A dead man found in high grass on the shoulder of the gravel road at 4414 E. Buckeye Ave. early Wednesday morning was identified as Traivon C. Asterino, 35.
Spokane County sheriff’s detectives are investigating the death as a homicide, which is standard procedure, said spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin.
The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office reported in a news release that Asterino died of a “contact gunshot wound to the chest.” The release said Asterino’s manner of death was pending investigation.
A man out walking around 5:30 a.m. found the body on the north shoulder of the road, just east of Havana Street near city limits.
Newspaper files include announcements of the births of at least three children to Asterino.
Asterino also had a history of run-ins with law enforcement from 1997 to 2012, with convictions including reckless driving, robbery, assault and attempting to elude police, the files show.
Bail set after teen admits to stabbing
A teenager who stabbed a man at the House of Charity admitted to wanting to “rob and kill” the victim because he owed the teen money, according to court documents.
David N. Vincent, 17, will be tried as an adult for stabbing a man multiple times in the head Aug. 22 at the homeless shelter, according to an affidavit. Vincent was entering the building when he saw the victim exiting, then began shouting at him, demanding money.
Security footage from the House of Charity shows Vincent backing the victim into a corner and stabbing him with a large butcher knife.
Vincent told detectives he was bullied by the man on a previous occasion, so he decided to rob and kill him. He said he brought three knives with him.
The victim received several deep cuts and required stitches but was able to tell detectives about the assault.
Vincent is being held at the Spokane County Jail on a charge of first-degree attempted murder. His bail was set at $500,000.
Repairs begin on St. Maries area levee
Repairs started this week on a levee upstream of St. Maries that was damaged during last year’s floods.
The $250,000 project will correct deficiencies in the Riverdale levee, which resulted from the St. Joe River twice exceeding flood stage in the spring of 2012. The work includes replacing an outfall pipe embedded in the levee, reconstructing embankment and replacing riprap along the river.
The work, which should be finished by Sept. 7, will restore the levee to its 50-year flood protection level. Riverdale Drive will remain closed through mid-September while workers excavate the roadway and replace the pipe running under the road.
Under a cost-sharing agreement, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will pay for 80 percent of the levee work, and the Riverdale Drainage District will pick up the remaining 20 percent.
Three men face charges in tire theft
Three men have been arrested in connection with a tire theft at a Spokane Valley automotive store over the weekend, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said.
AutoNation Subaru at 10000 E. Sprague Ave. initially reported a theft of 36 tires Saturday. According to investigators, John Humbird and Bruce Fitch, both 44, sold 11 tires believed stolen from the AutoNation store to Clark’s Automotive & Tire, 16010 E. Sprague Ave. The two were arrested on charges of possession and trafficking stolen property.
The Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant on a home owned by 45-year-old Daniel Weston in the 1500 block of South University Road on Wednesday morning. Detectives found meth and 14 more tires thought to have been stolen from the AutoNation store. Weston has been arrested on charges of possessing stolen property and controlled substances.
Religious leaders invited to summit
A select group of Christian ministers and church leaders are being invited to a summit next month at which they’ll offer their ideas on “what breaks God’s heart in Spokane County,” according to a news release.
The event, on Sept. 14, is closed to the public. About 150 participants are being invited, the release said.
The summit was the brainchild of Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and Pastor Ian Robertson of Central United Methodist Church, the release said.
The group is expected to prioritize community needs, then break into seven geographic groups to work on action plans.
Needs are increasing and government support is falling, said Episcopal Bishop James Waggoner Jr. in the news release, so “it is imperative that faith communities work together in a spirit of unity to serve those who suffer from a lack of essential resources.”
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