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In brief: Man gets 184 1/2 years for firing at crowd

A 27-year-old man has been given what amounts to a life sentence in prison for his role in a two-day crime spree in Spokane in December 2009.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Gregory Sypolt sentenced Greg Sharkey Jr. to 184 ½ years in prison, according to court records, after Sharkey was found guilty of 10 counts of first-degree assault for shooting into a crowd of people. He was also convicted of one count of second-degree taking a motor vehicle without permission.

The shooting was part of a spate of crime that put a teenager in the hospital and a bullet hole through a police cruiser.

The day after the shooting, Officer Kristopher Honaker was monitoring the scene of the shooting when Sharkey and co-defendants Tony E. Dawson and Margaret D. Shults drove by in a Suburban reported stolen. Honaker followed the Suburban and one of the passengers fired at him, striking his vehicle.

Dawson, who was at the scene of the shooting the night before, admitted to shooting at Honaker and pleaded guilty in January to first-degree assault and attempted first-degree robbery. Dawson was sentenced to 13 ½ years in prison.

Shults, who was driving the Suburban when Dawson shot at Honaker, was sentenced to six years and five months in prison.

Police investigate suspicious death

Spokane police are investigating a suspicious death on South D Street near the Finch Arboretum.

A woman called 911 Thursday morning to report she found a man dead in a house at 1302 S. D St., said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, a spokeswoman for the police department. The Spokane Fire Department initially responded to the call. Police followed and found “nothing to indicate it was a natural cause” of death, she said. Police searched the house in the early afternoon.

DeRuwe said more information would be available today after an autopsy is completed. Neither the caller nor the dead man were identified.

Arrest made in drug robbery attempt

A man arrested Thursday is suspected of playing a role in a botched marijuana robbery that left another would-be robber with a bullet wound in his head.

Spokane police arrested Joseph Gariepy, 41, on warrants for second-degree malicious mischief and second-degree burglary. Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said Gariepy is a suspect in an Oct. 3 attempted robbery of a backyard marijuana crop at 1023 E. Gordon Ave.

The robbery was thwarted when the homeowner, a woman authorized to grow medical marijuana, shot Raymond P. Bates in the head. Bates was able to walk and talk after sustaining the wound and was arrested later that day.