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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.

Gunman forces man to ‘moonwalk’

SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho man has been charged with assault after authorities say he ordered another man to perform the "moonwalk" at gunpoint.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports 30-year-old John Ernest Cross was charged with the felony Tuesday in 1st District Court and appointed a public defender.

Police say they were called Monday to Cross' home in Clark Fork after getting a report that he pointed a rifle at another man and demanded that the man perform the dance move popularized by Michael Jackson in the 1980s.

Investigators accuse Cross of using a semiautomatic rifle during the episode, but Cross claimed during his initial court appearance this week that the firearm was simply a pellet gun.

‘Doomed’ man admits to cop gun theft

A Spokane man who stole a handgun from Spokane County sheriff's detective's squad car has been sentenced to about three years in prison.

A judge recommended James Warren Peterschick, 30, undergo drug treatment and be placed in a federal prison with a medical facility in hopes of addressing what his lawyer described as a lifetime of mental problems.

"Mr. Peterschick was doomed from the start," his lawyer, Robert Fischer, wrote in a sentencing memorandum. Fischer referenced a doctor's report detailing Peterschick's troubled life.

"Reading this is reminiscent of a Charles Dickens novel that tragically doesn’t wind up with a happy ending," Fischer wrote.

Peterschick was abused by several people as a child and began using methamphetamine when he was 13 or 14, according to the report.

"When James was nine years old his mother moved to Dallas, Texas, taking him with her to “start fresh," Fischer wrote. "His mother managed to find a new boyfriend that she stayed drunk with for the next fifteen years."

Peterschick is described as "a functional illiterate with below average intelligence" who suffers from auditory visual and kinesthetic hallucinations.

In addition to 33 months in prison, Peterschick was sentenced Tuesday to three years of probation. He still has pending drug and stolen property cases in Spokane County Superior Court; he'll likely serve those sentences the same time as his federal sentence.

Peterschick smashed out a window on Detective Leroy Fairbanks' government-issued vehicle April 21, 2011, at 5830 N. Division St. and stole fishing poles and a backpack containing electronics, a Glock handgun, handcuffs, a flashlight, badge and IDs for the Sheriff’s Office and FBI.

A jail inmate looking for a break on drug charges told detectives of a dumpster at Garland Avenue and Post Street where most of the items had been dumped.

Peterschick also was arrested in February 2010 for a suspected burglary spree in Pullman.

Uncle in kidnapping jailed on high bond

A longtime Spokane felon accused of kidnapping his 14-year-old niece will remain jailed on $350,000 bond, a judge ruled Friday.

 Steven Norton Tofte, 53, told police he was trying to keep the girl from her abusive family members, but police continue to investigate the circumstances of her disappearance.

"I just wanted to make sure she was safe," Tofte said, according to court documents. "I always told her that if she was ever going to runaway to call me."

The girl, who had been missing since Friday, told a friend she was running away with her uncle to Blanchard, Idaho, police say.

Investigators found Tofte and the girl in the Colville National Forest near Cusick Thursday. Tofte was armed with a shotgun but was arrested without incident.

Tofte was arrested on a charge of second-degree kidnapping, residential burglary and felon in possession of a firearm. He has at least 15 felony convictions dating back to 1980, including two for robbing a porn store and a gas station.

Tofte also faces an additional $30,000 bond for an unrelated identity theft case. Even if he posts $380,000 bond, he won't be able to leave prison. Federal authorities have placed a hold on him. Details were not immediately available Friday, but he was arrested on federal land so he'll probably face federal charges.

Felon leads police to guns, stolen car

Deputies in Spokane Valley found two suspected stolen firearms Tuesday while contacting a woman who was driving with a suspended license, officials said today.

Jill A. Benton, 27, told deputies she placed a backpack in the bed of a truck next to her vehicle in the area of 400 North University Road and that there were two guns inside, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Benton allowed deputies to search the backpack, and they recovered a KSI Pomona 9mm handgun and a 16-gauge Westpoint shotgun.

Benton allowed deputies to search her storage unit in Spokane Valley, "where there were several items that she said were more than likely stolen," according to a news release.

Benton also told deputies she'd picked up a "felon" associate who had been driving a Honda, the sheriff's office said. She took deputies to the Honda, which was listed as stolen. Benton was booked into jail on two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm.

Police are asking property crime victims to review photos of the seized property from this case and from other investigations on the Sheriff's Office Facebook page.

"Citizens are required to call Crime Check with their original theft report number and must show proof of ownership for the items they recognize," according to a news release.

Benton is prohibited from possessing firearms because of felony convictions, which include riot, conspiracy to possess a controlled substance and conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance related to a medical marijuana robbery in January 2011.

Wigged felon with gun, drugs charged

A fugitive felon arrested in Spokane with drugs and a gun while wearing a wig and sunglasses has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

James Anthony Stinson, 41, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Stinson was arrested Jan. 16 after a Spokane police officer spotted him driving a blue Ford Explorer while wearing the disguise, according to court documents.

Stinson had an escape warrant from the Washington Department of Corrections. Police arrested him in a motel parking lot at 4301 W. Sunset Blvd., and found methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin in a black case.

Stinson also had a black and silver Taurus 9 mm semi-automatic handgun in the car, police say. He's prohibited from possessing guns because of six felony convictions, all drug related.

Stinson was charged in Spokane County Superior Court with three counts of possession of a controlled substance. He's out of jail on $10,000 bond with trial scheduled for June.

The federal gun charge in U.S. District Court was filed Tuesday. He has not yet been arrested in that case.

Man gets 6+ years for gunpoint robbery

A Spokane man who robbed a convenience store at gunpoint after avoiding prison time for a theft and burglary case is now headed to the big house.

Anthony D. Fuerte, 19, was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison and ordered to pay $99 in restitution - the proceeds of a robbery at the Zip Trip at 2020 W. Francis Ave., in January.

Police found Fuerte hiding in a carport just west of the store. They say he had an Airsoft gun with him, along with money stolen in the robbery.

Fuerte had been given drug treatment instead of prison for a felony theft and burglary case involving nearly $200,000 in stolen goods.

Fuerte also was arrested in December 2010 on suspicion of theft and harassment after a deputy followed his shoe prints through snowy woods.

Fuerte pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery Friday and was sentenced to 80 months in prison by Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen.

This Girly-Girl Likes To Shoot Guns

I have a confession to make. I’m a girl. A girly-girl. I don’t like playing team sports, sweating, getting dirt on my hands or fishing. Well, I’ve never actually gone fishing, but it involves bait and bad smells, so I’m confident it’s not for me. I like pretty china, pink and smelling good. The irony of course, is that I have four sons, a husband and two male cats. My menfolk don’t mind me smelling good or wearing pink, but pretty china is wasted on them. They’re not interested in the plates – just what’s on them. Every so often, I need to spend time with my own kind – girls’ night out saves my sanity. Usually, I meet friends at an upscale restaurant where we enjoy food that we haven’t cooked and estrogen-laden conversation. It’s all very civilized. In fact, I started to feel like girls’ night out had become a little too tame and predictable. Then I heard some friends were planning a girls-n-guns get-together at a local shooting range. Revolvers, zombies and ammo? “I’m in!” I said/Cindy Hval, SR Front Porch. More here.

Question: Do you enjoy guns or target shooting?

Reward targets property crime couple

Crime Stoppers is targeting a couple accused of stealing more than $40,000 in guns, jewelry and electronics from the wife's mother.

Tiffany N. Russell, alias Thompson, and Kevin C. Russell, both 34, are accused of burglarizing her mother's storage unit at 11018 E. Sprague Ave. and her apartment at 6010 E. Sixth Ave. while her mother was out of town.

Her mother let her stay at her home periodically since she was released from prison about two years ago, according to court documents prepared by the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

She said only her daughter and her daughter's husband knew where the stolen firearms, including a sniper rifle, were located, and knew of the jewelry and electronics that turned up missing from the home. The woman learned her daughter sold some of the items at a Spokane Valley pawn shop.  She also found surveillance video at the storage center showing her daughter loading items into her car.

Kevin Russell is charged with second-degree burglary and nine counts of theft of a firearm. Tiffany Russell is charged with second-degree burglary, first-degree theft, three counts of trafficking in stolen property in the first degree and nine counts of theft of a firearm. Prosecutors charged the couple March 23.

Kevin Russell, 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, last gave an address on East 32nd Avenue in Spokane Valley.

Tiffany Russell, 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds, last listed her mother's apartment in Spokane Valley - one of the crime scenes - as her address.

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

Charges filed in boy’s shooting death

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A mother who authorities say left her 3-year-old son unrestrained in a car after she placed a pistol under the driver's seat has been charged with manslaughter in the death of the boy, who shot himself in the head while the woman went to get food.

The woman's boyfriend, who is the gun's owner, was also charged.

"Nothing is sadder than the death of a child, and when the death is the result of criminal negligence, there needs to be accountability," Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said Wednesday. "Guns are inherently dangerous, and the law, as well as common sense, requires that guns be handled responsibly, especially around children."

The mother, Jahnisha McIntosh, 23, and her boyfriend, Eric Vita, 22, made their initial appearance on the second-degree manslaughter charges Wednesday afternoon in Pierce County Superior Court. They both pleaded not guilty.

Julio Segura-McIntosh's death on March 14 was the third child shooting in Western Washington within three weeks. On Feb. 22, an 8-year-old girl was critically wounded by a gun that went off in a classmate's backpack in a Bremerton school. On March 10, the 7-year-old daughter of a Marysville police officer was killed when her brother found a gun in the family car.

In Julio's case, Vita and McIntosh had stopped for gas in Tacoma. Vita, who has a concealed weapons permit, removed his gun from his waistband to avoid alarming the clerk and placed it under the passenger seat, the prosecutor said.

Julio had unbuckled himself and climbed into the front seat to ask his mother for candy. McIntosh moved the gun from under the passenger seat to under the driver's seat so Julio could not reach it. Then, she went inside the convenience store for food, leaving Julio unrestrained, the prosecutor said.

Julio found the gun and shot himself in the head. McIntosh's 8-month old daughter was in the car at the time and was not hurt.

Friends and family told detectives that Vita routinely showed off the gun with a laser sight and on one occasion offered to let Julio hold the gun before another adult intervened.

Vita's attorney, David Gehrke, told KOMO that that shooting was a tragedy that has left everyone involved in shock. Vita acted reasonably, he said.

"I think he was being very careful. He did not just leave the gun there, without another adult present. And I think if the mother had stayed in there, this probably would not have happened," Gehrke said.

"My understanding is that the child went from the back seat to the front seat, got the gun, the mom took it away and said, 'No, leave that alone,' and then put it under her seat. And then inexplicably she got out and went into the convenience store to buy something," he said.

Gehrke said he's not blaming the mother.

"She lost her child, and that should be punishment for any parent in a circumstance like this," he said.

The child shootings have raised questions about Washington's gun laws. The state is one of 23 that doesn't have a specific law to prevent child access to firearms, such as mandatory trigger locks or criminal penalties for adults who allow children to access guns, according to the San Francisco-based group Legal Community Against Violence.

Washington state law is specific about carrying loaded pistols in vehicles, however. A person with a concealed weapons permit must lock the gun and conceal it from view if it is left in the car.

In the Bremerton classroom shooting that nearly killed Amina Kocer-Bowman, the Kitsap County prosecutor charged the mother of a boy who brought the gun in his backpack and the mother's boyfriend with felony assault for allowing the boy access to the .45-caliber handgun. Jamie Lee Chaffin, and her boyfriend, Douglas L. Bauer, have pleaded not guilty.

In the Stanwood shooting, the Snohomish County prosecutor's office said Wednesday the shooting is still under investigation by the sheriff's office. When the case is sent to the prosecutor's office, it will decide whether charges should be filed against Officer Derek Carlile, who left a loaded gun in the car.

Snohomish sheriff's spokesman Kevin Prentiss said Wednesday that investigators are wrapping up loose ends and finishing interview transcripts, and the case should go to the prosecutor's office within two weeks. Detectives used child interview specialists to question children.

Past coverage:

March 15: Boy's death 3rd gun accident in 3 weeks

Driver in crash that hurt boy arraigned

This post has been updated.

A man who police say tried to ditch his drug stash after striking a 12-year-old boy with his car was to plead not guilty to four felony charges Tuesday, but a judge found no probable cause and prosecutors haven't refiled charges.

Brandon Lee Maganas, 30, remains jailed after his would-be arraignment in Spokane County Superior Court. The case remains under investigation and he has a Department of Corrections probation hold.

Maganas was driving a 1995 Ford pickup when he struck the boy March 12 in a crosswalk at East Mission Avenue at North Magnolia Street as the boy headed to Stevens Elementary School for his job as a morning crossing guard, according to Spokane police. The boy was taken to a hospital with broken bones.

Witnesses told police Maganas dropped a bag nearby that contained marijuana, glass pipes, methamphetamine, heroin and prescription pills.

Maganas also had a stolen handgun and a shotgun in the truck. He's prohibited from possessing firearms because of felony convictions, including a drug conviction in May 2011.

Cops: Man pointed gun at 3 children

A 31-year-old man was arrested for allegedly pointing a gun at a father and his three children recently.

Anthony L. Volavka is out of jail on bond after appearing in court Monday.

He was arrested Friday at 24821 E. Roxanne Ave., after Michael A. Walkinshaw, 44, said Volavka pointed a gun at him as he went to the home to get his children, two of whom are 10 and 9 years old, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Volavka was in the garage when Walkinshaw approached. He told deputies he had his pistol ready for Walkinshaw because he was expecting a fight, according to court documents.

Volavka faces charges of first-degree assault and three counts of reckless endangerment.

Spokane burglary suspect turns self in

A man suspected of burglarizing a north Spokane County home of a shotgun and a video game system turned himself in after being confronted by a detective Wednesday.

Kory M. Roberts, 23, is suspected of stealing the gun and X-Box 360 from a home in the 31300 block of North Staghorn Road on Tuesday, then selling them at a Spokane pawn shop.

The victim located the items at the pawn shop and contacted police. Roberts provided the shop his contact information when he sold the goods, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Spokane County sheriff's Detective Tamie Spitzer called Roberts on Wednesday and gave him two options: turn himself for the burglary or have a warrant issued for his arrest.

Roberts turned himself in at the Public Safety Building "within a couple hours," according to a news release by sheriff's spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin.

Roberts told Spitzer "he had a prescription medication addiction and his criminal activity fed his addiction," Chamberlin wrote.

Roberts was booked into jail about 1:20 p.m. Wednesday on two counts of first-degree trafficking in stolen property.

Home loses $20k in items to burglary

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help solve a south Spokane County residential burglary in which about $20,000 in items was stolen.

A homeowner reported electronics, firearms, bank cards and jewelry among items stolen from the home in the area of the 8000 block of Highway 195 between noon and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

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

Guns seized from mental health patient

A Cheney man with suspected mental health issues remains in protective custody after police found an arsenal of weapons at his home Wednesday  following weeks of threats against public officials.

Douglas J. Dibiasi, 53, was already in protective custody when law enforcement searched his home at 9018 S. Medifor Road about 9:30 a.m.

Spokane County sheriff's officials seized 26 pistols, rifles and shotguns as well as 4,000 to 5,000 rounds of ammunition throughout the home, according to a search warrant.

The search came after officials with the State Bar Association said Dibiasi had filed a grievance against an attorney that had been dismissed, and he continued to leave voicemails threatening to kill federal officials. He threatened to blow up the post office in Cheney and has repeatedly alleged that the sheriff's office is out to get him.

A store owner in Cheney told detectives that he had to tell Dibiasi to stop entering the business with his pistol after an incident with an employee last fall.

Dibiasi was taken into protective custody March 7, and a doctor on March 12 forbid him from possessing weapons.

Boy’s death 3rd gun accident in 3 weeks

The vehicle where a 3-year-old boy fatally shot himself with a gun is seen behind police tape and parked at a gas station early Wednesday in Tacoma. (AP photo/komonews.com)

By DONNA BLANKINSHIP and DOUG ESSER,Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) — A 3-year-old scrambled out of his child seat after his parents stopped for gas early Wednesday, found a gun police say was left in the car by his father and fatally shot himself in the head.

The accidental shooting in Tacoma marks the third in three weeks in Washington involving young children, and the second death. The spate of gun violence is raising questions about the effectiveness of the state's gun laws and community awareness of firearm safety.

Tacoma police Officer Naveed Benjamin said the 3-year-old boy's death highlights the need for people to secure guns.

"It is incredible in light of the other ones," Benjamin said. "You would think people would take more care, not less."

Tacoma police said the boy's death came after his father put his pistol under a seat and got out to pump gas while the mother went inside the convenience store. The boy's infant sister, who also was in the car when the gun went off, was not injured.

The Pierce County medical examiner has identified the boy as Julio Segura-McIntosh of Tacoma.

Detectives questioned the parents and have called the shooting a tragic accident, Benjamin said. The father has a concealed weapons permit, and no charges have been filed, he said. Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said that he is reviewing the case for possible manslaughter charges.

Washington does not have a law specifically concerning child access to firearms, but state law is very specific about carrying loaded pistols in vehicles.

A person with a concealed weapons permit may carry a gun in a car in Washington state, but is required to have it on his person. If they have to leave it in the car, the law says it must be locked and concealed from view.

The Wednesday shooting follows the death of the 7-year-old daughter of a Marysville police officer in Stanwood on Saturday when a sibling found a gun and fired while the parents were out of their car. And on Feb. 22, an 8-year-old girl was critically wounded in a Bremerton classroom when a gun fired inside the backpack of a 9-year-old boy as he put it on a desk.

The two deaths represent an uptick in the number of these tragic accidents, according to Washington state health officials.

About one accidental firearm death of a child each year is typical in the state, according to state health statistics gathered between 2007 and 2010, said Health Department spokesman Tim Church. During that same time, an average of nine kids 17 and younger ended up in the hospital because of an accidental shooting, Church added.

"You can't predict what children are going to do," Benjamin said. "You need to unload and lock it up if you're not carrying it. … It's really not that hard to practice firearm safety."

A spokesman for the Second Amendment Foundation said existing laws are enough to encourage gun safety, as long as the gun owners obey them.

"Responsible people will maintain gun safety whether there is a law or not; irresponsible people will ignore the law," said Dave Workman, senior editor of the group's publication, thegunmag.com. He said existing statutes, including child endangerment laws, were designed to prevent such tragedies.

Workman said what he can't figure out is why the two men left their guns in their vehicles when they were licensed to carry them.

"Most responsible gun owners, especially if they're licensed to carry, will keep their firearm with them," Workman said.

Twenty-seven states have some form of law to prevent child access to firearms, but Washington is not one of them. Such laws can include criminal penalties for adults who allow children to get their hands on guns, according to the San Francisco-based group Legal Community Against Violence.

State Rep. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, expressed doubt that the Legislature could succeed at overcoming opposition from gun rights advocates to strengthen state gun laws.

He said a former state representative tried and failed for years to strengthen restrictions on firearms sales at gun shows.

"The forces that be wouldn't even support doing that. It's pretty strong from the gun lobby that they don't want to see any change under any circumstance," Hunt said.

Washington Cease Fire Executive Director Gregory Roberts responded to the latest shooting, saying, "We think guns are dangerous, but they are not treated as dangerous by our society or by laws or by our regulations," he said. "We regard guns as some sort of sacred object that should not be subject to regulation."

The Seattle organization is currently running a campaign of ads on buses urging people to think twice about owning guns. People with guns in their home or car are more likely to injure or kill a family member or loved one than to use it against an intruder, he said.

In Saturday's shooting, off-duty Marysville police Officer Derek Carlile had parked the family van near Stanwood City Hall, and he and his wife were out of the vehicle when one of their children found the loaded gun and fired. The shot hit 7-year-old Jenna Carlile, and the girl, the oldest of their four children, died Sunday at a Seattle hospital.

The 8-year-old Bremerton girl, Amina Kocer-Bowman, remained in serious condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after nearly dying in the accidental shooting at Armin Jahr Elementary, where a classmate brought a handgun to class.

Authorities believe the boy took the .45-caliber gun from the glove compartment of a car while visiting his mother and her boyfriend at their home. He lives with an uncle.

___

AP newsmen Jonathan Kaminsky and Chris Grygiel contributed to this story.

5 arrested in Adams Co. home invasion

Five people have been arrested for a home-invasion robbery in Adams County Friday that targeted a couple living with their 3-year-old son.

Roger Martinez, 20, of Othello; Julia JiJon, 18, of Warden; Diego Mendez, 19, of Othello; and Rocky Mendoza, 18, of Othello; and a 17-year-old boy are accused of entering the home in the 2000 block of Bench Road, about one mile south of Othello.

Adams County sheriff's deputies responded to the home about 9:40 p.m., where they located a 23-year-old man who had been hit in the face with the butt of a shotgun, according to a news release. He was taken by ambulance to Othello Community Hospital, where he was treated and released.

The man was home with his 34-year-old wife and their 3-year-old son when the men knocked on he door, then forced their way inside once it opened. Two men had a a bandanna covering their faces, a a third held a shotgun, according to a news release.

The men forced the victim into a bedroom and ransacked the home, stealing electronics, alcohol, the couple’s wedding rings, and their car. Three men remained outside the home.

Othello police found the stole car about 3 a.m. Saturday. They recovered the shotgun and arrested the car's two occupants. Three other suspects were arrested later; one remains at large.

All suspects face charges of first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, second-degree theft, and theft of a motor vehicle. The juvenile is being held at Martin Hall Detention Center in Medical Lake. The others are booked at the Adams County Jail.

Photo shows Browne’s Addition gunman

Spokane police today released a surveillance photo of a robbery last week at a Browne's Addition convenience store in hopes someone will recognize the gunman.

The robbery was reported about 11:49 p.m. Feb. 29 at the Sunset Grocery, 1908 W. Sunset Blvd.

The gunman is described as 20 to 22 years old, 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-7 and 150 to 160 pounds. He wore a black knit ski mask, dark hooded sweatshirt, black coat, dark loose pants and black and white athletic shoes. The gun is described as a black semi-automatic pistol.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to an arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Man sought on gun, robbery charges

A man accused of a gunpoint robbery last May is wanted by Crime Stoppers after failing to show up for court.

John Gibson Dean, 30, was to begin trial this week on robbery and gun charges, but he never showed up for a pre-trial haring last week and a $200,000 warrant was issued for his arrest.

Dean is accused with Jeremy L. Standon of robbing three people of money, jewelry and electronics after being allowed inside the home at 1415 N. Post St. May 9.

Spokane police paid a confidential informant $100 for information that helped identify the men as suspects. Standon, who is in jail, is to begin trial March 19.

Dean had a Glock 22, .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol that was stolen in Wilbur, Wash., when he was arrested, which led to a felony gun charge.

Dean's criminal history includes convictions for riot, making false statements, refusing to cooperate, forgery, theft, harassment, obstructing an investigation

Dean, 6-feet tall and 185 pounds, last gave an address in the 5000 block of East Sharp Avenue in Spokane Valley.

Crime Stoppers on Thursday offered a reward for tips that lead to his arrest. Anyone with information his current location is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Spokane man wanted for gun assault

A Spokane man accused of robbing a woman at gunpoint the day after Christmas is wanted by Crime Stoppers after failing to show up for court. 

Nicholas M. Cornelius, 23, is charged with second-degree assault, unlawful imprisonment and residential burglary for the gunpoint attack at 2514 N. Wall St. Dec. 26.

Cornelius knew the woman through a friend, police say. He's accused of stealing marijuana from the home.

Cornelius was charged Feb. 14 and summonsed to court for an arraignment Wednesday, but he never showed up.

He's now wanted on a $25,000 warrant. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to his capture.

Cornelius, 5-foot-10 and 230 pounds, last gave an address in the 7200 block of North Nevada Street.

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

Felon ineligible for Kootenai Co. sheriff

A candidate for Kootenai County sheriff who shot a man in downtown Coeur d'Alene in 2009 and later pleaded guilty to a felony heroin charge is not eligible for the position, officials say.

 Adam Mathis Johnson, 27, cannot hold office because he's on probation for two years after pleading guilty to a felony controlled substance charge, Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh said Thursday.

Johnson will get his rights restored once he completed a two-year probation term. Until then, he's also restricted from carrying firearms.

Johnson was arrested on drug charges in Post Falls in April.  He was arrested on an attempted murder charge in December 2009 after  a shooting in downtown Coeur d’Alene that a grand jury ruled was self defense. Johnson's victim is suing his own civil lawyer for malpractice.

Johnson was featured in The Spokesman-Review a weekend before the shooting in a story about the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.. He was also featured in 2007 in a story about his business, Convertec.

Serial robbery suspect pleads not guilty

Pepper spray apparently didn't deter a drug-seeking pharmacy robber in Deer Park: Police believe he tried robbing the store two more times.

Aaron David Kenny Miller, 24, pleaded not guilty today to first-degree robbery, second-degree robbery and attempted second-degree robbery for holdups at the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy in Deer Park in December and February.

Detectives believe Miller was the gunman who robbed the store of oxycodone on Dec. 5 after displaying a gun and placing a note on the counter that demanded drugs and said he needed rent money for his children.

A pharmacy employee pepper sprayed Miller, but police believe he again robbed the store on Dec. 30 with a note claiming he had a gun and demanding drugs. He was pepper sprayed again but returned to the store Feb. 21 seeking more drugs, police say. He didn't get them that time, but he did get another dose of the spray.

Miller ran  from the pharmacy to a home at 116 S. Fir in Deer Park covered in pepper spray, according to court documents. A resident called police after Miller told him he'd tried to rob a store, documents say.

Miller reportedly confessed to Spokane County sheriff's deputies that he'd robbed the pharmacy twice before. He remains in jail on $100,000 bond.

Past coverage:

Jan. 27: Sketch shows OxyContin robbery suspect

No charges in fatal Colville cop shooting

A Colville police officer was justified when he shot and killed a 21-year-old car prowling suspect who investigators say was armed with a stolen gun last November, prosecutors recently concluded.

 Officer Dan Spring Spring feared for his life when Sean Bergstrasser (pictured) grabbed a stolen gun in a motel room Nov. 12, and his use of deadly force to stop the threat posed by Bergstrasser was legal, Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen and Deputy Prosecutor Mathew Enzler concluded.

Andy Hydorn, president of the Colville Chamber of Commerce and owner of Benny’s Colville Inn, was in the motel room and watched Officer Dan Spring fire six shots at Bergstrasser after Bergstrasser picked up a firearm and pointed it toward the officer “as if to fire the weapon,” according to a report released Monday by the Stevens County Prosecutor’s Office.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

Nov. 14: Man killed by Colville police a California native

$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 sentenced for herpes-related heist

A 19-year-old man is to spend about seven years in prison for an armed robbery that was sparked by his fear of contracting herpes from a shared marijuana pipe.

Aziem L. Richardson pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree robbery for a July incident in which he invited the victims to an apartment at 1119 W. Augusta Ave., to smoke marijuana in celebration of his 19th birthday.

Richardson left after several minutes and returned with a shotgun and threatened the teens, telling them “I heard you or your girlfriend has herpes and we have been sharing a bong,” according to court documents. “If I get herpes, I'm going to kill you both.”

Richardson stole the men's cellphones and a wallet. He has juvenile convictions for robbery.

He was sentenced Monday to 87 months in prison by Spokane County Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza.

ISP gun found in Del Taco drive thru

(AP) — The Idaho State Police is investigating after an off-duty officer's loaded service weapon was found in the parking lot of a North Idaho taco restaurant.

Officials say the officer took off his holster to change his license plates, placed the .45-caliber gun on the top of his truck and drove off without retrieving the weapon. It eventually fell off in the parking lot of Del Taco in Post Falls.

Customer Greg Wiltse spotted the gun as he was pulling into the drive-thru at about 9 p.m. Tuesday. He says he put the holstered gun on the floorboard of his truck and called police.

ISP Capt. Curtis Karstens says the case is being treated as a personnel matter and declined further comment. He says it's possible the employee could face disciplinary action.

Robbery suspect got rehab instead of jail

A Spokane man accused of robbing a convenience store at gunpoint last weekend was given drug treatment instead of prison for a felony theft case last year.

Anthony D. Fuerte, 19, can't leave jail if he does post the $5,000 bond imposed Monday for the now first-degree robbery charge - he's serving a 30-day jail sentence for violating a drug offender sentence imposed in September for a felony theft and burglary case involving nearly $200,000 in stolen goods.

Fuerte was already considered to be in violation of his sentence requirements in that case when a clerk at Zip Trip, 2020 W. Francis, identified him as the gunman who robbed him about 9:43 p.m. on Friday.

Police found Fuerte hiding in a carport just west of the store. They say he had an Airsoft gun with him, along with money stolen in the robbery. One officer said Zip Trip surveillance video "without a doubt" shows Fuerte rob the store at gunpoint.

Fuerte was arrested in December 2010 on suspicion of theft and harassment after a deputy followed his shoe prints through snowy woods.

Sketch shows pharmacy robbery suspect

Detectives today released a sketch of a possible suspect in two gunpoint robberies at a Deer Park pharmacy.

 The first robbery at the Medicine Shoppe pharmacy, 11 E. H St., occurred Dec. 5 about 4:40 p.m. when a man demanded OxyContin and displayed a silver pistol that was in his waistband.

The pharmacy was robbed again Dec. 30 about 4 p.m. by a man who claimed he was armed with a gun but never displayed one.

The robber in both cases is described as a white man in his early 20s, 5-foot-4 to 5-foot-6 and thin, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Anyone with information on the robberies or the robber's identity is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Fight at restaurant leads to shooting

A fight at a downtown Spokane restaurant led to a shooting early Sunday.

Two men were shot in their lower legs by someone inside a white van after an altercation at Tacos Tumbras at West Second Avenue and South Cedar Street about 1:40 a.m., police said.
 
Police located the van at North Division Street and East Buckeye Street. The occupants denied shooting anyone but said they'd argued with others at the restaurant, police said.
 
Witnesses could not identify anyone in the van, so police released them after taking down their information.
 
The van was seized for evidence, and the investigation is ongoing.

Snowblower dispute leads to gunfire

A man fired two shots at his neighbor during a dispute over a snowblower in Colbert on Thursday, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Arnim Roland Olsen, 50, was arrested on a second-degree assault charge after his neighbor in the 19300 block of North Austin Road, William E. Rice, reported the shooting to 911.

Rice said he contacted Olsen at his home regarding the use of his snowblower. They argued about that and about a dog Rice gave Olsen's wife, according to court documents.

Armin pointed a revolver at Rice and fired twice, barely missing his right ear, documents allege.

Deputies say they found a revolver in Olsen's home with four live .22 caliber rounds and two shell casings, which was consistent with Rice's account.