Arrow-right Camera


In brief: Ex-attorney enters not guilty plea

Thu., Feb. 25, 2010, midnight

A disbarred Spokane lawyer on the run for more than a decade pleaded not guilty Wednesday to an accusation that he stole money from a dead client’s estate.

Claude K. Irwin Jr. appeared in Spokane County Superior Court on Wednesday through a video feed from the jail, where he’s been since returning to Spokane from Los Angeles two weeks ago.

Irwin disappeared in 1997 and resurfaced in Mexico, where authorities believe he lived under a false name and operated a tour business. He was captured Jan. 27.

Irwin, 62, owes millions in claims to creditors and investors for a failed development on Lake Coeur d’Alene, Powderhorn Ridge Ranch. He’s charged with first-degree theft for allegedly taking money from a dead client’s estate and investing it in the development instead of giving it to her beneficiaries.

Irwin’s bond is set at $750,000.

Meghann M. Cuniff

Bars cited for over-serving driver

Two downtown bars were cited by the state Liquor Control Board for over-serving a man who, while allegedly intoxicated, caused a fatal accident on Interstate 90 in December.

Sterling N. Kruger, 22, of Davenport, Wash., died after the car he was driving entered the Highway 195 on-ramp to eastbound I-90 going the wrong way, and collided with another car, killing its driver and passenger, James R. Bolton and Trina L. Erickson.

The liquor board found that Kruger had visited three downtown bars that night, two of which were cited for allowing an intoxicated person to consume or possess alcohol.

The Lion’s Lair, 205 W. Riverside Ave., faces a five-day license suspension or a $500 fine. Facing its third violation in two years, the BLVD House of Music, formerly at 333 W. Spokane Falls Blvd., faces a 30-day suspension. The BLVD has since moved to 230 W. Riverside Ave.

Sara Leaming

Man pleads not guilty to sex abuse

A Spokane man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that he molested two girls in 2006.

Robert E. Brocklehurst, 32, faces one count of rape of a child in the first degree, child molestation in the first degree and second-degree child molestation. The charges stem from reports made by daughters of Brocklehurst’s former girlfriend.

Both girls told police that Brocklehurst sexually assaulted them during the summer of 2006 but they didn’t come forward until after their mother ended her relationship with Brocklehurst. Superior Court Judge Ellen Kalama Clark set a trial date of May 17.

Thomas Clouse

Click here to comment on this story »