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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: three strikes

Ex-Spokane man faces life for murder

A 27-year-old Pasco murder suspect facing life in prison under the three-strikes law got his first strike in Spokane County.

Joseph William Hart pleaded not guilty Tuesday n Franklin County Superior Court for second-degree murder.

Hart is accused of killing Rodger A. Lincoln, 53, outside their east Pasco mobile home last Tuesday.

Hart was 20 years old when he was convicted in Spokane County of first-degree robbery and sentenced to 46.5 month in prison. Hart stabbed a man after the man picked Hart up in a car near Coeur d'Alene Park in Browne's Addition in May 2004.

Hart got his second strike in prison for beating up a cellmate, according to the Tri-City Herald.

Though Hart's defense attorney, Scott Johnson, told Judge Craig Matheson that he's not requesting an evaluation of his client's competency, Johnson did note that “there are clearly mental health issues in this case,” according to the Associated Press.

Hart and Lincoln shared a home in the Sundance Mobile Home Park, 925 N. Elm Ave. space 72. The mobile home is one of several owned by Lourdes Health Network and is used as supported housing for people with mental illnesses.

Lincoln died of multiple stab wounds to his head and torso, autopsy results showed.

Hart is being held in the Franklin County jail on $750,000 bail.

Killer gets life in prison under 3 strikes law

Convicted killer and career burglar David K. Brewzcynski received Wednesday the only sentence available to him — life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Brewczynski, 44, was convicted of bludgeoning and shooting 80-year-old Kenneth Cross on Sept. 20, 2008. The April murder conviction was Brewczynski’s third strike, meaning his only available sentence was life in prison under state law. He read from a brief statement and said he did not kill Cross.

He also intends to appeal, according to court testimony before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese.

  Cross was found beaten and shot in his Boone Avenue home in Spokane Valley on Sept. 20, 2008. The autopsy showed he had been struck with a blunt object 24 times in the head, about the same number of times in the torso and shot three times in the head.

Past coverage:

Past coverage:

April 21: Jury convicts career burglar of murder

April 8: Trial starts in death of 80-year-old man

Nov. 19, 2008: Accused killer pleads not guilty

Oct. 10, 2008: Murder victim may have been targeted

Oct. 2, 2008: Burglar’s storage unit yields dead man’s ID

Robber shot in invasion faces life in prison

Thomas A. Butler’s home-invasion robbery last year didn’t just earn him two bullets to his belly - it earned him a permanent spot in prison.

A Spokane County jury today convicted Butler, 26, of six felonies. Under the state’s three strikes law, he faces life in prison without parole because of previous convictions, said Deputy Prosecutor Larry Haskell.

The case began when Butler forced his way into a home at 4113 E. 16th Ave., on March 20, 2009, where three Eastern Washington University seniors lived. One of the residents shot Butler.

Detectives believe Butler and accused accomplice Derick D. Taylor, 29, had an inflated impression of what they might find in the home.

A jury convicted Butler of first-degree kidnapping, first-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery, first-degree robbery and two counts of first-degree assault. He was acquitted of two count of first-degree robbery. Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza presided over the trial.

Taylor, the co-defendant, is out of jail on $250,000 bond. His trial is set for June.

Past coverage:

Intruders hunting valuables, police say

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