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In brief: Grisly victim photos dominate day of trial

Wed., July 14, 2010

Jurors saw their first images Tuesday of the bloody scene left when Justin W. Crenshaw killed two young adults in February 2008.

Crenshaw, 22, is on trial for two counts of aggravated first-degree murder. His attorney, Chris Bugbee, on Monday acknowledged that his client killed 18-year-old Sarah A. Clark and 20-year-old Tanner E. Pehl on Feb. 28, 2008.

But Bugbee maintains that Crenshaw suffers from a rare disorder that causes bizarre and sometimes violent behavior whenever he consumes even small amounts of alcohol.

Spokane County sheriff’s detective Michael Drapeau spent his second day on the witness stand going through scores of photos from the crime scene at 512 E. Elm St., which was intentionally set on fire after the killings, according to court testimony.

The photos showed a sword implanted into Pehl’s body and another sword lying on top of the nearly severed head of Clark. Jack Driscoll, chief criminal deputy Spokane County prosecutor, said he expects to continue presenting evidence and testimony into next week.

Thomas Clouse

Lake toxicity ruled out in death of carp

The die-off of hundreds of carp in Long Lake remains a mystery, state officials said Tuesday.

Neither low oxygen levels nor toxicity in the water is causing the carp to die, according to the Washington Department of Ecology.

If toxins were the problem, other fish besides carp would be dying, said Jani Gilbert, an Ecology spokeswoman. And the conditions haven’t been set for low oxygen levels, she said.

A fish pathologist from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife hasn’t had an opportunity to look into the matter yet, said Madonna Luers, a department spokeswoman.

She recommends that property owners bury the dead fish, if the smell bothers them.

“We don’t pick up the fish,” she said. “Burying them is a perfectly legitimate thing to do.”

Becky Kramer

Talks to resume over hospital labor contract

An administrative trial pressed by unionized health care workers against Deaconess Medical Center and Valley Hospital and Medical Center over unfair labor practices has been postponed for two weeks.

The sides, meeting in Spokane Tuesday, agreed to return to the bargaining table in an effort to reach a new contract.

The 1,100 union members, represented by the Service Employees International Union 1199NW, have been working without a contract for 18 ½ months.

Staff reports


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