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Life-savers honored at sheriff’s dinner

Two Spokane County sheriff’s employees have been honored for saving the life of a suicidal man after he was shot by officers.

Deputy Walter Loucks and Sgt. Dale Golman rushed to Michael E. Young after he was shot Dec. 27 and kept him breathing while medics arrived.

Although the move was later criticized as too risky in an internal investigation, Loucks and Golman were honored for their bravery this week during the annual SCOPE (Sheriff’s Community Oriented Policing Effort) and Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner.

Read my full story here.

4 stabbings in 2 weeks in Spokane Co.

Law enforcement in Spokane County are investigating the fourth stabbing in two weeks.
None appear to be connected, and suspects have been arrested in three.

The most recent stabbing occurred about midnight Thursday after three men left a party and were walking near Standard Street and Cozza Avenue when one was stabbed by an unidentified assailant.

The attacker confronted the group and said he knew one of the men, then pushed the victim to the ground and stabbed him at least once before fleeing on foot. The victim’s friends called police about 12:30 a.m. The wounds were not life-threatening.

The assailant is described as black, six feet tall and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and red bandanna. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

The stabbing comes after three stabbings occurred in two days late last month.

Two men are accused of attacking another man in his home Oct. 27. Another man is accused of stabbing his neighbor in an apparent attempt at revenge. Then on Oct. 29, 22-year-old Blain A. Gooding allegedly stabbed Rodney Barce in the stomach during a fight in the 6600 block of North Addison Street. 

All suspects in those cases are in jail.

Mug shot spotlight: the greatest ever?

This mug shot appeared on The Oregonian’s website today. 

It’s Mark David Siebenmorgen, a 46-year-old man arraigned on several charges for an alleged crime spree in the Portland area last month.

He was arrested last month after an employee at Safeway reported “unsettling” comments made by a customer, according to The Oregonian.

Read the story here.

Man accused of assaulting deputies

Two Spokane County deputies received injuries Tuesday in a dispute that led to the arrest of a 44-year-old Spokane Valley man.

Steven W. Prater was arrested at 13924 E. Mallon Ave., in Spokane Valley, where two deputies responded to a domestic violence call about 8:07 p.m. Prater refused to talk to them and walked away, then refused commands to stop and resisted arrested, according to probable cause affidavit.

Prater “told deputies he wanted to fight” and hit two, deputies Petersen and Bohanek, in the face, according to the affidavit, which was filed to support two counts of third-degree assault, and single counts of fourth-degree assault, third-degree malicious mischief and resisting arrest against Prater.

Three residents witnessed the scuffle and described Prater as combative and said he’d broken a door prior to police arrival, deputies said.

Prater remained in jail on $20,000 bond late Wednesday after appearing in Spokane County Superior Court.

Woman accused of assault, kidnapping

A Spokane woman accused of kidnapping her girlfriend at knife point last weekend remains in jail on $10,000 bond.

Emily J. Lystad, 25, was arrested Saturday after her girlfriend, Serena King, told police Lystad assaulted her at Irv’s bar, 415 W. Sprague Ave., and drove her to a cabin in Worley, Idaho, while threatening her with a knife.

Lystad then drove King to their home at 10714 E. Augusta Ave., in Spokane Valley, where the couple have lived for about a month, according to a probable cause affidavit prepared by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Lystad choked and hit King after tying her to their bed “with ropes that were tied to the bed frame,” according to the affidavit.

A roommate helped untie King and noticed bruises on her face, deputies said. Lystad was arrested at 312 W. 8th and reportedly admitted to deputies that she’d assaulted King and forced her into her car at knife point. Deputies described her as “remorseful.”

“Lystad admitted to saying she wanted King dead if she could not be with her,” according to the affidavit.

Lystad appeared in Superior Court Monday on first-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault charges. Her arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 16.

Dead killer’s accomplice gets 27 months

An accomplice to the murder of a state witness in 2008 has been sentenced to just over two years in prison.

Carl A. Hoskins, 58, will receive credit for time served in jail, where he was incarcerated from May 2008 until August 2009, when prosecutors allowed him to leave jail after agreeing to a tentative plea bargain.

Hoskins agreed to testify again Christopher Devlin but never was called to the stand during the trial last summer. Devlin died at the Spokane County Jail in September in an apparent suicide. He’d been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole a few days earlier.

Devlin was to go to trial for allegedly assaulting Daniel D. Heily, 52, of Chattaroy, when Heily was found shot to death in the cab of his pickup truck behind a Deer Park liquor store in May 2008.

Hoskins originally was charged with first-degree murder but instead pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, intimidating a witness and first-degree rendering criminal assistance.

Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque sentenced him Monday to 27 months in prison and ordered him to pay $1,434 in restitution.

Hoskins, who was close friends with Heily, apologized at the hearing. Heily’s family declined to submit a victim impact statement for Hoskins, saying they felt he, too, was victimized by Devlin, a court clerk said.
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Raspberry theft leads to fugitive’s arrest

A second suspect in a burglary and stabbing late last month was arrested Friday after police said he tried to steal raspberry extract from a Spokane grocery store.

Tony N. Hairston, 42, (right) was wanted on burglary, assault and attempted robbery charges when security at Safeway, 1616 Northwest Boulevard, wrestled him to the ground and detained him on theft charges Friday about 10:50 p.m. Police say he had cocaine in his pocket.

Hairston is accused of stabbing Kenneth B. Barton in the head at 2821 N. Cincinnati Ave. Oct. 27, where police say he and Jarreau S. “Sweaty” Squetimkin, 26, fought with Barton and Audrey O’Grady while demanding money. 

Squetimkin, who knew Barton from prison, was arrested the night of the incident and remains in jail. (A police report from Squetimkin’s arrest incorrectly stated he was walking with victim Audrey O’Grady at the time of his arrest. In fact, O’Grady was with police in a squad car when they spotted Squetimkin.)

Witnesses told police that Hairston pinned Barton to a chair and punched him about 20 times while holding the knife, according to court documents. Barton was treated and released from a hospital. 

Hairston and Squetimkin (left) are charged with first-degree burglary, second-degree assault, attempted first-degree robbery, first-degree assault and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery. Both are in jail on $100,000 bail. Hairston was given an additional $25,000 bond today for drug, theft and resisting arrest charges for Friday’s incident.

According to Crime Stoppers, Hairston has a nine-year local criminal history with convictions for city theft, drug possession, riot, second-degree possession of stolen property, driving on a suspended license, domestic violence assault, refusal to cooperate and probation violation.

Md. jury convicts veil-wearing burglar

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — A Maryland jury has convicted a woman of burglary, assault and reckless endangerment for breaking into her neighbor’s house wearing nothing but a bridal skirt and veil on a snowy night in February.

Thirty-three-year old Melissa Wagaman testified Thursday that a combination of cold medicine and marijuana apparently made her hallucinate that she was getting married and her mother was locked in her neighbor’s basement.

Wagaman broke a dining room window with her head, causing shattered glass to cut an artery in her neighbor’s arm.

The jury rejected defense arguments that Wagaman truly believed she needed to enter the house and didn’t know she was endangering her neighbor.

She faces up to 23 years in prison.

Man accused of assaulting police dog

A Spokane man sought on a car theft warrant faces an additional felony charge for allegedly attacking a police dog. 

Cephas W. Parham, 34, choked Spokane police Officer Paul Gorman’s K-9 Maximus during a pursuit in the Shadle Park area.(Gorman and Max are pictured.)

Parham appeared in Superior Court on Monday on a felony charge of harming a police dog, a class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. 

Police were trying to arrest Parham on a warrant for possession of a stolen motor vehicle when he ran from a home at 4207 N. Cannon on Oct. 25.

Maximus caught up with Parham three times, but Parham (pictured) assaulted the dog each time, police said. Gorman used a neck restraint maneuver to stop Parham from choking Maximus, who was thrown into a brick wall by his collar and also sustained injuries to the inside of his mouth, according to court documents.

“These injuries would be difficult to articulate based on obvious inabilities on the canine’s part to communicate injury and pain,” police wrote.

Parham was treated for dog bites at hospital before being booked into jail.

Revenge-seeking assault suspect jailed

A Spokane Valley man accused of assaulting his neighbor during a revenge-seeking break-in last week remains in jail on $50,000 bond.

Roger D. Holmes, Jr., 39, appeared in Superior Court Monday on first-degree burglary and first-degree assault charges

Holmes was hospitalized Wednesday night along with his neighbor at 12412 E. Eighth Ave., Kevin McLean, who underwent surgery for several stab wounds police believe were inflicted by Holmes.

Holmes was stabbed in the head with a pair of scissors by McLean, 47, after he broke into McLean’s home and attacked him, police said.

Holmes told police McLean had broken into his apartment a week ago and assaulted him, so he went to McLean’s apartment “to scare the (guy),” according to court documents.

“(McLean) broke into my house last weekend and nobody did a goddamn thing,” Holmes said. “I break into his house and all the cops in the world show up…He struck me first.”

Police found several sharp objected in the apartment, including a large pair of shearing scissors and a large military-style knife. Holmes was ordered to stay in jail Monday on $50,000 bond.

U.S. Marshals arrest shooting suspect

A man who police say shot a Spokane teenager in both legs was arrested in Browne’s Addition early Friday by a federal fugitive task force.

Albert J. Reeves, III, 19, is expected to appear in Superior Court on Monday on one count of first-degree assault.

Spokane police believe Reeves shot a 19-year-old man during an argument near Sharp Avenue and Hamilton Street about 12:30 a.m. on Oct. 5.

Police released surveillance photos that showed the gunman, who was in a wheelchair, enter the Tesoro convenience store, 901 E. Sharp Ave., prior to the shooting. Reeves was identified as a suspect on Tuesday.

U.S. Marshals Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force arrested Reeves about 8:40 a.m. Friday in the 300 block of South Cannon Street. Reeves has previous convictions stemming from a January 2009 beer robbery.

His father, Albert J. Reeves, Jr., is a former high school standout athlete and notorious criminal who won a $2.5 million lottery in 2000, then was arrested the next year in a drive-by shooting investigation.

“He blew threw that money fast,” said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe.

Woman wanted in drug-binge robbery

A drug robbery suspect released from jail because no charges had been filed now has a warrant out for her arrest.

Jeanette E. Menghini, 43, is wanted on a first-degree robbery charge after failing to show up for an arraignment Oct. 6. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to her arrest.

Menghini was arrested in September with her boyfriend, Ronald J. Schneider, who told police he was on a seven-month drug binge when he and Menghini broke into a man’s hotel room and robbed him of cash, prescription drugs and his car at knife point, according to court documents.

Schneider, 38, also is under investigation for a stolen car ring in Spokane and in Great Falls, Mont., where he resides. Great Falls police have traveled to Spokane to examine stolen vehiclen and motorcycles Schneider is suspected of selling at the Tire Shop, 2515 E. Trent Ave., Tire Shop owner Bryan K. Rapp, 47, is in jail on drug and stolen property charges; Washingotn State Patrol detectives searched the business with Spokane police Sept. 15.

Schneider reportedly confessed to the robbery at Airway Express Motel, 3809 S. Geiger Blvd., and said he and Menghini planned to “hide out” at Northern Quest Casino but were stopped in the parking lot by police.

Schneider has pleaded not guilty to several felonies and has been in jail since his arrest, but Menghini was released within three days because no charges had been filed.

Menghini, 5-foot-7 and 140 pounds, has convictions for delivery of controlled substances, possession of controlled substances with intent to deliver and second-degree robbery. Her last known address was 11910 E. Broadway #21 in Spokane Valley.

Anyone with tips on her location is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Suspect named in double-leg shooting

A gunman who shot a Spokane teenager in both legs Oct. 5 has been identified as Albert J. Reeves III, 19, police announced today. 

Reeves is accused of shooting a 19-year-old man during an argument near Sharp Avenue and Hamilton Street about 12:30 a.m.

Police released surveillance photos (above) last week that showed the gunman in a wheelchair entering the Tesoro convenience store, 901 E. Sharp Ave., prior to the shooting, which helped identify Reeves as a suspect.

He faces first-degree assault charges and is wanted on a probation violation, police said.

Reeves was arrested in January 2009 for a botched beer robbery in which he told a police officer “he was the member of a gang that owned Spokane,” police said at the time.

Anyone with information on Reeves’ location is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (509) 327-5111 or 1-800-222-TIPS.

Arbitrator calls deputy’s force excessive

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A Spokane County Jail officer was properly fired last year for discourteous behavior and excessive force against an inmate, according to an arbitrator’s ruling. 

Any force used by Deputy Wayne S. Green, 42, (pictured) would have been excessive because there was no reason for it, arbitrator Luella Nelson ruled Thursday.

Green had requested the arbitration after a grievance filed by his union was denied, according to previous news accounts.

Nelson said a grainy, soundless surveillance video and the testimony of other officers indicated that Green turned on bar-fight suspect Daniel W. Clinger after an angry confrontation with Deputy Shawn Smith.

Read John Craig’s full story here

Past coverage:

June 5: Fired deputy faces charge

Suspect arraigned in baby’s assault

A 21-year-old man accused of critically injuring his girlfriend’s 5-month-old son pleaded not guilty Friday in Whitman County Superior Court.

 Nathan J. Cranfield was arraigned on a first-degree assault charge as his alleged victim, Seth Bold, remains in critical condition at a Spokane hospital.

Medics responded to a report of the boy not breathing Monday at 1:47 a.m. at 407 Main Street in Albion, where Cranfield and Sarah Young lived with the infant.

Read my full story here.

Victim’s apology leads to deal in Ohio

CINCINNATI (AP) — A Las Vegas man who pleaded guilty in a Cincinnati beating was sentenced on a reduced charge after the victim apologized to his attacker and told prosecutors he can be belligerent when he drinks.

A Hamilton County Common Pleas judge on Tuesday sentenced Michael Taylor to 18 months for aggravated assault. The prosecutor agreed to a reduced charge from the original felonious assault.

The 56-year-old victim, Robert Meehan, said he didn’t remember what happened and apologized in court to Taylor for the way things turned out, saying he had a worse criminal record than Taylor, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Wednesday.

“This is probably the most ironic case I’ve ever had,” Judge Charles Kubicki Jr. said. “The victim apologized to the defendant for assaulting him.”

Meehan couldn’t remember what happened because his injuries from the beating left him in a coma, Assistant Prosecutor David Prem said.

Authorities said Taylor, a 38-year-old who goes by the nickname “Madness,” punched Meehan and hit him over the head with a beer bottle outside a bar on Jan. 24.

Prem said two witnesses were willing to testify that Taylor was punching the unconscious Meehan so brutally that they saw Meehan’s head bounce off the concrete with each blow. His injuries included seven facial fractures, Prem said.

After his recovery, Meehan was beaten with a board in an unrelated encounter, breaking his collar bone, Prem said. A message was left Wednesday for Taylor’s attorney, Rhett Baker.

Man w/ HIV gets prison time for assault

An HIV-positive Spokane man who lied to his sex partner about his condition will spend at least the next five years in prison.

Zuriel E. Roush, 23, was sentenced to at least 87 months in prison but will be credited for 17 months already served in jail and is eligible for time off for good behavior.

“He could be out in about five years,” said his lawyer, Terence Ryan.

Roush pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree assault with sexual motivation.

Roush had told the victim, a married man with children, he was not HIV positive, but the man did not contract the virus from their encounter, Ryan said.

Roush was arrested in May 2009. A friend told police that Roush, a fast food worker, met men on the website manhunt.com and had anonymous, unprotected sex in People’s Park without disclosing he was HIV positive.

Roush was charged with two counts of first-degree assault, but Ryan said the second charge was dismissed because the other alleged victim was not truthful.

“It was somebody who was jumping on the bandwagon after the charges hit the press,” Ryan said.

Roush, who took special-education classes in school and underwent a mental evaluation after his arrest, apologized for his crime at his sentencing last week, Ryan said.

Roush is required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and was ordered by Judge Maryann Moreno not to frequent sex websites and to disclose his HIV status to all sex partners. Prosecutors recommended the low end of the standard sentencing range - 87.75 months - but Roush could serve up to 10 years under the state’s indeterminate sentencing law for sex offenders. He’ll undergo assessments when he’s eligible for release.

Past coverage:

May 29, 2009: Dozens may face HIV risk

May 21, 2009: HIV-positive man accused of assault

Witness sought in Valley jogger’s death

Detectives are looking for a witness who helped alert Spokane Valley authorities last month to an injured jogger who later died.

A motorist found retired pastor David W. Thorin, 71, at East Fourth Avenue and South Adams Road about 6:45 a.m. Sept. 18 with an “obvious head wound,” the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

Medics described Thorin as “uncooperative and combative” and said he didn’t say how he’d been injured. He later died at a hospital.

Read my full story here.

Thorin is pictued above in July 2009 while volunteering at Spokane Valley Partners, a non-profit that runs the Valley Food Bank.

Houlihan arraigned; probe continues

A Spokane man shot by sheriff’s deputies two weeks ago pleaded not guilty to a single assault charge this week as investigators examined his medical records and searched the scene of the shooting for the second time.

Sean P. Houlihan, 37, is charged with first-degree assault after a friend said he fired a gun at him during an argument in the basement of Houlihan’s home at 909 E. Brentwood Drive on Sept. 16.

Sheriff’s deputies David Westlake (right) and Thad Schultz (left) fired several shots at Houlihan, striking him twice, after he returned to the home in his Dodge pickup.

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said last week that Westlake has always said Houliahn fired no shots but Schultz believed Houlihan did fire shots. Investigators have said Houlihan faces two additional assault charges related to the confrontation with Schultz and Westlake, but prosecutors have not filed them.

“They are telling me the investigation is ongoing,” Houlihan’s lawyer, Robert Schiffner, said Wednesday. “But I suspect if they had hard evidence they would have charged him yesterday.”

Houlihan pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a single count of first-degree assault. He’s out of jail on $75,000 bond.

Lester J. Doyle, who argued with Houlihan earlier in the night, said the deputies were in the doorway of the home when twice ordered Houlihan to put is hands in air.

Doyle heard three shots but doesn’t believe they came form the deputies “because he was looking at the deputies when he heard the shots,” according to a search warrant.

Doyle, 33, said he heard Houlihan say “Oh, I’m hit. I’m down. I’m not doing anything,” according to the warrant, which was used to examine the shooting scene again Monday.

Investigators already recovered a .40 caliber handgun from the street near where Houlihan fell. They recovered a .40 caliber casing from the bed of the truck but have found no other casings. The state crime lab already has several bullets and fragments that were found next to the truck and in the truck.

“Immediately after Houlihan was shot, the deputies and medics repeatedly walked through the area where Houlihan was lying,” according to the warrant. “Casings from rounds fired by Houlihan could have easily been stepped on and forced deep into the grass or into the ground.”

Investigators recovered two bullets from the scene Monday. 

Then today, they obtained a search warrant for Houlihan’s medical records at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.

WSP Detective Ryan Spangler wrote that he was hoping to establish “Houlihan’s position in reference to the Deputies at the time he was shot as it related to the injuries he received.”

Houlihan’s trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 27, but Schiffner said it likely will be postponed. “I doubt that the crime lab will have completed its tests by then,” he said.

Past coverage:

Oct. 1: Sheriff deputies haven’t changed their stories

Sept. 24: Shooting details get less certain

Sept. 22: No conclusion in shooting probe

Sept. 18: Deputies shoot, wound man

Babysitter Suspected In PF Assault

A 25-year-old baby sitter is suspected of critically injuring a 3-year-old boy at his Post Falls home on Monday. The woman told police she’d shoved the boy to the ground as she was changing his clothes after he urinated, said Post Falls police Lt. Greg McLean. Doctors said the boy had a bleeding skull fracture; police aren’t sure if he’ll survive. The woman, whose name has not been released, called 911 about 4:30 p.m. “because he was unresponsive,” McLean said. “According to her, it was probably within 10 minutes (of the incident). She tried to revive him”/Meghann Cuniff, SR. More here.

Boy’s murder suspect faces more charges

A man accused of beating to death his girlfriend’s 1-year-old son has been charged with a previous assault on another child. 

James R. “J.R.” Cooley, 22, already jailed on $1 million bond for first-degree murder, was ordered held on an additional $250,000 bail Tuesday on two counts of first-degree assault for the beating of a baby boy in May.

Cooley was considered a person of interest in the assault, which left the boy mentally disabled, since it was reported May 5, but he was not charged until he confessed during a police interrogation after his arrest for murder last week, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Monday.

Cooley wrote a letter of apology to that baby’s mother, April Fagan, during the interrogation, saying, “I’m so sorry for what happened. I didn’t think it would hurt him that bad,” according to the affidavit.

Read my full story here.

Past coverage:

Sept. 30: Boyfriend arrested after baby found dead

Sheriff: Deputies’ stories haven’t changed

Two deputies involved in a shooting last month near Wandermere have not changed their stories about what happened that night, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said. 

A search warrant stating that interviews with Deputies David Westlake and Thad Schultz indicate it’s possible Sean P. Houlihan didn’t initiate the gunfire Sept. 18 was misinterpreted, Knezovich said in an interview last week week.

Schultz and Sgt. Martin Tucker “are adamant and have always been adamant that they were shot at,” and Westlake has always said he doesn’t believe shots were fired at him, Knezovich said. 

The warrant, which was used to examine Houlihan’s Dodge pickup, said initial investigation “had not confirmed the statements of (Houlihan’s alleged assault victim) and both Deputies regarding shots fired at the Deputies.”

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

Sept. 24: Deputies no longer assert that suspect fired first

Sept. 22: No conclusion in shooting probe

Sept. 18: Deputies shoot, wound man

Pics show beer robber in clerk’s stabbing

Spokane police are looking for help identifying a beer-toting robber who stabbed a convenience store clerk last week.

The man grabbed beer and ran from the Zip Trip at 1503 E. Illinois Ave. about 9 p.m. Wednesday, according to police, then stabbed a store clerk in the back after the clerk chased him down.

A police dog was unable to track the robber, who police believe was on foot and likely lives in the area.

Grainy surveillance photos released Friday show a man wearing a black “DC” t-shirt, black pants and a black and royal blue hat.

  He is described as Native American, about 5-foot-5 and in his late teens or early 20s with long dark hair and a thin build.

Anyone with information on a suspect is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Deal gives Hoopfest suspect light sentence

One of four men arrested after shots were fired at Hoopfest was given an exceptionally low sentence of six months in jail this week.

Marquis D. Johnson, 22, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in a plea deal that came nearly a month after prosecutors decided to drop about a dozen attempted murder charges filed after gunshots injured three bystanders at Hoopfest in downtown Spokane June 26.

Johnson has been in jail since the day of the shooting. He’ll be credited for time served and will be on probation for a year.

He faced a standard sentencing range of 43 to 57 months because of his criminal history, which includes convictions for second-degree assault, third-degree assault, car theft and theft, but Deputy Prosecutor Steve Garvin agreed to recommend an exceptionally low sentence. Garvin declined to comment today. Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno sentenced Johnson on Wednesday.

Johnson had been out of prison for an assault conviction just three weeks when police say he, Rashjel G. “Reggie” Cage, Adam Doe and Miguel C. Garcia approached rival gang members and Garcia fired several shots.

Cage pleaded guilty to felony riot and unlawful possession of a firearm on Sept. 13 and was released from jail. He faces 26 to 34 months in prison when he’s sentenced Dec. 14, but Garvin said he’ll ask for an exceptionally low sentence if Cage cooperates.

Doe and Garcia have trials scheduled. Both are in jail.

Past coverage: June 29: Hoopfest shots not ‘surprising’

Police: CdA man broke young boy’s leg

A Coeur d’Alene man is accused of breaking the leg of his fiance’s child over the weekend. 

Michael R. Edinger, 27, is jailed on two counts of cruelty to children after he and his fiance, Rebecca L. Mullin, took Mullin’s 2-year-old son to Kootenai Medical Center on Saturday with what nurses said was an “unexplainable broken leg,” according to a police report.

Mullin sobbed during interviews with police, but Edinger “sat emotionless,” according to the report, which was prepared by the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department.

Mullin said the boy was out of their sight when they heard a loud scream and found him at the bottom of a stairway.

But nurses said the boy’s injury - a spiral fracture of the left femur - is extremely rare and most likely caused by abuse.

The boy also had broken bones that appeared to have been inflicted several weeks ago, nurses said.

The couple, who work at Buck Knives in Post Falls, blamed the boy’s injuries on his clumsiness, but Edinger eventually told police he’d lost his temper and broken the boy’s leg while changing his diaper on Friday, police said.

Edinger’s parents arrived as he was being arrested, and Edinger reportedly told them what he’d done. Investigators “heard Edinger’s mother tell him that he shouldn’t be apologizing to her, but to the little boy that he injured,” according to the report.

Edinger remains in the Kootenai County Jail on $100,000 bond. His next court appearance is scheduled Oct. 7.

Man jailed for drunk chat w/ off-duty cop

A home-invasion robbery suspect set to go to trial next month is back in jail after the Spokane police detective who investigated the case said the man drunkenly approached him at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.

 Nathaniel Jay Dishneau, 30, was prohibited from leaving Spokane County or contacting case witnesses when he approached Detective L. Tofsrud Sept. 3 about 7 p.m. at the Coeur d’Alene Resort and said, “You know I can’t do life, man,” according to court documents, apparently a reference to Dishneau’s possible consequences under the state’s three-strikes law.

Dishneau was arrested over the weekend after prosecutors alleged he violated his release conditions on burglary, assault and armed robbery charges when he left the county and approached a witness.

Prosecutors wanted $750,000 bail; Superior Court Judge Michael Price imposed $50,000. Dishneau already was out on $35,000 bond. Dishneau’s lawyer, Stephen Heintz, had asked for his client to be released on his own recognizance, saying he’s kept in great contact about the upcoming trial.

Police say Dishneau is a gang member. His criminal history includes several assault convictions, including convictions tied to a shooting in 1998 outside a fast-food restaurant, and to a shooting in 2004 at a Spokane Valley restaurant.

His new charges stem from an alleged home-invasion robbery at 1618 E. Liberty on Christmas Eve. Witnesses said Dishneau was armed with a gun when he and two other men burst in stole electronics.

Detective Tofsrud was off-duty at the resort earlier this month when Dishneau approached with a cup of beer.

“Dishneau appeared emotional and indicated that he wanted to talk to me about this investigation and the fact that he was being criminally charged,” according to a police report.

Dishneau denied have a gun during the incident and said he’d “just went over there to get my stuff back,” Tofsrud wrote. Dishneau continued to drink his beer, told the detective he has children “and wanted me to consider this as a deciding factor in whether or not he should be incarcerated,” Tofsrud wrote.

Deputy Prosecutor Mark Cipolla was notified of the contact and issued an arrest warrant on Friday. Dishneau remains in the Spokane County Jail.

Stories change in deputy shooting probe

Deputies who initially said an armed assault suspect fired on them before they shot back, wounding him last week, now say they’re unsure if the man shot at them at all. 

The newly disclosed doubts over who fired first in the Sept. 16 showdown are contained in investigative documents filed in Spokane County Superior Court.

Investigators recovered no forensic evidence at the scene corroborating the deputies’ initial statements that “multiple shots” had been fired at them, and in subsequent interviews with Washington State Patrol investigators this week the deputies have acknowledged it’s possible the suspect didn’t fire his gun.

Either way, deputies Thad Schultz (left) and David Westlake (right) say they feared that hostile fire was imminent.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

Sept. 22: No conclusion in shooting probe

Sept: 18 Deputies shoot, wound man

WSP: Details expected today on shooting

More information is expected to be relased today regarding the deputy-involved shooting in north Spokane County last week.

Although witnesses at the scene of the Thursday night shooting said Spokane County sheriff’s Deputies Thad Schultz (left) and David Westlake (right) were fired on first by assault suspect Sean P. Houlihan, investigators are awaiting forensic analysis of firearms found in Houlihan’s pickup before concluding whether Houlihan also fired shots, according to a probable cause affidavit signed on Saturday by Washington State Patrol Trooper Ryan Spangler.

Wasington State Patrol spokesman Trooper Troy Briggs said Wedneday that both deputies have been interviewed. He plans to release more details this afternoon.

A Moses Lake lawyer representing Houlihan said he’s hoping forensics will help determine what happened, but he also said Houlihan and the deputies all were carrying a Glock 9 mm.

Read the full story here.

Past coverage:

Sept: 18 Deputies shoot, wound man

Lesser verdict still means life for Lucious

A Spokane man faces life in prison under the state’s 3 strikes law after a jury convicted him in connection with a July 2009 shooting that injured two women.

 Jurors were split on attempted murder and first-degree assault charges against Timothy “Stoney Boy” Lucious by Spokane County prosecutors, citing questions over whether another man may have fired shots at the women.

But the jury foreman said all 12 believed Lucious had banged on the car window and threatened the women with a gun, justifying a second-degree assault conviction.

Superior Court Judge Annette Plese ordered Lucious, 39, held without bail until sentencing on Oct. 14.

Described as a gang member by Spokane police, Lucious already has convictions for two violent crimes.

Under state law, Thursday’s conviction earns him a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Public defender Steven Reich said prosecutors “grossly overcharged” Lucious and said while he’s pleased jurors wouldn’t convict on the murder charges, the outcome is the same for Lucious under the 3-strikes law.

“I have a real problem with the three-strikes law,” Reich said. “It takes discretion away from judges.”

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

Sept. 16: Lawyer: Shooting suspect may be wrongly accused

Sept. 14: Prosecution could rest today in 3-strikes trial

June 8: 3-strikes suspect backs out of pro-se plan

March 15: ‘Hardball’ means more charges for Lucious

Jan. 19: Attempted murder charges dropped against Gardner

July 24, 2009: Crosstown melee erupts in gunfire

Police urge caution after jogger attacked

Coeur d’Alene police are warning women to take extra caution while exercising outdoors after a jogger said she was assaulted Sunday morning.

The 29-year-old woman was jogging on a dirt road in the 6700 block of N. Courcelles Way when a man pushed her down, then grabbed her left shoulder and head and turned her toward him, police announced today. The area is on the north side of Skyway Elementary School, north of the soccer field and east of a cluster of trees.

The woman stood up and hit the man several times. He ran away when a car approached, police said. The woman scrapped her knees and the palm of her hand.

The assailant is described as white, 20 to 30 years old, 6-foot-2 with an average build. He had short, dark brown hair was unshaven and wore a yellow shirt and red running shorts.

Police don’t know if the attack was sexually motivated but “due to the aggressiveness” of the attack, they’re urging women to take precaution.

Anyone with information on the attack is asked to call Coeur d’Alene police at (208) 769-2320.