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In brief: Man arrested after stepfather and stepgrandfather stabbed

Sat., Jan. 26, 2013

A 21-year-old man was arrested Thursday night after the stabbing of his stepgrandfather, police say, two days after they say he also stabbed his stepfather.

Just after 11 p.m. Thursday, Joel M. Arevalo slashed the 56-year-old stepgrandfather’s truck tires before forcing open an apartment door in the 1800 block of West Dean Avenue and stabbing the victim in the chest as he lay in bed, Spokane police said in a news release.

He fled on foot, according to police, but officers found him a short distance away. He was arrested on suspicion of first-degree burglary and first-degree assault.

Officers found a knife at the scene they believe was used in that assault. The victim was transported to a hospital with serious injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening.

Police have connected Arevalo to a stabbing Tuesday night in which a man was stabbed 16 times in the neck and back. The victim in that incident couldn’t talk to law enforcement until Friday.

Detectives determined that victim is Arevalo’s stepfather, and the two argued before the stabbing. They added a charge of first-degree assault for the Tuesday stabbing.

Both victims are expected to recover. Their names have not been released.

Police say the motive for the attack remains unclear.

A Spokane County Superior Court judge ordered $75,000 bond in the case and set an arraignment for Feb. 5. His aunt said in court Friday that she believed the attack was out of character and that Arevalo may need mental health help.

Staff reports

Commissioners end agreement barring casino plan comments

Spokane County commissioners on Friday voted to terminate a 2010 agreement with Airway Heights that prevented commissioners from commenting about a proposed casino by the Spokane Tribe on U.S. Highway 2.

Commissioner Al French said the board is preparing comments to the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and expects to approve a letter containing the comments on Tuesday.

The comments will outline concerns about the proposed casino encroaching on Fairchild Air Force Base, French said. Development near the base could cause military leaders to close Fairchild, officials have said.

Former Commissioners Bonnie Mager and Mark Richard approved the 2010 agreement, in which the county agreed to withhold comment on the casino proposal, which needs approval from the BIA as well as Washington’s governor.

The agreement outlined payments from the casino to Airway Heights in lieu of taxes, a portion of which would go to the county.

Airway Heights City Council voted earlier in the week to rescind the agreement.

Mike Prager


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