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Accused killer pleads guilty in gun case

A Spokane man accused of murdering a gang rival 2 1/2 years ago has admitted to unlawfully possessing the murder weapon.

Edward Lee “TD” Thomas, 26, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to felon in possession of a firearm, halting a scheduled trial.

Thomas, who has felony convictions that prohibit him from possessing firearms, faces up to 10 years in prison when he sentenced, which is scheduled for Oct. 11. The charge stems from a Ruger mini 30 rifle found in a Nissan Altima rental car near the body of John S. Williams, 38, who was shot to death on Jan. 17, 2010, outside a party at 5405 N. Crestline St.

The gun had Thomas' fingerprints on it. He was arrested in Los Angeles in September 2010 on a second-degree murder charge and is in Spokane County Jail awaiting trial. Spokane County prosecutors dismissed the murder charge but are expected to refile when the federal gun charge is resolved.

Federal prosecutors had asked a judge to allow jurors in Thomas' gun trial to know about his gang membership and the gun's link to the murder. Thomas' lawyer objected.

Man shot in April arrested at CdA Casino

A man shot in what police believe was a drug-related incident on Spokane's South Hill in April was arrested today at the Coeur d'Alene Casino for a brutal assault in Adams County.

Arthur Frank Cardenas, 33, has been wanted since July 11 on a $500,000 warrant for charges of first-degree robbery and first-degree assault.

A casino security officer saw him today about 5 a.m. and requested assistance from tribal police as surveillance employees watched Cardenas walk back to his room through the cameras.

U.S. Marshals arrived to help arrest Cardenas, who has been described as a gang leader. He was taken into custody about 9 a.m.Police found drugs and weapons in his room and arrested four other people. Their names have not been released.

“This arrest is the result of great work by one of our very own tribal police officers and a collaborative effort with the U.S. Marshals to bring Cardenas in. I’m very proud of our guys and appreciative to the U.S. Marshals for their cooperation,” Coeur d’Alene Tribe Police Chief Cody SiJohn said in a prepared statement.

Cardena's friend Alicia Maria Favro was indicted just two weeks ago on a felon in possession of a firearm charge in U.S. District Court in Spokane.

Favro, 42, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of possessing a chrome Walther semi-automatic .380 caliber handgun that was found in her purse when she tried to go through security at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in April. She's in custody at the Spokane County Jail.

Cardenas' gunshot wound back in April  was not life threatening. A medic who treated him was severely burned by a chemical substance while treating Cardenas. Police didn't find toxic substances in Cardenas' car, but they did find large amounts of cash and methamphetamine.

Favro told police she went to Northern Quest Casino with Cardenas after he won $3,000 gambling in Moses Lake, according to court documents.

Gun trial linked to murder, gang rivalry

Federal prosecutors want jurors in an upcoming gun trial to know about the suspect's gang membership and the gun's link to a 2010 murder in northeast Spokane.

Edward Lee “TD” Thomas, 26, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm for a Ruger mini 30 rifle found in a Nissan Altima rental car near the body of John S. Williams, 38, who was shot to death on Jan. 17, 2010, outside a party at 5405 N. Cresline St.

The gun had Thomas' fingerprints on it. He was arrested in Los Angeles in September 2010 on a second-degree murder charge and is in Spokane County Jail awaiting trial. Spokane County prosecutors dismissed the murder charge but will refile once Thomas' federal gun charge is resolved.

Trial on the gun charge is set to begin July 23 in U.S. District Court in downtown Spokane.

The U.S. Attorney's Office has filed a motion asking that jurors be allowed to hear testimony about the shooting. Thomas' lawyer, Bryan Whitaker, has objected and points to the fact that Thomas hasn't even been convicted of murder.

“The logic here is flawless: since John Williams was shot with a firearm, Mr. Thomas could only have shot him while in possession of a firearm,” Whitaker wrote in a response to the motion. “The fallacy of this logic is that it relies completely on Mr. Thomas being the person who shot John Williams. The jury, therefore, would be invited to convict Mr. Thomas of Felon in Possession of  Firearm because the Government believes he shot John Williams.”

Thomas is accused of shooting Williams multiple times, including a final shot to his face. Police and prosecutors say the shooting stemmed from a gang rivalry, and prosecutors want to experts to tell jurors about Thomas' ties to the Atlantic Drive Compton Crips.

Police say Thomas acquired the firearm after a dispute with Jerome Danner, a member of the Grape Street Crips. The groups were at a birthday party for Ronald L. “Heavy” Shuler when a fight broke out. Williams, who was linked to Danner, punched out a window to a car in which Thomas was before he was shot by Thomas, police say.

But Whitaker said the relationship between Thomas and Danner was not based on gang member but on the fact that they each have a child with the same woman.

“The acrimonious relationship between gangs has no bearing on issues in this case. The theory here is that gang membership is the motive for possessing a firearm. That logic would permit the admission of gang-related testimony in EVERY case involving a gang member,” Whitaker wrote.

U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle has not yet ruled on the motions.

Six other men were charged in connection with the homicide, including Cedric E. “Dirty” Burton, who was sentenced to five years in prison for driving Thomas from the murder. Police say Thomas went to Antonio Cook's house after the shooting and stayed there until the next day. Cook, who reportedly supplied the murder weapon, also has been charged.

Jury indicts woman in April shooting

A Moses Lake woman has been indicted by a grand jury for illegally possessing a firearm after her friend was shot in what Spokane police believe was a drug-related assault.

Alicia Marie Favro, who turned 42 last week, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of possessing a chrome Walther semi-automatic .380 caliber handgun that was found in her purse when she tried to go through security at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in April.

Favro was at the hospital to see Arthur Frank Cardenas, 33, who was shot in the stomach April 26 by an unidentified gunman near 1800 W. Sixth Ave. Favro drove Cardenas from the scene and flagged over a police officer near 13th Avenue and South Cedar Street.

Favro, who has felony convictions for assault and forgery that prohibit her from possessing firearms, told police several versions of what happened but admitted to putting the firearm in her purse after finding it on the rear floorboard of Cardenas' white Chevy Malibu, according to court documents.

Cardenas' gunshot wound was not life threatening. A medic who treated him was severely burned by a chemical substance while treating Cardenas. Police didn't find toxic substances in Cardenas' car, but they did find large amounts of cash and methamphetamine.

Favro told police she went to Northern Quest Casino with Cardenas after he won $3,000 gambling in Moses Lake, according to court documents. She said two women needed a ride home from Cardenas because they were worried about their kids not making it to school. Favro said Cardenas was driving the woman home when the shooting occurred.

Cardenas was arrested in 2010 as part of a large gang sweep in Grant and Adams counties. Police at the time alleged he was the leader of a large criminal gang. Spokane police continue to investigate the shooting and the possible drug connections.

A detective filed a search warrant late last month for phone records related to the case. A grand jury indicted Favro July 3 in U.S. District Court on one count of felon in possession of a firearm. She remains in custody at Geiger Corrections Center.

Spokane gang team arrests 2 fugitives

The gang team arrested two men this week in Spokane for violating their probation on violent crimes.

Christopher M. Prusch, 35, (pictured left) was booked into jail Wednesday on a Department of Corrections warrant for escape from community custody, Spokane police Officer Matt Rose said today.

His lengthy criminal history includes convictions for second-degree robbery, intimidation of a public servant and hit and run.

 A national sex offender registry website lists Prusch has having a conviction for third-degree rape in 1994, but he's no longer listed in the Spokane County sex offender registry.

Later on Wednesday, the Spokane Violent Crime Gang Enforcement Team also assisted Department of Corrections officers in arresting Ismael M. Tarango, 35, of Walla Walla, for a DOC escape warrant.

Tarango (pictured right) is a convicted killer with convictions for first-degree burglary and second-degree murder from the 1990s. He also was booked into jail.

Okla. fugitive in Spokane prompts probe

Spokane police are investigating why an Oklahoma fugitive ended up here with a large amount of marijuana and cash.

Police on Friday obtained a search warrant for Mitchell R. Green, Jr.'s cellphone in hopes it will lead to what they suspect is a marijuana trafficking ring.

Green, 28, told U.S. Marshals he was a Crips gang member when they arrested him near East 11th Avenue and South Perry Street on April 17, according to police.

Agents here were tracking Green after he escaped from a halfway house in Oklahoma and investigators developed information he was in Spokane.

Spokane police were called to the scene to collect a large bag of marijuana that was found in Green's pants. Agents later found another bag of marijuana in his pants pocket while they were processing him at the office, then found $900 hidden in his sock. Spokane police responded to the federal office to collect the cash and additional marijuana.

Spokane police Detective Devin Presta noted numerous gang-related tattoos on Green and noted the marijuana bag found in his pants was wrapped in a blue bandanna. He said Green refused to identity what sect of Crips he's a member of, but Presta suspects the bandanna may be related to his affiliation.

Presta said Green had never been contacted here prior to April 17 and “had no apparent reason for being in Spokane,” according to the search warrant.

Suspect arraigned in girl’s shooting

A man accused of a shooting in which a 6-year-old girl was injured pleaded not guilty today in Spokane County Superior Court.

 Abubakar Samura, 21, remains in jail on $500,000 bond and an immigration hold after his arraignment today before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese.

Samura turned himself in on two counts of first-degree assault April 6 for the March 4 shooting near a home in the 1800 block of East Fourth Avenue.

Matthew W. Woods, 23, was shot in the legs and back, and the girl was shot in a foot while she was inside the home. Spokane police say Woods was at the home with a friend when he heard someone from a home nearby in the 300 block of South Pittsburg Street yell what he understood to be a derogatory statement about their gang.

A confrontation ensued, and Samura shot Woods in the leg, then fired several more times as Woods ran to a nearby home, police say. Three witnesses granted anonymity by police identified Samura as the gunman.

The case originally was charged in Spokane County District Court, then transferred to Superior Court April 30. Samura is represented by Chris Phelps.

Cops: Botched drug deal led to shooting

A shooting on Spokane's lower South Hill early Thursday occurred during a botched drug deal, police said today.

Arthur Frank Cardenas, 33, (pictured) was shot in the stomach by an unidentified gunman near 1800 W. Sixth Ave., about 6:40 a.m., then driven from the scene by Alicia M. Favro, 41, according to court documents filed today.

Favro flagged over a police officer to get help for Cardenas near 13th Avenue and South Cedar Street. Officers realized she had a 9 mm .380 semi-automatic pistol in her purse when she tried to go through security at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, police say.

Favro told officers several versions of what happened but admitted to putting the firearm in her purse after finding it on the rear floorboard of Cardenas' white Chevy Malibu, according to police.

Favro has felony convictions for assault and forgery that prohibit her from possessing firearms. She was arrested for unlawful possession on a firearm.

Superior Court Judge Annette Plese today ordered Favro to stay in jail on $100,000 bond after a Spokane police detective attended her court appearance and said the shooting was the result of a drug deal gone bad, and that more charges are expected.

Cardenas' gunshot wound is not considered life threatening. He was arrested in 2010 as part of a large gang sweep in Grant and Adams counties.

Police at the time alleged he was the leader of a large criminal gang.

Gang and major crimes detectives are investigating Thursday's shooting. Anyone with information is asked to call (509) 635-GANG or visit www.stopspokanegangs.org to leave an anonymous tip.

Charges dropped in biker gang case

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SANDPOINT — A North Idaho county is dropping criminal gang-recruitment charges against five people following an Idaho Supreme Court decision making it more difficult to prove the law was broken.

Bonner County Deputy Prosecutor Shane Greenbank has moved to dismiss the charges against five people associated with the Hermanos Motorcycle Club, the Bonner County Daily Bee reports.

The Supreme Court upheld the recruitment law in January but said prosecutors would have to prove a person was drawn to a gang specifically to engage in criminal activity.

Read the rest of the story here.

Past coverage:

July 5: Biker cites gender disorder at sentencing

Jan. 18, 2011: Sandpoint bikers indicted in Montana

Oct. 11, 2010: Biker gang arrested in Bonner County drug sweep

Woman sought in meth-fueled robbery

A new suspect has emerged in a meth-fueled robbery that led to a police SWAT team standoff at a north Spokane apartment last December.

Allison Elaine Hubbard, 30, (right) is wanted on first-degree robbery and first-degree kidnapping charges for the Dec. 1 assault of a 22-year-old woman who was choked unconscious with her own necklace.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to her arrest. 

Hubbard is accused of robbing Jennifer M. Taylor of methamphetamine on the South Hill with the help of Bobby S. “Angel” Decaney, 35, and Maceo L. Williams, 27, who were arrested later that day.

A police dog found Decaney (left) inside a couch in his apartment at 13110 N. Addison. A SWAT team had pumped tear gas into the apartment, but Decaney, a reputed Sureno gang member, refused to exit. He faces life in prison if convicted because he has two previous convictions for violent felonies.

Williams and Decaney have pleaded not guilty.

Decaney left jail early February after posting $50,000 bond. His trial is set for April 16. Williams remains in jail awaiting an April 23 trial.

Police used cell phone information to identify Hubbard as the woman who was with Decaney and Williams that night. Messages on Decaney's phone from Hubbard discussed robbing Taylor, police say. A witness also identifed Hubbard from a photo montage.

Prosecutors filed charges March 22.

Hubbard, 5-foot-7 and 220 pounds, has a criminal history that includes convictions for assault, burglary theft and drug possession. She was a Crime Stoppers fugitive in November 2010 when police identified her as a marijuana growing suspect with a “shopping list.”

Hubbard last gave a home address in the 10000 block of East Sixth Avenue in Spokane Valley.

Anyone with information on her current location is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters do not have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.

Reward targets suspect in girl’s shooting

Crime Stoppers is now offering a reward for tips that lead to the arrest of a man accused of shooting a 6-year-old girl earlier this month.

Abubakar “Abu” Samura, 21, is wanted on two first-degree assault charges for the shooting at a home March 4 in the 1800 block of East Fourth Avenue.

Spokane police say victim Matthew Woods was at the home with a friend about 8 p.m. when he heard someone from a home nearby in the 300 block of South Pittsburg Street yell what he understood to be a derogatory statement about their gang.

The men responded and one shot Woods in the leg, then fired several more times as he ran to a nearby home.

Three witnesses granted anonymity by police identified Samura as the gunman.

Samura, 5-foot-5 and 160 pounds, last gave an address in the 1400 block of East Hartson Avenue in Spokane.

Anyone with information on his current location is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters do not have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.

Teen arrested after assault at party

An assault that left a man in critical condition at a large party in north Spokane County led to the arrest of an 18-year-old suspect today.

Treven Lewis is accused of beating a man at a home in the 11800 block of North Bedivere Road Saturday night. Deputies arrived to find the victim badly beaten and more than 100 people still at the property.

The victim was taken to a local hospital and is listed in critical condition, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

The Spokane Violent Crime Gang Enforcement Team located Lewis today. He was interviewed by major crimes detectives and booked into jail on an assault charge. The investigation is ongoing.

Suspect still sought in girl’s shooting

A man accused of shooting a young girl Sunday night confronted a group with a gun after hearing gang-related insults, Spokane police allege.

Abubakar “Abu” Samura, 21, is wanted on two counts of first-degree assault. A $500,000 warrant was issued Tuesday.

Police say several bullets from Samura's gun struck a home in the 1800 block of East 4th Avenue, including one that lodged inside the foot of a 6-year-old girl inside the home.

Read the rest of my story here.

Suspect named in shooting of young girl

A suspect has been identified in a shooting that injured a 6-year-old girl and a 23-year-old man in east central Spokane.

Abubakar “Abu” Samura, 21, is wanted on two first-degree assault charges for the shooting at a home Sunday in the 1800 block of East Fourth Avenue.

Samura's home address is not known, but he's believed to frequent the area of East 9th Avenue and South Perry Street, Spokane police said today.

Officers responded to reports of a man shooting another man in a front yard near Liberty Park about 9 p.m. Sunday.

The man who was shot ran to a neighbor's house for help before collapsing, police said. Police believed the girl was an unintended victim of the shooting. Both victims are expected to survive.

Police say the shooting is gang related. Anyone with information on Samura's location is asked to call the gang enforcement team at (509) 625-GANG (4264). He's described as 5-foot-4 and 160 pounds.

Man’s rendering conviction overturned

The Washington State Supreme Court Thursday overturned the conviction of a Spokane man who was convicted of rendering criminal assistance after investigators alleged that he refused to tell them who shot him.

The split decision erases the conviction, in which a judge sentenced Kenneth R. Budik to spend more time in prison than the two men who pleaded guilty to the 2007 shooting that injured him and killed 28-year-old Adama R. Walton.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

Read an in-depth story on the case here.

Gang life: It’s a killer

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recenty released statistical information about gang homocides in five cities in the United States. They analyzed data from 2003-2008 when 856 young people died in gang violence. No surprises, but sad just the same.

  • Five cities met the criterion for having a high prevalence of gang homicides: Los Angeles, California; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Long Beach, California; Oakland, California; and Newark, New Jersey.
  • Gang homicide victims were significantly younger than nongang homicide victims in all five cities. Between 27 percent and 42 percent of the gang homicide victims were aged 15–19 years, compared with between 9 percent and 14 percent of the nongang homicide victims in this age group.
  • More than 90 percent of gang homicide incidents involved firearms in each city.

Gang probe includes 2 murder suspects

Two of 24 suspects named Thursday in a long-term gun and drug investigation by the Spokane Violent Crimes Gang Task Force already are in jail on murder charges.

Edward L. “TD” Thomas, 26, (left) already faces life in prison under Washington's three-strikes law if convicted of second-degree murder.

He's been in custody since September 2010 for the Jan. 17, 2010 shooting death of John S. Williams, 38, outside a birthday party for a reputed gang member at 5405 N. Crestline St.

He’s also accused of trying to kill Williams’ son during the shooting, which  police believe resulted from lingering tensions between Thomas and a rival gang member who has a child with the mother of Thomas’ child.

Thomas' murder trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 27 in Spokane County Superior Court.

It's unclear what charges he faces in the federal investigation - no indictment naming him has been unsealed.

 David C. McLaughlin, 21, (right) is charged with second-degree murder along with his girlfriend, Melinda R. Barrera, 31, for the Dec. 7 shooting death of Robert A. Nelson, 46

McLaughlin said he hit Nelson with a bat because Nelson had thrown a phone at Barrera and hit her in the head, detectives say.  Barrera reportedly told detectives that she loaded the gun and “somehow my finger pulled the trigger.” Nelson reported his own shooting to 911 and was found dead with a phone in his hand.

Prosecutors said McLaughlin and Barrera were under separate federal investigation when arguing against their bail being reduced last month in Superior Court.

Judge Michael Price said the alleged crime - murder - did not fit the lack of criminal history for either suspect and reduced Barrera’s bond to $350,000 and McLaughlin’s to $300,000, from $500,000.

It's unclear what charges McLaughlin faces in the federal investigation - no indictment naming him has been unsealed.

Also named as a suspect in the federal probe is Tyrone J. Carell, 23, (left) who is in jail on assault charges related to the Nov. 27 shooting death of Jose J. “Junior” Solis, 21, at the Quality Inn. John A. “Lil Danger” Castro, 27, is charged with Solis's murder.

Again, it's unclear what federal charges Carell faces - no indictment naming him has been unsealed.

See a complete list of suspects and read more about the federal investigation here. 

Reward targets suspects in hotel murder

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information that leads to the arrest of six men charged for their alleged roles in a fatal shooting involving two aspiring rappers at a Spokane hotel.

Pictured above, top to bottom, left to right, are Jermaine S. Bedford, 22; Kalen J. Bedford, 21; Rashad F. Toussiant, 25; Roderick D. Shanks, 21; Stafone N. “Stix” Fuentes, 27; and Tyrone J. Carell, 23.

All are wanted for second-degree assault except Fuentes, who is charged with first-degree assault.

The charges stem from a Nov. 27 fight at the Quality Inn, 110 E. Third Ave., that led to the shooting death of Jose J. “Junior” Solis, 21, of Moses Lake. 

Aaron A. Maxwell, 23, Anthony L. Fuentes, 29, and Michael J. Charles, 34; already have been arrested. John A. “Lil Danger” Castro, 27, (pictured) was arrested just after the homicide and remains in jail on a second-degree murder charge. Castro faces life in prison if convicted under the state's three-strikes law because of his criminal history.

Police believe Castro shot Solis to death in a wild fight that began when the Spokane group tried to attend a party at the hotel hosted by the Moses Lake group, who were in town for a rap concert at Ichiban Sushi Lounge at which Solis performed.

The Spokane men were kicked out, and Jermaine Bedford insulted a female friend of the Moses Lake men, Jazman Quarles, and challenged her boyfriend to a fight, police say. A wild fight ensued, and Quarles and a friend hid in a room and called their friends to help her boyfriend, who was being assaulted in the hallway. They arrived, including Solis, and the fight continued, ending in the gunshot that killed Solis. Witnesses identified the gunman as Castro.

Hotel surveillance video does not show the shooting but does show the participants running to and from the confrontation, according to court documents prepared by Spokane police major crimes Detective Kip Hollenbeck.

Police believe the Moses Lake men only acted in self defense during the fight.

Fuentes, 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, last gave an address in the 300 block of West Shannon Avenue. His criminal history includes convictions for first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, unlawful possession of a firearm and escape. He was jailed briefly last summer after news of his uncle’s murder outside a rap concert in Montana in June revealed to his probation officer that he’d left the state without permission.

Jermaine Bedford, 5-foot-6 and 160 pounds, last gave an address in the 300 block of East Queen Avenue. His criminal history includes convictions for second-degree assault and riot.

Kalen Bedford, 6-foot-4 and 160 pounds, last gave an address in the 1300 block of West Qualchan Drive. His criminal history includes a conviction for delivery of a controlled substance.

Carell, 5-foot-8 and 130 pounds, last gave an address in the 200 block of East Wedgewood Avenue. His criminal history includes conviction for second-degree assault. He was arrested in November after police investigating a 2007 homicide saw marijuana in his apartment.

Shanks, 6-foot-2 and 155 pounds, last gave an address in the 200 block of South Wall Street. His criminal history includes convictions for second-degree assault and second-degree robbery.

Toussiant, 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds, last gave an address in the 3000 block of North Lacey Street. His criminal history includes convictions for second-degree assault, malicious harassment and bail jumping. A conviction for intimidating a public servant was dismissed upon appeal.

Anyone with information on the current location of any of the six men is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submit tips online.

Man w/ ‘Sureno’ face tattoo is 3 striker

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A reputed Sureno gang member who Spokane police say stayed hidden in a couch after tear gas was pumped into his apartment faces life in prison if convicted under the state's three-strikes law. 

Bobby S. “Angel” Decaney, 35, (pictured) pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first-degree kidnapping and first-degree robbery. He already has two convictions for violent felonies.

Decaney and Maceo L. Williams, 27, are accused of holding 22-year-old Jennifer M. Taylor while another woman assaulted her and stole methamphetamine from her pocket on Dec. 1.

The female assailant choked Taylor unconscious with her own necklace and threatened to kill her, according to court documents. The incident led to a SWAT team standoff in north Spokane.

Police contacted Taylor at a hospital, where she told them she'd gotten a ride on the the South Hill from Decaney, whom she knew as “Angel” and described as having “Sureno” tattooed across his forehead. Williams, the unidentified female assailant and Michael J. Hall also were in the car, she told police.

She said Decaney stopped the car and the woman accused her of talking badly about her ex-boyfriend, who police say also is a Sureno gang member. Taylor told police lost consciousness while being strangled then awoke to the woman punching her and stealing five ounces of meth that was hidden in her bra.

Police tried to contact Decaney and Maceo at Decaney's apartment at 13110 N. Addison, but they refused to come out and the gang unit and SWAT team were called to assist. Police evacuated the area and, after a few hours, pumped tear gas into the apartment. Williams, Hall and Nicole Coffey emerged and said no one was left inside, documents say, but a Spokane police dog, Stryder, found Decaney hiding in a large zippered bag that was secreted inside a couch, according to court documents.

Williams also pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and robbery charges Tuesday in Spokane County Superior Court. Both suspects are in the Spokane County Jail. Hall and Coffey were arrested after the standoff but have not been charged.

The police investigation into the assault is ongoing.

Suspects plead not guilty to ‘07 murder

Three young people arrested for the 2007 shooting death of a 30-year-old Spokane man pleaded not guilty to murder charges Tuesday in Superior Court.

Derrick Gregory Martin-Armstead, 20; (left) Jaleesa D. Anderson, 22; and Marc A. Anderson, 20, (right) each are charged with a single count of first-degree murder.

  Martin-Armstead was arrested Oct. 24 after an informant told police he'd implicated himself in the murder of Daniel J. Burgess during conversations at the jail in May and June 2008.

Burgess was shot to death on Nov. 12, 2007 while in the living room of a home at 2413 N. Dakota Ave. The three suspects remain in jail.

The murder investigation has led to two search warrants targeting controlled substances this month.

On. Nov. 3, detectives search a 2000 Buick LaSabre belonging to Martin-Armstead as part of a crack cocaine investigation. A confidential informant had bought crack cocaine from Martin-Armstead in July and August.

Martin-Armstead was driving the Buick when he was arrested on the murder charge. He told Detective Jeff Barrington that “he did sell crack cocaine but that he was not involved in any homicide,” according to a search warrant.

Barrington and Detective Kevin Langford seized only a box for a scale from the Buick. Five days later, Barrington went to an apartment at 202 E. Wedgewood Ave. to talk to Tyrone J. Carell about the homicide investigation.

Barrington said he saw a drug scale, marijuana bud and bong in the apartment, which smelled of marijuana. He came back less than two hours later with a search warrant, seizing suspected marijuana, paraphernalia, and a semi-automatic handgun.

Carell, who was targeted in the Hoopfest shooting in June 2010, has not been charged.

3 suspects appear on murder charges

Three young people arrested for the 2007 shooting death of a 30-year-old Spokane man appear in Superior Court Tuesday on first-degree murder charges.

Derrick Gregory Martin-Armstead, 20; (left) Jaleesa D. Anderson, 22; and Marc A. Anderson, 20, (right) remain in Spokane County Jail after appearing before Judge Harold Clarke. 

Martin-Armstead was arrested last week after an informant told police he'd implicated himself in the murder of Daniel J. Burgess during conversations at the jail in May and June 2008. Burgess was shot to death on Nov. 12, 2007 while in the living room of a home at 2413 N. Dakota Ave. 

He already has felony convictions for a marijuana robbery that occurred two weeks before Burgess’ death. In that case, Martin-Armstead shot a juvenile in the buttocks with a .22 revolver. Burgess was shot in the chest with a .22 caliber bullet, according to court documents,

After Martin-Armstead was arrested Oct. 24, police say he said things that were inconsistent with what he told detectives in 2008. He said he'd previously lied to police but still insisted that another man was responsible for the shooting, according to court documents.

He said he told people he and Anderson did the shooting “only to get some static,” or respect, documents say.

Martin-Armstead's lawyer, Kevin Griffin, said he plans to request a substantial reduction in his client's $1 million bond based on the facts of the case. Jaleesa Anderson's bond is $100,000. Marc Anderson's $250,000.

Man, 20, arrested for 2007 homicide

A 20-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a 2007 homicide.

 Derrick Gregory Martin-Armstead remains in the Spokane County Jail on $1 million bond after appearing in court on Tuesday on a first-degree murder charge for the Nov. 12, 2007, shooting death of Daniel J. Burgess, 30.

An informant told detectives this month that Martin-Armstead had talked about his involvement in the case while in custody at the Spokane County Jail.

Read the rest of my story here.

No jail furlough for new Hells Angel dad

A federal judge today refused to allow Hells Angels sergeant-at-arms Ricky W. Jenks out of jail so he can help with his girlfriend’s pregnancy.

U.S. District Court Judge Justin Quackenbush ripped Jenks during the hearing, saying Jenks hadn’t “earned” much consideration from him.

“His record is not one that generates a great deal of sympathy,” Quackenbush said of Jenks. “But here he is escaping another major, major multiyear sentence.”

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

Aug. 3: Judge skeptical of Hells Angels plea deal

March 7: Jenks' arrest pleases '01 victim's mother

March 31: Grand jury indicts Hells Angels leader

Cops tell gang not to retaliate for arson

WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) — Wenatchee police have contacted a gang that appeared to be the target of a fire that killed two children and warned it not to retaliate.

Sgt. John Kruse says the gang was told retaliation would be very detrimental to solving the homicide.

Chelan County Coroner Wayne Harris says the boys, 4 and 6 years old, died of smoke inhalation.

The Wenatchee World reports the fire is being investigated as arson.

Police say the duplex has been a target of gang activity in the past, but no one in the house at the time of Thursday's fire is believed to be a gang member.

The boys' father suffered serious burns trying to save them and is in a Seattle hospital.

Judge skeptical of Hells Angel plea deal

Hells Angels sergeant-at-arms Ricky W. Jenks pleaded guilty in federal court in Spokane today to a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm, but the judge handling the case said he wants more time before accepting the plea.

U.S. District Court Judge Justin Quackenbush questioned why federal prosecutors accepted the plea agreement calling for only two years in prison when Jenks faced twice that prison time had the case proceeded to trial.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

March 7: Jenks' arrest pleases '01 victim's mother

March 31: Grand jury indicts Hells Angels leader

Gunfire in west Spokane leads to arrest

An argument between two men erupted in gunfire early Saturday in west Spokane, leading to the arrest of a man on assault and gun charges.

The victim told police he was arguing with John J. Felch, 19, about 2:30 a.m. in the intersection of West Boone Avenue and North Lindeke Street when Felch returned about a half hour alter and fired several rounds from a gun.

The victim, identified only as Patterson in court documents, called police about seven hours later to turn himself in on an unrelated warrant and to report the shooting. Two other witnesses told also police that Felch fired several shots, and a man who lives in the 2600 block of West Boone reported hearing gunshots and finding 9 mm shell casings near a street curb.

Police searched Felch's bedroom at 1922 W. Broadway Ave., where they found a 20 gauge shotgun. The 9 mm handgun used in the shooting was not located.

Felch was booked into jail on charges of first-degree assault and first-degree felon in possession of a firearm; police said he as a previous conviction for first-degree robbery, but court records show the charge was actually attempted first-degree robbery, which was ajudicated in juvenile court and is not considered a felony conviction. A previous version of this post also said witnesses described Felch as a gang member, but Felch isn't actually a gang member.

New website aims to help combat gangs

A new website has been launched to help combat gang activity in Spokane County.

The website, developed by the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council and the Spokane Violent Crime Gang Enforcement Team, allows citizens to submit antonymous tips about gang activity.

Tipsters are given a tracking number to check the status of the tip, and law enforcement will be able to tell them whether any actions has been taken or if they need more information.

“Active involvement and communication with the public is extremely important in making this website a success,” according to a news release. “Giving the public a way to be heard and have their tips validated should encourage continual involvement by the community in this gang effort. ”

The website includes information on gangs like the Crips and Bloods as well as outlaw motorcycle gangs and white supremacist groups.

Look for billboards promoting the website through Spokane County.

Visit the website at www.stopspokanegangs.org.

Assailant stabbed by victim sentenced

A gang suspect stabbed by a man he was trying to rob has been sentenced to just under four years in prison.

Devron M. Parrish, 24, pleaded guilty to second degree robbery and was sentenced to 45 months in prison with credit for 163 days already served in the Spokane County Jail.

Parrish and three other suspected gang members were walking near North Nelson Street and East Wabash Avenue on Dec. 23 when they assaulted a man and demanded his money.

The victim fought the men off with a knife, stabbing Parrish and Patrick McKenzie. McKenzie told police he helped carry Parrish to a nearby apartment.

McKenzie, 25, was sentenced in April to 20 months in prison and $106 restitution, after pleading guilty to second-degree robbery and third-degree assault.

It's Parrish's second prison stint - he was sentenced to 51 months in 2006 for second-degree assault, second-degree malicious mischief and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

Gang suspect jailed for assault, gun theft

A suspected gang member is in jail on gun and second-degree assault charges after an alleged assault on his ex-girlfriend.

Tayone D. “K-Row” Akers, 19, has a $100,000 bond after appearing in Spokane County Superior Court on Thursday.

Akers is accused of choking a woman on May 23 during a party near East Wellesley Avenue and North Hamilton Street and trying to hit her and her sister with his car.

The woman said she had been in a significant relationship with Akers but knew him only as K-Row, according to court documents. She said she feared him because of his gang ties.

Akers also is charged with three counts of first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and three counts of first-degree theft of a firearm for allegedly stealing two rifles and a shotgun and from a home in Liberty Lake in April. The homeowners were out of town, and Akers knew the girl watching the place.

Clark: Judge Needs Touch Of Reality

I see that a federal judge has banned prosecutors from using terminology like “Hells Angels,” “Mongols” and “gangs” in the upcoming Ricky Jenks trial. Thank God. Nobody wants to see our sacred judicial process tainted by reality. As anyone who has studied the law or Judge Joe Brown episodes would know, nothing can be more unfair and prejudicial than reality in a courtroom. How do you think jurors would react at hearing that Jenks is the sergeant-at-arms for the Washington state chapter of that notorious biker gang, the Hells Angels? They could be highly prejudiced, that’s what/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Was the judge being too cautious in handing down his order that prosecutors couldn't mentin “Hells Angels,” “Mongols,” or gangs in the trial of a Hells Angel sergeant-at-arms?