June 2, 2007 in City

Reward raised in search for fugitive

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Authorities have raised the reward for information that leads to the capture of a man who caused a crash that killed a toddler last week.

Secret Witness is offering $1,000 to anyone who can lead them to 33-year-old Michael Q. Beckley, who is wanted for vehicular homicide. The Washington State Patrol has a $100,000 arrest warrant for the fugitive.

Beckley was driving a Chevrolet Blazer that slammed into a station wagon May 23 on Highway 2, killing 22-month-old Gabriella Autry.

Spokane Police Cpl. Tom Lee said Secret Witness raised the reward for Beckley at its meeting Friday morning “because it’s a huge tragedy, the guy has a criminal record and he chose not to act responsibly.”

WSP Sgt. Ken Wade is leading the investigation and has four additional detectives on the case. The state Department of Corrections has a nationwide warrant out for Beckley’s arrest, Wade said.

“Everybody’s been looking for him, and it hasn’t worked for a week,” Wade said. “Now we’re worried that he might leave our jurisdiction.”

The Spokane County Fugitive Apprehension Team is helping the WSP in “turning over every stone to see if we can find him,” Trooper Jeff Sevigney said.

The WSP has received two tips with old information and has gotten several reports that Beckley could be in north Spokane County, Wade said.

Beckley’s last known address was 5314 W. Sunset Highway. He is 5-foot-11, weighs about 175 pounds, has brown hair and blue eyes. He turns 34 on Sunday.

Beckley has a history of criminal convictions, including theft, possession of controlled substances, possession of stolen property and probation violations.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Secret Witness at (509) 327-5111.


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