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In brief: Eric Harris found guilty in shooting death of younger brother

A Stevens County jury on Wednesday found Eric Harris guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of his younger brother, Larch Harris, in June.

Eric Harris was arrested shortly after the June 23 shooting, which took place at his home in the 400 block of Haller Creek Road southwest of Colville. The brothers were arguing before the shooting, according to the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office.

Stevens County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Rasmussen said the case hinged on whether Eric Harris acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Larch. The younger brother was not armed when he was shot, Rasmussen said.

Eric Harris’ sentencing has been tentatively scheduled for next month. He was also found guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm.

‘SpongeBob robber’ sentenced to prison

The so-called “SpongeBob robber” was recently sentenced to between four and 13 years in prison for robbing Lean Bean Espresso on Sherman Avenue in Coeur d’Alene a year ago.

Coeur d’Alene police arrested Kyle E. Campbell, 25, on Feb. 3 after a search of his apartment turned up the SpongeBob SquarePants mask apparently used in the robbery. Court documents state Campbell showed a gun and said “Have a nice night, ladies,” to the two female employees as he left.

Campbell pleaded guilty to felony robbery. He was given credit for 340 days served.

Laundry room fire forces evacuation

An early morning fire Thursday touched off in the laundry room of a four-story apartment building near Gonzaga University forced residents to the street as firefighters battled the blaze.

Four engines arrived at the Hamilton House apartments at 902 E. Boone Ave. around midnight Thursday and found the laundry room alight, the Spokane Fire Department reported. A nearby storage room and office also burned before the flames could be doused.

Residents evacuated the building for three hours while firefighters mopped up the scene. No injuries were reported.

The fire department is investigating the blaze as suspicious, according to a news release.

Idaho Democrats protest tax provision

BOISE – Lawmakers annually match up Idaho’s tax code with the federal one, to ease filings for state residents.

This year, however, minority Democrats protested a provision barring same-sex couples legally married elsewhere from filing joint Idaho tax returns – even though they can file jointly with the Internal Revenue Service. Thursday’s 57-12 House vote to approve the rules was along party lines.

Idaho Falls Republican Rep. Janet Trujillo argued Idaho’s 2006 gay-marriage ban left lawmakers no option than to bar joint filings – though it could add cost and hassle for gay couples.

Olympian Fosbury will run for seat in Idaho

BOISE – Dick Fosbury, the Olympic champ whose name defines the modern high jump, has now launched an Idaho House of Representatives run.

Running as a Democrat after a post-Olympic engineering career, Fosbury wants to boost Idaho’s economy out of “the doldrums.”

The Fosbury Flop’s originator who leapt backward over the bar to win 1968 Olympic gold said he understands the risk he runs with puns.

“I can handle it,” he said.


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