rob him because they thought he had money in the duffel bag.

Doctor accused of killing partner, son

By GENE JOHNSON,Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) — A doctor who failed to show up for his new job at a Seattle hospital was charged Tuesday with killing his partner and their young son, days after a hospital manager who went to his apartment to check on him discovered the grisly scene.

Louis C. Chen, 39, faces two counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the deaths of Eric A. Cooper, 29, and Cooper Chen, 2, last Thursday. He remains hospitalized with undisclosed injuries, and it was unclear if he had an attorney.

The endocrinologist recently moved to Seattle from Durham, N.C., where he had completed a fellowship at Duke University. On Thursday, he was to begin work at Seattle's Virginia Mason Medical Center by meeting with a manager there for orientation, a detective wrote in a probable cause statement.

Chen didn't show up for his 7:50 a.m. Thursday meeting, and when the manager, Madonna Carlson, received a worried call from Chen's sister an hour later, she went to Chen's high-rise apartment to check on him. The building's property manager accompanied her.

Carlson heard some rustling noises and knocked several times, and finally Chen opened the door — nude, covered in dried blood, with his right eye swollen shut. He held a box in front of himself, and inside Carlson could see a man's body on the floor in boxer shorts.

Cooper, Chen's longtime partner, had been stabbed well more than 100 times, including wounds to his face, back, neck chest and hands, authorities said.

Police arrived to find Chen slumped down by the front door. In the bathroom tub off the master bedroom, they saw the couple's son, Cooper Chen, obviously dead.

The officers were about to leave the apartment when they noticed Dr. Chen moving his head and eyes. One nudged him and asked Chen for his name, according to the charging papers, and the following conversation ensued:

“Who did this?” the officer asked.

“What?” Chen answered.

“Stabbed you and him.”

Chen looked at the officer. “I did,” he said.

Friends told police they had not heard from Chen since Aug. 8, and a review of the electronic keys assigned to the apartment revealed that they had not been used since that afternoon.

Five large kitchen knives that might have been used in the attack were found in the apartment — including three on the bed in the master bedroom that were stained with blood, the charging papers said.

Aggravated murder is punishable only by life in prison without release or execution. Chen's arraignment is set for Aug. 29. The prosecutor will then decide whether to seek the death penalty.

1 arrested, 1 wanted in hotel stabbing

Spokane police have arrested a suspect in a stabbing and attempted robbery at Comfort Inn last month and are asking for help locating a second suspect.

Walter S. Reiter, 31, (pictured) is wanted for first-degree robbery, police said today. Anyone with information on his location should call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Jason M. Doyle, 32, a felon, was arrested Thursday on charges of first-degree attempted robbery, first-degree assault and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. He and Reiter are accused of using a shotgun to try to rob a man at the Comfort Inn, 923 E. 3rd Ave. on July 25 about 1 a.m.

The victim suffered a non-life threatening stab wound after reportedly bragging “about how much money and dope he had in his car,” police said at the time.

Surveillance photos released last week led police to identify Doyle and Reiter as suspects.
  

Photos show suspects in hotel stabbing

Spokane police are asking for help identifying two robbers who stabbed a man at the Comfort Inn last week.

The victim suffered a non-life threatening stab wound after reportedly bragging “about how much money and dope he had in his car” about 1 a.m. on July 25, said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, spokeswoman for the Spokane Police Department.

Police today released surveillance photos from the hotel at 923 E. 3rd Ave. that show two men who are believed to be the assailants.

Anyone with information on their identities is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Experts detail problems with Knox case

By ALESSANDRA RIZZO,Associated Press
PERUGIA, Italy (AP) — The investigators who collected the genetic evidence used to convict Seattle student Amanda Knox of murder in Italy made a series of glaring errors, including using a dirty glove and not wearing caps, two independent forensic experts said Monday.

 The experts had been appointed by an Italian appeals court to review the DNA evidence used in Knox's trial, including some found on a kitchen knife believed to be the murder weapon and some found on the clasp of the victim's bra.

That evidence played a crucial role in securing the convictions of Knox (right) and her co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito (left) in the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, a Briton who shared an apartment with Knox while they were both exchange students in the city of Perugia.

 Knox, 24, and Sollecito, 27, have denied wrongdoing and have appealed. The evidence review was granted at the request of their defense teams.

In the first trial, prosecutors maintained that Knox's DNA was found on the handle of the kitchen knife and Kercher's DNA was found on the blade. They say Sollecito's DNA was found on the clasp of Kercher's bra.

But the independent experts told the appeals court that the collection of evidence fell below international standards and may have resulted in contamination. They used slides to refer to international protocols for the collection and sampling of evidence, including one from the U.S. Department of Justice and others from various U.S. states.

One of the two experts, Stefano Conti, (pictured) cited several cases of forensic police entering the crime scene or coming into contacts with objects there not wearing protective equipment such as masks or hair caps. He said that while evidence should be wrapped in paper or kept in a paper bags, police often used plastic bags, heightening the risk of contamination.

“There are various circumstances do not adhere to protocols and procedures,” the forensic expert told the court.

In footage and framegrabs shown to the court, two police officers collected the bra clasp, and the glove worn by one of the two appeared to be dirty on two fingers. Conti noted the bra clasp was collected 46 days after the Nov. 1, 2007 fatal stabbing of the 21-year-old Kercher.

“Over those 46 days several objects were moved, and in at the same time several people will have come in and out,” he noted, again stressing the risk of contamination.

The other expert, Carla Vecchiotti, (pictured) explained to the court that the genetic profile on the knife's blade that was attributed to Kercher is dubious and cannot be attributed with certainty. She said the original testing did not follow recommendations of the international scientific community for dealing with DNA testing.

Vecchiotti said the review concurred with the original testing in saying that the genetic profile on the knife's black plastic handle could be attributed to Knox. The knife was found at Sollecito's apartment.

The independent experts, both from La Sapienza University in Rome, will be questioned and cross-examined in the next hearing, scheduled for Saturday. That will be the last hearing before the summer break.

The full review, a 145-document obtained by The Associated Press, was filed to the Perugia court last month.

2 stabbed in fight over woman’s clothes

A confrontation over a woman's clothing led a Spokane man to stab two people late Tuesday, police say.

Raymond L. Bell, 45, is accused of stabbing Gary Smith and his son, Jonathan Smith during a fight that began about 10:45 p.m. at 2517 E. 1st Ave.

According to court documents, Bell banged on the door and demanded clothes belonging to his girlfriend, but when Smith said he didn't have the items, Bell took a black folding knife out of his pocket and stabbed him in the left arm.
Jonathan Smith was stabbed in chest and hospitalized with a partially collapsed lung.

A police K-9 tracked Bell to a garage at 2415 E. 1st Ave., where he was arrested on two counts of first-degree assault. He remains in jail on $30,000 bond after appearing in Spokane County Superior Court on Wednesday.

Seattle murder suspect confesses to jury

By GENE JOHNSON,Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) — A man wearing a shock sleeve to control outbursts and hand mitts to prevent him from stuffing dangerous items into his mouth testified Wednesday that he committed the horrific rape and stabbing of a lesbian couple in Seattle two summers ago.

“I was there and I was told by my God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to attack my enemies, and I did so,” Isaiah Kalebu said under questioning by one of his lawyers.

Closing arguments in the case were presented later in the day, and a jury began deliberations before adjourning until Thursday.

The trial started three weeks ago, but the testimony was the first time jurors had seen Kalebu, who was previously so disruptive in court that the judge barred him from attending.

He watched the trial via closed circuit television from another courtroom before indicating he wanted to exercise his constitutional right to testify in his own defense.

He was wheeled into court in restraints, wearing an electroshock sleeve, a yellow shirt and dark tie, and the oversized white mitts. He recently was hospitalized after swallowing a small pencil.

Prison guards stood by ready to activate the Taser-like sleeve in case Kalebu acted out, but he remained docile. The courtroom had been rearranged to prevent jurors from seeing his restraints.

Kalebu, 25, testified while sitting at the defense table, and even remained sitting while the jurors filed in — usually everyone in the courtroom must rise. He kept his hands by his lap as he was sworn in.

He answered only two questions on the stand: One about whether he knew about the events, and another about whether he'd been diagnosed with mental illnesses. He answered the latter affirmatively as prosecutors objected on hearsay grounds.

Kalebu is accused of slipping in an open window of the couple's home in Seattle's South Park neighborhood and repeatedly raping and stabbing them during a two-hour attack. One woman, Teresa Butz, died naked and blood-soaked in the street in front of her home as neighbors tried to help. Her partner survived and told the jury that Kalebu was the man who did it.

He's also suspected in an arson that killed his aunt and one of her tenants in Pierce County, south of Seattle, but has not been charged in that case due to a lack of forensic evidence.

Kalebu is not pursuing any type of mental-health defense. His lawyers, Michael Schwartz and Ramona Brandes, have argued that he didn't commit the crime — a contention prosecutors say is disproved by DNA evidence and witnesses.

Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty due to Kalebu's history of mental illness. Experts have found that although he might suffer from bipolar disorder, he has been faking or exaggerating the symptoms. In January, he was found competent to stand trial.

If he's convicted, he could face life in prison with no opportunity for release.

Assailant stabbed by victim sentenced

A gang suspect stabbed by a man he was trying to rob has been sentenced to just under four years in prison.

Devron M. Parrish, 24, pleaded guilty to second degree robbery and was sentenced to 45 months in prison with credit for 163 days already served in the Spokane County Jail.

Parrish and three other suspected gang members were walking near North Nelson Street and East Wabash Avenue on Dec. 23 when they assaulted a man and demanded his money.

The victim fought the men off with a knife, stabbing Parrish and Patrick McKenzie. McKenzie told police he helped carry Parrish to a nearby apartment.

McKenzie, 25, was sentenced in April to 20 months in prison and $106 restitution, after pleading guilty to second-degree robbery and third-degree assault.

It's Parrish's second prison stint - he was sentenced to 51 months in 2006 for second-degree assault, second-degree malicious mischief and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

Survivor of brutal Seattle attack testifies

Woman who survived brutal Seattle attack testifies
By GENE JOHNSON, Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) — Awakening in the middle of the night to find a half-naked man looming over her bed with a knife, the woman had one goal: to keep completely still, to do nothing that would risk angering him or causing him to use the knife on her or her partner.

It didn't work, she testified. During a horrific two-hour attack, the man repeatedly raped and cut them, killing her partner, Teresa Butz, who collapsed and died in the street in front of their South Seattle home, naked and covered in blood, as stunned neighbors tried to help.

The 38-year-old woman who survived the attack two years ago took the witness stand in King County Superior Court on Wednesday afternoon and described her ordeal publicly for the first time in the trial of the man charged in the attack, Isaiah Kalebu, 25.

Kalebu, who has been barred from the trial because of prior outbursts, was not in the courtroom during her testimony. Defense attorneys have said they plan to argue he did not commit the crimes.

“It was like, you want to be so still,” she said. “I just didn't want to aggravate him, or do something that would make things worse for Teresa.”

She said she believed her attacker was “a rapist who would leave.” When senior deputy prosecutor James Konat asked her why, she answered that it was because he kept saying he would.

Kalebu, who has a history of mental illness but is not presenting a mental-health defense, is charged with aggravated murder, attempted murder, rape and burglary in what's been described as a random attack on Butz and her partner at their home the night of July 18, 2009. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty; he would face life in prison without release if convicted.

Kalebu is accused of entering the home through an open window — it was a hot night, and Butz, a native of St. Louis, was philosophically opposed to using air conditioning in Seattle. The city doesn't get hot enough, her partner testified.

The Associated Press is not identifying her because she is a victim of sexual assault.

Her testimony ranged from terrifying details of the attack — how the man, pacing slowly through the bedroom, knife in hand, closed the three windows one-by-one — and cheerful, sometimes emotional recollections of the time she shared with Butz, their first kiss and the way Butz fit perfectly into a $70 wedding dress she was going to wear at their upcoming commitment ceremony.

“She kind of had a fire and a spunk to her that I was really drawn to,” she said.

The woman flashed broad smiles and laughed often as she described their lives together. They met because Butz was a commercial real-estate manager who oversaw the floor on which the woman worked, but Butz initially wouldn't return her calls. She talked of their last day together, which they spent going to a weight-loss class, drinking beer on a tour of South Seattle microbreweries, going to her wedding dress fitting, and grilling steaks at home.

They had been planning to spend the night in the suburb of Marysville that night for a friend's birthday party, but were exhausted from their busy day and stayed home instead.

Butz's family didn't approve of their wedding plans, but the woman said Butz was excited that evening because she had just spoken on the phone with her mother, who had indicated she might attend the ceremony. Several of Butz's relatives were in the courtroom.

“They may not have agreed with our choice, but I knew there was no question they loved Teresa, and I knew there was no question they loved me,” she said.

She choked up as she spoke of their plans to have children together.

Though she had described the rapes by the end of court Friday, she had not yet testified about the stabbings. She was to resume testifying Thursday morning.

Prosecutors say the attack finally ended when Butz — just 5-foot-2 — kicked Kalebu off a bed and used a small table to break a window, through which she left. Kalebu ran out of the house, and Butz's partner left too, naked and covered in so much blood that she had trouble opening the front door of the home, authorities said.

Before Butz died from a stab wound to her heart, she reportedly told a neighbor: “He told us if we did what he asked us to do, he wouldn't hurt us. He lied, he lied.”

Kalebu was arrested after he was identified using DNA evidence and surveillance video from an earlier unsolved burglary at the city hall in the suburb of Auburn. The attack kept the neighborhood on edge until Kalebu's arrest six days later.

Man barred from own trial in rape case

In this May 12 photo, accused rapist and murderer Isaiah Kalebu, lower center, is taken in a wheeled restraint chair through a hallway at the King County Courthouse following a court hearing in Seattle. Judge Michael C. Hayden has taken the unusual step of tentatively barring Kalebu from attending his own trial when opening statements began in King County Superior Court on Monday because of outbursts during pre-trial hearings. Instead, Kalebu will be able to watch the proceedings via closed-circuit television from a nearby courtroom.

By GENE JOHNSON,Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) — The trial of a man accused of horrifically raping and stabbing a lesbian couple began without him Monday, after a judge barred him for repeatedly interrupting pretrial hearings with profane outbursts.

Isaiah Kalebu, 25, was chained in a restraint chair in a room on a different floor of the courthouse after King County Superior Court Judge Michael Hayden took the unusual step of barring him.

Kalebu sat in a heavy suicide-protection smock and a neck brace and he watched the proceedings by closed-circuit television. An apparent attempt on his own life landed him at a Seattle hospital on the eve of the trial, but a prosecutor called it a “suicide gesture” rather than a serious attempt.

Defendants have a right to be present at all stages of their trial, but can forfeit that through disruptive behavior.

Kalebu is charged with aggravated murder, attempted murder, rape and burglary in the random attack on Teresa Butz and her partner at their home in Seattle's South Park neighborhood.

The judge has said he will reconsider allowing Kalebu in the courtroom if he promises to behave. Defense attorneys said that Kalebu asked Monday to attend opening statements, but jail staff declined to relay that request to them or to the court — a development one of his lawyers, Michael Schwartz, described as troubling.

A jail spokesman did not return a call seeking comment.

Even if Kalebu attends the trial, he could be forced to wear an electroshock sleeve, which could be activated by a deputy if he tries to attack anyone in the courtroom.

Hayden told jurors before opening statements that whether Kalebu is present has no bearing on his guilt or innocence.

Kalebu was arrested after he was identified using DNA evidence and surveillance video from an earlier unsolved burglary at the city hall in the suburb of Auburn. The two-hour-long attack on Butz and her partner kept their neighborhood on edge for days until Kalebu's capture.

Butz was credited with helping her partner escape when she kicked the attacker off a bed and threw a metal table into a window through which she climbed. She collapsed and died in the street as stunned neighbors tried to help. She was naked and covered in blood from having her throat cut and heart stabbed.

Senior deputy prosecutor Brian McDonald told the jurors that much of the testimony and evidence in the case would be difficult to hear and see.

“But what I suggest won't be difficult is determining that the crimes occurred, and the defendant is the person who committed them,” he added.

The couple, who was planning their commitment ceremony, was asleep when they found Kalebu standing over them with a large chef's knife, telling them, “Shut up, I won't hurt you,” McDonald said. Kalebu came in through an open window, he said.

Kalebu raped the women repeatedly as he held the knife to their necks, McDonald said. When he started to slash their throats, Butz — just 5-foot-2 — kicked the 6-foot-tall suspect off the bed and created a diversion that allowed her partner to escape and seek help, authorities said.

Her partner was covered in so much blood that she had trouble opening the front door to escape, the prosecutor said. Before Butz died, she told a neighbor: “He told us if we did what he asked us to do, he wouldn't hurt us. He lied, he lied.”

The first witness to testify was neighbor Jennifer Lutz, who had just finished feeding her 17-day-old baby when she heard the sound of glass breaking and saw Butz fall from a first-story window.

Butz's partner survived the attack and is expected to testify.

Despite a history of mental illness, Kalebu is not pursuing a mental-health defense; several experts determined him to be faking or exaggerating his symptoms. Instead, his lawyers say they will argue that he didn't commit the crime.

His pretrial antics have included swearing at the judge and lawyers involved in the case, knocking over chairs and gesturing obscenely at photographers.

The defense lawyers did not make an opening statement, saying they reserved the right to give one later.

Prosecutors will not seek the death penalty if Kalebu is convicted, due to his history of mental illness. Instead, he would face life in prison without release.

Man in fatal street fight gets 21 years

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.”

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

 

Past coverage:

April 29: Man, woman guilty in fatal 2009 stabbing

April 20: Man, woman on trial for fatal '09 stabbing


  

Woman stabbed to death in Grant County

SOAP LAKE, Wash. (AP) — The Grant County coroner says the woman found dead at her home Sunday in Soap Lake was stabbed to death.

The autopsy was conducted Wednesday on 44-year-old Kimberly Jo Bradford.

Grant County sheriff's detectives are investigating the homicide.

Man arraigned in Top Hat bar stabbing

A Spokane man pleaded not guilty Thursday to a first-degree assault charge for a stabbing outside the Top Hat Tavern.

Bobby S. Galloway, 23, is accused of stabbing Mickey Davis during a fight May 5 about 1:30 .m. Davis suffered a serious but non-life threatening stab wound to his stomach.

Police arrived at the bar, 6412 N. Division St., and found Davis lying on his back near a booth inside the bar.

Galloway was found walking near West Princeton Avenue and North Wall Street. Witnesses identifed him from photo lineups, polcie said.

He remains in Spokane County Jail on $75,000 and a Department of Corrections probation hold.

Stabbed man sought after jail no show

UPDATE: Casarez was arrested in Coeur d'Alene on May 20.

A burglary suspect who was injured in a wild fight involving a knife and a Taser is wanted by authorities.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest Jose R. Casarez, 31, who police say was stabbed in the back when he and several others, including Sandra L. Blindauer, 19, forced their way into Blindauer's ex-boyfriend's home and beat him March 17.

Casarez pleaded not guilty to first-degree burglary on April 18 and was to report to the jail for booking by April 22.

He never did, leading to a no-bail arrest warrant on May 3.

At least five others have been charged in the case, which Superior Court Judge Michael Price called “really just an extraordinary situation that could have ended up much worse.”

“But all things considered, it's still pretty bad,” Price said in March.

Casarez, 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, last gave a home address in the 3900 block of North Crestline Street in Spokane.

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

Last suspect in Uno stabbing acquitted

A teenager involved in a shooting at Hoopfest last summer was acquitted of charges conencte dto an unrelated stabbing outside a Spokane nightclub in 2009.

A jury found Adam Doe, 19, not guilty of two counts of first-degree assault last week after a trial before Spokane County Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza.
 
The case began in October 2009 when two men were stabbed outside Club Uno .

 Doe had a tentative plea deal in the case until his arrest in the June 28 Hoopfest shooting. He pleaded guilty in February to second-degree assault and third-degree assault in connection with the shooting. Gunman Miguel C. Garcia, 20, also pleaded guilty that month to three felonies and is expected to receive nine years in prison.

At the time of the shooting, Doe was supposed to be on house arrest after his release from jail on the Club Uno stabbing charge.

The main suspect in the stabbing, John Proctor, was acquitted of all charges after a jury trial last October. Proctor was near the scene of the wild fight but said he did not participate and was falsely accused; the jury quickly acquitted him.

 

Also charged in the stabbing were brothers Rashjel G. “Reggie” Cage and Rakee D. Cage, who pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree assault. Parrish J. Johnson pleaded guilty to riot; William Alexander-Durr’s charge was dismissed.

Romantic ties figure in Plummer slaying

Jealousy may have led to the fatal stabbing of a Spokane man in Plummer, Idaho, last week, a friend said.

Victim Antowyn D. “Tony” Swiney, 37, (left) was with his girlfriend when her ex, Jody A. Miller, arrived with a group to celebrate Miller’s 41st birthday at Chan’s Dragon Inn in downtown Spokane April 16, said bar owner Namva Chan.
 
Swiney left the bar to avoid the confrontation and went to his girlfriend’s home in Plummer, Chan said.
 
Swiney’s girlfriend exchanged words with Miller, but Swiney did not, Chan said.
 
Now Miller; his wife, Kelly A. Miller, 40; her son, Irael Kennedy, 21; and Stephen Milton, 22, are in the Benewah County Jail, accused of stabbing Swiney to death early April 17 in Plummer. 
 
Read the rest of my story here.
 
Jody Miller, Milton, Kelly Miller and Kennedy are pictured above, clockwise from the top left.

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