An elderly man was killed Saturday fighting off a burglar in his Spokane Valley home. Spokane County Sheriff’s Department major crimes detectives continue to investigate the homicide.
The 80-year-old man was found dead Saturday evening under a pile of clothing in his bedroom closet, according to Spokane County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Reagan.
Friends were alerted that something was amiss when he failed to meet his 92-year-old Greenacres girlfriend for an afternoon visit.
Officers found evidence the house had been ransacked and the victim had struggled with a burglar.
The man’s identity is being withheld pending an autopsy today.
Anyone who has information about the crime is asked to call (509) 242-TIPS.
Clarkston man dies in one-car crash
A 91-year-old man was killed in a Whitman County crash after he failed to stop at a stop sign and hit a rock wall.
The crash happened at about 12:20 Sunday afternoon on State Highway 128 at Red Wolf Bridge.
Clarence Coyle, of Clarkston, died at the scene, according to a report from the Washington State Patrol.
Coyle was not wearing a seat belt.
Chaplain resigns over competency remarks
A North Idaho jail chaplain has resigned after publicly voicing an opinion on the mental competency of a 47-year-old murder defendant.
Keith Allen Brown and his 25-year-old wife, Tyrah, have been charged with first-degree murder and grand theft in the killing of Leslie Carlton Breaw, 48, who was shot with a .22-caliber rifle near Priest Lake in January 2007. Both have pleaded innocent.
A judge ruled last month that Brown was mentally unfit to go to trial and assist with his own defense, and the proceedings against him were suspended. After he was transferred to the custody of the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare, the agency confirmed that Brown fit the legal definition of being dangerous and mentally ill.
Scott Herndon, who spent time with Brown as a jail chaplain, insists that he is sane and mentally competent to stand trial.
Herndon said he was warned that he could be dismissed for publicly speaking out on criminal trial proceedings and he has since resigned from his post.
Sheep grazing may end in bighorn areas
Payette National Forest officials are considering a ban on domestic sheep grazing in some areas frequented by wild bighorns.
If approved, the plan would force several ranchers to give up grazing areas in parts of Hells Canyon and the Salmon River canyon. The draft plan is open to comment for 90 days.
Once a final decision is made, each individual grazing decision will be handled separately, forest Supervisor Suzanne Rainville told the Idaho Statesman.
The environmental review and draft plan followed an order by U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill in 2007 that ranchers move their sheep off of five allotments in Hells Canyon to protect the wild sheep.