October 3, 2013 in City

In brief: Charges not advised in officer shooting

 

The Spokane Investigative Regional Response Team has completed its investigation of an officer-involved shooting in August, according to a news release. The report has been forwarded to county prosecutors.

Lt. Kevin King and officers Robert Collins, Corey Lyons and Scott Lesser fired at felony hit-and-run suspect Danny Jones on Aug. 22 at about 6 a.m. in the parking lot of the Salvation Army complex at 204 E. Indiana Ave.

According to police, the officers tried to speak to Jones, who rammed several parked police vehicles, prompting police to shoot him.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, which led the investigation, did not recommend any charges in the case, Deputy Craig Chamberlin said.

The SIRR team is made up of members of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, the Washington State Patrol and the Spokane Police Department.

More time sought in houseboat case

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Spokane petitioned the U.S. District Court last week to provide more time to investigate the events that led to a National Park Service ranger shooting a Kettle Falls man on a houseboat last month.

Michael Sublie, the owner of a houseboat currently moored on private property along the Kettle River branch of the Columbia, faces federal charges after Park Service rangers approached him about excessive noise at a remote beach Sept. 14.

In documents filed Sept. 26, Assistant U.S. District Attorney Tyler Tornabene said his office needed more time to collect investigative reports from various agencies involved in the case.

The Washington State Patrol and investigative branch of the Park Service are looking into the circumstances leading to the shooting and examining whether there was any professional misconduct on the part of the rangers.

Sublie is due in court for a pretrial status hearing later this month.

Governors ask feds to help pot sellers

OLYMPIA – Governors of the two states that legalized marijuana last year are asking federal regulators to find a way that  businesses  licensed to raise and sell the drug can use banks.

Jay Inslee of Washington and John Hickenlooper of Colorado sent a letter to the heads of the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve Board, Comptroller of the Currency and other key banking regulators, asking them to develop guidance to allow the fledgling businesses to establish accounts.

Federal banking regulations currently forbid banks from accepting money from illegal drug transactions, and the federal law still classifies marijuana as an illegal drug despite new laws in the two states. Without bank accounts, businesses licensed to grow, process or sell recreational marijuana will have to deal in cash, which creates “an unnecessary inviting target for criminal activity,” the governors wrote.

Tracking the flow of money and preventing diversion of some proceeds into illegal activities will be more difficult, they added.

Store arrest leads to assault, theft charges

The alleged theft of a $2 bottle of ibuprofen could lead to weeks of legal headaches for a Spokane man.

Michael Ewing was arrested Saturday after an undercover officer at an East Central grocery store said he saw the 52-year-old sneak a bottle of off-brand painkillers into his pants pocket. The officer approached Ewing when he went to pay for other purchases, and several witnesses said when the officer informed Ewing he would be placed under arrest, Ewing began swinging his fists wildly, striking the officer in the eye. Store employees and the officer eventually subdued Ewing by placing him in handcuffs, according to court documents.

Prosecutors initially sought a charge of first-degree robbery for Ewing, who has two prior felony convictions from the late 1970s. But in Spokane County Superior Court on Monday, Judge James Triplet ruled prosecutors had only proven probable cause for lesser charges of assault and theft.

Ewing was released from custody without bail. He is due in court to address the charges later this month.

$125,000 bequest left for SpokAnimal

SpokAnimal received news of a $125,000 bequest this week.

Marjorie Harper, a longtime resident of Omak, Wash., died recently at 99 years old, said SpokAnimal executive director Gail Mackie. Harper had no relation to SpokAnimal but left a bequest to SpokAnimal for $125,000, Mackie said.

“Marjorie was a real animal lover and wanted to make sure that we were able to continue,” Mackie said.

The shelter faces 60 percent budget cuts next year, when it will stop providing contract animal control services for the city of Spokane. Mackie estimates the shelter will have a $1 million budget next year.

High-speed chase ends in crash, arrest

A high-speed chase ended in a crash Wednesday afternoon in northeast Spokane.

Spokane police took 23-year-old Tyler Tofsrud, a convicted felon, into custody on charges of attempting to elude arrest after he crashed his red Mercedes at the corner of Perry Street and Baldwin Avenue.

Tofsrud was a suspect in the investigation of a vehicle theft on Tuesday, police said. Though the vehicle was recovered, a suspect had not been arrested, according to a news release. Police spotted Tofsrud and attempted to stop the vehicle, but Tofsrud fled, the release said.

He hit one car trying to escape, but the driver of that vehicle was not injured, police said.

Police executed a PIT maneuver to stop him at the intersection of Perry and Baldwin. They found a handgun in his car, according to the release.

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