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In brief: Stolen car in front yard leads to man’s arrest

A man was arrested on multiple charges Friday when police spotted a stolen car in his front yard and obtained a search warrant that led to the recovery of more stolen property.

A stolen white Toyota pickup truck was spotted in the 3000 block of West Francis Avenue around 10 a.m. A stolen and partially disassembled motorcycle was on the home’s back porch, according to police. The resident, 37-year-old Mark W. Merrifield, was booked into Spokane County Jail on three counts of possession of a stolen motor vehicle and two counts of taking a motor vehicle without permission. Merrifield also had two warrants for his arrest.

When the house was searched, officers reportedly found a second stolen motorcycle, two WaveRunners stolen in Pend Oreille County and items stolen in a recent burglary on the Five Mile Prairie. Police are investigating whether Merrifield is connected to other crimes in the area.

Merrifield has a felony history that includes convictions for possession of stolen property, attempting to elude police, residential burglary and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Ex-inmate sues county for medication mishap

A former Spokane County Jail inmate has sued Spokane County, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and several jail staff members for failing to give him his medication while he was incarcerated.

Robert D. Lee III said in his lawsuit that he is bipolar and was taking three daily medications for his mental illness as well as attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder when he was arrested in December 2012 for firing a paintball gun at people.

When he received a jail sentence for third-degree assault, his parents contacted the jail in advance about his medications, the lawsuit said. But jail staff refused to accept the medications when Lee reported to jail and he was not provided any through the jail’s medical staff, according to the lawsuit. Lee eventually received two of his medications, but the dosage was incorrect.

The lawsuit is claiming a violation of Lee’s civil rights.

Records: Woman used ID of boyfriend’s ex

A Mica woman tipped investigators to a case of alleged criminal impersonation after she received speeding tickets apparently earned last summer by her ex-husband’s girlfriend.

Jennifer L. Doane, 36, was booked into Spokane County Jail late Thursday on the felony charge, according to court records. A Washington State Patrol trooper stopped a woman speeding just north of Rockford in July who gave the Mica woman’s name and birth date. The driver, believed to be Doane, was cited for speeding, expired tags and no proof of insurance and released.

But another woman called investigators two months later after she was notified her license would be suspended for the citations. She told police she suspected her ex-husband’s girlfriend, Doane, had given the trooper her name and birth date to avoid detection. Doane has previous convictions for vehicle theft and was wanted on an outstanding warrant in Idaho at the time, according to court documents.

At one point, the Mica woman tried to chase down Doane to get pictures for police, but lost her in the pursuit, authorities said.

Charges were filed in February. A warrant was issued when Doane did not appear.

Police seeking suspect in burglary stabbing

Spokane police are asking for help identifying a suspect in an April 7 stabbing that took place in the 1500 block of West Jackson Avenue. A homeowner reportedly found a burglar in his home and was stabbed after confronting the intruder.

The suspect is described as a white man, 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, about 25 to 35 years old with a thin to average build, a long blondish goatee and a pockmarked face. He was wearing an Atlanta Braves baseball cap, a blue hoodie and baggy jeans.

Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to call Crime Check at 456-2233.


Top stories in Spokane

Freeman students march in unity to honor memory of slain classmate Sam Strahan

UPDATED: 9:38 p.m.

Drenched in sunshine and a sharp spring wind, more than 70 students marched Friday out of Freeman High School behind a “Freeman Strong” banner to the same football field where they sheltered in fear last September following the shooting that killed 15-year-old Sam Strahan and injured three girls.