March 31, 2012 in City

In brief: Retired pastor found guilty of killing wife in Stevens County


A Stevens County jury convicted a retired pastor Friday of killing his wife in 2009 after she indicated she was leaving him.

The jury deliberated two hours before finding Craig R. Cosby, 70, guilty of first-degree murder in connection with the Oct. 3, 2009, killing of his wife, 53-year-old Susan M. Cosby. The jury’s verdict also included sentencing enhancements for the use of a firearm and a crime of domestic violence, which carries a potential sentence of life in prison.

Cosby was arrested in the front yard of his home in Marcus, a small town along the Columbia River in northern Stevens County. Investigators found that Cosby shot his wife with 10 bullets from a .40-caliber handgun, Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen said.

Sentencing has been set for April 17. With the conviction, Cosby faces a minimum of 25 years to life in prison.

Commission allows more vehicle use during wolf hunts

Idaho’s Fish and Game Commission voted this week to liberalize motor vehicle use during part of next year’s wolf hunt.

From January to June, wolf hunters will be able to travel on all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles and snowmobiles while they are looking for wolves. However, shooting from a vehicle is still prohibited.

The use of motorized vehicles will allow wolf hunters to cover more territory. Before the change, the regulations prohibited wolf hunters from using motorized vehicles as “an aid to hunting” unless they were on a road open to full-sized vehicles.

To avoid conflicts during deer and elk season, no changes in motorized-use restrictions will occur between Aug. 30 and Dec. 31.

Jeff Thomas named CEO of Frontier Behavioral Health

Jeff Thomas will take over as chief executive officer of Frontier Behavioral Health, which oversees the county’s largest treatment provider for people with mental illnesses.

He replaces retiring CEO David Panken, who for 18 years led Spokane Mental Health and helped merge that organization with Family Service Spokane into what last summer became known as Frontier.

Together the two organizations have 475 employees and help 12,000 patients and their families.

Most of the nonprofit organization’s $39 million budget is funded through Medicaid.

Thomas had served as associate director.

Federal agents arrest Spokane man accused of child abuse

A 22-year-old Spokane man accused of assaulting his infant daughter was arrested this week in Texas.

Joshua E. Gillis is awaiting extradition to Spokane on a $250,000 warrant for first-degree child abuse.

Federal agents in Houston located him there at the request of Spokane police, U.S. Marshal Bob Doty said Friday.

Gillis is accused of assaulting his daughter in January. He and the girl’s mother, Ashley B. Huston, brought the girl to a hospital with multiple skull fractures, a fractured right shoulder and a spiral fracture to her right thigh, police said. The parents told doctors the girl was anemic.

Police searched the couple’s home at 123 E. Baldwin Ave. and seized evidence of the alleged assault, as well as nine marijuana plants.

Prosecutors charged Gillis on Feb. 22.

North Central 10th-grader wins state writing award

A North Central High School 10th-grader, Oliver Reed, won one of three awards in Washington’s “Letters About Literature” contest, Secretary of State Sam Reed announced this week.

The contest encourages students to write letters to their favorite author, living or dead; Oliver Reed wrote his letter to William Ernest Henley about Henley’s poem “Invictus.”

The secretary of state will honor Reed and two other students, both from Western Washington, in a ceremony May 11. About 5,500 students entered this year’s competition.

The three state champions’ letters will be entered in the national competition.

The secretary of state’s office and one of its divisions, the Washington State Library, have sponsored the state competition for seven years. The national competition is sponsored by the Library of Congress, the Center for the Book and Target.

Man gets life term for fatally stabbing girlfriend in Pasco

PASCO – Gregorio Luna Luna was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the May 2010 murder of his girlfriend in Pasco.

A Franklin County jury found him guilty last month of aggravated first-degree murder.

Griselda Ocampo Meza, 21, was killed after Luna Luna barged into her Pasco home and stabbed her in the heart.

Luna Luna had sent threatening letters vowing to kill her about a month earlier, and during the trial prosecutors presented evidence that Luna Luna engaged in a pattern of domestic abuse.

The couple’s son, Allen, now 8, was home at the time and saw his father attack his mother before her new boyfriend rushed the boy out of the apartment.

Luna Luna’s attorneys, Karla Kane and Shelley Ajax, filed a notice of appeal to the state Court of Appeals.

Before sentencing, special prosecutor Andy Miller read the letter Ocampo Meza’s brother sent on behalf of the family.

Her brother, who did not include his name in the letter, explained his parents were having a hard time understanding how someone they had welcomed with open arms had stolen their daughter from them.

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