March 9, 2014 in City

In brief: Pedestrian hit in crosswalk near Interstate 90

 

A pedestrian wearing black clothing was hit by a pickup truck at the bottom of an eastbound Interstate 90 on-ramp Saturday evening, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The man was hit about 6:30 p.m. by a pickup driving east on Fifth Avenue approaching the ramp at Walnut Street. The pedestrian, identified by the WSP as 48-year-old Vasco V. Blackburn, of Spokane, was in the crosswalk at the base of the on-ramp when he was hit, WSP said. Blackburn was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center for treatment of his injuries. Blackburn was apparently intoxicated, according to the WSP.

The driver of the truck was identified as Thomas W. Harlow, 42, also of Spokane. He was not injured.

The on-ramp was closed for about an hour. Charges are pending, the WSP said.

Police name suspect in killing, kidnap case

Police have identified the fourth suspect arrested in a case involving a drug-debt killing and kidnapping as 40-year-old Benito Baldovinos-Mendoza.

Police have released few details about the case, which is tied to a search warrant served by the SWAT team Thursday and a body found near a rural road in Stevens County on Friday.

Neighbors who live next to the home at 1523 W. Knox Ave. described it as a drug house with a lot of traffic, which police have acknowledged. “This is the residence where we believe the crime occurred,” Spokane police Capt. Brad Arleth said Thursday.

Sometime last month, a man was killed and woman kidnapped. The woman was later freed and is cooperating with investigators, authorities said.

The identity and cause of death of the man found dead will be released by the Stevens County coroner after an autopsy.

Baldovinos-Mendoza, who was arrested Friday in Pasco, has been booked into the Spokane County Jail on two charges of kidnapping. Three other suspects in the case were also arrested last week.

Nez Perce’s expanded jurisdiction starts April 1

LEWISTON – Tribal police officers on the Nez Perce Reservation in North Idaho starting April 1 will have the ability to ticket anyone violating federal law on the reservation.

U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson sent letters late last month to five North Idaho county sheriffs bordering the Nez Perce Reservation informing them of the change, the Lewiston Tribune reported.

The letter announced tribal officers would be authorized to ticket nontribal members for crimes limited to misdemeanors and petty offenses.

Only tribal officers who have received their Special Law Enforcement Commission from the Bureau of Indian Affairs can issue citations.

State settles lawsuit with parents of slain officer

MONROE, Wash. – The state Attorney General’s office reports the state has settled a lawsuit with the parents of slain Monroe corrections officer Jayme Biendl.

The Daily Herald reported the lawsuit was dismissed earlier this week after the state agreed to pay Biendl’s parents $900,000.

The 34-year-old prison officer was strangled by an inmate while at her post in the prison chapel in the Washington State Reformatory.

Repeat rapist Byron Scherf confessed to ambushing Biendl at the end of her shift.

Student sentenced for vehicular homicide

SEATTLE – A foreign student who crashed his newly purchased Mercedes-Benz into another car, killing its driver and injuring three people, was sentenced to 171/2 months in prison on Friday.

The Seattle Times reported 20-year-old Yichun Xu, a Chinese national, pleaded guilty in February to vehicular homicide and three counts of reckless endangerment for a Nov. 10, 2012, crash in Des Moines that killed 25-year-old Brenda Gomez-Zapata.

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