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In brief: Man pleads not guilty to pawn shop robbery

Wed., Sept. 4, 2013

The 26-year-old man accused of sparking a police standoff at an East Central pawn shop last month pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree robbery Tuesday.

Investigators say Jonathan Johnson hurdled the sales counter, grabbed a shotgun and began firing into the air at Double Eagle Pawn, 3030 E. Sprague Ave., around 10:30 a.m. Aug. 23.

About 20 people were inside the store when shots were fired, witnesses said. Sales staff helped most customers out of the shop, but armed employees confronted the gunman to clear an exit for four people trapped in the building, witnesses said.

Multiple witnesses reported hearing Johnson ramble about President Barack Obama before and during the incident. A brother, Dennis Johnson, said his sibling has problems with heroin addiction.

Prosecutors are charging Johnson with first-degree robbery because he allegedly used the shotgun to scare off customers and employees, then grabbed more firearms, including a revolver and several rifles, according to investigators.

Johnson is being held in the Spokane County Jail on $50,000 bond.

Kip Hill

Valley store sells

$3.7 million Lotto ticket

A Spokane Valley convenience store sold a winning $3.7 million Lotto ticket in late August.

Sam’s Stop and Shop sold the ticket selected in the Aug. 21 drawing, according to a news release from the Washington Lottery. The retailer gets a $37,000 selling bonus, the release said.

Sam’s, at 11505 E. Sprague Ave., has sold seven winning tickets worth $1,000 or more since it began selling tickets in March 2009, the release said.

The winner has collected the prize but wants to remain anonymous, a Washington Lottery spokesman said.

Addy Hatch

Sergeant uses Taser on burglary suspect

A man suspected of breaking into a Spokane Valley woman’s home and laughing at her as she called for her husband was zapped with a Taser by sheriff’s deputies.

Christopher Lang, 31, is in the Spokane County Jail facing burglary, theft, resisting arrest and obstruction charges in connection with the incident early Monday.

The intrusion occurred shortly after midnight Monday at a home in the 8400 block of East Jackson Avenue, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

The victim reportedly awoke to the sound of someone entering the house and thought it was her husband. She called out several times, then heard footsteps and looked up to find a stranger standing over her bed laughing, the Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

She yelled at the intruder, who then sat on the sofa before leaving as the woman’s husband got home, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Ellis later spotted a man matching the description of the intruder along Argonne Road. The Sheriff’s Office said the man ignored several commands to stop and Ellis shocked him with a Taser.

David Wasson


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