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In brief: Three-year sentence for crash fatality

A man who has survived three one-car crashes on the same road near Plummer, Idaho, has been sentenced to three years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.

Joseph Michael Matt Jr., 26, of Worley, Idaho, was speeding and under the influence of alcohol and methamphetamine Aug. 18, 2009, when he lost control of his 1997 Jeep Cherokee and left Lovell Valley Road in Benewah County, killing William “Sonny” A. Davison, 22, of DeSmet, Idaho.

Matt was involved in two other crashes on Lovell Valley Road, both as a passenger. Matt, a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, pleaded guilty in November and was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Coeur d’Alene. In addition to 36 months in prison, Matt is to be on probation for three years after his release and is to pay $5,707.66 to cover the cost of Davison’s funeral.

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge said Matt had prior convictions for driving under the influence, and that the case “called out for deterrents,” according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Fugitive arrested on several warrants

A fugitive who’s both an alleged assault victim and an alleged assault suspect was arrested Wednesday.

Kenneth Brian Barton, 34, was in the bushes near North Cannon Street and West Gardner Avenue allegedly injecting himself with heroin when police tried to arrest him on several warrants this afternoon, according to KHQ.

Barton fought with the two officers, prompting several more to arrive for backup. No serious injuries were reported.

Barton was wanted on assault and theft charges for allegedly fighting with security at J.C. Penney at the Spokane Valley Mall after being detained for shoplifting a pair of Nike sneakers on May 16. He also was being sought on a material witness warrant for an assault trial set to begin next month. Barton was allegedly assaulted by Tony N. Hairston on Oct. 27 at 2821 N. Cincinnati Ave.

A $100,000 warrant to secure Barton’s presence for testimony was issued June 8.

Fireworks blamed for church fire

LAPWAI, Idaho — Nez Perce County officials believe children playing with bottle rockets started a fire that destroyed a church in Lapwai.

Fire Chief Ron Hall said the fire started at about 7:15 p.m. Monday. When fire crews arrived, the building was fully engulfed. It took firefighters about an hour to contain the blaze.

Hall said the building was being used as a church and no one was inside at the time. The fire also damaged an unoccupied building nearby.


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