July 1, 2009 in City

In brief: Man pleads not guilty to helping plan murder

From Staff Reports

A California man pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Spokane County Superior Court to helping devise a plan for his girlfriend to kill her husband and claim self-defense.

Brian L. Moore, 43, was escorted last week to Spokane from Orange County, Calif., to face charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the Dec. 9, 2007, shooting death of Dale Robert Stark.

A jury rejected Shellye L. Stark’s self-defense claim and convicted her in March of killing her husband. Shellye Stark is serving a 50-year prison sentence.

Moore appeared Tuesday before Judge Tari Eitzen, who ordered him to be held on a $750,000 bond and to have no contact with any known witnesses. She set the initial trial date for Aug. 24.

Mother sues in fatal crash

A lawsuit has been filed in Spokane County Superior Court by the mother of a 19-year-old Elk man who was killed in 2006 while trying to save others from a runaway work truck on Flowery Trail Road between Chewelah and Usk.

Dorothy A. Millican is the mother of Daren M. Lafayette, who worked for Sharpline Industries, a subcontractor of N.A. Degerstrom Inc., to install guard rails as part of a road improvement project. Millican is suing Degerstrom, the maker of the brakes and the company that installed them on the 1978 Chevrolet C65 Auger truck that crashed.

Lafayette and a co-worker were using the auger to dig holes for posts Sept. 12, 2006, when the vehicle started rolling. Lafayette caught up to the vehicle and steered it away from an oncoming vehicle, according to the suit.

Without brakes and picking up speed, Lafayette steered to avoid other drivers and property before the truck went down a large embankment and burst into flames, according to the suit. Millican is seeking damages to be determined by a judge.

Care facility resident sought

Authorities are looking for a Spokane Valley Sunshine House patient who walked away from the care facility Sunday night.

Robert D. Harris, 49, was being treated for schizophrenia when “he became impatient while waiting in line for his medications,” said police spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan. Harris may have been wearing a dark jacket and blue jeans when he disappeared from the facility at 10412 E. Ninth Ave. about 8 p.m.

Harris is 5-foot-9 and 145 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes, Reagan said. He usually wears thick glasses.

Residents in the home report that Harris likes to hang out in the area of Sprague and University Road in Spokane Valley, and he likes to “dumpster dive,” Reagan said.

Man robs Valley bank

Police are seeking help identifying a man who robbed the Banner Bank on Thursday at 1521 N. Argonne Road in Spokane Valley.

Witnesses told police the man entered the bank about 4:45 p.m., waited in line and told the teller to give him money, said Sgt. Dave Reagan, a police spokesman. The man took the cash and walked out, heading south through the parking lot.

The man was described as being in his 50s, about 5-foot-6 and 150 pounds, Reagan said. The man discarded his baseball cap and sweatshirt as he ran.

Anyone with information can call (509) 456-2233.

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