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Party photos help ID shooting suspects

Three suspects have been arrested in connection with a shooting at a house party after Spokane County sheriff’s detectives used photos from a digital camera to identify witnesses.

 The alleged shooter, 16-year-old Tarique R. Jeske, was hiding in the trunk of a car when his sister, Meghan L. Jeske, 22, (pictured) and Francisco D. Mora, 23, attempted to flee detectives in the 15000 block of South Molter Road on Tuesday, according to a news release by sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Reagan.

Detectives believe Tarique Jeske shot a 23-year-old man during a drunken dispute between the victim and Meghan Jeske at a party at 16016 S. Molter Road in Rockford early Sunday.

Read the rest of my story here.

Man shot by police won’t be retried

Prosecutors have dismissed assault charges against a man shot by Spokane Valley police in 2009. A jury was split 6-6 after Michael E. Young's trial last March in Spokane County Superior Court.

Prosecutors decided not to pursue another trial, and Deputy Prosecutor Patrick Johnson dismissed two counts of second-degree assault against Young this week.

Young's lawyer, James Kirkham, called the move “the correct result.”  He said Young is still recovering from his injuries.

“All along he's maintained that he didn't do anything wrong,” Krikham said.

Deputies Walter Loucks, Darell Stidham and Scott Bonney shot Young outside his home at 11709 E. Fairview Ave., on Dec. 27, 2009.

Young had reportedly threatened to kill himself and was armed with a .40-caliber Glock. The charges alleged Young pointed a gun at the officers before he was shot.

A neighbor who witnessed the shooting said Young never pointed his gun at deputies but refused orders to drop it.

Loucks and Sgt. Dale Golman received life-saving awards for their work on Young after he was shot, but a review of the shooting by sheriff's officials criticized the move.

“Was it possible their rapid response saved the suspect's life? Possibly,” according to a report by Pat Knight, the sheriff's lead firearms instructor. “But rushing up to someone who was armed and just fell to the ground is dangerous…The deputies could have stayed in position and assessed the situation for a short period of time before making the approach to ensure their safety.”

Golman is credited with helping control Young's bleeding; Loucks established an airway to keep Young breathing, according to a sheriff's office report.

Sheriff's officials recommended reiteration training on how to respond to injured suspects and to “continue to reinforce the concept of 'shoot until the threats ceases to exist.'”

Grand jury indicts man for gun threats

A Worley, Idaho, man has been charged with assault for allegedly threatening two people with a gun.

Timothy R. Allen, Jr., 19, was arrested March 12, accused of assault Daniel J. Hutchins by pushing him with the firearm and threatening him and of assaulting Sharleen Archer by pointing the gun at her and threatening her, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Allen was jailed on state charges of aggravated assault, minor in possession of alcohol, damaging property, aiming a firearm at others and disobedience of a court order.

Because the assault occurred on the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation, where Allen is a tribal member, the case was sent to U.S. District Court.

A grand jury indicted him Tuesday on two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, three years probation and a fine of $250,000.

Stabbed man sought after jail no show

UPDATE: Casarez was arrested in Coeur d'Alene on May 20.

A burglary suspect who was injured in a wild fight involving a knife and a Taser is wanted by authorities.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest Jose R. Casarez, 31, who police say was stabbed in the back when he and several others, including Sandra L. Blindauer, 19, forced their way into Blindauer's ex-boyfriend's home and beat him March 17.

Casarez pleaded not guilty to first-degree burglary on April 18 and was to report to the jail for booking by April 22.

He never did, leading to a no-bail arrest warrant on May 3.

At least five others have been charged in the case, which Superior Court Judge Michael Price called “really just an extraordinary situation that could have ended up much worse.”

“But all things considered, it's still pretty bad,” Price said in March.

Casarez, 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, last gave a home address in the 3900 block of North Crestline Street in Spokane.

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

Escapee accused in drive-by shooting

A federal convict who escaped from a halfway house is a suspect in a drive-by shooting in north Spokane.

Kenneth Joseph “Joker” Maravilla, 23, is accused of shooting at a car with three people in the area of North Nevada Street and East Bridgeport Avenue in retaliation for one of the victims assaulting a friend.

Maravilla was driving a black 1998 Mitsubishi when he pulled alongside a vehicle with Rickie Hall inside and fired at least one shot on April 16, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Police found the abandoned Mitsubishi crashed into a pole in a parking lot at 3704 N. Nevada.

The car had been reported stolen from 817 E. North Foothills by Desarae M. Dawson, but police believe Dawson allowed Maravilla to drive the Mitsubishi after her uncle, Chad Maxwell, was assaulted by Hall. Dawson falsely reported it stolen after learning of the shooting and crash, documents allege.

Police found two 9 mm bullets in the Mitsubishi.

Maravilla was arrested May 5 during a traffic stop at East Lacrosse Avenue and North Perry Street. Officers forced him from the vehicle and placed him in a neck restraint after he was uncooperative, police said.

Maravilla faces second-degree assault charges; Dawson, 23, faces a charge of accomplice to second-degree assault.

Maravilla was ordered to serve 40 months in federal prison in April 2009 for being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was transferred to Spokane Residential Re-entry Center from federal prison March 3 and was to be released next August, but lhe eft the center that day and never returned.

He's now in the Spokane County Jail.

Five accused of kidnapping, torture

Five suspects have been accused of kidnapping and torturing a Spokane woman before shaving her head and writing “narc” and “thief” on her face.

Waylon M. “Creeper” Azure, 33, pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and torture charges Thursday in Spokane County Superior Court, five weeks after police say he helped abduct Doreen Wiker from the Select Inn, 1420 W. Second Ave., in Spokane.

Wiker said one of her assailants was in a wheelchair when he threatened her with the gun.

Read the rest of my story here.

Tips sought on robbery victim, suspect

UPDATE: Vanscoik and Dahlen were booked into jail on May 13.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest both the victim and suspect in a home-invasion robbery that occurred one year ago Wednesday.

Aaron T. Vanscoik, 19, (left) pleaded guilty to residential burglary, second-degree assault and second-degree robbery in a plea agreement that calls for prosecutors to recommend an exceptionally low sentence of credit for time served.

Vanscoik is to testify truthfully about the incident, including the roles of Levi Ehli and Brittany Cesario, according to the agreement.

 Ehli and Cesario are the only suspects who haven't resolved their charges in the case, which began when several people assaulted William Hans Dahlen, 52, in his home at 2922 E. Providence Ave. on May 11, 2010.

Vanscoik was allowed to leave jail after his plea agreement, but an arrest warrant was issued May 5 after he failed to maintain curfew and check in with the court as required.

Crime Stoppers also is offering a reward for tips that help arrest Dahlen (right), who's wanted on a material witness warrant to ensure his appearance at trial. Cesario's is set to begin May 23; Ehli's is scheduled for June 6. 

Dahlen is the ex-boyfriend of Lisa Jo Wareham, who told police she recruited Ehli (her son) and others to give Dahlen “a taste of his own bulls**t,” according to an affidavit.

“She said that no one was supposed to get hurt except “maybe a broken kneecap was OK,” according to the affidavit.

Wareham (left) was sentenced to 92 months in prison in March after pleading guilty to first-degree burglary, second-degree assault, second-degree robbery and first-degree theft.

Co-defendant Braiden M. Conner was sentenced to 51 months in prison after pleading guilty to burglary and assault charges; Tony A. Darling was sentenced to 30 years in prison in another case in which Vanscoik was a witness. Darling's sentencing was a plea deal to avoid a three-strikes life-in-prison sentence.

Vanscoik, 5-foot-7 and 200 pounds, last gave a home address in the 3900 block of East Eighth Avenue.

Dahlen, 5-foot-5 and 200 pounds, last gave an address in the 1800 block of East Rockwell Avenue.

Anyone with information on their current locations is asked to call at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters don't have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.

Assault at skinhead meeting earns prison

A Spokane man has been sentenced to at least four years in an Idaho prison for beating and threatening to kill a man during a skinhead gathering.

Daniel Gean Wilson, 34, (left) and Keegan Van Tuyl (right) beat a man for answering questions about the white supremacist movement wrong after a day of heavy drinking at a home near Spirit Lake  in July 2009, according to the Kootenai County Prosecutor's Office.

The beating escalated after they accused the victim of being a drug user. Wilson then urinated on him, held an 8-inch knife to his throat and threatened to kill him if he told police. Wilson has “an extensive criminal record” in several states and has previous convictions for numerous property and violent crimes, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Wilson was sentenced to 12 years in prison with eligibility for parole after four years and credit for time served. He had pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in March.

Van Tuyl, co-founder of two Odinist-skinhead groups, Vangard Kindred and Valhalla-Bound Skinheads, is to be released from federal prison this fall on a weapons charge.

West Valley student arrested for assault

A special education student at West Valley High School was arrested for assault this morning when she attempted to attack another student with a pair of scissors. She and a teacher both received cuts on their hands when the teacher intervened and tried to take away the scissors. Click here for more details.

Last suspect in Uno stabbing acquitted

A teenager involved in a shooting at Hoopfest last summer was acquitted of charges conencte dto an unrelated stabbing outside a Spokane nightclub in 2009.

A jury found Adam Doe, 19, not guilty of two counts of first-degree assault last week after a trial before Spokane County Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza.
 
The case began in October 2009 when two men were stabbed outside Club Uno .

 Doe had a tentative plea deal in the case until his arrest in the June 28 Hoopfest shooting. He pleaded guilty in February to second-degree assault and third-degree assault in connection with the shooting. Gunman Miguel C. Garcia, 20, also pleaded guilty that month to three felonies and is expected to receive nine years in prison.

At the time of the shooting, Doe was supposed to be on house arrest after his release from jail on the Club Uno stabbing charge.

The main suspect in the stabbing, John Proctor, was acquitted of all charges after a jury trial last October. Proctor was near the scene of the wild fight but said he did not participate and was falsely accused; the jury quickly acquitted him.

 

Also charged in the stabbing were brothers Rashjel G. “Reggie” Cage and Rakee D. Cage, who pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree assault. Parrish J. Johnson pleaded guilty to riot; William Alexander-Durr’s charge was dismissed.

Skinhead promises speech at bench trial

A self-described skinhead says he has prepared a speech to read at his federal bench trial this afternoon for allegedly assaulting an accused child molester.

James D. Bacon, 23, is charged with misdemeanor assault for punching Darrell W. Monzingo, 44, as the men shared a holding cell at the Thomas S. Foley United States Courthouse on March 10.  The assault was captured on video, accoridng to a trial brief.

In an April 9 jailhouse letter to The Spokesman-Review, Bacon said he is a member of the Valhalla-Bound Skinhead movement, which was founded by Keegan Van Tuyl. Van Tuyl is scheduled to be released from federal prison in September. Authorities consider him extremely dangerous.

Bacon said his three-page speech will shock the judge.

“However, it is written with an eloquent passion from my heart,” Bacon wrote. “It is by no mean's vulgar, & it addresses my beliefs as a skinhead, as a man, & as a person utterly disgusted with sex offenders.”

Bacon wrote that he hopes victims of sex crimes can be consoled by “knowing that people like myself are fighting in their honor.”

Bacon, who was convicted of armed robbery in 2004, was wanted for a felony drug violation and Department of Corrections warrant when he ran from police near Wellesley Avenue and Regal Street on Dec. 7.

Police arrested him in a struggle, then realized he was armed with a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun.

Monzingo, whose trial is set for September, faces up to 30 years in prison after Spokane police found child pornography during a search of his home in the 3400 block of E. Fairview Ave. on Dec. 16. He's charged with manufacturing the material.

Prostitute attacked in torture chamber

SEATTLE (AP) — A text message helped save a prostitute who was chained and tortured for hours — including by electrical shock — in a room with 8-inch-thick walls, chains, ropes and paddles, police said.

Authorities allege that in addition to repeatedly shocking the 24-year-old woman, John Joseph Hauff Jr. struck her with a paddle, used a catheter to force liquid into her bladder and assaulted her with a gynecological instrument.

Hauff stopped when the woman told him that she had texted his car’s license plate number to her boyfriend before entering the man’s home, and asked him to call police if she wasn’t heard from by midnight, according to a probable cause statement.

Read the rest of the Associated Press story here.

Woman’s beating leads to man’s arrest

A Post Falls woman is in critical condition at Kootenai Medical Center after being hit on the head in what police believe was an act of domestic violence.

Officers responding to a disturbance at 2595 N. Bradley Drive today discovered the woman unconscious and bleeding in the front hallway.

William F. Gardner III, 53, (pictured) was arrested by Post Falls Police and booked into the Kootenai County Jail on suspicion of aggravated battery. He is being held on a $500,000 bond.

Police ask that anyone with information about the altercation contact Post Falls Police Department at (208) 773-3517 or the tip line at (208) 777-COPS.
  

Sex offender registers in Colville

Authorities are warning of a sex offender considered likely to reoffend who recently registered at an address in Colville.

Clifford T. Morton, who was born in 1985, is living in the 1100 block of Basin Road, the Stevens County Sheriff's Office said today.

Morton, a level 3 sex offender, was convicted in Whatcom County of third-degree rape of a child in 2004 and second-degree assault and second-degree burglary in 2006.

He is not wanted by law enforcement, but the sheriff's office wants people to be aware of his presence.

“This notification is not intended to increase fear,” the sheriff's office said in a news release. “Rather, it is our belief that an informed public is a safer public.”

Marijuana theft leads to shotgun threat

A Spokane man is accused of pointing a loaded shotgun at a man in retaliation for a marijuana theft.

Steven T. Casados, 21, is jailed on a first-degree assault charge after witnesses told police he arrived at an apartment in the 900 block of East Eighth Avenue armed with a shotgun Tuesday about 8:15 p.m.

Casados reportedly kept his finger on the trigger when he approached the alleged thief's brother, police said. Casados told the man his brother had “robbed him of a quarter pound of weed,” police say.

One woman said she heard Casados say “I'm not playing; this is serious” and heard a gunshot “within a couple of seconds” of Casados leaving the apartment, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Casados also is accused of breaking an apartment window with a rock about a week ago.

He told police the broken window  was “a forewarning for him to pay me back,” according to the affidavit.

Casados' bond was set at $50,000 at his first appearance Thursday before Superior Court Judge Michael Price.

Accused would-be killer jailed, again

A suspect in a stabbing that left a man with a cut on his throat from ear to ear is back in jail after detectives say he tried to intimidate witnesses in the case.

 Izaac Jermel Innes, who is on probation for second-degree murder, called several people after his arrested and asked them to try to persuade witnesses to change their stories, according to an affidavit filed Tuesday.

Innes, who was free on $50,000 bond, was arrested Tuesday night and appeared in Superior Court on Wednesday, where Judge Michael Price set his new bail at $100,000 for intimidating a witness and two counts of tampering with a witness.

Innes, a self-proclaimed member of the Deuce Avenue Crips, also pleaded not guilty Wednesday to attempted first-degree murder for the alleged incident outside a party in the 12700 block of East 31st Ave. April 2.

Innes, 30, was released from prison in January after serving time for a second-degree murder conviction from 2003.

Past coverage:

April 8: Convicted killer charged w/ attempted murder

Suspect too drunk to proceed w/ court

A Nespelem man accused of spitting in a Spokane police officer's face while drunk was back in court today after a judge deemed him too intoxicated to proceed with a hearing last week.

Jack Vincent, a.k.a. Turner, who turned 40 on Monday, was “incredibly inebriated” when he spit in the face of Officer Aaron Kirby after Kirby responded to a call of a disorderly person at 907 W. 3rd Ave., on Thursday, Superior Court Judge Michael Price said today.

Most of the saliva did not hit Kirby “but droplets hit him in the face and the front of his uniform,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

Vincent faces a third-degree assault charge for the alleged saliva. Police also wanted him charged with disorderly conduct for swearing at them, but prosecutors say they are not pursuing that charge.

Vincent appeared in Spokane County Superior Court on Friday, but was “frankly, under the influence, and we just couldn't continue with the hearing,” Price said today.

Vincent's bond was set at $1,000 today.

Trial set for last suspect in ‘09 stabbing

A teenager involved in a shooting at Hoopfest last summer will stand trial this week for an unrelated stabbing outside Club Uno in 2009.

Jury selection began Monday in the trial of Adam Doe, 19, who is charged with first-degree assault for an October 2009 stabbing that injured two men. Opening statements are expected Wednesday morning.

Doe had a tentative plea deal in the case until his arrest in the June 28 Hoopfest shooting. He pleaded guilty in February to second-degree assault and third-degree assault in connection with the shooting. Gunman Miguel C. Garcia, 20, also pleaded guilty that month to three felonies and is expected to receive nine years in prison.

At the time of the shooting, Doe was supposed to be on house arrest after his release from jail on the Club Uno stabbing charge.

The main suspect in the stabbing, John Proctor, was acquitted of all charges after a jury trial last October. Proctor was near the scene of the wild fight but said he did not participate and was falsely accused; the jury quickly acquitted him.

Doe is on trial before Spokane County Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza. Steve Garvin is prosecuting; Dennis Dressler is representing Doe.

The Oct. 28, 2009, stabbing injured Kenneth R. Budik and Charles L. Lucious. Witnesses said one of defendants said, “There’s Kenny! Murder One Crips!” and “You messed with Murder One,” before the attack, according to court documents. Budik was a victim in a shooting in 2007 that killed gang member Adama Walton.

Also charged in the stabbing were brothers Rashjel G. “Reggie” Cage and Rakee D. Cage, who pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree assault. Parrish J. Johnson pleaded guilty to riot; William Alexander-Durr’s charge was dismissed.

Armed man surrenders to pepper spray

A domestic violence suspect arrested after a standoff in north Spokane on Saturday made statements about “shooting it out with police” and “suicide by cop,” police said today.

James Michael Vandyke, 41, is to appear in Spokane County Superior Court this afternoon on a second-degree assault charge after police used pepper spray to force him from a home in the 5500 block of North Greenwood Boulevard on Saturday.

Officers arrived to find Vandyke forcibly holding his wife while clutching a gun. He refused to drop the gun and went inside before allowing his wife and others to leave. The standoff last several hours.

After Vandyke exited because of the pepper spray, police found two loaded .40 caliber handguns and a loaded assault rifle on the living room floor.

In a news release issued today, Officer Teresa Fuller said police “have responded to several of these types of incidents in the last couple of months.”

“They are highly unpredictable and, as we’ve seen in jurisdictions around the country recently, can end in citizens and/or officers seriously injured or worse,” Fuller wrote. “Officers of the Spokane Police Department rely on expert training and state of the arts tools they have to try and resolve the incidents as peacefully as possible.”

Not all law enforcement officials carry pepper spray. Spokane County sheriff's officials say it comes down to personal preference.

Convicted killer charged w/ att. murder

A suspect in a stabbing that left a man with a cut on his throat from ear to ear has been charged with attempted first-degree murder.

 Izaac Jermel Innes, 30, who was recently released from prison for murder, is accused of stabbing a man outside a party in the 12700 block of East 31st Ave. last weekend.

Innes has been on probation since January after leaving prison work release. He  pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 2003 , but his current public defender, Kari Reardon, said Thursday that he had no role in the slaying and was simply waiting outside the scene of the murder for two friends to buy marijuana.

“I frankly don't know why he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder,” Reardon said. “He certainly wasn't alleged to be involved in any sort of violence.”

Innes, who has been working at McDonald's, posted $50,000 bond after his arrest for first-degree assault but was rearrested on a probation violation and the attempted murder charge. He appeared in Superior Court on Thursday.

Innes told police he fought with a man at the party but was not involved in stabbing and did not have a weapon. “The only guy I put hands on is in the hospital,” Innes reportedly told detectives before pausing and adding, “I don't know why he had to go to the hospital for me just punching him,” according to a probable cause affidavit by the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Superior Court Judge Kathleen O'Connor approved a $50,000 bond for Innes over the weekend, which he posted before being rearrested Monday for a probation violation. He told his probation officer he was a member of the Deuce Avenue Crips gang, according to the affidavit. D

eputy Prosecutor Steve Garvin requested Thursday that Innes stay in jail without bail, calling the suspect “a clear, immediate and present danger to public safety.”

But Judge Michael Price said the facts of the case have not changed since O'Connor approve $50,000 bond, so he set the new bond at just $50,100.

Stabbing leaves man with ear-to-ear cut

A fight outside a party Friday left a man with a cut on his throat from ear to ear, police say.

Izaac Jermel Innes, 30, (right) who was on prison work release after being convicted of second-degree murder in 2003, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree assault after witnesses said he fought with David Gilliland outside a party in the 12700 block of East 31st Ave.

Witnesses said Innes got into a car and pulled up alongside Gillian, then got out and attacked him.

Gilliand was treated for a stab wound to his back and for a “laceration under his neck that extended basically from ear to ear,” according to a probable cause affidavit prepared by the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Innes told police he'd fought with an unknown man but denied having a weapon or being involved in the stabbing.

Innes left jail over the weekend after posting bond.

Innes was convicted of second-degree murder in 2003 for his role in the shooting death of Cody Glotfelty on Jan. 29, 2002, in what police described as a drug robbery.

Innes was sentenced to 10 years in prison and began probation in January after being on work release, according to the Washington Department of Corrections.

Correction: An earlier post said Innes was currently on work release, because of incorrect information provided by the DOC.
  

Stabbing at Carlyle apts. leads to arrest

A fight between two roommates at the Carlyle Apartments in downtown Spokane ended with one arrested and the other receiving staples for to close his stab wounds.

Scott P. McGuire, 43, remains jailed for first-degree assault after police say he stabbed his roommate in the forehead, left arm and right leg.

McGuire is a new resident at the Carlyle, which houses people with mental health issues.

McGuire, described by staff as “volatile,” was paired with Patrick Estell, a three-year resident with a “sweet disposition,” police said.

Staff followed a trial of blood from McGuire's room to the activity room last week, where he was bleeding from a cut on a finger.

Both men are said to have paranoid schizophrenia.

Lawyers’ feud continues in messy lawsuit

A dispute between two law partners that sent one to jail following an armed confrontation at their Spokane office in 2007 continues today as a messy civil lawsuit lingers in court.

Connie Powell and Dean White's law partnership unraveled into a feud marred by allegations of extramarital affairs and physical abuse, including a Nov. 7, 2007, fight that began outside a bar and culminated in their office, where police said White held a gun to Powell’s head in their law firm, threatening to kill her.

White was sentenced to 30 days in jail in 2008 after an Alford plea to charges of third-degree malicious mischief and unlawful imprisonment involving domestic violence in connection with the gun incident. Powell filed a lawsuit against White and his wife, Vita White, seeking money for defamation and emotional damages as well as a court-ordered solution to how to split up the law firm’s assets.

Dean White filed a counterclaim alleging Powell had taken money from the law firm after his arrest and tried removing him from the name of the corporation without court approval. He also alleges Powell used the firm’s money to pay for her current office at 1316 W. Dean Ave.

Craig Mason, who works at Powell’s law firm, was hired to represent Powell but ordered off the case Nov. 10, 2009, by Adams County Superior Court Judge Richard Miller after Vita White’s lawyer, Dennis Cronin, noted Mason could be called as a witness at trial.

Mason recently notified The Spokesman-Review that he's back on the case after successfully appealing Miller's decision to the Division III Supreme Court Commissioner.

The Washington State Supreme Court rejected a request from Cronin to overturn the ruling, Mason said in an email last Thursday.

“Finally, I can get put back on the case,” Mason wrote.

Past coverage:

Nov. 25, 2009: Law partners' feud lives on in suit

Dec. 4, 2007: Attorney suspected of assault turns self in

State prison staff waiting for more safety

State prison guards who were promised safer working conditions following the Jan. 29 slaying of a corrections officer in Western Washington are still waiting.

At Airway Heights Corrections Center near Spokane, for example, self-defense pepper spray that experts recommend all officers carry while on duty remains locked up in an armory that only certain employees can open.

Other changes recommended by a panel whose report has been embraced by Gov. Chris Gregoire are still potentially months away from being implemented.

“We’re waiting to see if anything is going to come of this,” said Darren Kelly, president of the Washington Staff Assault Task Force and a corrections officer at Airway Heights. But he is skeptical the recommended changes will be made promptly enough. He added that the lack of staff and proper safety gear create ongoing workplace hazards.

Read the rest of Chelsea Bannach's story here.

3 arrested in Cheney home robbery

Three suspects have been charged  in a gunpoint home-invasion robbery in Cheney last week.

Merle Leon Weeks, 17, Meshion M. Woodruff, 19, and Samuel Chavez, 23, are accused of breaking into their marijuana dealer's home, handcuffing and binding him with an iPod cord and stealing cash, pot and electronics.

Weeks appeared in Superior Court today on charges of second-degree assault, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery and unlawful imprisonment. Woodruff appeared in court Tuesday. Both are in the Spokane County Jail, along with Chavez.

The robbery occurred at March 21 at 15 N. 3rd St.

The victim, David K. Lindsay, 25, went to the Cheney police station at 2:30 a.m. and said two men broke into his home with guns and told him they were the police before ransacking him home. .

Weeks “was a bit emotional” when he was arrested Friday at 620 W. 7th St., in Cheney, and apologized to his mother as he was led to the police car, according to court documents.

He gave a detailed interview to police and has been charged as an adult.

Car salesman attacked w/ pepper spray

A would-be thief pepper sprayed a car dealership employee who tried to stop him from stealing a pickup last week, police say.

Brandon K. Hutchinson, 26, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to six felony charges related to his arrest last Thursday at Avista Stadium. He's accused of assaulting an employee at Affordable Auto, 4229 E. Sprague Ave., with the spray after the employee arrived to work and saw him inside a 1999 Chevrolet Kingswood pickup, according to court documents.

Spokane police tracked Hutchinson to the stadium and found meth, shaved keys and pliers on him after his arrest. Officers also found screwdrivers in the pickup, which also had a damaged ignition.

Hutchinson was jailed on a $250,000 warrant for first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, attempted car theft, possession of a controlled substance, second-degree malicious mischief and making or possessing a motor vehicle theft tool.

Hutchinson already was wanted for missing a pre-trial conference regarding a car theft charge from last April.

Alleged child molester assaulted in cell

A convicted robber jailed on federal gun charges is accused of assaulting an alleged child molester at the federal courthouse.

James D. Bacon, 23, (pictured) is charged with misdemeanor assault for punching Darrel W. Monzingo, 44, as the men shared a holding cell at the Thomas S. Foley United States Courthouse on March 10.

Another defendant in the cell, Fabian Vaksman, said Bacon punched Monzingo after Monzingo refused to discuss his charges, which include two counts of production of child pornography.

Bacon “made statements to the effect that he hated sex offenders,” Vaksman told U.S. Marshals. Vaksman also noted blood on Monzingo's face; Marshals say his lower lip was split.

Bacon and Monzingo were Spokane County Jail inmates but were at the courthouse for hearings before U.S. District Judge Wm. Fremming Nielsen.

Monzingo, whose trial is scheduled in September, faces up to 30 years in prison after Spokane police found child pornography during a search of his home at 3403 E. Fairview Ave. on Dec. 16.

Bacon pleaded guilty March 10 to felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and faces up to 10 years in prison when he's sentenced in June. The new assault charge, filed today, carries a maximum six months incarceration and a fine of up to $5,000.

Bacon, who was convicted of armed robbery in 2004, was wanted for a felony drug violation and Department of Corrections warrant when he ran from police near Wellesley Avenue and Regal Street on Dec. 7. Police arrested him in a struggle, then realized he was armed with a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun.

Robber sentenced for bear mace attack

A man who robbed a Spokane convenience store with bear mace was sentenced to a year in jail after pleading guilty to second-degree robbery.

Daniel A. Sweetland, 21, was accused with Alexander J. Smith of robbing the Zip Trip at 1523 W. 10th Ave., of an 18-pack of Bud Lite on Nov. 28 after spraying the clerk with mace.

The clerk suffered eye pain and blurry visions for about two days after the attack attack, police said. Spokane police detectives identified the men through tips obtained after a surveillance video of the attack was released to media.

They were arrested Feb. 16. Smith was released from jail on $30,000 bond March 3 and is scheduled for trial on April 18.

Sweetland pleaded guilty on Friday and was sentenced to 12 months in jail and ordered to pay $1,623 restitution. He'll be credited for 30 days already served and for four months counted under the jail's good time policy.

Sweetland is also banned from all Zip Trips in Washington for 10 years. Sweetland has convictions as a juvenile for burglary, malicious mischief, criminal trespass and reckless burning. The last conviction was related to a fire that gutted the historic Clayton Grange Hall.

Idaho sgt. in fatal shooting interviewed

An Idaho State Patrol officer recently was interviewed about an officer-involved shooting that took place a month before.

ISP Cpl. Dan Howard shot and killed Christie O’Leary Little on Feb. 7, but for weeks declined to be interviewed by investigators.

Recently, however, Howard “agreed to (the interview) and contacted us,” Lt. Lee Richardson of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department said Friday.

The interview on March 8 lasted “a couple of hours,” he said.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Brad Maskell is investigating the shooting, during which Little’s husband, Mark Marion Maykopet, was wounded.

Read the rest of Alison Boggs' story here.

Past coverage:

Feb. 24: Couple shot by ISP trooper were married

Feb. 18: ISP corporal fired fatal shots

Feb 9: Fugitive shot dead by Idaho State Police trooper

Bloody fight w/ Taser leads to five arrests

A bloody fight between a Spokane man, his ex-girlfriend and a group of her friends led to the arrest five people Thursday, police said.

Sandra L. Blindauer, 19, and several friends allegedly forced their way into the home of Anthony Haines, her ex-boyfriend, at 1735 W. Boone Avenue about 3:46 a.m. and beat him, according to an affidavit filed in Spokane County Superior Court.

Haines, who sustained facial injuries, said he used a knife and a Taser to defend himself and stabbed Jose Casarez during the altercation. Casarez sustained a non life-threatening stab wound.

Police said they found blood inside and outside Haines’ apartment, a taser just inside the door and a bloody knife on the stairs.

Christopher D. Blindauer, 22, and Sandra Blindauer are being held at Spokane County Jail on $50,000 bond.

Christopher Blindauer’s public defender asked for him to be released on his own recognizance, saying he was a student at Spokane Community College and missed a final exam on Thursday, but Judge Michael Price declined to do so and imposed the $50,000 bond. 

The judge imposed the same bond for the man's sister, saying he believes they share “I think, likely, equal responsibility.”

Price said the case was “really just an extraordinary situation that could have ended up much worse.”

“But all things considered, it's still pretty bad,” Price said.

Three other suspects, Annie F. Mendenhall, 20, Kayla R. Ensor, 20, and Karla R. Licea, 19, were arrested for first-degree burglary.