Local news

In brief: Insurance fraud brings week in jail, $1,000 fine

A Spokane man with a history of forgery was sentenced to a week in jail and fined $1,000 for insurance fraud after investigators learned he supplemented a bogus burglary report with misleading photographs of stolen items.

Bryan G. Robb, 35, pleaded guilty to a single count of insurance fraud in Spokane Superior Court on Friday, according to the Washington state attorney general’s office. The case stemmed from a theft report Robb filed with the Spokane Police Department in June 2012 in which he claimed $27,000 worth of electronics were stolen from his north Spokane home.

Robb provided photos of the alleged stolen items, including DVDs, computers and video game consoles. A fraud investigator ran those photos through a computer program that showed when the pictures were taken. They were time-stamped after the police report, which listed losses at only $800, according to court documents. Investigators also learned Robb filed a police report in 2004 listing the exact same items stolen.

Court records show Robb pleaded guilty to a Spokane County felony forgery charge in 1998. As of August 2008, he’d only paid about $400 of $2,300 court-ordered restitution in that case.

Fatal wound at shooting range believed to be self-inflicted

A man died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at an indoor shooting range Friday morning.

Spokane police were called to Sharp Shooting Indoor Range and Gun Shop, 1200 Freya Way, just before 11 a.m. on reports of a man with a gunshot wound. The man was dead when police arrived.

Major crimes detectives assisted in the investigation. Police believe the gun that fired was rented from the range. The Spokane County medical examiner will make a final determination on the cause of death, police said.

Riverside student accused of selling pot, laced candy

A Riverside High School student was arrested Thursday for selling marijuana and candy laced with THC to her fellow students.

Jessica R. Panessa, 19, was booked into the Spokane County Jail on a charge of delivery of a controlled substance. The prosecutor’s office agreed to release her without bail during a court appearance Friday because she has no previous criminal history.

The school’s vice principal, Michael Syron, told police that he became aware that a student had marijuana, according to court documents. That student identified Panessa as the seller. Panessa initially denied having the drug, but Syron searched her backpack and found several bags of marijuana as well as gummy candies and flavored lollipops labeled “Happy Hashers” that contained THC, court documents say.

Panessa admitted to Syron that she was selling drugs to students, but refused to speak to a sheriff’s deputy when he arrived, according to court documents.

SUV-motorcycle crash in Stateline injures two

An SUV hit a motorcycle on Seltice Way in Stateline Friday afternoon, then continued across the road and smashed into three cars in the A-1 Smoke Shop parking lot. One of the vehicles was pushed into the business, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office.

The male and female on the 2010 Harley-Davidson motorcycle were taken to Kootenai Health for treatment of their injuries. They were hit by a 1999 GMC Yukon traveling south on Wellesley. It failed to stop at a stop sign and hit the westbound motorcycle.

As of Friday evening, the accident was still under investigation and the identities of those involved had not been released. Deputies do not believe alcohol or drugs were involved, the sheriff’s office said.



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