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Duo arrested for attempted murder after attack in Mead

FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2011, 1:52 P.M.

Two suspects were arrested today on attempted murder charges after a home invasion in Mead last week in which a juvenile was tied up while his father was beaten.

Crime Stoppers this morning offered a reward for tips that lead to arrest of Gary L. Houchins, 29, and Cecelia L. Rocha, 19. The two were arrested hours later; Sgt. Dave Reagan said the suspects turned themselves in.

Detectives say the pair had discussed a room rental with a Mead resident on July 11 before returning around midnight when the man was gone and using zip ties and duct tape to immobilize his son, according to a news release by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

The two, whom police say had baseball bats and a pistol, carried the boy to the basement, tied him to a wall stud and covered his head, then attacked his father as he arrived home, according to the sheriff’s office.

The assailants were wearing panty hose over their faces as well as baseball hats and hoods, but the victim recognize them during the struggle, Reagan said.

Houchins allegedly tried to snap the man’s neck during the struggle, and he and Rocha told the victim “if he cooperated they would not kill his son,” according to the news release.

The son was able to break free and climb out a basement window to seek help from a neighbor, who grabbed two ornamental swords and ran to help but was assaulted with a baseball bat when he entered the home, Reagan said. He required sutures to close the wound from the bat.

The assailants fled through nearby woods, and a sheriff’s K-9 team located one of the nylon stockings worn during the attack.

Houchins and Rocha are charged with attempted first-degree murder, attempted first-degree robbery, first-degree kidnapping, third-degree assault and first-degree burglary.

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