In brief: Homicide retrial ends in hung jury
Daniel Lazcano, accused of killing a Rosalia, Wash., man, will go free once again after a retrial ended in another hung jury Monday afternoon.
After two days of deliberation, the jury could not convict Lazcano on charges of kidnapping and killing Marcus Schur. The jury split 11-1 in favor of conviction, Whitman County Prosecutor Denis Tracy said.
Tracy said he’s disappointed with the outcome of the trial.
Lazcano’s first trial ended in a mistrial earlier this year, while his brother, Frank Lazcano, was found guilty of first-degree murder and a misdemeanor charge of improperly disposing of a body. Frank Lazcano was sentenced to 25 years in prison in connection with Schur’s death.
Daniel Lazcano was released from Whitman County Jail on Monday afternoon, but he must stay in the state and cannot contact any witnesses except his girlfriend, his brother’s girlfriend and his stepfather, Tracy said.
Tracy has not decided whether to pursue a third trial in the case.
Examiner identifies man found in river
The Spokane County medical examiner has identified the man found in the Spokane River over the weekend as 22-year-old Kyle Burk Jones, according to a news release.
Spokane police responded to the call of a body found in brush near People’s Park on Saturday at about 11 a.m. The body appeared to have been in the water for at least a month.
The medical examiner has not determined a cause of death, though there was no evidence of injury to the body, the release said.
Defenders want out of terrorism case
BOISE – Lawyers for an Uzbek national facing federal terrorism-related charges in Idaho and Utah want a judge to let them withdraw from the case, saying federal budget cuts have left their office with too few resources.
Fazliddin Kurbanov, 30, of Boise, has pleaded not guilty to charges involving teaching people to build bombs.
Court-appointed attorneys Richard Rubin and Thomas Monaghan, of Federal Defenders Services of Idaho, are seeking appointment of new counsel.
Rubin told the Associated Press on Tuesday that Congress’ across-the-board budget cuts known as “sequestration” have reduced his budget by 10 percent this fiscal year, and as much as 14 percent next year.
Rubin says Kurbanov would be better off getting another lawyer now, while the case is still in its initial phase.
Kurbanov was arrested May 17.
I-5 bridge driver says he was crowded
OLYMPIA – The driver of an oversized load has told investigators he felt “crowded” by a passing vehicle before striking an Interstate 5 bridge that collapsed.
A preliminary report released Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board says that the driver of the oversized load moved to the right in order to accommodate a passing truck and trailer. The right side of the bridge has a lower clearance.
NTSB investigators say the oversize load hit the far right side of the truss structure, resulting in the collapse of the bridge into the Skagit River. The driver reported that his load was 15 feet 9 inches tall while the lowest portion of the bridge braces was 14 feet 8 inches.
Investigators are looking for the truck that passed the oversized load.
Brush fire forces residents to flee
KENNEWICK – A brush fire near Kennewick forced residents of about 10 homes to temporarily evacuate.
More than 100 firefighters responded Tuesday afternoon.
By 7 p.m., KNDU-TV reported that fire crews were making progress and evacuation advisories had been lifted.
The Washington state Department of Transportation temporarily restricted Interstate 82 traffic in the area but said all lanes were open Tuesday evening.
The Tri-City Herald reported that the fast-moving wildfire burned across 9 square miles and was fanned by 20 mph winds.
There were no reports of homes being destroyed.
Search for naked hiker suspended
STEVENSON, Wash. – Authorities are suspending their search for a Vancouver woman who set out naked on Sunday on a spiritual quest in a southwest Washington forest.
Skamania County Sheriff Dave Brown said Tuesday evening that two days of searching have failed to find 19-year-old Maureen Kelly. He said the search is being suspended until the end of the week.
Twelve teams in four-wheel vehicles searched Tuesday but found nothing related to the hunt for the woman. The sheriff said deputies will continue to check the area in the next several days and then the operation will be re-evaluated.
The Canyon Creek area of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest is steep with heavy timber and brush. The weather has included periods of drizzle with temperatures in the lower 50s.
Kelly left about 5 p.m. Sunday wearing only a fanny pack with a compass and a knife.