December 1, 2011 in City

In brief: Sentence for sex abuse 20 years

 

A 26-year-old Rathdrum man will spend at least seven years in prison for sexually abusing a minor.

Justin Scott Savage was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison with eligibility for parole after seven years for lewd conduct with a minor under 16, sexual abuse of a child under 16 and other charges.

1st District Court Judge Fred Gibler sentenced Savage, who pleaded guilty in September. Savage has previous misdemeanor convictions for theft, drugs and burglary, according to the Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office.

‘Sovereign’ convicted in filed liens

A federal jury on Tuesday convicted a self-proclaimed “sovereign” citizen of filing more than $20 billion in false liens against government officials.

Ronald James Davenport faces up to 40 years in prison and a $1 million fine after being convicted of four counts of filing false retaliatory liens against government officials, but he has no criminal history and likely will receive much less time.

Davenport, who was 62 at the time of his June 2010 arrest, has been out of jail and is living in Chewelah, according to court documents.His ex-wife described him as a vehement anti-tax advocate and told authorities he might “go Ruby Ridge” if the government tried seizing his home for unpaid taxes, according to a previous report. Davenport described himself in court filings as a sovereign, a term typically used by people who do not recognize the authority of the federal government.

A sentencing date has not been set.

Panel: UI policy changes due

BOISE – An independent panel suggested that University of Idaho administrators strengthen emergency management and bolster efforts to keep students, faculty and staff safe following a murder-suicide in August.

Former Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice Linda Copple Trout helped review the university’s safety protocols after professor Ernesto Bustamante resigned Aug. 19, then gunned down 22-year-old Katy Benoit three days later.

The reviewers said a big problem was that it isn’t clear how concerns regarding disturbing, distressing or disruptive behaviors by faculty are acknowledged and addressed. Copple Trout’s panel also suggested strengthening policies on physical abuse, hazing and harassment, as well as making the consensual relationship policy more prominent on its website.

State park preparing for skiers

Mount Spokane State Park will begin grooming its 30-mile cross-country ski trail system starting tonight, park manager Steve Christensen said.

“The next new snowfall will really make it nice,” he said.

In addition to preparing skis and snowshoes for the weekend, park visitors also must be sure they purchase the proper passes at sporting goods stores, vehicle license dealers or online.

• A Washington Sno-Park Permit ($40 annually) is required on vehicles parking in the three Sno-Park lots used at Mount Spokane by snowmobilers, snowshoers and cross-country skiers. 

• A Grooming Sticker (additional $40) must be attached to the Sno-Park Permit for parking at the Selkirk Lodge Sno-Park lot where Nordic skiers stage to use the groomed ski trails.

• A Washington Discover Pass ($30 annual) has limited value at Mount Spokane during winter, allowing parking only at the few pull-out spots along the road that are not supported by the Sno-Park program, Christensen said.

No vehicle pass is required on vehicles with patrons parking at the Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park, he said.

Fall critically injures woman

A young woman was hospitalized in critical condition after falling Wednesday from the River Park Square parking garage in downtown Spokane.

The Spokane resident fell or possibly jumped several stories, landing on the paved garage entrance ramp below.

She was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. Police haven’t released her name or age.

Spokane police received the call at 2:52 p.m.

The Major Crimes Unit was investigating due to the extent of her injuries, said Officer Brian Eckersley, but “there is no indication of foul play.”

“It doesn’t appear to be anything criminal at this point,” he said.

Investigators were on the scene Wednesday evening interviewing witnesses, processing the scene and working to determine whether the fall was accidental or intentional, he said.

The garage is owned by the Cowles Co., which also owns The Spokesman-Review.

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