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In brief: Grad student charged in poison attempt

Wed., May 1, 2013

Investigators have arrested a man suspected of trying to poison his wife last month at their Uniontown, Wash., home.

Jacob P. Forster, 32, is charged with attempted first-degree murder for allegedly trying to poison his wife while she slept during the early morning hours of March 27, according to a Whitman County Sheriff’s Office news release.

The victim reported the incident to authorities last week, the release said.

The poison was not a household product, Whitman County Prosecutor Bill Druffel said, but Forster reportedly had the substance readily available to him.

Forster has been married for six years and is a graduate student in Washington State University’s chemistry department.

Detectives booked Forster into Whitman County Jail on Tuesday. He’s expected to appear in Whitman County Superior Court today.

Leland appointed district court judge

Richard M. Leland, a Spokane attorney who has spent eight years serving as a judge pro-tem, was appointed Tuesday to a vacancy on the bench of Spokane County District Court.

Spokane County commissioners voted unanimously in favor of Leland, who will take office May 25.

Leland will fill a vacancy created when Judge John O. Cooney was elected to the Superior Court and took office in January.

County commissioners said that Leland ranked second in an extensive candidate review for a District Court vacancy in 2011, which was filled at the time by former Court Commissioner Randy Brandt.

“I think this county is going to be very, very well served,” said County Commissioner Al French.

Leland earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Washington State University in 1976 and spent 10 years in the commercial lending business.

He completed his law degree at Gonzaga University in 1989.

Leland spent a year working as an assistant public defender for the city of Spokane before going into private practice in family and business law.

Third woman arrested in kidnapping case

Spokane police detectives arrested a third woman in a suspected kidnapping after a female victim told police she was held captive and sexually assaulted at a north Spokane home.

Mindee S. Deligt, 33, is suspected of kidnapping the victim from the East Central area and raping her at a house at 4605 N. Lincoln St. Detectives arrested Deligt Tuesday afternoon and booked her into Spokane County Jail on first-degree kidnapping and rape charges.

The victim told police Monday she escaped through a window. She later led police to the house where detectives questioned and arrested Keila F. Chapman, 27, and Merriah J. Wernsdorfer, 30, on the kidnapping charges, previous reports said.

Investigators do not believe the suspects have a history of sex offenses, Detective Lydia Prichard said. The kidnapping is related to the drug trade and not random, police said.

Prichard said police have had several interactions with Deligt and Wernsdorfer in the past. Deligt has two drug convictions related to cocaine in addition to driving with a suspended license and negligent driving.

Wernsdorfer is in Spokane County Jail with a bond of $100,000 and Chapman with a bond of $50,000.

Group needs hosts for Afghan children

Host families are needed for five Afghan children who will travel to the Inland Northwest this summer to receive medical care in Spokane and North Idaho.

Three boys and two girls age 7 to 12 will arrive June 20 and stay for six weeks. They will be accompanied by an interpreter. 

The visits are being arranged by the local branch of Solace for the Children, a nonprofit organization based in Mooresville, N.C.

The group brings Afghan children to the U.S. for medical care, education and leadership development. A goal is also to promote hope and peace between Americans and the people of Afghanistan.

Host families provide full-time care for the children, including housing, transportation to medical appointments and family excursions.

Volunteers also are needed to provide host family respite and assist with activities for the children.

Apply at www.solacefor, or call (208) 660-8088 for more information.

‘Idaho Gives’ event set for Thursday

Dozens of nonprofit groups in North Idaho stand to benefit from a one-day emphasis on charitable giving.

Statewide, more than 420 nonprofits are taking part in “Idaho Gives” on Thursday. Longtime donors and new supporters are being asked to make contributions through, established by the Idaho Nonprofit Center.

A few of the local groups taking part in the event are Kootenai Alliance for Children and Families; Boys & Girls Club of Kootenai County; Rock Creek Alliance; Anna Schindler Foundation; Post Falls Food Bank; Coeur d’Alene Public Library Foundation; and Coeur d’Alene Arts and Culture Alliance Inc.

Donors may search for nonprofits by their ZIP code or by keyword at


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