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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Washington State Crime Lab

DNA identifies suspect in 2011 robbery

DNA on a hat and gloves dropped by a man who robbed a Spokane Valley tavern owner last year has led authorities to identify a suspect.

 Isaiah P. Wandler, 32, is charged with first-degree robbery for a Feb. 13, 2011, attack outside Poppy's Tavern, 415 S. Dishman-Mica Road.

He's accused of robbing owner Donna O'Donnell of her purse and punching her in the face and knocking her to the pavement. The robber also stole her shopping bags, but police found them ditched outside a nearby trailer with the purse. Officers also found his red and gray jacket, black baseball hat and black gloves, which they believe he discarded when he saw them converge on the area.

While the move may have prevented the robber's arrest that day, police submitted the hat and gloves to the state crime lab for DNA testing.

The crime lab notified Spokane County Sheriff's Detective Mike Ricketts of a match to Wandler earlier this year.

He was already in jail in Kootenai County, Idaho, for violating his probation on a burglary case. Records show he failed to show up for a hearing about a month before he's accused of robbing O'Donnell. He was arrested in Idaho last June for the probation violation.

Now Wandler's in the Spokane County Jail on $100,000 after appearing in court Monday on the new robbery charge and a no-bond Department of Corrections warrant for a probation violation.

Suspect arrested in Spokane rape from ‘99

A suspect was arrested this week in a rape that's been unsolved for more than 10 years.

Robert C. Graham Jr., 30, appeared in Superior Court today via video from the jail, where he's been since his arrest on Tuesday.

He's accused of raping a woman on Sept. 6, 1999, as she walked to work on Market Street near Green Street about 4:10 a.m. The woman described her attacker as a young man she'd never seen before with “straight brown hair and pointy nose,” according to court documents.

Last fall, the Washington State Crime Lab matched DNA evidence from the crime with Graham's DNA, which had only recently been obtained, said Spokane police Detective Harlen Harden.

Harden, the detective first assigned to the case in 1999, described the victim as “relieved” by the suspect's arrest.

“It's been pretty hard on her,” Harden said.

Graham, a level 1 sex offender, was convicted of third-degree rape involving a 15-year-old victim in 2000.

He’s lived in the Deer Park and Colfax area all his life and has been employed at a construction company for about a year, his public defender said. “Mr. Graham has worked very hard to turn his life around,” she said. “The merits of this are to be determined at a later date.”

Graham's bond was set today at $25,000 for one count of second-degree rape.

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