July 13, 2011 in Region

NW today: Suspect allowed to view child porn in jail

Compiled from wire reports
 

What’s news in the Northwest today:

TACOMA — A Washington state man accused of child sex crimes is allowed to view child pornography in jail. The sheriff and the prosecutor don’t like it. But Weldon Marc Gilbert is acting as his own lawyer in the case, and that means he’s allowed to review the evidence. More than 100 videos and photographs were seized from Gilbert’s Lake Tapps home after his 2007 arrest. Authorities say some of them were shot by Gilbert. Gilbert worked as a pilot and is accused of using money and alcohol to lure more than a dozen boys to his home, where police say he molested them. KIRO-FM reports that when Gilbert views his videos in the Pierce County Jail in Tacoma, he’s with an investigator in a separate room visible to jail guards.

Brass knuckles imprint clue in beating

LONGVIEW, Wash. — Police say an engraving on a set of brass knuckles could be a key piece of evidence in a beating case in Washington state. Longview police say 22-year-old Jarad Alan Varner used the knuckles to beat a man in a tavern parking lot in March. The word “fame” is engraved in Varner’s brass knuckles. Police say the victim suffered cuts and a broken cheekbone, and the outline of the letter “A” was visible on his cheek. Investigators say the “A” matches Varner’s “fame” engraving. The Daily News reports Cowlitz County prosecutors issued a summons Tuesday for the 22-year-old Castle Rock man to appear in court to face an assault charge.

Injured Coeur d’Alene soldier returning to U.S.

Military officials say a Coeur d’Alene soldier injured in a Baghdad attack that killed two other Idaho soldiers is heading back to the United States. Idaho National Guard spokesman Col. Tim Marsano says Staff Sgt. Jason Rzepa is handling the situation well. Insurgents attacked Rzepa’s convoy with an explosive last Thursday. Killed in the blast were 24-year-old Spc. Nathan Beyers and 20-year-old Spc. Nicholas Newby, both residents of Coeur d’Alene. The 30-year-old Rzepa suffered serious leg injuries in the attack. He had been taken to Germany for treatment. The soldiers were assigned to the 116th Cavalry Heavy Brigade Combat Team, based in Post Falls.

North Idaho drug dealer pleads guilty

COEUR D’ALENE — A 37-year-old drug dealer who helped run a methamphetamine operation out of a self-storage unit in Lewiston, Idaho, is likely headed to federal prison after a guilty plea. Adolfo Bautista Ascencio of Lewiston acknowledged in federal court in Coeur d’Alene that he and a group of dealers bought more than $200,000 of the illegal stimulant in Washington state, then brought it back to Idaho to distribute to users. Over $100,000 in currency and checks were seized from the defendants during the investigation. The drug conspiracy charge carries a maximum punishment of up to life in prison, a fine up to $10 million, and at least five years supervised release. After Monday’s guilty plea, sentencing for Ascencio is scheduled for Oct. 3 before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge.

Nate Montana pleads guilty to reckless driving

MISSOULA, Mont. — Joe Montana’s son has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless driving stemming from a traffic stop in which he declined a breathalyzer test. Nate Montana was pulled over for going 39 mph in a 25 mph zone in Missoula early June 3. The 21-year-old University of Montana quarterback was arrested on a first-offense DUI charge after a sheriff’s deputy said he smelled alcohol and that Montana fumbled with his driver’s license. The Missoulian said Montana pleaded guilty June 23 to the reckless driving charge and paid $435 in fines and court costs. The speeding charge was dropped. He received a 90-day suspended jail sentence and must complete a chemical dependency evaluation. Montana transferred from Notre Dame in February.

McGee stalls GOP vote on his leadership, probe

CALDWELL, Idaho — Southwestern Idaho Republicans wanting to weigh in on whether state Sen. John McGee should remain the local party chairman and be investigated following an embarrassing June 19 drunken driving incident were stymied when the 38-year-old lawmaker helped block an immediate resolution vote. On Tuesday evening at a local Canyon County GOP Central Committee meeting, McGee succeeded in diverting the resolution to the group’s executive committee, rather than holding an immediate vote. McGee pleaded guilty to drunken driving earlier this month after he took a car that didn’t belong to him without the owner’s permission and damaged it, then fell asleep inside. State Legislative District 13 GOP Chairwoman Ronalee Linsenmann’s resolution called for a probe of McGee’s “drunken actions” and a vote next month on whether he should remain as county chairman.

Woman sues Kennewick man after Facebook romance fails

They met over Mafia Wars, but now the real fighting has begun. A suburban Detroit, Mich., woman is suing a Washington state man for more than $8,000 in damages after a romance sparked over Facebook failed. Cheryl Gray, 50, filed the civil lawsuit in May against 35-year-old Wylie Iwan of Kennewick, Wash., claiming misrepresentation, defamation of character and other charges. Gray is seeking repayment for gifts she bought during their six-month relationship, including a digital camera and Seattle Mariners’ home opener tickets. She said Iwan has repaid $300. The single mother said they met playing Mafia Wars, and that the friendship became romantic. For months they spent as many as six hours a day communicating online. Gray said she bought a plane ticket to visit him but a week before the planned trip he sent a message saying he had met someone else. She said she felt humiliated by disparaging comments he made about her on Facebook. Iwan’s attorney, Julian Poota, told The Associated Press he’s filed a motion to dismiss the case.

Clarkston man hospitalized after 100-foot fall

LEWISTON — Authorities say a Clarkston man is in critical condition after falling more than 100 feet from a railroad bridge into the Clearwater River. Lewiston Police Capt. Tom Greene says Steven Townsend and a friend had been riding their bicycles Tuesday afternoon when Towsnend decided to climb to the top of the bridge and jump. The Lewiston Tribune reports that police say the 47-year-old man showed no signs of suicidal thoughts. Witnesses told authorities that Townsend landed in the water on his back. He was unconscious and had been floating face down for about 15 minutes when Lewiston Fire Capt. Phil Ashe swam to the middle of the river to rescue him. Townsend is believed to have suffered collapsed lungs and was in critical condition Tuesday night.

Bellingham voters to decide on traffic cameras

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Bellingham voters will decide in November whether the city should have red light and school zone cameras automatically issuing tickets for traffic violations. The city council voted Monday to let an initiative go to the ballot. The Bellingham Herald reports the initiative would remove existing cameras and require voter approval before any are re-installed. Any fines would be limited to the least-expensive parking ticket, currently $10.

Lewistown man killed when ATV rolls over on him

GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Authorities say a Lewistown man was killed when his all-terrain vehicle rolled on top of him while he was spraying weeds. The Fergus County Coroner’s Office says 63-year-old Ronald Zimmerman died after the Monday afternoon accident. The Great Falls Tribune reports that Zimmerman was apparently spraying weeds near Casino Creek at the time. Coroner Dick Brown says the death is being investigated by his office and the sheriff’s office.

Aberdeen embezzler sentenced to carry guilty sign

ABERDEEN, Wash. — A woman who pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $10,000 from the Aberdeen High School music boosters group has been sentenced to spend 10 days at a downtown intersection holding a sign saying, “I stole from kids.” Sixty-four—year-old Charlotte A. Button also was sentenced last week to two months in jail. The Daily World reports her lawyer is appealing the part of the sentence that requires her to stand on the corner with the sign.

Idaho Fish and Game surveys public on wolf hunt

BOISE — Want to howl about Idaho’s new wolf hunt? The Department of Fish and Game is all ears. The Idaho wildlife agency is gathering public opinion about its plans for the upcoming season, including the proposal not to have kill quotas in much of the state. The proposal and survey questions can be viewed at Fish and Game’s website. Fish and Game officials already say they’ll survey 1,000 randomly selected hunters and 2,000 members of the public about the proposed wolf season. But for anyone else interested, the questions will be posted on the website along with a spot to offer comments, with the results to be presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission at the panel’s July 27-28 meeting in Salmon. The comment deadline is July 24.

Charging stations along I-5 in Wash. due this year

SEATTLE — Drivers of electric cars will soon be able to recharge at stations along Interstate 5 through Washington, part of a network of stations that would stretch along the West Coast. Washington transportation officials have selected Monrovia, Calif.-based AeroVironment to install nine fast-charging stations along I-5 by the end of the year. The company is also installing eight stations along I-5 in Oregon in 2011. Company officials say drivers will be able to fully charge electric vehicles in less than 30 minutes with level-3 DC fast-chargers, or in several hours with level-2 medium-speed chargers. The stations will be located at retail stores, shopping malls, gas stations or travel centers with easy highway access.

Park County holds inquest in shooting death

LIVINGSTON, Mont. — Witnesses testifying at a Park County inquest say an 81-year-old Florida man whom sheriff’s deputies fatally shot was fixated on the young genius whose mother he tried to kill. Thomas Kyros was killed on Jan. 17 during a standoff with officers responding to a report that Kyros had shot Georgia Smith southwest of Livingston. Smith is the mother of Promethea Pythaitham, who age 13 became the youngest person to graduate from Montana State University. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that state investigators found clues in Kyros’ hotel room to a plan to free Pythaitha from the grips of her mother. An inquest is required when someone is killed by a law enforcement officer. The jury spent 10 minutes deliberating before they cleared the deputies of any wrongdoing.

Judge allows ex-coach doctor visit before jail

MISSOULA, Mont. — A Missoula judge says he intends to jail a sex offender for a parole violation, but first will allow the former girls’ basketball coach to consult with a doctor about a heart condition. District Court Judge Ed McLean on Tuesday ordered David Paisley held under house arrest. Paisley, who coached at Missoula Hellgate, is accused of eating lunch in a park when he wasn’t allowed to be unaccompanied in any place children gather. The Missoulian reports that Paisley had a heart attack in 2007 and went to the emergency room last weekend. McClean says he will send Paisley to prison no matter what the cardiologist says. Paisley received a suspended sentence after entering an Alford Plea to sexual abuse of a minor, acknowledging there was enough evidence to convict him.


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