October 15, 2010 in City

In brief: Former Spokane man guilty of wife’s death


SANTA ANA, Calif. – A former Spokane photographer has been convicted of murdering his estranged wife in Southern California 27 years ago to avoid paying child support and losing custody of his daughters.

The district attorney’s office says 64-year-old William Mordick was found guilty Wednesday and faces life in prison when he’s sentenced next month.

He drove to the Anaheim Hills home of his estranged wife, Katherine, in January 1983 to pick up his children for a birthday party. Prosecutors say he put the girls, then 2 and 4, in his car, went back inside and slashed the woman’s throat.

He later moved to Spokane with the girls and became a commercial photographer.

Mordick was arrested in Spokane in February 2008 after DNA evidence from blood smears linked him to the crime scene. He testified he was innocent.

Man, woman arrested; 20 pounds of pot seized

About 20 pounds of marijuana was seized from a home in Bonner County on Wednesday.

Marcus S. Starks, 42, and Laura D. Baker, 51, were trimming marijuana from a recently harvested grow near an elementary school when Bonner County Sheriff’s Office investigators contacted them at their home on Rapid Lightning Road, northeast of Sandpoint.

The home was full of bags and boxes of marijuana, as well as seven growing marijuana plants, Sgt. Marty Ryan said Thursday.

Starks had a large grow near Colburn Culver Road and the bridge over the Pack River, near Northside Elementary School, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Starks and Baker were booked into jail on charges of trafficking in marijuana and manufacturing/cultivating a controlled substance. For photos, visit www.spokesman.com/blogs /sirens.

Marijuana found in California man’s car

A California man was arrested with more than 3 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop on Interstate 90 near Spokane on Tuesday.

Donald James Stollmeyer, 24, faces a felony charge of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.

Spokane County sheriff’s deputies smelled marijuana coming from the Santa Margarita, Calif., man’s GMC pickup when they stopped him near the Fishtrap exit.

Deputies say Stollmeyer allowed them to search the truck, where they found marijuana and a pipe under the driver’s seat and 3  1/4 pounds of pot in the bed of the truck.

Stollmeyer was released from jail on his own recognizance Wednesday after appearing before Superior Court Judge Michael Price.

Oil company denies long-term shipping plan

A major oil company is denying an environmental group’s report that it plans to ship huge refinery equipment over scenic U.S. 12 for the next decade.

The Natural Resources Defense Council issued a report Thursday contending that documents it translated from South Korea show that Imperial Oil, a unit of ExxonMobil, and its Korean equipment suppliers have discussed using the remote two-lane highway to move equipment until 2020.

Imperial Oil spokesman Pius Rolheiser said the company has no plans to use the road beyond the 207 shipments it is seeking permission for in the next year.

The Idaho Supreme Court is deciding if the state can issue a special permit for the oversize loads. Opponents sued, contending the shipments would hurt area residents and the economy.

Sheriff logging Air One activities on website

Hear the sheriff’s helicopter circling and wonder what it’s up to? You’re not alone.

“Area residents frequently contact media for information after hearing Air One circling their neighborhood at night or seeing it above during daytime searches,” the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Tuesday.

To quench that curiosity, the Sheriff’s Office will now log the helicopter unit’s activities on its website, www.spokanesheriff.org. Click on the “Air Support Unit” link, then on “Incident Reports.”

Crews will try to update the log at the end of each flight, although some sensitive material, such as assistance to active police investigations, won’t be included, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Church holding event on veteran ministries

Sacred Heart Church invites veterans, their families and friends, as well as clergy wishing to develop veteran ministries, to attend a daylong educational event on Saturday.

The Welcome Veterans Home event, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the church, 219 E. Rockwood Blvd., is intended to provide support for veteran reintegration, but is open to veterans from any era.

Clergy wishing to become familiar with veterans’ issues, including post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma and depression, are encouraged to attend 90-minute workshops.

For more information or to RSVP, call ACT Ministries (509) 483-0428.

OLYMPIA – The Washington Supreme Court says tribal police can detain non-Indians outside a reservation’s boundaries.

The court’s ruling was a reconsideration of an opinion it issued last year, in which it unanimously reached the same conclusion. This time, the judges split 6-3.

The majority said that under the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliot, it was OK for a Lummi Nation officer to pursue a suspected drunken driver beyond the reservation’s boundaries and detain her until Whatcom County deputies arrived.

The justices also said the stop was justified under the doctrine of “fresh pursuit,” which allows officers to cross jurisdictional lines when there’s a threat to life or property.

The minority said the treaty provided no such authority, and that “fresh pursuit” only applies to felonies. DUI is a gross misdemeanor.

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