June 29, 2012 in Region

In brief: 3 men plead guilty for unlicensed hunt


Three North Dakota bow hunters pleaded guilty earlier this month to shooting cougars in North Idaho without hunting tags.

The men were in Boundary County in late January when they each shot a cougar, according to U.S. District Court documents. Idaho hunters in the party placed their tags on the cougars that were killed, the documents said. Eric C. Harmel, 39; Richard T. Gustafson, 44; and Dwayne A. Hellman, 41, each pleaded guilty to one count of illegally acquiring a cougar and transporting it to North Dakota.

Sentencing is scheduled for later this summer. The offense is punishable by fines of up to $100,000 and up to a year in jail.

Teen arrested in home-invasion case

A suspect has been arrested in a June 6 armed home-invasion robbery in northeast Spokane.

Brettly E. Sanderson, who turned 16 last week, is charged as an adult with seven counts of first-degree robbery.

The victims at the home in the 2900 block of North Hogan Street said they recognized Sanderson when he and two other men, one of whom had a sawed-off shotgun, forced their way into the apartment demanding drugs and money, according to court documents. One of the victims was struck in the head with the butt of the shotgun. Seven people were in the apartment at the time. Stolen items included $50, two laptops, a PlayStation 3 and stereo speakers, according to police.

Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Mark Cipolla filed charges against Sanderson on Monday.

Flood alert remains on Kootenai River

Volunteers are stacking sandbags along levees this week in Bonners Ferry as high flows continue in the Kootenai River.

The river is expected to stay above flood stage for a week to 10 days. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has sent a technical assistance team to the area.

Local officials are also warning boaters on the river to stay away from the shoreline and to keep boat wakes to a minimum to prevent additional damage to levees. The entire Kootenai River basin from Lake Koocanusa to Canada’s Kootenay Lake is under flood watch.

In related news, Albeni Cove and Priest River beaches on the Pend Oreille River are closed to swimming because of water releases from Albeni Falls Dam, though wading at the beaches remains acceptable.

As much as 98,000 cubic feet of water per second is being released through the dam as a result of record rainfalls. That’s about double the normal flow for this time of year, so people should watch their children carefully, said Linda Lamb, an Army Corps park ranger.

Man gets 82 years after appeal fails

A man convicted of trying to kill two Spokane police officers a decade ago was resentenced last week to 82 years in prison after his case was returned on appeal.

Jason A. Graham, 31, will be given credit for the nine years he has already served after he was convicted in 2003 of two counts of attempted first-degree murder, four counts of first-degree assault, second-degree assault and property crimes.

Spokane County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jack Driscoll said the case was returned to Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno after the Washington Supreme Court ruled that firearm enhancements were improperly applied to Graham’s original sentence.

Graham was wounded by police during a Jan. 7, 2002, shootout where he fired two dozen rounds from a semi-automatic assault rifle at officers following a vehicle chase in downtown Spokane. The officers were not hit.

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