In brief: Shooting suspect pleads guilty to assault
The second suspect in a gang-related September killing outside a Spokane music venue pleaded guilty to second-degree assault Monday.
Carlos Fuentes, 25, is no longer in custody. Police arrested him Sept. 11 on first-degree murder charges in connection with the shooting death of Julian Morrison, 26, at The Hop club. Morrison died of multiple gunshot wounds, an autopsy showed, and investigators had pieced together evidence that Fuentes and Kalen Bedford, 23, were involved because of their gang ties.
But witnesses were not named in charging documents and the charges against Bedford were dropped in November. Also in November, Fuentes made a futile attempt to have his charges thrown out when a judge ruled he “was involved in some kind of incident or confrontation with the deceased.”
There have been no other arrests made in the homicide. A court clerk confirmed Fuentes’ guilty plea Monday morning and said his sentencing has been set for May.
Police arrest man after car chase
A 24-year-old man suspected of leading police on a drunken high-speed car chase early Sunday has been arrested.
Daniel Comer’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit, according to court records.
He is jailed on accusations of drunk driving, hit-and-run, driving with a suspended license and attempting to elude police.
Comer was driving a Dodge Durango at close to 70 miles per hour early Sunday morning through the Logan neighborhood, eventually ending in a foot chase on North Perry Street.
Police said Comer rear-ended an unoccupied Toyota SUV. He blew a 0.166 blood-alcohol content in a field test. The legal limit for driving is 0.08.
Police say woman sold meth from home
A Spokane Valley woman with a history of drug-related arrests has been jailed for dealing methamphetamine from her residence near a school, according to court records.
Melanie Richart, who also goes by the name Christopherson, was booked into Spokane County Jail this weekend on drug charges. Richart, 44, has drug-related convictions dating to 1999.
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office used an informant in January to make multiple purchases of meth from Richart at an apartment near Valley Christian School.
When confronted with evidence suggesting the sale and use of the drug, Richart told police she sold meth because she was addicted to the drug and needed money for food, according to court documents.
Taxi drivers sue rideshare service
SEATTLE – A Seattle-area taxi drivers organization has sued an app-based ridesharing service, alleging that the service violates multiple laws and regulations, harming taxi drivers and the public.
The lawsuit filed Monday by the Western Washington Taxicab Operators Association contends Uber is involved in “unlawful and deceptive business practices,” the Seattle Times reported. Court documents allege that unlike the taxi drivers, Uber’s drivers don’t comply with legal requirements set by Seattle, King County and Washington state for the personal transportation industry.
In a statement, Uber Seattle General Manager Brooke Steger said the ride service remains “focused on connecting people with the safest and most reliable transportation options in Seattle” and emphasized the small-business jobs it creates.
The Seattle City Council recently approved regulations to limit the number of drivers for uberX, Uber’s lower-cost ride service, and other ride-service companies. The lawsuit doesn’t mention other vehicle services.
Wolf population declining in Idaho
BOISE – Idaho’s wolf population is on the decline, heading toward 10 breeding pairs, or 150 wolves.
That’s the goal set in the 2002 wolf management plan that will remain the state’s official policy unless it is changed by the Legislature.
Last week’s legislation to establish an Idaho Wolf Control Board, along with efforts to expand and increase wolf hunting and trapping, has galvanized some national conservation groups, the Idaho Statesman reported.
They are preparing to go back to court to demand that the federal government put the wolf back under the protection of the Endangered Species Act.