March 7, 2012 in City

In brief: Suppression sought of Powell evidence


TACOMA – Lawyers for the father-in-law of missing Utah woman Susan Powell are trying to suppress evidence seized from his home last summer.

Steve Powell is set to face trial later this month on charges of voyeurism and child pornography. Investigators said that when they searched his home looking for evidence in Susan Powell’s disappearance, they found images of women who had been unknowingly photographed and of two neighbor girls taking baths.

In a new motion, attorney Mark Quigley is asking a judge to throw out a compact photo disk recovered from a locked compartment in his bedroom. Quigley says the police were looking for copies of Susan Powell’s journals, but they had no reason to believe the journals would contain any evidence of a crime.

Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist says the search was done meticulously.

Susan Powell’s husband, Josh, killed himself and their two children in a fire at his rental home last month.

Heroin death rise prompts concern

SEATTLE – King County health officials have alerted the public to what they call an unusual increase in heroin overdose deaths, possibly because of increased potency or a mixture with other substances.

Public Health officials said Tuesday there have been seven likely overdose deaths from heroin in the county since Saturday. By comparison, there were 32 heroin-overdose deaths in the first six months of 2011 in King County.

The county medical examiner’s office said the deaths occurred across the county, among people of varying ages and among both experienced and inexperienced users.

While health officials try to analyze the heroin and identify possible reasons for the death increase, they caution heroin users to not inject when alone, use less if the heroin source is new or if it looks different and avoid mixing heroin with other drugs or stimulants.

Miss Seattle explains tweet

SEATTLE – The newly crowned Miss Seattle said she was just having a bad day back in December when she tweeted, “Ugh can’t stand cold rainy Seattle and the annoying people.”

Since winning the pageant on Saturday, Jean-Sun Hannah Ahn has said she was just complaining about the weather like any Seattle native and didn’t mean that people in Seattle are annoying.

She is a former Miss Phoenix who graduated from Arizona State University. Ahn told KIRO-FM ( ) she was in a transition period three months ago, missing friends and sunshine.

She says she learned a valuable lesson.

She tweeted on Monday that: “I really do love Seattle … the summers are to die for.”

Miss Seattle represents the city this summer at the Miss Washington Pageant.

Home invasion suspect in court

SEATTLE – Bail has been set at $900,000 for a convicted rapist accused of breaking into a house near the University of Washington and threatening six young women with a knife.

One victim said the attacker threatened to kill them. Police said he tied the hands of several women and ordered one to take her clothes off. Another roommate managed to call 911 and police quickly arrived early Monday.

Bail was set Tuesday at an initial court appearance for 34-year-old Robert D. Hitt. Today is the deadline for filing charges.

The Seattle Times said Hitt is under state Corrections Department supervision after serving a 10-year sentence for first-degree rape. He was released from prison in January.

In court documents, police said Hitt told them he planned a robbery to get beer money.

Small-plane crash kills man aboard

BILLINGS – One man is dead and another was injured after a small airplane crashed near the eastern Montana town of Brockton.

The Billings Gazette reports Richland County authorities have identified the victim of Monday’s crash as 55-year-old James Steppler of Brockton. The Federal Aviation Administration said the airplane was registered to Steppler.

The Bellanca fixed-wing, single-engine plane crashed shortly before 4 p.m. Monday. No other details were available Tuesday.

Sheriff Brad Baisch says Steppler’s cousin, 32-year-old Verlin Steppler, was injured in the crash.

Baisch says Verlin Steppler was flown to a Billings hospital to be treated for injuries.

Federal investigators were expected to arrive on Tuesday.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email