The home invasion robbery in northeast Spokane this week may have been linked to an ongoing domestic violence dispute rather than a random attack.
The woman assaulted in her apartment by two masked gunmen had a week earlier taken a restraining order out against one of the men charged in the case, according to court documents.
Artez L. Woodard, 24, was arrested during a traffic stop about an hour after the attack at the East Mansfield Avenue apartment of Sara Mattingly, 25, who has a son with Woodard. Another passenger in the car, Darius D. Toussiant, 18, also was arrested.
Another suspect, Glen A. Akers, 19, ran from the car, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, and was arrested after a SWAT team pumped tear gas into the apartment where he was hiding.
Akers, who witnesses told police broke into Mattingly’s apartment with Toussiant, is in jail on warrants for previous charges and has not been charged in connection with the robbery.
Toussiant is scheduled to be arraigned on a first-degree robbery charge Dec. 1.
Woodard pleaded not guilty Friday in Spokane County District Court to violating the restraining order, according to court records.
He was charged Thursday in Superior Court with third-degree malicious mischief and harassment-threats to kill for a series of alleged incidents involving Mattingly.
Mattingly filed for a restraining order Nov. 11, two days after Woodard smashed her phone during a fight at her apartment, according to court documents. She told detectives that Woodard had choked her during past arguments and that she feared he would kill her.
“She believed that Woodard set up the robbery,” according to court documents.
Mattingly was struck in the face four times with a handgun during the invasion but did not seek medical treatment, according to the Sheriff’s Office. She was forced into a laundry closet at gunpoint while her child slept in the other room, detectives said, and the robbers stole her cell phone, TV and laptop.
A woman driving the car when Woodard and Toussiant were arrested told detectives the two had asked her to drive them to the East Mansfield apartment and said they were going to get marijuana, according to the search warrant.