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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Stevens County Superior Court

Man gets 31 years for wife’s murder

A Stevens County man who shot his wife to death was sentenced Tuesday to 31 years in prison.

Craig Raymond Cosby, 70, called 911 on Oct. 2, 2009, and said he'd shot his wife, Susan May Cosby, 53.

Susan Cosby (pictured) was found dead of gunshot wounds in the home in the 1200 block of Overlook Boulevard in Marcus, a small town along the Columbia River in northern Stevens County. Craig Cosby was arrested in the front yard and underwent mental evaluations before being declared competent to stand trial.

A jury convicted him of first-degree murder March 30, rejecting his claims of self defense.

Cosby said at his sentencing in Stevens County Superior Court that he did not plan or prepare to murder his wife, and that he did have remorse but hadn't shown it “due to the way he was raised,” said Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen.

Rasmussen said neither drugs nor alcohol, which are common in violent crimes, were a factor. He said Judge Nielson imposed the maximum sentence of 380 months as recommended.

“Previously Judge (Allen) Nielson stated that from what he had heard, Susan was a caring compassionate person who was loved by many people,” Rasmussen said in an email. “The fact that she had raised good children was a testimony to her character and nature. ”

Past coverage:

Dec. 11: Murder trial delayed for months while judge, prosecutor squabble

Convicted rapist indicted for child porn

A 70-year-old Stevens County man who recently pleaded guilty to child rape has been indicted by a federal grand jury for producing child pornography.

James Ernest Guinn, Jr., is in jail awaiting sentencing in Stevens County Superior Court and arraignment in U.S. District Court, where he was indicted last week on charges of production of child pornography, transportation of child pornography and possession of child pornography.

Guinn is accused of producing child pornography with a young girl between August and November 2010, and of transporting child pornography from California to Washington in 2006.

Investigators found child pornography dating back to the 1960s and on several kinds of media, ranging from digital images in computer files, to video footage and 8 mm movie film, according to the Stevens County Prosecutor's Office.

Guinn faces up to 30 years in federal prison if convicted. He's to be arraigned in Spokane on Oct. 6. He already faces 93 to 123 months in state prison after pleading guilty to first-degree rape of a child Tuesday in Stevens County.
  

Elderly-abuse suspect arrested again

The man charged with mistreating and stealing retirement funds from a 106-year-old Kettle Falls woman was arrested Wednesday and charged with witness tampering. John H. “Herb” Friedlund, 78, was arrested early this morning at a residence in Deer Park.

Stevens County prosecutors said that Friedlund contacted a witness in the theft case, Steven Smith of Anna, Texas, and told Smith to say that 106-year-old Frances T. Swan authorized previous money transfers from Friedlund to Smith that totaled about $225,000.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

Aug. 4: Caretaker's alleged spending outlined

Aug. 2: Elder neglect suspect arrested for felony theft

Aug. 2: Theft charges likely in 106-year-old's case

June 21: Man held after police find famished woman

Man sentenced for stealing aluminum

COLVILLE – A trusted supervisor whose thefts nearly bankrupted a Colville boat manufacturer was sentenced Monday to six years in prison – two years more than a deputy prosecutor recommended.

Stevens County Superior Court Judge Al Nielson said Chris Boring was “remorseless and relentless” in his theft of 360,799 pounds of aluminum sheet from his employer, Hewes Marine.

“It boggles the mind” that Boring accepted responsibility for investigating the missing aluminum and then selected other employees for layoffs when the thefts and the recession brought the company to its knees, the judge said.

Read the rest of John Craig's story here.

Past coverage:

Aug. 4: Metal thefts nearly sink Colville boat firm

Metal thefts nearly sink Colville boat firm

A Colville boat factory nearly went out of business when a trusted supervisor sold an estimated $556,000 worth of stolen aluminum to a Spokane scrap metal dealer.

It took more than three years to catch the thief because he was in charge of the Hewes Marine Co. investigation.

Court documents say Christopher Randall Boring, who was considered an exemplary employee, set up cameras, conducted numerous audits and repeatedly claimed to be baffled.

Read the rest of John Craig's story here.

Caretaker’s alleged spending outlined

The man charged with draining 106-year-old Frances T. Swan’s retirement funds bought vehicles and a horse trailer and even paid for a man’s surgery in Texas, prosecutors alleged in court Wednesday.

 John H. “Herb” Friedlund, 78, of Kettle Falls, was released from jail Wednesday on the $25,000 bond posted in June by Carl “Rich” Jessen, an agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

While the court record has not yet been filed, Deputy Prosecutor Lech Radzimski said in court that as part of nine counts of theft, Friedlund is accused of spending Swan’s money on a surgery for a young man named Steven Smith in Texas, who in total received about $200,000 from Swan’s account, Radzimski said.

Friedlund, who also faces felony criminal mistreatment charges in the case, allegedly also bought a bulldozer, pickup, hay truck and several other items that appeared to provide no benefit to Swan, for whom he had the power of attorney. As a condition of his release, Friedlund was ordered to surrender his passport, checkbook, credit cards and any other means of accessing Swan’s accounts. Friedlund’s power of attorney over Swan’s accounts was removed Tuesday.

Past coverage:

Aug. 2: Elder neglect suspect arrested for felony theft

Aug. 2: Theft charges likely in 106-year-old's case

June 21: Man held after police find famished woman

Elderly-abuse suspect accused of theft

COLVILLE – The man charged with mistreating a 106-year-old Kettle Falls woman was arrested Tuesday at a hearing initially set to allow him to appoint a new attorney to represent him in his criminal matters.

 When John H. “Herb” Friedlund, 78, appeared before Superior Court Judge Al Nielson, he was arrested on nine felony theft charges. The charges allege he raided the retirement accounts of Frances T. Swan, who was discovered May 26 begging for food in her Kettle Falls home, which was riddled with dog feces, rotting food, guns and ammunition.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

Aug. 2: Theft charges likely in 106-year-old's case

June 21: Man held after police find famished woman

Man sentenced for girlfriend’s overdose

A Stevens County man who provided methamphetamine to a woman who later died of a brain hemorrhage  has been sentenced to 51 months in prison.

James W. Swinney, 51, obtained meth and shared it with his girlfriend, Tamara Anderson, 39, in March 2010. The drug caused Anderson's blood pressure to increase, resulting in a hemorrhage in her brain that resulted in her death a few days later.

Swinney pleaded guilty to homicide by controlled substance on March 22 and was sentenced in April.

He filed a motion asking the court to reconsider the sentence, then filed another motion asking to withdraw his guilty plea and go to trial.

A judge rejected that request May 10.

Swinney said “getting the meth, was not a me thing, but a we thing,” Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen wrote in his weekly column. “He apparently did not feel he had really done anything wrong when he shared the meth he had obtained with Ms. Anderson.”

Charge: Man voted twice in ‘08 election

A Stevens County man has been charged with a felony after investigators say he voted twice in the 2008 election.

Handwriting experts believe Alan Dennis Christensen, 34, filled out paperwork allowing him to vote in Stevens County and in Oregon, according to documents filed in Stevens County Superior Court.

Voter records show Christensen, of Nine Mile Falls, voted by mail in Oregon Sept. 22, then in Washington Sept. 30. Christensen is charged with making a false declaration as to qualifications as a voter, a class C felony.

“It’s certainly not very common,” Deputy Prosecutor Matt Enzler said of the charge.

Voting more than once also is a class C felony; Enzler said making a false declaration is easier to prove.

“It’s all based on signatures and document as opposed to showing that he actually did vote,” Enzler said. “We have the fact that he signed documents in an election in two separate counties.”

Christensen is to be arraigned July 13.

14+ years for child-molesting counselor

The longtime psychologist for the Colville School District was ordered Monday to serve at least 14 1/2 years in prison for molesting one of his students and attempting to molest another.

Superior Court Judge Al Nielson sentenced 59-year-old Craig L. Figley to 174 months in prison. However, his case will go before a state board that reviews the sentences of sex offenders, and that board could decide to keep Figley in prison for life, Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen said.

Read the rest of Thomas Clouse’s story here.

Past coverage:

March 24: Guilty plea in molestation case

Last dogs rescued at rural ‘killing yard’

Neighbors saw the carnage firsthand.

Older dogs ganged up on younger dogs. Dogs mauled each other regularly, sometimes leading to death.

This scene, detailed over three days of testimony in a Stevens County courtroom, led to a Deer Park woman’s recent conviction on four charges that sent her to jail for more than a year.

On Thursday, as Pam Deskins served her sixth day in the Stevens County Jail, animal control officers traveled to her Wallbridge Road property to capture the last of dozens of dogs that roamed a 3-acre pen described in court as “a killing yard,” said Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen.

“Pam Deskins didn’t beat or whip or starve these animals, but she kept them in such a way that they could really hurt each other,” Rasmussen said. “And they did.”

Read the rest of my story here.

Buyer turned burglar gets 10 years

A Stevens County man who posed as a home buyer, then burglarized the house as the seller vacationed with his family, will spend 10 years in prison.

Aaron Leigh, 32, was sentenced last week in Stevens County Superior Court to 80 months for residential burglary, to be served concurrently with sentences for several counts second-degree of possession of stolen property.

He got an additional 45 months after the Department of Correction revoked his participation in the drug offender sentencing alternative program on a prior offense, according to the Stevens County Prosecutor’s Office

The case began in August after a homeowner showed him around a house that was for sale and mentioned he family was going camping Aug. 22 and 23. When the family returned, they found the home ransacked. Investigators found items stolen from the home in Leigh’s car.

Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen wrote about the case in his weekly column.

Click the link below to read the rest of the column.

Man held in wife’s murder taken to Eastern

A Stevens County man accused of killing his wife is undergoing mental evaluations at Eastern State Hospital.

Craig R. Cosby, 68, called 911 Oct. 3 after killing his wife and was arrested in the front yard of his home in the 1200 block of Overlook Boulevard in Marcus, a small town along the Columbia River in northern Stevens County.

Susan May Cosby, 53, was found dead of gunshot wounds in the home, and her husband was held on $500,000 after his first court appearance. He was to be arraigned on a first-degree murder charge last week in Stevens County Superior Court, but the hearing was continued after his lawyer requested he be evaluated for competency, which will take weeks.

Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen wrote about this in a weekly column he sends to media.

Click the link below to read the entire column.

$500,000 bond for man held in wife’s slaying

A man who police say called 911 after killing his wife will remain in jail on $500,000 bond.

A judge increased Craig R. Cosby’s bail from $250,000 during his first appearance on a second-degree murder charge in Stevens County Superior Court today.

Cosby, 68, was arrested Saturday in the front yard of his home in the 1200 block of Overlook Boulevard in Marcus, a small town along the Columbia River in north Stevens County.

His wife, Susan May Cosby, 53, was found dead from gunshot wounds inside the home, according to the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office.

Pet lover’s killer, ex-boyfriend gets 20 years

A Stevens County man who killed his girlfriend after she broke up with him will spend the next 20 years in prison.

Preston Lee Rogers, 43, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced on July 14, one year after Cheryl Lynn Hayward’s family reported her missing. (Rogers and Hayward are pictured left with Hayward’s father.)

Authorities believe Rogers stabbed Hayward, 28, to death that day as the two argued, then crashed her care and was in a hospital before telling a Stevens County sheriff’s detective where Hayward’s body was a week later.

The two had been dating since Hayward was 14. 

Rogers underwent tests at Eastern State Hospital before being found competent to stand trial.

“He expressed profound remorse” at his sentencing, according to Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen.

Hayward is remembered as a pet lover who was looking for a fresh start in a story you can read here.

In a story you can read here, Rogers told deputies he just “snapped,” according to court papers.

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