Latest from The Spokesman-Review
A woman has been charged with felony animal cruelty after emaciated animals, including a duck, were seized from her property near Long Lake in April.
Sigrid Birgitta Winney, 63, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday and is scheduled for trial on Oct. 22.
SCRAPS Animal Protection Officer Darlene Brumley responded to complain of five goats with no foot or water at Winney's property at 29116 W. Long Lake Road on April 9.
A confidential informant showed Brumley another property at 15857 N. Coyote Ridge Road where six goats were being kept without food and water, and two dogs were tethered to a tree. Officer Francisca Rapier spoke with Winney on April 11, and Winney said she felt terrible when she realized the terrible condition “of the goats and pregnant sheep,” according to court documents.
Winney said “she had not actually put her hands on the animals over the winter, as she had been feeding in the dark at night,” according to court documents. Officers also observed about 10 cats living in filth. Some of the animals had to be euthanized.
Winney is charged with first-degree animal cruelty, second-degree animal cruelty, confining animals in an unsafe manner and operating a dog kennel without a license.
Three men accused of a brutal beating in downtown Spokane late last month have pleaded not guilty.
Clayton M. Cotter, 21; Schuyler Ray Cotter, 19; and Michael W. Baesman, 34; are accused of beating a man unconscious June 27 near West 2nd Avenue and South Jefferson Street.
Clayton Cotter remains in jail on $10,000 bond. His younger brother is out of jail and was summonsed to court this morning for his arraignment before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese.
Baesman is at Geiger Corrections Center on $10,000 bond. He and the elder Cotter were arraigned Tuesday
Just after the brothers were arrested, prosecutors charged them with unlawful possession of a firearm for a case from December.
Police searched a home in the 1600 block of East Glass Avenue Dec. 8 after reports that the brothers lived there and had been possessing firearms. One witness said the men and their friends shots into a diaper box in the basement on a daily basis. Police seized a .22 caliber Mossberg 702 Plinkster rifle, along with rounds of .22 caliber ammunition and shotgun ammunition.
The downtown beating came at a time of concern from businesses and city leaders about roving packs of violent young people. Police have made several arrests.
On June 16, 18-year-old Eric James Smith was arrested for allegedly beating a bouncer at Jimmyz, 521 W. Sprague, who had just left work. David Reynold said he was surrounded by a large group of men who were “getting mouthy” and “getting in my face,” according to court documents.
Reynolds said the men retreated when he showed them his handgun. He was treated for a head injury at a hospital. Smith pleaded not guilty June 26 to second-degree assault and remains in jail on $20,000 bond.
Police say an increased focus in the downtown area has aided in the arrests.
A Spokane man accused of helping the fugitive who shot two sheriff's deputies is out of jail after posting $100,000 bond this week.
Robert Lee “Bo” Ruth, 42, posted the bond through Bulldog Bail Bonds on July 2 after being in the Spokane County Jail since June 20, according to court records.
Ruth appeared before Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque on Thursday and pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of first-degree rendering criminal assistance.
Members of the drug task force were looking for fugitive heroin trafficking suspect Charles Robert Wallace at Ruth's family's property on North Alcan Street on June 19 when they followed Ruth's SUV and a Chevy Tahoe with a young couple and a man in a disguise they believed could be Wallace.
The SUV stopped at Roundy’s Kawasaki on North Newport Highway for about a half an hour before Ruth drove north and the Tahoe went south.
Task force members directed Deputies Matt Spink and Mike Northway to identify the passengers of the Tahoe and warned that Wallace “was believed to be armed and had made statements that he was not going back to jail,” according to court documents.
Just after the Tahoe stopped on Elm Road just off the highway, Wallace exited and opened fire on Spink and Northway. Spink was struck once in the leg; Northway was hit four times and may have bled to death had a citizen not helped control heavy bleeding from an artery in his left arm, police officials say.
The driver of the Tahoe and a passenger, Joshua Vincent Fowler and Brittany A. McCullough, sped away and Wallace ran away, stole an 87-year-old woman’s Honda Accord then fled the area before shooting himself after a 21-mile chase.
Officer Beau Brannon, who owns a home on Princeton Avenue that was rented by Ruth, called Ruth right after the shooting and told him what happened.
Police say Ruth lied to the officer and said he hadn’t talked to Wallace since June 14, then changed his story and said he’d seen Wallace but didn’t know where he was. He then hung up on the officer and refused to answer his phone.
Ruth and his girlfriend and their infant son moved out of the Princeton home after a home-invasion robbery on May 29 in which Ruth was shot in the leg. David F. Smith, 40, is suspected in that case.
Ruth has seven felony convictions; his last occurred in 2000.
A Spokane sex offender out of jail on $250,000 bond pleaded not guilty today to charges related to an alleged incident with a 5-year-old girl at the NorthTown Mall last month.
Richard Michael Payne, 55, faces a potential life sentence if convicted of indecent exposure and two counts of first-degree child molestation after a girl and her 11-year-old sister told their mother he'd exposed himself in an arcade area at the mall June 21 while rubbing the younger girl's back. The girls' mother said in an email that the girl's 19-year-old brother was in the arcade at the time, too. She said the family was vacationing in Spokane.
Police obtained surveillance video of the incident and identified Payne as a suspect through the sex offender registry. He was arrested June 26 and left jail June 27 after posting the bond through Smith Family Bail Bonds.
Owner Chris Smith attended today's arraignment before Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque. Payne is represented by lawyer David Hearrean.
He's wearing a GPS ankle monitor through the bond company that tracks his movements and is prohibited from contacting children or visiting places where the gather, including the NorthTown Mall.
Payne is a level 3 sex offender who served about 3 1/2 years in prison for grabbing a 9-year-old girl's crotch and buttocks while at a North Division Street store in 2001.
He also has two convictions for fourth-degree assault that stem from child molestation claims, as well as a public indecency in Oregon in 1985 for fondling himself at a Sears store. He has no further criminal history in Washington state.
Payne left the Spokane County Courthouse today without speaking to media. Hearrean has said he's worried citizens may seek vigilante justice and his client may not get a fair trial.
A man accused of a shooting in which a 6-year-old girl was injured pleaded not guilty today in Spokane County Superior Court.
Abubakar Samura, 21, remains in jail on $500,000 bond and an immigration hold after his arraignment today before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese.
Samura turned himself in on two counts of first-degree assault April 6 for the March 4 shooting near a home in the 1800 block of East Fourth Avenue.
Matthew W. Woods, 23, was shot in the legs and back, and the girl was shot in a foot while she was inside the home. Spokane police say Woods was at the home with a friend when he heard someone from a home nearby in the 300 block of South Pittsburg Street yell what he understood to be a derogatory statement about their gang.
A confrontation ensued, and Samura shot Woods in the leg, then fired several more times as Woods ran to a nearby home, police say. Three witnesses granted anonymity by police identified Samura as the gunman.
The case originally was charged in Spokane County District Court, then transferred to Superior Court April 30. Samura is represented by Chris Phelps.
Spokane police were surprised to learn that a fugitive captured by a police dog on Wednesday had been in court the day before.
“We had no idea he was in court,” Sgt. Tracie Meidl said of Mark W. Bush, 36.
Meidl says Bush, who has at least four felony and 23 misdemeanor convictions, had been eluding police for weeks and knew about his wanted status before he was arrested Wednesday on a Washington Department of Corrections warrant for failing to check in with his probation officer. He also was arrested on Nov. 21 but posted $2,500 bond. Another warrant was issued Dec. 30, according to the DOC.
On Tuesday, Bush attended an arraignment on an unrelated felony marijuana charge at 1:30 p.m. before Spokane County Superior Court Judge Harold Clarke.
Court officials apparently did not know of Bush's fugitive status - he was allowed to stay out of custody and ordered to be back in court Jan. 24 for an arraignment under the early-case resolution program, which allows suspects charged with low-level felonies to resolve their cases quickly.
Now he's back in jail on a no-bail DOC hold.
A man who Spokane police say has 167 criminal charges in 15 years appeared for a court hearing Tuesday and was allowed to stay out of jail despite a felony warrant for his arrest.
Mark W. Bush, 36, was captured Wednesday night by a police dog after the Spokane police Patrol Anti-Crime Team received a tip that he was near the 400 block of North University Road.
Sgt. Tracie Meidl said in a news release that Bush knew about his wanted status and had been eluding them “for several weeks” before he was arrested on a Department of Corrections warrant for failing to check in with his probation officer. He was arrested on Nov. 21 but posted $2,500 bond. Another warrant was issued Dec. 30, according to the DOC.
On Tuesday, Bush attended an arraignment on an unrelated felony marijuana charge at 1:30 p.m. before Spokane County Superior Court Judge Harold Clarke, a clerk confirmed.
Court officials apparently did not know of Bush's fugitive status - he was allowed to stay out of custody and ordered to be back in court Jan. 24 for an arraignment.
Police say Bush has been booked on 17 charges in the last 11 months. He has three times been captured by a police dog - each time a different dog.
Bush has at least four felony convictions, including third-degree assault in 2008, and 23 misdemeanors, including three counts of obstructing a law enforcement officer and one count of resisting arrest.
His most recent felony charge stems from a traffic stop in September initiated by an officer who knew Bush had a DOC arrest warrant. Bush's probation officer found jar with 61 grams of marijuana in the car, according to court documents.
Bush was out on $2,500 bond when he showed up for his arraignment on Tuesday. Now he's back in jail on a no-bail DOC warrant after his arrest Wednesday.
A woman arrested after a black man said she dressed in a white sheet and yelled racial epithets at him and his two children on Halloween night has been charged with four hate crimes.
Sharyl Ann Curtis, 42, pleaded not guilty Monday to four counts of malicious harassment - Washington's hate-crime statute - for the alleged incident in the 5000 block of North Lacey Street.
She was arrested early Nov. 1 after Tyree Brown told Spokane police he opened his front door to her yelling racial epithets while wearing a white sheet with “KKK” written on it. She also allegedly did the same thing to Brown's neighbor, Teravia McDonald.
Curtis is pictured courtesy KHQ-TV. Check out their interview with her here.
Curtis also sprayed a liquid at Brown's children that she said was bleach that would make everyone white, according to a probable cause affidavit written by police. Police said they found Curtis sitting in a nearby “yelling unintelligibly.”
While being treated at a hospital for a broken nose apparently sustained during a fight with pursuing neighbors, Curtis told officers “I will raise my son white power” and used a racial slur while raising her right arm in the air, according to the affidavit. She also allegedly said her son would shoot police and she would provide the ammunition.
Curtis posted $2,500 bond after her arrest and remains out of jail. Her trial is scheduled to begin April 2.
A 17-year-old Spokane boy who prosecutors believe is the first county resident charged with failing to summon assistance was arraigned Wednesday in Juvenile Court.
Police say the boy was drunkenly horsing around with 18-year-old Alexander Allen (pictured) on the Post Street Bridge July 18 when Allen fell into the river.
The boy didn't call for help, and he lied to Allen's family and to investigators about what happened, prosecutors allege.
Kayakers found Allen's body about a mile downstream from the bridge.
The boy pleaded not guilty Wednesday to failure to three misdemeanors: failure to summon assistance, reckless endangerment and lying to investigators. The arraignment originally was scheduled for Tuesday but was postponed a day.
The Spokesman-Review is not naming the suspect because he is charged as a juvenile.
The case was detailed in a story Tuesday. Check it out here.
A Spokane man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to killing his wife's cat.
Nicholas A. Romanelli, 28, was arraigned in Spokane County Superior Court on a charge of first-degree animal cruelty.
He's accused of smashing a cat against a wall repeatedly while drunk and angry he couldn't find the keys to his car to get more beer, according to court documents.
Police arrived at his home in the 4600 block of North Sullivan Road after his wife called 911. She awoke to the cat screeching loudly, she told police.
Romanelli is out of custody awaiting trial, which is scheduled for March 26. He has previous felony convictions for domestic violence tampering with a witness and harassment.
Top to bottom, left to right, are Jermaine S. Bedford, 22; Kalen J. Bedford, 21; Rashad F. Toussiant, 25; Roderick D. Shanks, 21; Stafone N. “Stix” Fuentes, 27; and Tyrone J. Carell, 23. All are wanted on assault charges related to the murder.
UPDATE: All suspects except Stafone Fuentes and Rashad Toussiant have been arrested.
Law enforcement officers were in Spokane County Superior Court today to provide extra security at the arraignment of murder suspect John “Lil Danger” Castro, who is accused of shooting another rapper at a Spokane hotel.
Castro (pictured left) pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, riot, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and two counts of second-degree assault for a Nov. 27 fight that ended with the shooting death of Jose A. “Junior” Solis, 21, of Moses Lake, at a Spokane hotel. His trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 27, but that likely will be postponed.
Castro, 27, remains in jail on $1 million bond. Public defender Anna Nordtvedt said a request to reduce his bond is to be heard on Thursday. Castro faces life in prison if convicted because of two previous violent felony convictions that qualify him for the state's three-strikes law.
Eight other men are charged with assault in connection with the case. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to the arrest of the six pictured above.
Sheriff's deputies and Spokane police provided extra security at Castro's arraignment before Judge Annette Plese, which was attended by Solis's friends and family. No incidents were reported.
Police believe Castro shot Solis after Solis and other men tried to help their friend who was being assaulted.
Castro and the other suspects went to the Quality Inn on East Third Avenue after a rap concert and were kicked out of a party hosted by the Moses Lake men, police say.
One of the men argued with a woman in the hallway, and he and others began assaulting her boyfriend. The woman and a friend ducked into a room and called for help as the men continued to assault her boyfriend and kick the door to the room, according to police. Solis and others arrived from another floor to help, and Solis was shot int he chest, police say.
Surveillance video captured the suspects running to and from the melee.
Detectives are reviewing Castro's work as the rapper “Lil Danger” as they continue to investigate the case.
A Spokane man accused of killing his friend in Riverfront Park after a night of drinking was arraigned today on a second-degree murder charge.
Yukio M. Rideb, 21, (pictured right) pleaded not guilty to killing Romero J. Vivit, III, 21, in a fight early Dec. 17.
Vivit's body was pulled from the Spokane River on Dec. 20.
Rideb and Vivit (pictured left) had been friends since attending North Central High School together.
Rideb entered his plea before Spokane County Superior Court Judge Annette Plese. He remains in jail on $500,000 bond. His public defender is Anna Nordtvedt.
According to police, Rideb told detectives that Vivit needed to be hospitalized but was still breathing when he left him in the park after the drunken assault. He said he was so intoxicated that he didn’t realize who he was assaulting until he saw Vivit's shoes. Read more here.
Rideb’s trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 27, but that likely will be postponed.
A teenager accused of attempted murder for a knife assault at a party has pleaded not guilty.
Kiana M. Murphy, who turned 18 two days before the Oct. 30 incident, allegedly stabbed a teen boy twice in the stomach during an argument about gang affiliations, according to court documents.
Murphy allegedly chased the boy through the home at 1807 W. Spofford Ave. before he escaped through a bedroom window. When the boy returned, Murphy stabbed him twice in the stomach, police and prosecutors allege.
The victim required surgery but is recovering. He identified Murphy as a suspect through her Facebook page. A witness told police Murphy said the victim was “going to…die” when he returned to the residence, documents say.
Murphy was arraigned Wednesday on a charge of attempted first-degree murder, with first-degree assault as an alternate charge.
She is out of custody awaiting trial, which is scheduled to begin on Feb. 21.
A reputed Sureno gang member who Spokane police say stayed hidden in a couch after tear gas was pumped into his apartment faces life in prison if convicted under the state's three-strikes law.
Bobby S. “Angel” Decaney, 35, (pictured) pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first-degree kidnapping and first-degree robbery. He already has two convictions for violent felonies.
Decaney and Maceo L. Williams, 27, are accused of holding 22-year-old Jennifer M. Taylor while another woman assaulted her and stole methamphetamine from her pocket on Dec. 1.
The female assailant choked Taylor unconscious with her own necklace and threatened to kill her, according to court documents. The incident led to a SWAT team standoff in north Spokane.
Police contacted Taylor at a hospital, where she told them she'd gotten a ride on the the South Hill from Decaney, whom she knew as “Angel” and described as having “Sureno” tattooed across his forehead. Williams, the unidentified female assailant and Michael J. Hall also were in the car, she told police.
She said Decaney stopped the car and the woman accused her of talking badly about her ex-boyfriend, who police say also is a Sureno gang member. Taylor told police lost consciousness while being strangled then awoke to the woman punching her and stealing five ounces of meth that was hidden in her bra.
Police tried to contact Decaney and Maceo at Decaney's apartment at 13110 N. Addison, but they refused to come out and the gang unit and SWAT team were called to assist. Police evacuated the area and, after a few hours, pumped tear gas into the apartment. Williams, Hall and Nicole Coffey emerged and said no one was left inside, documents say, but a Spokane police dog, Stryder, found Decaney hiding in a large zippered bag that was secreted inside a couch, according to court documents.
Williams also pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and robbery charges Tuesday in Spokane County Superior Court. Both suspects are in the Spokane County Jail. Hall and Coffey were arrested after the standoff but have not been charged.
The police investigation into the assault is ongoing.
A man upset about noisy upstairs neighbors in the South Perry Street area barged into their apartment and knocked one of them unconscious, prosecutors allege.
A soldier is accused of transporting child pornography from Spokane to Kuwait while on duty with the military.
Jason D. Talbott, 33, pleaded not guilty today to four child pornography charges in U.S. District Court in Spokane. He was allowed to stay out of jail awaiting trial and will reside in Denver, Colo., where he is stationed with the military, according to court documents.
A federal grand jury indicted Talbott Nov. 16 on charges of receipt, possession, distribution and transportation of child pornography, as well as a forfeiture charge that calls for him to relinquish a computer, an external hard drive and a digital book reader.
The charges allege Talbott receiving child pornography in Spokane Valley between June 21, 2005, and April 21, 2009, and possessing the material until March 16. He's accused of distributing the pornography between August 2010 and November 2010, and of transporting a computer with explicit images on it to Kuwait in December 2010.
He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Talbott's release conditions require him to stay away from minors unless another adult is present. He's prohibited from accessing the Internet unless he's required to do so by the military.
According to the Daily Mail, Talbott was identified by federal authorities after he contacted a fake website that advertised children for sex. The website was an undercover Internet sting operation designed by the Department of Homeland Security but has since been shutdown, the newspaper reports.
A citizen helped a Spokane police officer in a struggle with a wanted felon outside a grocery store recently.
Retiree Dennis Greer will be nominated for a chief's citizen award for helping Officer Nick Geren apprehend Timothy Alan Williams, 46, outside Fred Meyer at Freya Avenue and Thor Street last month, police said today.
Williams (pictured left) pleaded not guilty to a second-degree assault charge today in Spokane County Superior Court for the fight, which left Geren with a dislocated thumb (pictured right). Geren is not working patrol but helped the Patrol Anti-Crime Team identify a suspect in the South Hill burglaries through burglary report analysis and other desk work, said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, spokeswoman for the Spokane Police Department.
Geren was in the area of 5th Avenue and Thor Nov. 20 about 9 p.m. when he recognized a car driven by Williams, whom he knew was wanted on felony warrants.
Geren tried to arrest Williams after he pulled into a parking spot at the store, but Williams struggled, according to court documents.
Greer said today that he had pulled into the lot with his wife when he saw the fight. He realized Geren (pictured left) was a police officer and got out to help, despite his wife's pleas to stay back.
“I finally broke away from my wife and I went up and got on top of the guy and basically took his arm and brought it up a ways,” Greer said. “I was trying to figure out how to open (the handcuffs) up when the rest of the police got there and they took over.
“I was afraid that the guy was going to get away if I didn't intervene,” Greer continued.
Williams is a convicted felon who also faces a new felony charge of attempt to elude police for an alleged chase with a sheriff's deputy on Sept. 23.
He was wanted for violating his probation through the Department of Corrections for a second-degree robbery conviction.
A Whitworth University student and convicted felon pleaded not guilty Wednesday to vehicular homicide in connection with a crash in East Spokane on Aug. 9 that killed the passenger.
Michael S. Lindsly, 46, appeared before Superior Court Judge Michael Price and was given a trial date of Oct. 17. Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Stefanie Collins said Lindsly was driving an estimated “70 to 100 mph” in a 35 mph zone when he crashed his 2002 Mercury Sable near the intersection of Alki Way and Broadway Avenue, killing 31-year-old passenger Blair C. Riding.
Lindsly, a 10-time felon who carries a 3.8 grade point average at Whitworth, poses a risk to the community, Collins said.
Price agreed to lower the bond from $100,000 to $75,000, but he ordered Lindsly not to drive while the charge remains pending.
A 26-year-old man has been charged with stealing the firearm that was then used to kill a Stevens County man and retired U.S. Navy SEAL in what investigators believe was a botched burglary.
Christopher George Nichols (left) remains in the Stevens County Jail on $500,000 bond after pleading not guilty last week to nine counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, nine counts of theft of a firearm, and single counts of residential burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and trafficking in stolen property in the first degree.
Detectives believe Nichols, a convicted felon, burglarized the home of Robert Hannigan, 3294-H Bradeen Road, on June 28, with Eric Lee Booth, 26, (right) who is accused of shooting Gordon Feist to death on July 17.
Feist served three tours in Vietnam as a U.S Navy Seal and it was considered in character for him to confront prowlers outside his upscale home south of Colville, according to a police report. Booth had worked at the home before; detectives believe he told Feist he'd run out of gas when he was confronted, and that Feist trusted him and let his guard down.
The 63-year-old retiree was shot to death as he gave Booth a ride on his utility vehicle to his supposedly out-of-gas car, detectives believe, leading the vehicle to crash into a power pole. Booth was arrested three days later after a Washington Department of Corrections officer noticed cuts on his face consistent with the crash while talking to Booth's brother. It took four officers to restrain Booth and place his in handcuffs, according to a police report. He'd told his family he'd been injured in a motorcycle crash. When his mother learned he was a suspect in Feist's death, she approached him and yelled “Eric what the **** are you doing? Gordon is a family friend,” according to the report.
Booth told deputies he burglarized Hannigan's home with Nichols, and deputies located two stolen rings through the Spokane pawn shop database. Nichols denied pawning the items, but a receipt at Pawn 1 in North Spokane was signed by him, according to police.
According to a previous report, Booth told detectives that 27-year-old Jesse J. Fellman-Shimmin (left) and 26-year-old Collette M. Pierce were with him during the botched burglary at Feist's home.
Fellman-Shimmin remains in custody at the Ferry County Jail on a hold from the state Department of Corrections.
Pierce pleaded guilty to the drug charge last week and was sentenced to 90 days at the Stevens County Jail. Booth faces $750,000 bail for murder, burglary and gun charges. The investigation into Feist's death is ongoing.
Four men facing federal prison time for operating medical marijuana dispensaries in Spokane appeared in federal court Tuesday afternoon and pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Charles Wright and Jon Vivian, former owners of the THC Pharmacy on South Perry Street, and Jerry Laberdee and Dennis Whited, former owners of Medical Herb Providers, appeared in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno.
Two teenage siblings pleaded not guilty to aggravated first-degree murder charges Thursday in Spokane County Superior Court.
Video conference at the jail isn't working, so Breeanna C. Sims, 19, and Justice E.D. Sims, 18, appeared in person before Judge Michel Price, wearing light blue jail jumpsuits and shackles.
Breeanna Sims appeared to smile or smirk during the hearing. She sat apart from her brother, and the two had no contact during the afternoon hearing.
Friends and family of murder victim Nicholas J. Thoreson, including the mother of his 1-year-old son, attended the arraignments, which came one day after defendant Taylor J. Wolf, 20, pleaded not guilty to aggravated first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, second-degree arson, and taking a motor vehicle without the owner's permission.
The Simses face the same charges, though Breeanna Sims also is charged with rendering criminal assistance for allegedly trying to remove guns from a field near where Thoreson's body was found in the back of his burning Thunderbird on April 13.
The Simses and Wolf remain in the Spokane County Jail on $1 million bond. The Simses are pictured in court, courtesy of KHQ.
After Spokane County sheriff’s detectives took a man into custody on suspicion of murder last month, a man who witnessed the arrest expressed his surprise to a childhood friend.
“Justice told her that he couldn’t believe that Taylor was being arrested for something he had done,” according to a probable cause affidavit prosecutors filed to support aggravated murder charges against Taylor J. Wolf, 20, (right) Breeanna C. Sims, 19, and Justice E.D. Sims, 18 (left).
But detectives believe all three share culpability, and Wolf has reportedly described his involvement in phone calls to friends from the Spokane County Jail.
Wolf told Britney Bjork, girlfriend of jailed Hells Angels Sergeant at Arms Ricky Jenks, he was going to shoot Nicholas J. Thoreson, 22, but “I couldn’t do it, so me and Justice did it together,” according to court documents, citing recorded phone conversations from the Spokane County Jail. “But we had gloves on and stuff.”
Wolf's public defender, Thomas Krzyminski, unsuccessfully asked Judge Michael Price to reduce Wolf's $1 million bond at his arraignment Wednesday. Friends and family of Thoreson (pictured) attended.
Krzyminski emphasized that he understands the serious allegations but said Wolf's mother, Jami Wolf, has offered to let her son stay with her, and reminded Price that Wolf is innocent until proven guilty.
Krzyminski said a $1 million bond “is certainly something Mr. Wolf and his family have no chance to post.”
Deputy Prosecutor Kyle Treece said that was the intention.
“I'm certain that I don't need to remind you of the serious, heinous nature of the probable cause affidavit in this case,” Treece told Price.”Mr. Wolf is alleged to have committed acts of torture, assault - eventually murder. The facts of this case are rather egregious.” Wolf already was on probation for felony resideintial burlgary when he was arrested April 13.
Price said he had serious concerns about community safety and Wolf showing up for court and kept bond at $1 million.
A member of the Hells Angels motorcycle club pleaded not guilty Monday to gun and drug charges.
Michael Ryan Fitzpatrick, 33, was booked into Spokane County Jail after his arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Cynthia Imbrogno in U.S. District Court in Spokane.
Fitzpatrick is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, conspiracy to manufacture 100 or more marijuana plants, conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, conspiracy to distribute marijuana, distribution of cocaine and three counts of distribution of marijuana.
He faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted.
Two others are charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, but their names are redacted in the indictment, which was returned last week.
Fitzpatrick was arrested on a marijuana charge March 3 but was allowed to leave jail the next day, and Spokane County prosecutors never formally charged him. Now he's at the Spokane County jail without bail on the federal indictments.
A hearing to determine if Fitzpatrick should be allowed to leave jail on bail is set for Thursday. He's represented by Chris Phelps.
A felon accused of stealing the gun used in a gang-related murder last year has been charged with five burglaries.
Robert J. Frates, 27, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to four counts of felony second-degree burglary and one count of attempted second-degree burglary.
He's accused of breaking into Sunny Buns Tanning, 2821 E. 27th Av., on March 15, Smart Smoke, 12924 W. Sunset Highway, Metro Sign and Banner, 1403 N. Greene, and another building in Airway Heights on March 25.
He's also charged with attempted-second-degree burglary for a break-in March 26 at Super Sonic Blind Cleaners, 3612 E. Broadway Ave.
Police arrested Frates that day after an officer followed him using a GPS tracker affixed to Frates' Bronco.
Last June, Frates told police he'd to traded four stolen firearms to a man for $600. One of the guns was the Ruger mini 30, which was used to kill John S. Williams. Edward L. “TD” Thomas is scheduled to stand trial June 20 for Williams' murder.
A Spokane Valley man caught with child pornography last fall has been indicted by a federal grand jury.
Cory R. Greer pleaded not guilty Monday to transportation of child pornography, receipt of child pornography, and a forfeiture calling for him to give up a laptop computer seizure from his home last fall.
Spokane County sheriff's investigators searched Greer's apartment at 19221 E. Buckeye Ave. on Oct. 12.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children notified them of child pornography was being sent through email coming from a local Internet Protocol address; Deputy Damon Simmons traced the address to Greer, who was 28 at the time of the search.
Greer “was cooperative and not considered a threat to the community” and was not arrested.
He was allowed to remain out of custody after his arraignment but is on home detention.
The sergeant at arms of the Washington chapter of the Hells Angels has been indicted by a federal grand jury.
Ricky W. Jenks, 33, faces up to 10 years in federal prison after the jury indicted him in U.S. District Court for felon in possession of a firearm. He pleaded not guilty to the indictment on Friday and remains in the Spokane County Jail without bond.
Jenks, whose felony convictions include manslaughter, was the only suspect arrested at the clubhouse after investigators found eight firearms. The five other men at the clubhouse during the March 3 raid were from out of town and are not prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition, prosecutors say.
One of those men, Hells Angel member Jameal A. Hadeed, has claimed ownership of five of the eight firearms, according to court documents filed Tuesday. Another, Travis I. Vanweerdhuizen has claimed ownership of one.
But prosecutors have said four of the five men with Jenks at the clubhouse arrived in Spokane via airplane and did not check firearms.
Prosecutors are refusing to release the affidavit that authorized the search because it “contains material regarding an ongoing investigation,” documents said.
Another Hells Angel arrested March 4, Michael R. Fitzpatrick, 33, was jailed on a marijuana charge but released the next day.
A Spokane man who avoided prison as a teenager for his role in a murder because a judge believed he could be rehabilitated pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a second-degree burglary charge. If convicted, it would be his 10th felony since 2007.
Nicholas Adam Limpert, now 25, declined an interview request. His father, Thomas Limpert, attended his arraignment in Spokane County Superior Court and said his son has “had a rough life.”
Limpert’s criminal history began at age 15 with the November 2000 robbery and murder of a disabled janitor in northwest Spokane.
The decision to allow him to be charged as a juvenile angered the victim’s family, who said they doubted he could be rehabilitated.
Now news of a dizzying post-detention arrest record has the judge who sentenced him wondering the same thing.
The only suspect in the 1986 murder of a Spokane woman was arraigned today on murder charges, two weeks after being extradited from Montana.
Gary L. Trimble, 62, pleaded not guilty to the Dec. 24, 1986, murder of Dorothy E. Burdette in Spokane County Superior Court this afternoon as more than a dozen of Burdette's family members looked on.
Trimble appeared via video from the Spokane County Jail with his public defender, Kari Reardon, and Deputy Prosecutor Jack Driscoll.
Trial is set to begin March 14 on charges of first-degree murder and second-degree murder, though Reardon said she likely will ask for a continuance.
Driscoll said he filed the second-degree murder charge as a precaution in case the first charge doesn't stick. Trimble was arrested in Montana in October after DNA he submitted for a felony conviction there was linked to
Burdette, who was 62 when she was found strangled to death in High Bridge Park.
Police have submitted Trimble's DNA to see if it matches DNA found on three other murder victims from 1986 and 1987.
He remains in Spokane County Jail on $1 million bond.
Beef jerky may have helped Spokane police seal a case against a robbery suspect.
Michael T. Gaze, 28, denied robbing the Conoco at 1602 W. 3rd., but police found a piece of jerky stolen from the store on the ground near him. Gaze was scheduled to plead not guilty to first-degree robbery on Wednesday, but his arraignment was postponed to Jan. 18.
He was arrested Jan. 3 after a clerk said he claimed to have a gun and stole the jerky after she refused to sell him beer because he was drunk, Spokane police said.
The clerk told police that Gaze claimed to have a gun and reached toward his waistband as another employee tried to grab the case of beer from him. The employee saved the beer, but Gaze threatened to shoot him, grabbed a $6.59 package of beef jerky and walked out of the store.
Gaze was arrested a short while later near Pacific and Maple. Already on probation for a drunken driving conviction in 2009, he remains in Spokane County Jail on $75,000 bond.
The boyfriend of a woman serving 51 years in prison for murdering her husband pleaded not guilty this morning to charges connected to the same slaying.
Brian L. Moore, 44, remains in Spokane County Jail on $2 million bail. His trial is set for Jan. 24 after he pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder for the Dec. 9, 2007, shooting death of Dale R. Stark.
Police don’t believe Moore was present when Stark was killed, but they believe he persuaded Shellye L. Stark to commit the crime in order to access the man’s assets, including a life insurance policy.
Spokane police traveled to California earlier this month to pick up Moore, who recently completed a 21-month federal prison sentence for an unregistered rifle and firearms silencer found in his Orange County warehouse last year.
It’s the second time prosecutors have pursued murder charges against Moore. They withdrew the original charges in October 2009 after a judge ruled key evidence from a private investigator hired by Moore and Stark couldn’t be used against Moore.