Local news

In brief: Man dies following Ironman

A Seattle man died Tuesday following complications suffered during the swimming portion of the Ironman triathlon in Coeur d’Alene last weekend, officials confirmed Wednesday.

Sean Murphy, 44, was spotted by Ironman personnel struggling in Lake Coeur d’Alene about 20 minutes into the race Sunday, and they pulled him out of the water. They tried to resuscitate him at the medical tent, then transferred him to Kootenai Medical Center, according to a statement from the Kootenai County Coroner’s Office.

Murphy was maintained on life support until he died at 1:07 p.m. Tuesday, the statement said.

An autopsy will be performed at the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office.

More than 2,000 people entered the lake at the start of the competition. Event lifeguards kept an eye on the area from kayaks and paddle boards.

Transient arrested in stabbing

Police on Wednesday arrested a convicted killer accused of trying to kill another man in a stabbing Monday night north of Coeur d’Alene.

James H. Kountz, 56, was arrested about 5:40 p.m. in the same wooded area near U.S. Highway 95 and Wilbur Avenue where he allegedly stabbed another transient, James R. Hoglen, 42,police said.

Kountz has a long criminal history that includes an involuntary manslaughter conviction in California. He was originally arrested for murder in 1989, said Sgt. Christie Wood, spokeswoman for the Coeur d’Alene Police Department.

Kountz has amassed arrests from traveling all over the United States, Wood said. He’s been in the Coeur d’Alene area for about a year.

Wood said police have arrested him three times for aggravated battery and contacted him several other times for trespassing.

“Numerous businesses have called and said ‘get him out of here,’ ” Wood said. “He really is a menace.”

He faces a charge of attempted second-degree murder for Monday’s assault. Police closed a portion of U.S. Highway 95 that night as a helicopter and police dog helped police search for Kountz.

Hoglen, who is from Reno, Nev., was stabbed in his upper torso and once in his face. He is in stable condition at Kootenai Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

The North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force located Kountz.

Flags at half-staff for soldier

OLYMPIA – Flags in front of state buildings and at other state facilities will be lowered to half-staff Monday for a Spokane soldier killed this month in Afghanistan.

Gov. Chris Gregoire ordered the flags lowered to honor Spc. Jarrod Lallier, who was killed June 18 when men in Afghan police uniforms turned their weapons on his unit during a patrol in Kharay, Kandahar province. Nine others were wounded in the attack.

Lallier, 20, was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division who graduated from Mead High School. The flag lowering coincides with his memorial service, which will be at 1 p.m. at Life Center Four Square Church, 202 N. Government Way, with internment to follow at Fairmont Memorial Park, 5200 W. Wellesley Ave. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Dog shot during robbery

A dog was shot multiple times during a home invasion robbery in North Spokane Tuesday night.

The robbery occurred near 800 W. Euclid Ave. shortly before 9:40 p.m., a news release from the Spokane Police Department said. Police originally responded to a call of shots fired in the area of 400 W. Park Place, a few blocks east and one block south of the robbery.

Police said two masked men broke into a home on West Euclid with guns and robbed the occupants, including a “female and a small child.” The occupants were not injured. When the robbers fled the home, the victim’s dog chased them and was shot multiple times.

The men were driving a white, older van with bi-fold doors on the side and a faded Spokane Shock sticker on the back, the release said. The van had no windows.

The injured dog, identified by KHQ-TV as a pit bull named Guardian, was taken to a local animal emergency clinic for treatment.

Police are asking anyone with information about this incident to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.



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