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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Tony E. Dawson

Gunfire at Spokane police earns 13 years

A Spokane man who opened fire on a police officer during a two-day crime spree was sentenced Wednesday to 13 1/2 years in prison.

Tony E. Dawson, 21,(left) pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and attempted first-degree robbery and was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza to 162 months.

The charges say Dawson was with Greg Sharkey, Jr., on Dec. 23, 2009,  when he fired several shots at Spokane police Officer Kristopher Honaker, who was not injured.

Dawson was a passenger in a stolen Suburban when they inadvertently drove by the area where one of them had allegedly shot a teenager in the back the night before. Honaker, (right) who was monitoring the area, recognized the stolen Subaru and followed it. 

Margaret D. Shults, 23, who police say was driving the Suburban, told investigators Dawson ordered her at gunpoint to keep driving, then fired several shots at Honaker.

Dawson said he did not want to go back to prison and threatened Shults that if she stopped the vehicle, “he had no problem killing either Shults or Sharkey,” documents state.

Shults was sentenced to 77 months in prison last month after pleading guilty to first-degree robbery.

Dawson had several previous felony convictions, including first-degree robbery and second-degree escape. He had been charged with nearly a dozen counts of attempted murder for the shooting spree; he'll be sentenced in that case next month. Sharkey, 26, remains in jail on similar charges.

Driver in police shooting gets 77 months

A Spokane woman who was driving a stolen SUV when her passenger allegedly fired shots at a police officer has been sentenced to more than six years in prison.

Margaret D. Shults, 23, pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery earlier this month and was sentenced to 77 months in prison. An unrelated car theft charge from last month still is pending.

 Shults was arrested after a two-day crime spree police believe was orchestrated by Tony E. Dawson, who is in jail awaiting trial on about a dozen counts of attempted murder.

Shults was with Dawson, 21, and Greg Sharkey, Jr., 26, when they stole the Subaru from the 1600 block of East Rowan Avenue early Dec. 23, 2009, then inadvertently drove by the area where Dawson had allegedly shot a teenager in the back the night before.

A Spokane police officer monitoring the area recognized the stolen Subaru and followed it.

Shults, who police say was driving the Suburban, told investigators Dawson (pictured) ordered her at gunpoint to keep driving, then fired several shots at the officer. Dawson reportedly threatened Shults that if she stopped the vehicle, “he had no problem killing either Shults or Sharkey,” documents state.

None of the shots hit the officer.

Both Sharkey and Dawson are believed to have been present when Dawson allegedly fired into a crowd, striking an 18-year-old man, so both have been charged with multiple counts of attempted murder. Dawson's trial is scheduled to begin March 24. Sharkey's is scheduled for March 14.

Hopefully Shults, who was sentenced Dec. 17, can find time in prison to brush up on history, specifically Jesse James. She told police that Dawson had two handguns and was “acting like Jesse James,” but a cursory review of the authoritative biography on James shows that comparison to be laughable at best.

Man faces 11 counts of attempted murder

A 20-year-old man accused of shooting at a Spokane police officer faces 11 counts of first-degree attempted murder for the alleged two-day crime spree.

Tony E. Dawson is due in Spokane County Superior Court via video this afternoon.

He’s been in jail since Dec. 23, accused of shooting an 18-year-old man, then beating a woman and trying to steal her car before firing shots at a Spokane police officer from a stolen Suburban.

Dawson faces 10 counts of first-degree attempted murder for allegedly firing shots at a group of 10 people outside a home at 1103 W. Frederick, hitting the teenager in the back. He faces an additional count for allegedly firing at least four shots at Officer Kristopher Honaker, who had been guarding the scene of the earlier shooting.

He’s also charged with first-degree robbery and two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm. Read more here.

One point of order:

While Dawson’s alleged robbery accomplice told police he’d been “acting like Jesse James,” a look at his case, coupled with the in depth examination of James provided by T.J. Stiles in his fine book “Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War” shows that comparison to be painfully inaccurate.

James was a politically minded outlaw set on furthering the Confederate cause and continuing the fight against the Union in the years following the Civil War. While he touted guns and fired shots, he did so with a political thirst for attention that led to a partnership with a Missouri newspaper editor, John Newman Edwards.

The comparison of Dawson to James seems to have been spurred by his gun-touting antics, but James’ rise to a historic figure was driven by much more than weapons.

Stiles’ book on James is the best biography I’ve read. I’m still looking for a chance to enjoy his latest work, “The Last Tycoon: the Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt,” winner of the National Book Award.

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