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Gun surrender law could save lives, victim says

Stephanie Holten, center, talks with Rep. Laurie Jinkins and Grace Huang of the state Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

OLYMPIA – When her ex-husband pointed a gun at her and threatened to blow her head off while she knelt in her Spokane living room, there was a point when Stephanie Holten thought “I’m going to die.”

Still, Holten remained calm enough to slip out her cell phone and dial 911 when Corey Holten turned his head away for a few seconds, then slip the phone under a blanket hoping the line was open. When he ordered her upstairs and demanded she surrender custody of their son, she stayed clear headed enough to bargain with him to give her the ammunition and put the gun down in return.

 As the last round was ejected from the chamber, she heard “Spokane Police. Show us your hands” as officers arrived, guns drawn, and arrested him.

As calm as she was on that January night in 2012, Stephanie Holten had a brief panic attack Friday after watching Gov. Jay Inslee sign a bill that will make it less likely that someone under a no-contact order and prone to domestic violence, as Corey Holten was that night, will show up at another former spouse or partner’s house with a gun.

The shakes, she explained later after catching her breath, were partly adrenaline from seeing a goal accomplished and partly post-traumatic stress that lingers.

“I’m overjoyed,” she said. “I truly believe that it will save lives.”

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog

Aron Ralston, `127 Hours’ figure, arrested on assault charges

UPDATED 2:20 P.M. — Ralston reportedly off the hook.

ADVENTURERS — Aron Ralston, the Colorado adventurer whose self-amputation ordeal was made into the movie “127 Hours,” was arrested in Denver on allegations of domestic violence after police say he and his girlfriend got into an altercation, according to the Associated Press.

However, TMZ has reported that charges against Ralston were dismissed while his girlfriend remained in jail.

Ralston and Vita Shannon were both booked Sunday on charges of assault and “wrongs to minors.”

Police said the second charge is used when children are present during an incident but not necessarily hurt. Police documents say their 8-week-old child was present at the time of the altercation.

Ralston cut off his forearm to free himself from a dislodged boulder in a Utah canyon in 2003.

He was “canyoneering” — making his way down a narrow canyon — at the time. After five days with little food and water, he broke his arm and then amputated it with a dull knife to escape.

He detailed his struggles in a book, “Between a Rock and Hard Place,” which was adapted into the Oscar-nominated “127 Hours.”

Ralston became a celebrity, making inspirational speeches and championing environmental causes.

He also continued his adventurous life using prosthetics he helped develop. He completed a nine-year project to scale the highest point in all 50 states and became the first person to solo climb all 59 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks in winter. 

Read on for more details about the arrest and charges.

Saturday’s highlights

Otis Orchards School principal Suzanne Savall hugs cousins Devon Nelson, 7,left, and Zachary Hughes, 7, as they return for second grade on the first day of school Thursday. Kindergarten teacher Stacey Brinkley awaits arrivals at left. SR photo/Dan Pelle

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone enjoyed a nice, extended weekend. Let's celebrate our shorter work week with a look at some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. The Positive Change coalition that swept into power at Spokane Valley City Hall in 2009 is fracturing, with some supporting incumbent Gary Schimmels in this year's election and some supporting his challenger, Ed Pace. It's shaping up to be the race to watch in November.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger stopped by the Otis Orchards School in the East Valley School District for the first day of school last week. This is the final year of the district's transition to schools that combine kindergarteners through eighth graders under one roof. Lisa also has a brief look at the school year budgets for the East Valley, West Valley and Central Valley school districts.

The YWCA is preparing to open a new confidentail domestic violence shelter in Spokane Valley this month. They're looking for donations from the community to provide basic household items like pots and pans. This shelter will be able to house three single women and three or four women with children at a time.  

Ehlo Released, Told Not To Go Home

Former basketball star Craig Ehlo, seated, talks with his lawyer while waiting to make his first appearance via video on a domestic violence charge before Judge James Triplet, Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 at the Spokane County Courthouse. Story here. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Craig Ehlo was released without bail Friday and ordered not to contact family members or return to his rural Spokane County home by a superior court judge. Appearing in a yellow jumpsuit via teleconference at the Spokane County Courthouse, Ehlo agreed with orders made by Superior Court Judge James Triplet not to leave Washington state and not to posses fire-starting materials. Triplet set an arraignment for Ehlo on charges of first degree reckless burning, a class C felony, Aug. 14 at 9:30 a.m. Ehlo was arrested early Thursday morning at his home in the 3300 block of East 77th Avenue after Sheriff’s Office deputies discovered him being held down by family members near a pile of his burning clothes. The gasoline-fueled fire caused damage to an awning and siding on the home, according to the Sheriff’s Office/Kip Hill, SR. More here.

Question: What goes through your mind when you read a story like this?

Ex-NBA/WSU Player Faces Charges

Local basketball star Craig Ehlo, who starred in the NBA and most recently coached at Eastern Washington University, was arrested early Thursday on a domestic violence charge. Spokane County sheriff’s deputies arrested Ehlo, 51, on charges of first-degree reckless burning, domestic violence, according to the sheriff’s office. He was booked into Spokane county jail at 7:36 a.m. The charge is a Class C felony. A sheriff’s office spokesman declined to provide more information about the arrest. Ehlo resigned from EWU on July 11. He also worked as a television analyst for the Seattle SuperSonics and Gonzaga/SR. More here.

Question: Domestic violence & 1st degree reckless burning? Hunh?

Male victim dies after Chattaroy mobile home explosion

One man died early Friday morning after suffering severe burns from a mobile home explosion in Chattaroy, Wash., according to Harborview Medical Center.

Michael Asselin, 51, and his wife, 57, were both badly burned when the mobile home Asselin lived in exploded Wednesday afternoon.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the fire as a domestic violence situation. An investigator at the scene Thursday said it may have been an attempted homicide or a high-level assault.

The female victim remains in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit at Harborview.

Related Coverage:

Official: Chattaroy fire suspicious

Chattaroy explosion may have been intentionally caused

Two severely burned in Chattaroy mobile home explosion

Ada County Domestic Violence Court selected as national model

Ada County’s specialized domestic violence court has been selected by the U.S. Department of Justice as one of three “mentor” courts in the nation to serve as a model for other courts to follow; the other two courts are in Brooklyn, N.Y. and Dallas, Texas. The Ada County court, established seven years ago, follows a “one family-one judge” practice that involves the judge in daily, weekly or monthly review hearings of the offender; brings in a team including a prosecutor, victim witness coordinator, public defender, probation officers, court coordinator and treatment providers; and focuses on defendant accountability and victim safety. It also averages 58 days from arrest to sentencing, compared to about 131 days in a traditional criminal court.

“After over 20 years of working in the criminal justice system, the Ada County Domestic Violence Court is one of the greatest engines for change I have ever seen,” said Judge James Cawthon, who with Judge Carolyn Minder presides over the court. “The court enforces offender accountability and promotes changes in their behavior. The court provides victims safety, resources and a voice, and it guards the welfare of the children involved and strengthens families.”

As a selected mentor, the Ada County court will host site visits and help courts around the nation follow its successful model. The Justice Department designation comes complete with $66,000 to fund the mentoring efforts over the next two years. 

Saturday’s highlights

Farmer Robin Jons hands customer Dawson Smith, 5, a pumpkin he just bought Wednesday, at AC Starr Farms. The Otis Orchards farm will present its annual Pumpkins for Pets Fall Festival, a fundraiser for Partners for Pets in Spokane Valley and River City Pet Rescue in Post Falls. SR photo/Colin Mulvany

Ah, Monday. How we've missed you. Of course, Monday means it's time to take a look at some highlights from Saturday's Valley Voice. There is some new landscaping going in near Discovery Playground and Centerplace. The spot will also include two small picnic shelters that can be reserved for birthday parties or just family picnic.

Reporter Lisa Leinberger wrote a story about the Pumpkins for Pets festival at AC Starr Farms. The annual event, which benefits two local pet rescue organizations, includes hayrides, a corn maze, face painting and more. Pets are invited to attend as well.

Lisa also has a story on mock elections at West Valley. All the high school students are learning about the candidates for local, state and federal candidates before they hold a mock election at the end of the month. They've been asking pointed questions of candidates who have come to speak to them.

The Liberty Lake Police Department is joining a new domestic violence program being spearheaded by the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. The new Lethality Assessment Program is designed to get domestic violence victims the help they need immediately instead of officers just handing out a brochure with phone numbers. The new program will be used in Spokane Valley as well.

Rifle halts girlfriend’s unexpected move

Two movers had a rifle pointed at them when they showed up at their customer's boyfriend home to move her stuff out without his knowledge.

Homeowner Jaime R. Stout, 30, was jailed for first-degree assault after  said he'd pointed a rifle at them as they tried to move Stout's girlfriend's things out of his home in the 300 block of West Dalton Avenue on Friday.

Stout's girlfriend was moving out and asked David Smather, 46, and Kyle Parr, 26, of Spokane Movers to move her stuff without Stout's knowledge.

Stout, who told police he had been drinking, was released from jail on his own recognizance after appearing in Spokane County Superior Court on Monday.
  

SWAT helps arrest biker assault suspect

The Spokane police SWAT team helped arrested a domestic violence suspect on Sunday after officers learned he might be armed and have ties to a local biker gang.

Jerry W. Clark, 40, was jailed on a second-degree assault charge.

Police were investigating a report that Clark had badly assaulted his girlfriend tried to conduct a traffic stop on Clark's car early Sunday, but he sped away before ditching his car and running, according to the Spokane Police Department.

Officers lost him, so the Spokane police Patrol Anti-Crime Team watched several locations throughout the day to try to find him. They spotted him returning to his home in the 1100 block of West Providence Avenue and was arrested.

He appeared in court today on charges of second-degree assault and eluding police.

Clark's criminal history includes an arrest when he was 25 for stealing children's toys. He also was kidnapped and assaulted when he was 22.

Cops: Assailant requested bigger knife

A woman accused of stabbing her longtime boyfriend said she wanted a bigger knife so she could cut him deeper, witnesses told police.

Cathleen A. Parke, 50, was arrested Saturday at an apartment on North Washington Street in Medical Lake after deputies found her boyfriend, Steven M. Mitchell, 56, being treated for two stab wounds in his upper body about 5:10 a.m.

Witnesses said the couple were arguing outside when they came inside the house and Mitchell was covered in blood. Mitchell said “I can't believe you stabbed me,” and Parke said she wanted to get a bigger knife so she could cut him deeper, according to court documents.

Parke told another witness that she stabbed Mitchell after he hit her. Spokane County sheriff's deputies seized a 3-inch folding knife from the apartment, as well as a bloody blanket, pillow and clothing.

Man gets 8+ years for domestic assault

A Coeur d'Alene man who choked a woman unconscious and caused her severe head injuries is to spend at least eight years in prison.

John Joseph Marr, 57, said he walked in on his victim choking herself when they contacted him at his home last Sept. 25 in response to a domestic violence report, according to the Kootenai County Prosecutor's Office.

The victim was bleeding under her eyes and had bruising on her lip and jaw. Marr first told Ceour d'Alene police officers the injuries occurred as he was trying to restrain the victim, but he later said in court that he walked in on the victim trying to strangle herself, officials say.

Judge John Mitchell sentenced Marr Thursday to 10 years in prison with eligibility for parole after eight years.

Mitchell cited the unbelievability of Mar's story and the need to protect the public from someone with little chance of rehabilitation, the prosecutor's office said.

Marr has four previous felony convictions for making terrorist threats, felon in possession of a firearm, domestic battery and assault with a deadly weapon.

Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh praised the work of the Coeur d'Alene Police Department and of deputy prosecutor Donna Gardner in a prepared statement.

“The long sentence imposed by Judge Mitchell is justified by the nature of this crime and Marr's history of victimization of similar women. Mr. Marr's failure to accept responsibility is troubling,” McHugh said. “The long fixed sentence will prevent similar incidents for at least eight years, and we hope that Mr. Marr will be deterred from similar conduct in the future.”

Juvenile jail officer charged w/ assault

Spokane County juvenile detention corrections officer was jailed recently on suspicion of assaulting his wife.

Darryl A. Robinson, 52, said Wednesday that he has a meeting scheduled with his supervisors to discuss his arrest. Robinson was released from the Spokane County Jail on $1,500 bond after being arrested on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge Friday about 7:30 p.m.

Read the rest of my story here.

Robot, tear gas help end 9-hour standoff

A nine-hour SWAT team standoff in Spokane Valley early Saturday ended with the arrest of a 31-year-old domestic violence suspect.

Justin D. Chance surrendered after SWAT members pumped tear gas into the 3500 block of North Ely Road, where officers were called to late Friday on a domestic violence report, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

The SWAT team arrived after Chance barricaded himself inside the home and threatened to shoot officers if they tried to enter. A robot was used to establish radio contact with him inside the home.

“The Sheriff's Office specialty units train together on a regular basis for events such as this one.,” according to a news release from sheriff's spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin. “These situations require a combined effort with these units to ensure the safety of the officers, citizens of Spokane County and people directly involved with the incident.”

Chance remains jailed on charges of second-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment.

Army officer charged with harassment

By MANUEL VALDES and  SHANNON DININNY,Associated Press
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A 20-year Army officer in Washington state threatened to blow up the state Capitol and kill his superior officer, his estranged wife and his girlfriend, authorities said Tuesday, adding scrutiny to the troubled base of a soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians in a shooting spree.

Lt. Col. Robert E. Underwood, who was arrested Monday night and pleaded not guilty to felony harassment charges, told his girlfriend he'd paid a hit man $150,000 to kill both his wife and superior officer, according to court documents.

Underwood threatened to kill the girlfriend after she confronted him about a naked photograph of his daughter on his laptop computer, the documents said. And he reportedly threatened to blow up the state capitol in Olympia, Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist said, although no charges have been filed on those accusations.

“We charged him with three counts of felony harassment. That's what the evidence supports, that's what we can prove,” he said. “But it's an ongoing investigation.”

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a sprawling base south of Seattle, is already under scrutiny this week because a soldier based there has been held in Afghanistan following the massacre that left 16 Afghan civilians dead in two villages.

The name of the 38-year-old soldier in custody at a base in Kandahar has not been released pending charges. The soldier was deployed to Afghanistan on Dec. 3 with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, according to a congressional source, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Underwood, 46, is assigned to the 191st infantry brigade, a training support brigade, Lewis-McChord spokesman Joe Piek said.

He was being held in the Pierce County jail on $250,000 bail after entering a not guilty plea during his Superior Court arraignment on Tuesday.

Underwood had just arrived at Lewis-McChord in January, after serving a year in Afghanistan from his then-base in Naples, Italy. He also served a stint in Iraq, from March 2004 to February 2005, and spent four months in Bosnia in 1998.

Lindquist said the military has concluded that Underwood does not suffer PTSD, though there may be other mental health issues to be considered.

According to court documents, Underwood witnessed his mother kill his two siblings when he was a young child, and she shot Underwood multiple times and left him for dead.

It's not clear whether Underwood actually went through the plan to hire a hit man, Lindquist said.

Underwood and his wife have been going through a divorce, and recent court hearings regarding money and custody of their children had not gone in his favor.

“The victims obviously had a concern that he meant it, but we don't know what steps, if any, were actually taken,” Lindquist said.

Underwood was commissioned into the Army as a lieutenant in 1992, and was the ROTC instructor at Eastern Washington University from February 2005 to December 2007.

He faces up to five years in prison, but standard sentencing range would be between four and twelve months, Lindquist said.

___

Dininny reported from Yakima, Wash. Gene Johnson contributed from Seattle.

2 arrested for meth after police chase

A Spokane man suspected of domestic violence was arrested on drug charges after a police chase late Sunday.

Shane Patrick Wilson, 34, drove away from the 500 block of East Everett Avenue in a white Acura after officers were called to the area by a man who identified Wilson as his estranged wife's boyfriend, according to the Spokane Police Department. The man told officers Wilson was harassing him and damaging his property.

Officers Ben Yinger and Aaron Ames stopped Wilson in the Acura, but he sped way.

Police say Wilson jumped out of the car in the 500 block of East Nebraska and ran into a home, where officers arrested him for attempting to elude police and possession of methamphetamine. He was booked into jail about 2:21 a.m.

Christopher John Steinbaugh, 31, also was contacted at the home and arrested for possession of meth.

Wilson already faces two felony drug charges for an arrest in January. He was scheduled to be in court Tuesday for those charges; now he'll be in court today on the new charges, too.

Wilson has previous convictions for possession of meth and second-degree robbery.

$100k bond for BB gun-wielding man

 Ryan Lancaster, 39, surrenders to the Spokane County SWAT team after a standoff Wednesday. (SRphoto/Colin Mulvany)

A man who caused lock downs at two Spokane Valley schools Wednesday when he was reported to be running around with a gun is to remain jailed on $100,000 bond.

Ryan C. Lancaster, 39, appeared in Superior Court today after he was arrested during a SWAT team standoff Thursday in the 12000 block of East Valleyway.

Lancaster was armed with a BB gun when he confronted his ex-girlfriend and another woman after entering the apartment at 11910 E. Broadway Ave. though a window, according to court documents.

One of the women told police Lancaster pulled the trigger but the gun didn't fire, which led her to believe it was one of his BB guns. He left the apartment with $160 and his ex-girlfriend's wallet.  The woman's daughter asked a neighbor to call police. She returned to see Lancaster pointed the gun at her mother, according to police.

Neighbors Shawn Loughbom, 23, and James Hoover chased Lancaster but backed off slightly after he pointed a gun at him, police say. Lancaster went to an acquaintance's home on East Valleyway, where he was arrested by the SWAT team.  A 57-year-old man and an infant were inside the home. Read more here.

In interviews with police, Lancaster denied pointing the BB gun at anyone but said he was scared when the men were chasing him and did show the gun to them.

Lancaster appeared in Superior Court today on charges of first-degree robbery, possession of meth, second-degree theft and two counts of second-degree assault.

Man accused of kicking baby nephew

A man was arrested for allegedly kicking his 18-month-old nephew in the face Tuesday night.

Eric S. Peters, 33, drove away from his sister's home in the 7700 block of North Colton Street drunk and with his young child in the car after the altercation but was arrested at an apartment in the 2200 block of East North Crescent Avenue, police said today.

Peters exited the apartment after an hour and a half of negation and was arrested without incident, according to police.

Peters' sister said he slapped her before her boyfriend escorted him out of the apartment and told her he'd kicked her son about 8 p.m. She said her son was screaming and had blood gushing from his nose. Doctors said the child had a mild concussion, police say. Officers observed injuries on both the child and mother.

Peters was arrested on charges of felony third-degree assault of a child and misdemeanor city assault and reckless endangerment.
  

Judge: Buy wife flowers, then dinner

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A spat over forgetting to wish his wife a happy birthday landed a South Florida man in jail on domestic violence charges.

When Judge Jay Hurley heard the circumstances that brought 47-year-old Joseph Bray to bond court Tuesday, he issued a unique ruling.

Hurley ordered Bray to buy a birthday card and flowers for his wife before taking her to dinner at Red Lobster and bowling afterward. Hurley ruled the couple should begin seeing a marriage counselor immediately.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports Hurley felt this was a “better resolution” since the incident was minor and Bray had no prior arrests. Bray's wife told the judge she's not afraid of her husband.

A police report indicates Bray pushed his wife during an argument but never hit her.

SR: Stopping Violence In The Cards

There’s new hope for victims of domestic violence in Idaho. Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and the Idaho Sheriff’s Association have begun issuing wallet-size “Hope Cards” to people who have obtained long-term civil protection orders against spouses, former spouses, stalkers or anyone else. On the front are the names of those being protected, the court that issued the order, the order number and the date it was issued. On the back is the name of the person ordered to stay away from the holder, a date of birth, physical description and, most importantly, a picture. Court-issued paperwork is far less convenient and far less useful because it lacks a photograph/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here. (Photo: front of Hope Card, issued by state of Montana)

 

Question: Do you know someone who could use a “Hope Card” for protection?

Police: Man tried to kill ex in front of kids

A Spokane man accused of trying to kill his wife in front of their two children was ordered today to stay in jail on $500,000 bond.

Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Gayle Ervin acknowledged the bond set for Corey A. Holten, 42, was unusually high because he has no criminal history, but she emphasized that he repeatedly harassed his ex-wife before accosting her at gunpoint Saturday.

Holten told the woman he would kill her that night and commit suicide, or he would leave the home in handcuffs and kill her when he got out of jail, Ervin said.

A victim's advocate said Holten's ex-wife fears for her life. Holten's children, ages 9 and 11, “are very traumatized,” the advocate told Superior Court Judge Annette Plese.

“They keep crying, waking up stating 'Dad tried to kill Mom,'” she said.

Police say 10 hours after he was served with a no-contact order Saturday, Holten showed up at his wife's home with a gun. He pulled up in a car with its headlights off as she walked home with their daughter and son and ordered her in the home at gunpoint, Ervin told Plese.

Officer Rob Boothe, a weapons expert, heard a round being chambered when he arrived at the home in the 800 block of West York Avenue after a 911 call about 10:10 p.m.. Holten and the woman have been divorced for a couple of years, and she recently started a new relationship, Ervin said.

Holten's public defender said the allegations didn't support an attempted murder charge, only second-degree assault and harassment, but Plese disagreed.

The judge called Holten “a severe danger to the community” as well as his wife and children and imposed the prosecution's bond request of $500,000.

Police: Abusive man threw oil on wife

A man threw a pot of hot oil on his wife as she cooked in their home Tuesday, police said today.

Ronald M. Pritchet, 45, was arrested Wednesday night after Pritchet's wife called 911.

She said she was making a pan of chicken and bacon when Pritchet became angry and threw the pan at her. He refused to let her seek help, so she waited until he left the next day to call 911, police said.

The woman was transported to a hospital with burns on her face, back and right side of her body. She also had two black eyes and bruises all over her body.

Pritchet was booked into jail for second-degree assault.

New details on chase that led to suicide

A North Idaho man who killed himself during a police chase was allegedly trying to persuade his wife to drop charges against him.

Daniel Joe Zehm, 52, contacted his wife Sondra Zehm on Saturday at their Dalton Gardens home, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department.

Police were alerted at 10:15 p.m. that Zehm had called a relative and reported that he was taking his wife to Kellogg, Idaho.

Zehm sprayed his wife with pepper spray and forced her into his vehicle., officials say. He had been driving with her since about 9 p.m, telling Sondra to drop the charges against him, officials say.

Zehm saw the deputies trying to stop him on Fernan Lake Road about 11:15 p.m. He fled toward Coeur d’Alene, running over a spike strip as he reached Fernan Village. He attempted to continue but came to a stop on Sherman Avenue, where he shot himself, police say.

Zehm was arrested in November after pouring gasoline on his wife and trying to light her on fire. He had been released from jail on $200,000 bond for felony charges of burglary and aggravated battery and was prohibited from contacting his wife.

More Details Of Abduction, Suicide

Daniel Joe Zehm, 52, of Dalton Gardens, was reportedly pepper-sprayed his former wife, Sondra, and had driven around with her for two hours before killing himself on Sherman Avenue after a police chase Sunday night. According to Kootenai County sheriff's reports, Zehm had driven with his wife as far as Harrison and back before relatives told police he was in the Fernan area. Patrol officers spotted the Zehms on Fernan Lake Road near the Fernan Gun Range and began pursuit. Zehm reportedly was trying to talk his wife into dropping charges on a Nov. 20 incident in which he doused her with gasoline and threatened to set her on fire. He had a gun with him and had forced his wife into his vehicle after pepper-spraying her. Officers chased the Zehms to Fernan Saddle and to town. Zehm's car reached speeds of 90 mph on the icy road. Mrs. Zehm was able to jump out of the vehicle when her husband slowed on ice to make a turn. Zehm stopped his vehicle and killed himself in the Sherman Avenue intersection with the I-90 eastbound onramp after a spike strip set up by Idaho State Police shredded his tires. You can read the complete KCSD news release here.

Thoughts?

Police: Man tried to light wife on fire

An unemployed Dalton Gardens man allegedly doused his wife with gasoline and tried to light her on fire during a dispute at their home last weekend.

 Daniel Joe Zehm, 52, of 6103 15th St., was taken into custody by Kootenai County sheriff's deputies following an altercation that began Saturday night and culminated with the alleged attempt to incinerate Sondra Zehm, 58.

According to sheriff's reports, the argument began when Daniel Zehm told his wife he thought a nurse at his mother's assisted living place was attractive.

Daniel Zehm allegedly pinned his wife on their bed and threatened to kill her, her dog and her family. He then drenched his wife with a bucket of gasoline when she had her back to him while making coffee the following morning.

Sondra Zehm, who deputies say still smelled of gasoline after a shower, said that her husband was flicking the red lighter she'd given him to light a fire in his shop as he moved toward her.

Zehm was arrested on an attempted murder charge, but it was dismissed today in Kootenai County District Court. He was released from jail on $200,000 for felony charges of burglary and aggravated battery.

Fugitive arrested after 8-hour standoff

Kootenai County sheriff's deputies and Coeur d'Alene police spent more than eight hours Sunday resolving a standoff with a man who they say was threatening to kill himself in his mother's home.

Law enforcement responded about 5:30 a.m. Sunday to a call at 317 S. Ross Point Road near Post Falls, after learning that Matthew W. Couture, 44, had barricaded himself in his mother's basement with a butcher's knife.

Following an argument with his mother, Couture reportedly threatened to use the knife on himself. Officers negotiated for about six hours with Couture before he agreed to surrender, said Sgt. Matt Street of the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department.

Couture has a warrant issued in California for a felony probation violation related to a domestic-violence charge, according to a news release.

No injuries occurred during the standoff, Street said.

APhoto Of The Day — 10.27.11

Michael Lohan, father of actress Lindsay Lohan, appears in court via teleconference Wednesday in Tampa, Fla. Lohan has been released from the Hillsborough County jail hours after making his first appearance in court on domestic violence charges. Police accused the 51-year-old Lohan of battering his girlfriend at her Tampa condo. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/St. Petersburg Times, Skip O'Rourke)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Michael stands before the judge for his “solo mate” ceremony, and once he is done, he’ll return to his seat - there behind him in the second row. He might be able to find a mate very soon — JeanieSpokane.
  • 2. I just want to be closer to my daughter — CoeurGenX.
  • 3. Michael Lohan: “Id rather do my time working at the morgue, like Lindsay. Because, the people that wind up in those places don’t talk back to you and they won’t talk behind your back either” — Kage Mann.
  • HM: JohnA

Any family terrorized by a drunk…

…could relate to this famous tagline.

www.hauntedhouse.com

Man hits cop in groin with case of beer

A 32-year-old Nespelem man who threw a case of beer at a tribal police officer, striking him in the groin, was sentenced this week to about four years in prison.

James Edward Kensler was given 50 months in federal prison for assaulting a federal officer. He'll serve the term the same time as a 50-month sentence for assaulting his former girlfriend.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Colville Tribal Police received a report on Nov. 16 that Kensler had choked his girlfriend unconscious after acting like he was going to kiss her.

Then on Feb. 11, tribal officer W.E. Evans was driving south on state Route 155 when Kensler, carrying a case of beer, flagged him down and asked for a ride.

Evans told him he would have to “relinquish” the beer, but Kensler declined, according to a news release. He gave them a false name, and dispatched advised that that name actually had an active warrant. Evans went to arrest Kensler and was assaulted with the case of beer, authorities say.

Kensler fled but was later apprehended by Colville Tribal Police and officers from the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office. He pleaded guilty to the assaults in July and was sentenced Monday.
  

1 arrested for stabbing near fire station

A firefighter standing outside a station at West 1st Avenue and South Walnut Street Friday witnessed a stabbing and treated the victim's head injury, authorities say.

Dean Carr was on the south side of the fire station when he saw a man approach two people who were sitting in the grassy area just south of the station about 6:15 p.m., according to court documents.

Carr called 911 when a fight broke out and saw the assailant pick up two sleeping bags and walk away. He treated the man for a stab wound to the head and identified Richard A. Sala, 21, as the attacker. Spokane police had found a knife with blood on it in Sala's right front pocket, documents say.

Sala, who has previous convictions for assault, said he fought with the couple because he believes the sleeping bags belong to him, police say. He was arrested for first-degree robbery. The sleeping bags were recovered.

Two hours later, another stabbing was reported at 2305 W. Dean Ave. Suspect Kenneth W. Middleton, 32, was arrested for first-degree assault for allegedly attacking a man who was arguing with the man's own wife.

Both men appeared in Superior Court on Monday.