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Man sought in West Side killings arrested in Spokane

Thu., Aug. 26, 2010

A man wanted for killing three people and wounding another in Salkum, Wash., on Saturday was captured Wednesday in Spokane.

Members of the Eastern Washington Fugitive Task Force arrested John Allen Booth Jr., 31, at 5:30 p.m. at a home at 1911 W. Gordon St. in Spokane. He was booked into the Spokane County Jail, police said.

Booth, of Onalaska, Wash., has been the subject of a manhunt since Saturday morning. Police tracked him to Spokane on Saturday afternoon, but he eluded capture.

Chief Deputy U.S. Marhsal Eric Marks said his agency’s Tacoma office received information that Booth may have been in Spokane’s Garland district. They surveyed the neighborhood for about 16 hours to locate Booth.

“It’s nice to take somebody like this out of our community,” Marks said.

Booth was arrested peacefully; he came out of the home with his hands up, unarmed, Marks said.

Michael Yaeger, who owns the home where Booth stayed four nights, said a neighbor across the street brought Booth to him. Booth and the neighbor told Yaegar his name was Pete and that he needed a place to crash because of marital problems, Yaegar said.

“There’s no way I was harboring him. If I would have known who he was, I would have called the cops,” he said.

Janet Ferg, who has lived in the neighborhood for 45 years, said that while some neighbors have had issues with Yaeger, she thinks he’s a good person.

“Mike has a big heart. If someone is homeless he offers them a place to lay their head. That’s how he got in trouble in the past,” she said.

Hours after Booth was arrested, a police K-9 unit searched Yaegar’s home and the home of the neighbor who introduced Booth to Yaegar.

Booth is expected to be returned to Lewis County soon, police said. Marks believes he will be arraigned in Spokane.

Authorities have said they believe the shooter in Saturday’s killings may have been trying to collect on a drug debt at a home in Salkum, which is southeast of Chehalis on U.S. Highway 12.

Killed were 52-year-old David J. West Sr., his 16-year-old son, David Jr., both of Salkum, and 50-year-old Tony E. Williams, of Mineral, Wash.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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