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Furloughed felon surrenders

Sat., May 21, 2005

When furloughed felon Jeremy A. Arnold arrived back in the Spokane County Jail on Friday – a week after he was supposed to report back to authorities – two things had changed.

First, the potentially good news for Arnold: He has a new wife.

The bad news: He’s facing an additional criminal charge, bail jumping.

Arnold, 28, was allowed to leave jail May 6 on furlough. He was expected back for sentencing on May 13. Although he came to the courthouse a day earlier – to get hitched – he did not show up for his other court date.

Since then, Arnold has been wanted by police, who criticized Arnold’s furlough and called him a “major danger” to the community. Arnold is facing more than a dozen years in prison after pleading guilty to two robberies, five burglaries, two counts of intimidating a witness and a drive-by shooting. He previously was convicted of escape.

Officers arrived at an apartment at 2927 E. Decatur Ave. on Friday afternoon after police received a tip that Arnold was there, said police spokesman Dick Cottam. Arnold initially refused to leave the apartment.

Chris Phelps, an attorney who met with Arnold on Friday night, said police claims about Arnold “were a bit exaggerated.” He said officers were concerned that Arnold would intimidate witnesses in his case.

“There’s no evidence that he contacted anyone involved,” Phelps said.

Arnold called Phelps when police arrived at the apartment, and Phelps said he told him to call 911 to get instructions about how to surrender safely. Arnold’s 911 call put him in contact with officers on the scene.

“He was concerned about the way he had been portrayed in the press,” Phelps said. “He didn’t want to be shot because they were all anxious about him.”

Police hostage negotiator Karl Thompson talked with Arnold for about 20 minutes before he surrendered about 2:40 p.m., Cottam said.

Residents said officers evacuated the apartment building and the adjacent Harmon Field while police waited for Arnold to surrender. A SWAT team was on hand, and pupils at Arlington Elementary School were held in class until he was apprehended, Cottam said.

The 23-year-old woman who lives at the apartment said she is acquainted with Arnold through the father of one of her children. The woman, who refused to give her name, said Arnold came to her apartment on May 13 and said he had just gotten out of jail and needed a place to stay. She said he never indicated that he was a wanted man.

Earlier this week, police talked with Arnold’s new wife, Stephanie Chandler, about Arnold’s whereabouts. She told police that he left her home the day after they were married and she didn’t know where he was.

Superior Court Judge Linda Tompkins, who authorized Arnold’s leave from jail, said Thursday that the furlough document she approved was signed by a prosecuting attorney and had nothing attached that indicated Arnold posed a threat.

Phelps said he could not comment on why Arnold did not show up for his sentencing.


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