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In brief: Divers recover bodies of two drowned men

Fri., Sept. 2, 2011

The bodies of two young men who drowned in area lakes this week were recovered Thursday.

Riley Odwyer, 24, of Coeur d’Alene, fell from the back of a pontoon boat into Lake Coeur d’Alene Tuesday. The Kootenai County Sheriff Department’s dive team discovered his body Thursday afternoon in about 130 feet of water between Carlin Bay and Crescent Bay using side scan sonar, according to a news release. An autopsy will be performed.

On Wednesday, John-David “J.D.” Baker, 17, of Newport, Wash., was cliff diving from a popular spot into Davis Lake when he slipped and fell into the water. After friends were unable to locate him, Pend Oreille County and Kalispel Indian Reservation divers joined the search. His body was found Thursday afternoon in 90 feet of water, according to a news release.

UI professor had weapons permit

MOSCOW, Idaho – Authorities say a former University of Idaho assistant professor who gunned down a graduate student and then killed himself last week had cleared a background check and was issued a concealed weapons permit.

Latah County Sheriff Wayne Rausch said no flags were raised when 31-year-old Ernesto Bustamante applied for the firearms permit, which was issued about five months before the murder-suicide.

A request by the Lewiston Tribune for copies of Bustamante’s application and permit were denied.

Police say Bustamante shot 22-year-old Katy Benoit 11 times at close range outside her Moscow home Aug. 22. The two had dated previously, and Benoit had complained to the university that Bustamante threatened her after they broke up.

Idaho is a “shall-issue” state whereby firearms permits must be authorized unless a person is found, among other things, to be a felon, a fugitive, an addict or mentally ill. Bustamante, according to police reports, was said to have mental illness and possessed a number of weapons.

Marks of Spokane denies ties to Florida

Ten members of a Florida-based family of Gypsies with the last name of Marks have been indicted for a psychic scam that authorities allege has earned them $40 million over 20 years.

Some media outlets have reported the Florida suspects are family members of Jimmy Marks, Spokane’s flamboyant gypsy leader who died in 2007. Marks’ widow, Jane, said it’s not true.

“That upset me really bad. We have nothing to do with people like that” she said. “There are a million Markses, and we’re not related to everyone.”

Jimmy Marks became a quasi-public figure after police raided family members’ homes in 1986. A court ordered the city of Spokane to pay the family $1.43 million to settle a civil rights lawsuit the Gypsy clan had filed as a result of the raids.

The Florida Markses, headed by Rose Marks of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., pleaded not guilty on charges including conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, according to the New York Daily News.


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