Local news

In brief: Sex offender sentenced on weapons charges

A convicted sex offender was sentenced Friday to 12 years in federal prison after he was arrested last year with a pipe bomb and an arsenal of illegal weapons in a Spokane home.

Michael James Pauckert was found in a home on the 1400 block of West Alice Avenue in May 2012. Pauckert, who was wanted in Kootenai County on a warrant for failing to register as a sex offender, was armed with a cache of illegal firearms and an inactive pipe bomb in the home’s garage, according to court records. Investigators also discovered tools for making false IDs.

Pauckert was staying at the home with his girlfriend, according to previous reports. He initially resisted arrest but surrendered after the SWAT team surrounded the home.

Pauckert was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison and three years supervised release for illegally possessing weapons, failure to register as a sex offender and possessing tools for making false IDs.

Condo garage death yields murder charges

TACOMA – The Pierce County prosecutor has charged two men with murder in the shooting of a man in a Tacoma condo garage when he refused to take off his pants during a robbery.

Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Jeremy Bennett, 17, and Andrew Boyd, 18, on Friday in the Sept. 5 death of Lawrence F. Howse, 54.

The two were arrested after surveillance video linked Boyd to a recent drug store robbery in Tacoma with Bennett’s brother Jaron Bennett. Boyd and Jaron Bennett are charged with that robbery.

Two other people, 20-year-old Titeana Bankston and 24-year-old Jheri Flood, have been charged with criminal assistance for allegedly helping Boyd and Jeremy Bennett hide evidence from the shooting.

Suffocation suspicion not enough for charge

EVERETT – No charges will be filed against an Everett woman who at one time was suspected of suffocating her boyfriend with her chest.

Snohomish County Deputy Prosecutor Travis Johnson told the Daily Herald there was insufficient evidence from police and medical examiner reports to go forward with a manslaughter charge.

The medical examiner concluded that Richard Balch, 51, of Auburn, died Jan. 12 of alcohol poisoning. He also had heart and liver disease. A struggle may have contributed to his death but was not the cause.

Witnesses said several people were drinking and smoking marijuana at the mobile home when Balch and the 50-year-old woman argued over an ex-girlfriend. Witnesses later found her, intoxicated, on top of Balch in the back of the trailer. She said she didn’t remember what happened.

Two murder counts filed in stabbing deaths

OLYMPIA – The second victim in stabbings Monday at Lacey has died, and prosecutors have filed two counts of first-degree murder against 30-year-old Tyler Lewis.

The Lacey man is accused of stabbing his mother to death Monday in the garage of her home. Frankie Austin, 59, was killed with a screwdriver.

Lewis also is accused of using a screwdriver to fatally stab a former neighbor, 67-year-old Charles “Wes” Simpson, at his home. He died Thursday.



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