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In brief: Woman pleads guilty to burning home

Thu., July 11, 2013

A woman who burned down a north Spokane County mobile home because she wasn’t happy with her living arrangements pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree arson.

While Amanda M. Cook, 24, was sentenced to five months in jail – most of which has already been served – she was ordered to pay more than $68,800 in restitution for damage from the fire on March 27.

“That’s going to be a huge mountain to overcome,” defense attorney Edward “Jay” Ames said of the restitution. “She made a terrible mistake.”

Cook told deputies she intentionally set the fire at 32700 block of Elk-Chattaroy Road. Spokane Fire District 4 investigators had already deemed the fire suspicious because Cook had lit a mattress on fire at the same home the day before.

But on the second try, Cook said she soaked a towel in gasoline and lit it on fire inside the garage and it spread to an attached mobile home. It took 25 firefighters to bring the blaze under control.

Date set for Spokane marijuana hearing

A hearing on proposed state rules for growing, processing and selling legal marijuana will be Aug. 8 at the Spokane Convention Center.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board scheduled four hearings from Aug. 6 through Aug. 8 around the state to get reaction to the latest proposed regulations for recreational marijuana, which voters approved by an initiative last November.

Other hearings will be in Shoreline, Olympia and Ellensburg. The Spokane hearing will begin at 6 p.m. in Ballroom 100A of the Convention Center, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

A copy of the proposed rules can be found at

Driver in wrong-way crash still serious

Washington State Patrol detectives are still not sure why or how a driver ended up going the wrong way on U.S. Highway 195 south of Spokane, causing a serious two-car accident last month.

Jennifer Schmidt, 30, of Spokane Valley, is still listed in serious condition at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center after the June 18 crash. She has not been charged, but WSP identified her as the driver going the wrong way.

Trooper Jeff Sevigney said the case is still open. Investigators determined Schmidt drove northbound in the southbound lanes for about 11 miles.

Her 1997 Nissan Altima struck 32-year-old Sean D. Moss’ 2009 Hyundai Sonata head-on, the WSP said previously.

Both Schmidt and Moss were flown to Sacred Heart following the crash, which shut down the highway for several hours. Moss was treated at the hospital and released.

Two men found shot dead in Othello

Two men were found shot to death in an orchard in Adams County on Wednesday morning.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded about 3 a.m. to an orchard in the 1700 block of West Branch Road in Othello.

They found two people dead from what appeared to be gunshot wounds, according to a release.

The men have been identified as Juan Luis Rizo-Torres, 39, and Ruben Gonzalez-Navarrete, 29, both of Othello.

According to the release, deputies believe the shootings took place between 5 and 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Adams County Sheriff’s Office at (509) 488-2061 or (509) 659-1122.

Boys suspected in Moses Lake stabbing

Grant County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 14-year-old Moses Lake boy in connection with the stabbing of another teenager late Tuesday night. Two juvenile suspects were at large.

The suspect was arrested at a convenience store at about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday after a number of tips from citizens led deputies to his location, sheriff’s spokesman Kyle Foreman said. He said the boy had a stab wound on one of his feet and was taken to Samaritan Hospital for treatment.

At about 11:20 p.m. Tuesday at Arlington Drive and Lowry Drive, the three suspects got in a fight with another group of teenage boys, Foreman said. Witnesses said the three suspects pulled knives and someone stabbed a 16-year-old.

The victim was in stable condition.

The 14-year-old will be taken to Grant County Youth Services Facility once his injuries have been treated. He faces charges of first-degree assault.

Deputies encourage anyone with information about the fight to call 911 or email


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