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In brief: Wrong-way driver gets two-year prison term

A judge sentenced a Spokane woman to just over two years in prison Thursday after she previously pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide stemming from a crash that killed a 27-year-old Post Falls man.

Superior Court Judge Kathleen O’Connor sentenced 31-year-old Teri M. Scheele to 25 months in prison. She was driving the wrong way on Interstate 90 last year when she struck a vehicle driven by 27-year-old Kenneth J. Hardin, who died as a result of the collision.

The case was prosecuted by Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen because Scheele’s mother works for the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office. Scheele said she was sorry for what she termed an accident, Rasmussen said.

Scheele pleaded guilty last month just prior to her scheduled trial.

Woman facing charge in harboring of suspect

A woman accused of harboring a suspected killer appeared in court Thursday.

Amanda M. Tudesque, 22, faces a charge of first-degree rendering criminal assistance for harboring 29-year-old Louis L. Hanson, police say. Hanson is accused of shooting and killing Aaron Cummings on Sunday in north Spokane.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge James Triplet released Tudesque on her own recognizance because she has no criminal history and doesn’t pose a threat to the community. As part of her release conditions, Tudesque and her three children will stay with Tudesque’s mother in Wenatchee.

On Wednesday night, a tip led detectives to the 1900 block of West Second Avenue, where Hanson was hiding. Tudesque said he wasn’t there and aggressively tried to prevent officers from entering her apartment, according to police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe. 

A short time later, Hanson came out of the apartment but refused to comply with detectives’ commands, DeRuwe said.  He was arrested on a charge of second-degree murder.

Equipment failure blamed for outage

An outage that left an estimated 1,300 customers of Vera Power & Light in southeastern Spokane Valley without electricity for nearly two hours Thursday was the result of equipment failure at a substation, officials said.

Power was restored by 1:25 p.m., a utility spokeswoman said.

Vera is a publicly owned utility providing water and electricity to about 10,000 customers in Spokane Valley.

Facebook post leads to Oregon teen’s arrest

PORTLAND – Jacob Cox-Brown might want to adjust his Facebook privacy settings.

Police in Astoria, Ore., arrested the teenager after he allegedly confessed via Facebook that he had been driving drunk on New Year’s Eve and hit a car.

Deputy Chief Brad Johnston said Thursday that officers were investigating a hit-and-run involving a sideswiped car that sustained significant damage – a second car was also hit – when two Facebook friends of Cox-Brown contacted authorities, reporting a Facebook post in which the 18-year-old wrote: “Drivin drunk … classsic ;) but to whoever’s vehicle i hit i am sorry. :P”

Officers went to Cox-Brown’s house and found a vehicle that matched the damage done to the two vehicles. Police also connected pieces from the crash scene to the vehicle registered to Cox-Brown.

Cox-Brown was charged with failure to perform the duties of a driver. He was booked into the Clatsop County Jail and released on his own recognizance. He avoided a charge of drunken driving because he was interviewed hours after the incident and the Facebook post is not sufficient evidence that he was intoxicated.

“We can’t just convict somebody based on the fact that they said they were drunk,” Johnston said.