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In brief: Man missing since cellphone call

Police are still looking for a Spokane man missing since a phone call to his girlfriend ended bizarrely last month.

Leighton Welch, 35, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict and Spokane Falls Community College student, hasn’t been seen since March 28. His girlfriend, Michonda Weaver, said she was talking to him via cellphone when he described a steep cliff and said he’d been spooked by a pit bull in the area. The phone went dead after a crash and a scream, Weaver said.

She hasn’t heard from the father of her two young children since.

Spokane police detectives said Thursday that Welch’s cellphone was last used near 330 S. Oak St. that day.

They have renewed their plea for clues on Welch’s disappearance, saying they have none.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips. Tipsters should call (800) 222-TIPS.

Man sentenced for choking dog

A Spokane man who pleaded guilty to choking a police dog, among other charges, was sentenced to 5 ½ years in prison Thursday.

Cephas W. Parham choked Spokane Police Officer Paul Gorman’s dog Maximus during a pursuit last year in the Shadle Park area.

Officers were trying to arrest Parham on a warrant for possession of a stolen vehicle when he ran from 4207 N. Cannon St. last October. Maximus caught up with Parham three times but Parham assaulted the dog by throwing him into a brick wall and put the dog in a chokehold, according to court records.

Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno sentenced Parham to the maximum 12 months for the assault on Maximus and the car theft charges resulted in the total prison time of 5 ½ years.