In brief: Buff burglary suspect pleads not guilty
Suspected “naked burglar” Trevor Lee Franklin pleaded not guilty in Spokane County Superior Court on Thursday on a charge stemming from a Jan. 8 incident in which police say he broke into an apartment and took his clothes off.
Franklin, 22, pleaded not guilty to charges of residential burglary, and the judge set his trial date for April 15, with a pretrial hearing on April 5.
Police said Franklin was found naked outside a Browne’s Addition apartment Jan. 8. His clothes were found inside the apartment, which had been ransacked. The tenants returned Franklin’s clothes to him so he was clothed when officers arrived at the scene, but he also had property from the apartment, police said.
Franklin is a Level 3 registered sex offender, the level considered most likely to reoffend.
Seasonal drawdown starts for Lake Spokane
The annual winter drawdown of Lake Spokane, the Spokane River reservoir also known as Long Lake, began Wednesday, Avista Utilities announced in a news release.
Operators expect to lower the reservoir up to 1 foot a day for two or three weeks until the water level reaches its winter elevation of 13-14 feet below maximum summer elevation of 1,536 feet.
The drawdown can help control Eurasian milfoil and other invasive aquatic weeds found in Lake Spokane, Avista said. The drawdown also allows property owners to complete permitted repair and construction projects along the lake shoreline.
The lower elevation will be maintained until runoff conditions begin. Water levels can change with weather conditions in the upper Spokane River drainage.
For updates on changes at Lake Spokane, the Spokane River and Coeur d’Alene, call (509) 495-8043 in Washington and (208) 769-1357 in Idaho.
Cremation delayed pending more lab tests
The body of a man prosecutors say was killed by his father will not be immediately cremated.
The body of James Cavazos, 31, will be held in a mortuary while additional toxicology tests are completed for the defense.
Defense Attorney Aaron Rasmussen argued most of the family of Mark A. Cavazos Sr., 53, supports delaying cremation of the body in order to obtain their own evidence for a trial.
Cavazos is facing second-degree murder charges after he allegedly shot his son, James, in the face after a night of drinking and arguing Jan. 13, according to court documents.
Rasmussen said the defense wasn’t trying to criticize the work of the medical examiner, but “defense shouldn’t be required to rely solely on the investigation by the state,” he said in Judge James Triplet’s courtroom.
Prosecutor Dale Nagy said Mark Cavazos Jr., the victim’s brother and the suspect’s son, expressed an objection to delaying the cremation.
Triplet agreed to delay cremation for one week after the defense receives the written report of the autopsy, not to exceed 28 days.
Robber with hatchet smashes Wal-Mart case
Spokane Valley sheriff’s deputies are investigating an armed robbery at a Wal-Mart store early Thursday.
A man witnesses described as a black male in his early 20s entered the East Sprague Avenue Wal-Mart around 4 a.m. and used a hatchet to break a glass case and steal electronics, said sheriff’s Deputy Mark Gregory.
When employees confronted the man, he brandished what appeared to be a handgun. He dropped the hatchet in the store before exiting the building and running southbound, Gregory said.
The man was wearing a tan backpack, a black sweatshirt and gray or brown cargo-style pants. He either had the hood of the sweatshirt up or was wearing a black hat.
Police arrest seven at Indian Trail home
Seven people were arrested Thursday after police executed a search warrant at an Indian Trail home.
Neighborhood Conditions Officer Paul Taylor said police have been aware of the nuisance home at 10150 N. Seminole Drive for several months. They’ve received several calls for service, and he thinks many people were staying at the house temporarily.
The homeowner was arrested for unlawful use of a building. The others were arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine.
“There was no indication of manufacturing at the house,” Taylor said.
SWAT assisted in the warrant because it presented some danger to the community, he said, adding that everyone had been arrested without incident.
Apartment fire displaces six people
Six people lost their homes Thursday afternoon after an apartment fire on Spokane’s lower South Hill.
Battalion Chief Dave Haworth said the first responders to arrive at 1203 W. Eighth Ave. reported seeing smoke coming from the eaves of the six-unit, three-story apartment building. The fire was located in a bedroom on the first floor and was extinguished within 40 minutes.
No one was injured, and the Red Cross is helping the displaced occupants. The blaze damaged three of the apartments.
Fire investigators estimate the damage to the building at $20,000. The cause of the fire is under investigation.