May 9, 2009 in City

Man guilty of burglary, arson

He still faces escape, intimidation counts
Thomas Clouse Staff writer
 

A man accused of threatening to kill a Superior Court judge and blow up the Spokane County Courthouse was convicted Friday of three unrelated charges stemming from a burglary at an industrial park.

A jury found 36-year-old Matthew K. Hacker guilty of second-degree arson, theft and burglary in connection with a fire in 2007 at the Spokane Industrial Park in Spokane Valley.

In that case, the jury determined that Hacker broke into the CXT Corp., 3808 N. Sullivan Road, Building No. 7, and stole several rolls of copper wire. Outside the building, Hacker then started a fire to remove the insulation off the wire, apparently to turn the wire in as scrap for money, according to court records.

Following his arrest on that charge, Hacker was released on a furlough from the Spokane County Jail. He failed to return, which prompted prosecutors to also charge Hacker with escape, said Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Tony Hazel.

“I was pleased with the conviction,” Hazel said.

Superior Court Judge Annette Plese, who presided over the four-day arson trial, also will hear the escape trial, which is scheduled to start Monday.

Plese was not the subject of the intimidation of a judge charge, which will be heard immediately following the escape trial, Hazel said.

Those threats were made against Superior Court Judge Michael Price, who presided over pretrial hearings of Hacker’s various charges.

Under questioning from a detective, Hacker admitted sending the letters postmarked May 15, 2008.

Spokane County sheriff’s Detective Jim Dresback said in a report that Hacker wrote the letters “because Judge Price would not allow him to get a CAT scan to verify Hacker had a chip implanted in his head by the CIA.”


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