Robbery suspect’s bond reduced
A college student accused in a string of pharmacy robberies this summer had his bond reduced significantly Tuesday.
Edward A. Saner, 23, will wear a GPS monitoring device and take regular drug tests if he posts the $75,000 bond Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque imposed. The county prosecutor’s office had asked to keep Saner’s bond at $400,000, said Deputy Prosecutor Anthony Hazel. Spokane police arrested Saner Oct. 3, alleging he robbed the Rite Aid store at 45th Avenue and Regal Street of a bottle of OxyContin, a powerful prescription painkiller. Police had been watching several Rite Aids that night anticipating a robber would strike.
He faces six counts of second-degree robbery after police connected him to other pharmacy robberies, beginning in June, in which a masked man displayed a note demanding OxyContin. Police believe Saner also robbed a Rite Aid in Hayden in August. Saner, who attended Eastern Washington University, referenced his addiction to the drug after his arrest, according to police papers. His father, Ralph Saner, had asked for him to be released so he could attend drug rehabilitation and was at his son’s court hearing on Tuesday.
Shooting suspect blames friend
A man arrested Monday for a deadly Halloween weekend shooting told Spokane police he fired a gun into the air to break up a fight before a friend said “this is how you do it,” grabbed the weapon and fired several shots into a crowded parking lot.
One of the bullets hit Joshua Ridgely, 22, who died about 12:30 a.m. Saturday outside The Blvd. bar at 333 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
Matthew R. Jones, 25, was arrested for first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder Monday night after witnesses told police he got the gun from a black Honda and fired into the air. Jonathan H. Espinoza, 24, then fired, striking Ridgely, Ridgely’s friend Ryan Jackson and Michelle Wilcox, according to police.
Wilcox, who police say did not know the other victims, and Jackson were treated and released from a hospital.
Espinoza, who denied involvement in the shooting, faces the same charges as Jones. The two were booked into Spokane County Jail on $1 million bond.
Police are still looking for the gun used in the shooting.
Man missing since Sunday
A Post Falls man is missing and the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s help in finding him.
Robert Duane Harkness, 77, was last seen at his home around 1 p.m. Sunday. He was driving his silver 2006 Toyota Tacoma pickup with Idaho license plate K349216. Anyone who has seen Harkness or his pickup since Sunday is asked to call the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department at (208) 446-1300 or their local law enforcement agency.
Bank robbery suspect arrested
Pullman police Tuesday apprehended a suspect wanted for robbing The Zions Bank in Moscow on Monday.
The suspect, identified as Ardie Adrian Ziegler, 35, of Moscow, walked into the bank a little after 4 p.m. and passed the clerk a handwritten note demanding money. The teller gave Ziegler the cash in her drawer – amounting to less than $500 – and he left the bank, located at 105 South Main St., without incident, said David Duke of the Moscow Police Department.
Images from the bank’s security system allowed police to identify Ziegler, who previously lived in Bellingham. Latah County issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of robbery, with a bond amount of $50,000.
Heart attack blamed in crash
A heart attack killed the driver of a vehicle that crashed into a delivery truck Thursday on U.S. Highway 195, according to the Whitman County Coroner’s Office.
LaVern A. Ochs, 67, of Colfax crashed into the truck about 4:50 p.m., according to the Washington State Patrol. The truck driver suffered minor injuries.
Sagle couple accused of fraud
A Bonner County couple has been accused of embezzling more than $100,000 from a nonprofit Christian group that provides medical and humanitarian relief in southern Africa.
A lawsuit filed Monday in 1st District Court accuses April and Jeff Matthews of fraud, unjust enrichment and breach of fiduciary duty.
The suit alleges the couple from Sagle defrauded The Luke Commission, which is based in Bonner County and was founded by Dr. Harry VanderWal and his wife, Echo. The couple spend months each year taking a mobile medical clinic to rural villages in Swaziland, offering such things as free HIV testing and counseling and free medical services, drugs and eyeglasses.
The lawsuit says The Luke Commission hired April Matthews last year to work as a bookkeeper. It says Matthews performed bookkeeping work for the VanderWal’s personal finances and a real estate development company they own, JLZ Enterprises.
While overseas, the VanderWals say they maintained daily contact with April Matthews, who conveyed that the couple’s finances were secure. But the lawsuit contends their finances were in disarray when they returned to the United States.
The lawsuit accuses her of forging checks to her husband and his landscaping business, Landshapes & Waterworks. Court documents also contend that lines of credit had reached capacity and new lines of credit were established using the names of company principals.
Son accused of stabbing mom
An 18-year-old Hayden man is accused of stabbing his mother after she forbade him to use the Internet social networking site MySpace.
Terry Gene Starnes was arrested last week on suspicion of aggravated assault after his mother, Shelley Sue Pangle, said he cut her wrist.
Pangle says she confronted her 6-foot-2, 320-pound son, after which he became aggravated and packed his belongings to leave their home.
Police say he pulled a black and silver knife from his pocket as his mother tried to take his cellular telephone charger from him.
Starnes left but was later detained by police.
He was released from Kootenai County Jail on Monday.
‘Tuba Man’ dies after beating
Edward McMichael, a beloved Seattle street musician known as the “Tuba Man,” died after being beaten in a robbery, the King County medical examiner’s office said Tuesday.
Two 15-year-olds who were arrested after a group of five teenagers beat the 53-year-old man have been re-arrested for investigation of murder, Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamieson said. Police were searching for the other three youths.
McMichael had been a fixture outside Seattle sporting events where he played songs on the tuba to match the fate of the SuperSonics, Seahawks or Mariners. He also played outside McCaw Hall.
Police said McMichael was assaulted near a bus stop around 12:45 a.m. on Oct. 25 by a group of youths who beat and robbed him.
McMichael was treated at Harborview Medical Center for head injuries and was sent home to recover, but was found dead in his room Monday at the downtown Vermont Inn, workers at the inn said.
From staff and wire reports