November 6, 2012 in City

In brief: Lewiston inmate death under investigation

 

Police are investigating the death Saturday of a 19-year-old Kootenai County inmate who was jailed in Lewiston.

Chad Vincent Gardner, prosecuted in a 2008 rape case of a 15-year-old girl, was found unconscious in his Nez Perce County Jail cell about midnight Saturday, the Idaho State Police said. He was given first aid and later pronounced dead.

Gardner was in jail for violating probation. He was sent to the Lewiston jail on Sept. 26 as part of an agreement with Kootenai County to house inmates there due to crowding in Coeur d’Alene.

In November 2008, Gardner, then 15, and Alexander Thomas Donnolo, 16, were arrested and charged as adults in the alleged rape of a 15-year-old girl. The girl told police she was raped at a private residence while visiting a female friend.

Gardner and Donnolo were convicted of felony injury of a child, and both were sentenced to prison for the crime.

The state police are investigating Gardner’s death. An autopsy was performed Monday in Spokane.

Staff reports

Crocker’s DUI hearing postponed again

A DUI hearing for Ryan Crocker, former ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan, was postponed Monday for the third time. It’s now set for Nov. 21 at 1:30 p.m.

Crocker, 63, has been charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident on Aug. 14 following a crash with a semitruck at a busy Spokane Valley intersection. Witnesses followed and alerted Washington State Patrol troopers as he drove away from the crash.

The Spokane Valley native retired from the U.S. State Department in July, citing health reasons. He left Afghanistan during a period of transition as the United States prepares to withdraw most of its troops from the country by the end of 2014. He also oversaw the reconstruction of war-torn Iraq.

Thomas Clouse

Kettle Falls crime victim died Thursday at age 107

The elderly victim of a Stevens County man who forced her to live in squalor as he raided nearly $1 million from her retirement account has died.

Frances Swan, who was 107, died Thursday at the Buena Vista nursing home in Colville, where she had been living since she was found begging for food in her own Kettle Falls home in June 2011, according to her nephew Ed Swan.

At the time of that 2011 incident, she had been under the care of John “Herb” Friedlund, 79, who was sentenced in October to 10 years in prison for stealing from Swan’s retirement account. Friedlund, who admitted to sending cash to young men he met online, also faces federal charges.

Ed Swan has a pending civil lawsuit filed against Friedlund.

Thomas Clouse


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