A Mead man was charged with first-degree murder in a Wednesday knife attack in which his wife was killed and his 11-year-old son was injured.
Jeffrey N. Canino, 46, was under guard at a downtown Spokane hospital, where he was being treated for what police characterized as self-inflicted knife wounds.
He was in critical condition and on a ventilator in the hospital’s intensive care unit after surgery Wednesday, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. Police said Canino’s condition improved slightly Wednesday afternoon, and he was expected to be taken off the ventilator Wednesday evening. Because it appeared he could become ambulatory, detectives moved to book him on the felony murder charge, police said.
In a news release, Sgt. Bill Beeman said probable cause to arrest Canino was based on interviews and evidence collected at the scene of the homicide, 4518 E. Woodglen Road in Mead.
An autopsy will be performed on Canino’s wife today by the Spokane Medical Examiner’s Office. The home, in a manicured subdivision, is owned by Jeffrey and Michelle Canino, documents show.
Michelle Canino’s brother, Mike Mettler, confirmed in a telephone interview that his sister had died, that her husband was hospitalized and that their son was treated for knife wounds.
The Sheriff’s Office would not confirm the woman’s name, pending release by the medical examiner.
Mettler said he had no other details about what happened at the home.
“She was just a real good person and a loving mother,” he said of Michelle Canino, a graduate of Shadle Park High School.
Deputies received a call shortly before daybreak in which a woman could be heard screaming for help, apparently from a cell phone, Sgt. Dave Reagan said.
Deputies did not obtain an address, but they used cell tower locations to move units into the area, Reagan said.
A short time later, a second caller gave an address of 4518 E. Woodglen Road, north of Mead in a development of upscale homes on the south side of Day-Mt. Spokane Road. Screaming could be heard during the second call as well.
Reagan said the first deputy was met at the door by the couple’s son, who had knife wounds on his hand or hands.
The woman was dead and the man was critically injured with knife wounds, Reagan said.
Both were on the floor in the kitchen, as was a knife police believe was used in the incident.
The man and the boy were taken to different hospitals just after 7 a.m., Reagan said.
Mettler said that Jeffrey Canino was facing the possibility of losing his job at a car dealership because of the slow economy.
A neighbor, who declined to give her name, said, “They are a good, good family. It’s a sad, sad situation.”