Local news

Man pleads innocent in toddler’s abuse

A St. Maries man accused of severely abusing his girlfriend’s daughter pleaded not guilty Friday. A judge delayed his girlfriend’s plea agreement until she completes a mental evaluation.

Charles W. Smith, 29, faces charges of felony injury to a child and aggravated battery. Three-year-old Kyra Wine’s mother, Christina Haynes, 26, faced the same charges, but a tentative plea deal calls for the battery charge to be dropped if she pleads guilty to injury to a child and testifies against Smith. She’d receive the maximum 10-year sentence, with five years fixed.

Haynes was to enter that plea Friday in Benewah County District Court, but Judge Fred Gibler delayed her hearing until Nov. 14 so she can complete a mental evaluation.

Smith and Haynes were arrested June 17 after sheriff’s deputies found Kyra with dead flesh on her hands and feet, clumps of hair missing and bruises. The girl was hospitalized for more than three months and underwent numerous surgeries, including the amputation of a finger and most of both feet.

Meghann M. Cuniff


Red-light cameras have caught 450

Spokane’s red-light cameras have captured nearly 450 violations since they were activated Oct. 1, police officials said.

About 95 percent of those will result in warnings sent to the drivers, said police Officer Teresa Fuller.

A majority of the violations occurred at Division Street and Francis Avenue, where cameras are trained on northbound and southbound traffic. The six lanes of traffic and 35 mph speed limit at that intersection are key reasons violations are higher, Fuller said.

The intersection with the second-most violations is Browne and Sprague, Fuller said.

Police are reviewing the violations – both videos and snapshots of vehicles running lights – and sending out warnings. Fuller said it takes one to two minutes to process each violation.

After Nov. 1, violations will net citations with fines of $124.

Jody Lawrence-Turner

Car thief crashes after short trip

A man stole a car that had been left running in Spokane’s West Central neighborhood Friday afternoon, then was arrested minutes later after he crashed into a home down the street, according to witnesses.

Thomas L. Holme, 33, hid in a home at 1808 W. College Ave. for about 45 minutes until a police dog showed up, said police Cpl. Tom Lee. Holme faces charges of robbery and car theft.

Heidi Reilly, 35, told police the thief had jumped into her 1990 Cadillac Fleetwood in the 2900 block of West College, pushed her as she tried to stop him and sped away about 2:10 p.m.

Christina Lutey, 27, called 911 less than a minute later to say a car had crashed into the side of her home at 1858 W. College.

“He got out of the car, gave the peace sign and walked down the alley. He didn’t even run,” she said. Witnesses tried to capture Holme, but he ran inside a home instead. Lee didn’t know if Holme knew the occupants.

Meghann M. Cuniff


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