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In brief: Murder trial start date pushed back to June 28

The trial of a man charged with slaying two young people and setting fire to the home to cover the crimes was postponed Friday from May 3 to June 28.

Justin W. Crenshaw, 22, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the Feb. 28, 2008, killings of Sarah A. Clark, 18, and 20-year-old Tanner E. Pehl.

Defense attorney Chris Bugbee told Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen that he has not received the results from tests he requested and could not proceed to trial.

Clark and Pehl were found stabbed to death in a home at 512 E. Elm St. after firefighters responded to a fire at the home. Police found two swords near the bodies.

Investigators linked Crenshaw to the killing by a bloody fingerprint, according to court records.

Thomas Clouse

Office manager accused of stealing from company

A Spokane woman who reportedly told police she’s a problem gambler is accused of stealing more than $10,000 from her employer.

Wendy J. Tappa, 55, was arrested Thursday on charges of fraud and first-degree theft after Spokane Valley police say she forged and cashed checks from Northwest Consulting Solutions LLC, where she was hired as an office manager in October.

Bank officials notified the owner earlier this month that the company’s account was overdrawn. They also said Tappa regularly cashed payroll checks “and that a Spokane Valley gambling business had been in to cash checks payable to Tappa,” according to police.

The owner said Tappa forged his signature on as many as 15 checks. An officer found one of the checks in her pocket at the time of her arrest, police said.

Meghann M. Cuniff


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