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In brief: Con man sentenced to three years

A Spokane man was ordered Tuesday to serve just over three years in prison for a real estate scam that cost a Coeur d’Alene woman her high-end riverfront home.

Samuel Thomas Geren Jones, 32, was convicted in July of helping defraud the woman by persuading her to mortgage the property as part of a plan to build condominiums, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. Jones and a partner, Travis Justin Sneed, diverted about $600,000 to their own bank accounts and spent the money on themselves rather than developing condominiums as promised.

Sneed, a one-time Washington legislative candidate and aide to former Senate Majority Leader Jim West, is serving a five-year prison term for his role in the fraud. Both were convicted of 19 counts of wire fraud, which included charges stemming from a fraudulent online business that bilked customers out of about $165,000, officials said.

Couple’s deaths investigated

An elderly man at a northwest Spokane home called 911 Tuesday morning saying he had shot and killed his terminally ill wife and was planning his own death, police said.

When officers arrived at the home just after 7:30 a.m. near Broad Avenue and ‘A’ Street, they looked through the home’s window and found two victims dead on the floor with a firearm nearby.

Major crimes is investigating the shooting, though police Capt. Brad Arleth said they’re examining the incident as a possible murder-suicide. Police are seeking a search warrant on the couple’s home to further the investigation.

Police described the victims as a man and a woman in their late 70s.

Men off to prison for having guns

Two gun-toting North Idaho men prohibited from possessing firearms because of prior criminal records are headed to prison.

George J. Bondurant, 35, of Bonners Ferry, was ordered Monday to serve 10 months in prison after a shotgun was found in the back seat of his car in May, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. Bondurant was convicted in 1999 of involuntary manslaughter, which prohibits him from possessing firearms, and pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Jason Patrick Day, 35, of Plummer, was ordered Monday to serve 28 months in prison after police discovered a concealed pistol in his possession during a traffic stop in March, the U.S. attorney’s office said. Day doesn’t have a concealed weapons permit and is prohibited from possessing firearms because of a prior domestic violence conviction. He pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm.

Both men were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Coeur d’Alene.


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