November 18, 2010 in City

Pair charged with drug trafficking

Woman shot during raid also accused of possession
By The Spokesman-Review
 

A Spokane woman who was nine months pregnant and unarmed when she was shot by a Washington State Patrol sergeant during a drug raid has been charged with drug trafficking.

Keamia D. Powell, 24, was allowed to leave jail on her own recognizance Wednesday under the condition that she report directly to a west Spokane drug rehabilitation center.

Powell has been living at the center since she was released from the hospital after being shot in the shoulder in what Sgt. Lee Slemp, a 25-year veteran, has told investigators was an accidental shooting.

Slemp said he accidentally fired his gun as he was trying to stop Powell from escaping out an apartment window at 1405 N. Lincoln St., where she lived with her mother, Aletha A. Robinson, 41.

Spokane County prosecutors charged Powell with three counts of delivery of a controlled substance and Robinson with two counts for five cocaine sales they said occurred between July 7 and Sept. 1. Powell also is charged with cocaine possession for drugs found during a raid on Sept. 24, when she was shot.

Robinson, who was summoned to appear in court Wednesday, pleaded not guilty to the charges. Powell was arrested after missing her arraignment.

But Spokane County Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza allowed her to leave jail Wednesday after her mother said she’d missed court because of a probation hearing in Yakima.

Powell, who has previous convictions for residential burglary, third-degree assault and possession of a controlled substance, was found not guilty of probation violation, Robinson said.

Powell has been in drug rehab for 48 days, and the center was keeping her bed open for her return, Robinson said. She was booked into jail Tuesday after being arrested while visiting her infant son, who was born the weekend after the shooting and remains in state custody.

Hospital staff were concerned about the boy’s health shortly after his birth, and investigators said Powell had tried to swallow drugs during the raid. Robinson and her family declined comment after the hearing.

The Pullman-area Quad Cities Drug Task Force started investigating Robinson and Powell in June after a confidential informant said they sold cocaine. Detectives reportedly watched the informant buy cocaine from Powell on three occasions and from Robinson on two.

The task force joined members of the Spokane police gang unit in the Sept. 24 search. Investigators found crack cocaine, marijuana and hydrocodone in the apartment. No weapons were located.

The cocaine was packaged in three bundles, according to a probable cause affidavit. Drug scales were next to a baby bassinet in the room, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation into the shooting, which is ongoing, Sgt. Dave Reagan said Wednesday.


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