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Man with 12+ felony cases sentenced

A man charged with more than 12 felonies within seven months is headed to prison for 10 years after a hearing recently in Spokane County Superior Court.

George W. Butrick, 33, still has not resolved a federal charge of felon in possession of a firearm but did resolve about a dozen cases last week when he pleaded guilty to second-degree theft, two counts of first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, first-degree robbery, second-degree burglary and possession of a controlled substance.

He was ordered to pay $1,325 restitution and and serve 129 months in prison.

Butrick was arrested in fall 2009 after stealing an ATM from a convenience store but posted bail on about a dozen charges a couple months later. He was arrested again in February after threatening a bail bondmen at gunpoint, and he was also charged in a violent home-invasion robbery that targeted a woman with a safe full of cash in January.

Police say Butrick worked with Ronald Foreman, who has been charged with leading organized crime.

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.

Cops think botched theft led to murder

When a gunman shot and killed a 63-year-old retiree in a quiet Colville-area neighborhood, detectives say he left behind a crucial piece of evidence: The suspected murder weapon.

A handgun located near Gordon R. Feist, who was found in the wreckage of his utility terrain vehicle Sunday with two bullet holes in his head, helped police identify Eric Lee Booth, 26, (pictured) as a suspect in Feist’s murder, Stevens County Sheriff Kendle Allen said today.

Booth, who was arrested Wednesday, appeared in Stevens County Superior Court today on charges of second-degree murder and possession of a stolen firearm. He remains in jail on $750,000 bail.

Investigators believe Booth was trying to burglarize Feist’s upscale rural home south of Colville when he encountered Feist and told him he needed help because his car had run out of gas.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

July 20: Slaying near Colville baffles neighbors

1-time Hells Angels cook pleads guilty

In a case of be careful of who you cook pasta for, a Spokane marijuana grower faces a potentially longer prison term because of his culinary association with known members of the Hells Angels biker gang.

Patrick D. Bozarth Jr., 31, pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to grow marijuana, which carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison. The case could have been prosecuted under more lenient state statutes, but was sent to federal authorities because of his association with the Spokane chapter of the Hells Angels. 

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Hells Angel faces 6+ years after plea

A member of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang pleaded guilty today to conspiring to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and grow more than 100 marijuana plants.

Michael R. Fitzpatrick, 33, was arrested on March 3, the same day federal agents arrested club Sergeant at Arms Ricky W. Jenks at the club's headquarter at 1308 E. Sprague Ave. He was allowed to leave jail the next day but has been in custody since the federal indictment was filed in April.

Fitzpatrick had faced up to 40 years in prison, but attorneys for both sides agreed upon a sentencing recommendation of 6 ½ years in federal prison.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Julio Cesar Martinez and Patrick Bozarth are also charged in the case.

Brothers charged in baseball bat attack

 Two brothers from a notorious Spokane family are accused of a baseball bat attack in a park that left a man with a permanent lip disfigurement.

Jayce Leon Elton Pirtle Jr., 23, (right) and Andrew Lee Elias Pirtle, 21, (bottom left) were charged this week with second-degree assault for allegedly beating Luke Coulson with a bat in Cannon Hill Park, 800 W. 19th Ave., just after midnight on May 14. 

Coulson and his girlfriend were at the park with a group of friends when men approached with baseball bat and began striking him in the face. Witnesses told police the attack was retaliation for a previous assault.

Witnesses also told police that Jayce Pirtle picked one victim up by his neck and threw him backward before striking another man and breaking his right wrist, according to court documents.

Jayce Pirtle was arrested Friday when law enforcement searched his apartment at 1808 E. Pacific Ave.

Pirtle's probation officer had found a .357 handgun in his apartment after learning that police were investigating him for a burglary. Spokane police obtained a search warrant and seized the handgun, along with two rifles.

Jayce Pirtle has previous convictions or second-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault and is in jail on $50,000 for the new charges. He's also held on a DOC warrant for violating his probation. Pirtle's previous convictions count against the three-strikes law. He could face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted on his latest assault charge.

Andrew Pirtle has been summonsed to court for an arraignment on the assault charge and is not in custody.

The Pirtles are the nephews of notorious Spokane double murderer Blake Pirtle, who killed two Burger King employees in 1992. His death sentence was overturned after a judge ruled Spokane police had violated his civil rights during his arrest.

The Pirtles claim police unfairly target them because of that case.

Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said the family has a “propensity for crime” that earns police attention.

“If they made a significant effort to clean up their act, then they wouldn't be getting our attention,” DeRuwe said. “Historically, some member of the family is committing a crime so they're receiving our attention.”'

Read more in tomorrow's edition of The Spokesman-Review.

Cops: Herpes fear led to pot robbery

An invitation to smoke marijuana turned into a robbery last weekend in Spokane because the suspect feared contracting herpes from a water pipe.

Aziem L. Richardson invited the teens to an apartment at 1119 W. Augusta Ave., to smoke marijuana in celebration of his 19th birthday, which was Saturday.

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

Richardson, who has two previous felony convictions for robbery as a juvenile, ordered the men to empty their pockets and stole a wallet and cellphones, police said.

Police used a search warrant to retrieve the stolen property from the apartment just after midnight Sunday, as well as a shotgun, bong and shotgun shells.

Richardson remains in jail on $30,000 bond for first-degree robbery.

Man gets house arrest in grenade case

A North Idaho man who was arrested as part of a federal probe into illegal explosives manufacturing in Spirit Lake will be on house arrest for eight months and probation for five years.

Steven E. Winegar, 52, of Harpster, Idaho, was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Coeur d'Alene, where Judge Edward Lodge cited his lack of criminal history, military service and the cost of caring for his medical and mental conditions when imposing the light sentence, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Winegar pleaded guilty in December to illegal possession of a firearm for a .45 pistol he possessed on July 3, 2010, when FBI agents raided a trailer in the Spirit Lake area owned by Kenneth B. Kimbley, Jr.

Agents seized hand grenades, firearms and more than 10,000 rounds of rifle ammo from the property at 28128 N. Highway 41.

Kimbley, 59, is prohibited from possessing firearms because of a previous felony conviction. His lawyer said Kimbley never threatened anyone but feared a communist takeover and was inspired by his idol, Glenn Beck.

Kimbley pleaded guilty in November to attempting to make explosive devices and illegal possession of a firearm. Sentencing is set for August 8.

Cabbie shot in head in 2003 faring well

Eight years ago, longtime Spokane cab driver Jack Gordon felt the passenger in the back seat press a gun barrel to his right temple.

Gordon agreed to hand over the money in his pocket but extended his hand only a few inches before the gun exploded.

Bright light. Jarring impact. Pressure and blood.

“The first thing that came across my mind was, ‘Did this just really happen?’ ” Gordon said, recalling the shooting on Dec. 1, 2003. “There was blood everywhere, but I was still there. I knew I wasn’t going to be for very long.”

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

The Nuge says archery industry has too much pull

Get Adobe Flash player
How archery shops are thwarting their own sport.

BOWHUNTING — From my recent interview with Ted Nugent, here's an audio clip of his rant on the archery industry and its tendency to promote high-poundage bows.

South Hill Subway robbed at gunpoint

A South Hill sandwich shop was robbed at gunpoint Wednesday night.

A man walked into Subway, 3014 E. 29th Ave., at 8:40 p.m. and demanded money from the store clerk. He displayed what appeared to be a handgun and left with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The robber is described as a white man in his 20s with a long-sleeve gray shirt, white sorts and white shoes.

No injuries were reported.

Major crimes detectives ask anyone with additional information to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Man jailed after odd encounter with infant

A man prohibited from possessing firearms was arrested with a gun in a Spokane cemetery last weekend after confessing his love to a baby and asking if he could be her “Uncle Bob,” police say.

The child's mother was at the Fairmount Cemetery, 5200 W. Wellesley Ave., with her infant daughter and a friend when a man with two dogs approached, rubbed her shoulder and picked up the baby from her stroller without permission, according to court documents.

The suspect, later identified as Robert F. Asterino, Jr., 46, held the child for several minutes before becoming distracted by a couple approaching with their own dogs, according to police. When he bent over to place the baby back in her stroller, the woman observed the handle of a handgun in his waistband. He also had a beer bottle in his front pocket, she told police.

The woman's friend said she was frightened “and did not feel she could tell him to put the baby down due to his large size, his strange demeanor and the fact that he had been drinking,” according to court documents.

Spokane police used a search warrant to recover from Asterino's 1968 Chevy pickup a 9mm glock with 16 rounds in the magazine, as well as an extra bullet. He was jailed on a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm, which was later dismissed. 

This story has been updated from its published version. A reference to an earlier felony conviction in New Mexico was deleted after Asterino provided evidence that the charge had been reduced to a petty misdemeanor. Also, information of the dismissal of the firearm charge was added. 

Cookie jar fingerprints lead to arrest

Fingerprints on a cookie container recently helped police identify suspects in a burglary last summer.

A forensic specialist located the print on a container of animal crackers that had been disturbed during a burglary in a home in the 7800 block of North Debby Lynn Circle that occurred between Aug. 16 and Aug. 18.

Police in April learned that the fingerprint belonged to a juvenile, who reportedly confessed in May to burglarizing the home with another juvenile and his brother, Joel N. Ballard, 24, (pictured) and stealing two rifles and two handguns.

Ballard had been in prison since December on drug and car theft convictions but returned to the Spokane County Jail to face new charges of residential burglary, four counts of theft of a firearm and four counts of unlawful possession of a firearm because of previous felony convictions.

He also faces stolen property charges related to the sale of laptop computer stolen in a burglary Aug. 13. The man who bought the computer told police he bought it from a “white supremacist guy with a White Power tattoo,” according to court documents.

Ballard matches that description, police say, including a “white power” tattoo on his forearm.
  

Seattle police leave rifle unattended

This handout photo, provided by Nick Gonzalez for editorial purposes only, shows a police rifle left unattended on a patrol car outside a busy downtown area on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Nick Gonzalez)

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle police spokesman says the department is embarrassed after officers left a police rifle unattended on a patrol car outside a busy downtown area.

Spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb says the department has launched an investigation.

Whitcomb says two people spotted the rifle on the parked car. One flagged down bicycle officers to alert them. The other followed the cruiser as it drove through downtown Seattle and tracked down the driver after the car parked.

The alternative weekly The Stranger first reported the incident, posting a picture that shows the rifle sitting on top of the trunk.

Whitcomb says such rifles are assigned only to officers who have additional training. They're usually kept in the trunk or between the driver and passenger seats.

4 shot dead in NY pharmacy robbery

People line up to view and bring flowers and memorials Wednesday at outside Haven Drugs pharmacy in Medford, N.Y. Four people were shot to death there during a weekend painkiller robbery. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

By FRANK ELTMAN,Associated Press
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) — Two years ago, they posed for a wedding photo: Him beaming broadly in a dark suit, she a pudgy fresh-faced bride. They soon started a promising life together in the suburban New York home where he was raised.

Police mug shots of David Laffer and Melinda Brady released Thursday portrayed an altogether different couple: Gaunt, stone-faced suspects charged with a drug-store robbery and the killings of two pharmacy employees and two customers on Father's Day.

Laffer, 33, had two black eyes and bruises all over his face during his arraignment on first-degree murder charges, where a court-appointed attorney entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

 A police complaint says Laffer sustained the injuries when he grabbed for a police officer's weapon during a raid at his Medford home on Wednesday. He was tackled to the ground and placed in handcuffs, the complaint said.

Brady, 29, now many pounds lighter than her wedding photo, was being treated at a hospital for an undisclosed ailment, forcing authorities to temporarily postpone her arraignment. She is charged with robbery and obstructing governmental administration, although a prosecutor said Thursday that upgraded charges were likely.

Both were high on drugs when they were arrested, police said.

Read the rest of the AP story by clicking the link below.

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.

Man who shot off-duty deputy indicted

A Grant County man already serving four years for shooting an off-duty sheriff's deputy in 2008 faces up to 10 more after a federal grand jury indicted him on weapons charges Tuesday. 

Robbie Joe Marcher (left) was convicted at trial of second-degree assault, failing to summon assistance and unlawful hunting after the shooting of Deputy Earl Romig (right) on Jan. 10, 2008. 

Jurors also found Marcher showed an “egregious lack of remorse” on the assault charge, which lengthened his prison sentence, according to the Division III Court of Appeals. The court upheld the convictions May 17.

Now Marcher faces up to 10 years in federal prison under the indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Spokane. He's accused of possessing a Springfield Savage 30.06 rifle the day he shot Romig, and of possessing two shotguns, a rifle and nearly 160 rounds of ammunition four days later.

Romig was hunting coyotes and in civilian clothing when Marcher shot him in the back. He said he saw Marcher pointing his rifle at him earlier and looking at him through the scope.

A motorist found Romig with extensive injuries, but he's recovered well.

Marcher, who was hunting with his father, told police he thought Romig was a coyote.

3-time armed robber gets 51 months

A man who robbed three convenience stores at gunpoint in March has been ordered to spend about four years in prison.  

Joseph D. Maine, 23, (pictured last year) was sentenced last week to 51 months in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of first-degree robbery.

Maine, who was featured in a news article last year for helping car crash victims, told police he was an unemployed heroin addict with a family to support when he robbed Mike's Grocery, 2025 N. Hamilton St., and at Zip Trip, 2005 N. Hamilton, and the Broadway Mini Market, 10304 E. Broadway Ave., over the course of two days.

Police seized a black Daisy BB gun from a home where Maine was staying in the 3800 block of South Bowdish Road.

Police also found drugs in Maine's jeans and noted hat Maine asked them to “remove used needles from under his daughter's mattress,” according to court documents.

In addition to the prison sentence, Maine is required to pay $370 restitution.

Serial burglar sentenced to 10 years

A serial burglar is to spend 10 years in prison and pay more than $14,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to 17 felonies.

Robert J. Frates, 27, burglarized tanning salons, tattoo shops and other small businesses in a burglary spree that ended in late March when police followed him using a GPS tracker affixed to Frates' Bronco and watched him burglarize a business.

He also burglarized sports card shops last winter and stole the firearm used in the shooting death of John S. Williams on Jan. 17, 2010.

Frates' 120-month prison sentence and $14,650 restitution order came after he pleaded guilty last week to possession of a stolen firearm, second-degree attempted burglary. three counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree possession of stolen property and four counts of second-degree burglary.

Past coverage:

April 1: Police link burglary suspect to gun used in gang slaying

Judge bars gang terms at Jenks’ trial

Prosecutors are prohibited from referencing the terms “Hells Angels,” “Mongols” and “gangs” in the upcoming trial of club Sergeant at Arms Ricky Jenks.

U.S. District Judge Justin Quackenbush said federal prosecutors can refer to Jenks' membership in a “motorcycle club” only. He said the other references “would be unfairly prejudicial and generate 'more heat than light.'” Those orders were reiterated in pretrial documents filed last week.

Jenks' trial, originally set to begin Tuesday, is now scheduled to begin July 11 at 9 a.m. He faces 10 years in prison if convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

He has been in jail since his arrest March 3 during a raid at the Hells Angels Spokane clubhouse on East Sprague Avenue.

The raid came as tensions between the Hells Angels and Mongols were rumored to be heating up.

Past coverage:

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

March 31: Grand jury indicts Hells Angels leader

Skinhead’s lawyer: Jail only worsens him

A self-described skinhead will spend nearly 10 years in prison for a federal gun charge. 

James Daniel Bacon, who deputies say damaged a jail house door during a recent tantrum, has spent more than a third of his life in jail.

The 23-year-old's lawyer cited that when asking for him to receive a sentence of just 70 months instead of the 92 to 115 recommended by federal prosecutors.

“Prison clearly has not reformed Mr. Bacon to date,” according to a sentencing memorandum by John B. McEntire. A lengthier prison sentence “will further engrain into Mr. Bacon violence and aggression - more so if he is designated to an Administrative-Maximum United States Penitentiary, which is likely the case,” McEntire continued.

Bacon has been in solitary confinement at the Spokane County Jail since his arrest in December 2010. McEntire said anger, destruction of property and attacks on jail staff “are the exact type of conduct that (an expert) mentions as being a byproduct of solitary confinement.”

A doctor who evaluated Bacon in April said his intelligence and insight make him a good candidate for behavioral therapy to address his antisocial personality disorder, McEntire said.

U.S. District Judge Wm. Fremming Nielsen rejected McEntire's request last Thursday and ordered Bacon to spend 115 months in prison, with credit for time served in jail. Bacon was arrested Dec. 7 after running from Spokane police with a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun.  He pleaded guilty to felon in posession of a firearm.

He also was convicted of misdemeanor assault for punching a man charged with producing child pornography when the two shared a holding cell at the federal courthouse in March.

FBI: Racist felon had ammo, 5 firearms

A Whitman County man arrested on federal gun charges last month had several guns and a large collection of ammunition when investigators searched his properties, a new indictment alleges.

Jeremiah Daniel “J.D.” Hop, 29, faces two counts of felon in possession of a firearm and a forfeiture charge that demands he give up four rifles, a 12-gauge shotgun, and more than 150 rounds of shotgun shells and other ammunition.

A grand jury indicted him on the new charges this week in U.S. District Court.

Hop was convicted in California of third-degree rape of a child in 2005, a felony that prohibits him from possessing firearms or ammunition.

Hop was arrested during an FBI investigation April 20 for allegedly possessing an Izhmash 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun on March 25.

His brother, Michael Hop, said he was set up by an FBI informant who supplied the shotgun after suggesting they go shooting.

Hop has bragged online about being involved with racist taco-truck protests in Kootenai County. He remains in custody without bail at the Spokane County Jail.
  

Ex-Senate candidate faces gun charge

A former state Senate candidate faces new weapons charges after police say he brought a knife and loaded gun into a veterans hospital in Walla Walla.

Roy H. Murry, 26, reportedly told his doctor that he carries a firearm “24-7” during an examination April 8, according to a police report filed in U.S. District Court in Spokane.

Hospital staff observed a “bulge” on Murry's back right side and contacted hospital police, who learned that Murry is also known to be armed from the Walla Walla Police Department, which has dealt with Murry on numerous occasions, according to the report.

Police noticed a knife handle clipped to Murry's right front pants pocket. He initially denied having a gun but told officers were to find it after they confiscated his knife, which had a blade larger than 3 inches, according to the report.

The 9mm Beretta was loaded with a round in the chamber, police said.

Weapons are prohibited in veterans hospitals.

Murry told police he “doesn't pay much attention to signs” when asked if he saw signs warnings of the weapons ban.

Murry also told police “he knew it would be a hassle to carry the weapon on to the VA facility and was not sure why he did it,” according to a report by U.S. Veterans Affairs Police Sgt. Brandon Needham. “He also told me that he was applying for a State Department job and that this was going to ruin that.”

A grand jury indicted Murry, who is not in custody, Thursday on misdemeanor charges of possession of a firearm in a federal facility and possession of a dangerous weapon in a federal facility.  Each charge carries a maximum one year incarceration and a $100,000 fine.

Murry was nominated in January to fill Bob McCaslin's state Senate seat, along with state Rep. Matt Shea and Jeff Baxter. Spokane County commissioners appointed Baxter in February.

He was arrested in Las Vegas in January after being found asleep in his car and allegedly carrying a concealed weapon.

Reached by phone Thursday, Murry declined to comment on the new charges but said the charges in Las Vegas are “in the process” of being dismissed.

Skinhead accused of damaging jail door

A skinhead jailed on a federal gun charge could be charged with an additional felony for damaging a jail door. 

James Daniel Bacon, 23, allegedly slammed the door to a jail day room backwards against a concrete wall so hard that the middle and bottom hinge bolts broke from the concrete.

Bacon refused to stop and was forcefully removed from the room by the jail's crisis response team, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office said. He was placed in a restraint chair, where he told a jail deputy that “he had nothing to say other than to ask what charges he now faces,” according to a news release.

The room will be out of service for about two weeks as the door frame is replaced.

Bacon could be charged with felony malicious mischief, depending on how much the repair costs.

Bacon says he is a member of the Valhalla-Bound Skinhead movement, which was founded by Keegan Van Tuyl.

He recently was convicted of misdemeanor assault for punching a man charged with producing child pornography.

He's been in jail since Dec. 7 after running from Spokane police with a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun. He's charged in U.S. District Court with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Authorities believe Bacon is trying to draw attention to himself.

He told The Spokesman-Review in a jailhouse letter that he had a speech planned at his bench trial for the assault, but no one from the newspaper went. He also sent the newspaper a copy of the speech he read, but that was ignored, too.

‘Bicycle Bandit’ faces 17-22 years

A bike-riding bank robbery who terrorized local bank tellers for almost a year faces between 17 and 22 years in prison after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court Thursday.

  Lucas G. Woodard, 34, pleaded guilty to nine counts of armed bank robbery that netted a total of more than $166,000.

He's to be sentenced Sept. 7 at 9:30 a.m.

Read the rest of Thomas Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

May 19: Plea expected in bank robbery spree

Nov. 29: Bank robbery suspect: 'I'm a gentle guy'

Oct. 18: Bike-riding bank robbery suspect identified

Cops: Road rage with gun yields heroin

A convicted felon is accused of brandishing a gun during a road rage incident on U.S. Highway 395 that led to the discovery of heroin.

Brian L. Sellers, 34, is in jail on felony assault, gun and drug charges after the alleged victims called police about 3:45 p.m. May 3 and said a man in a Toyota was pointing a silver handgun at them while following too close on the highway near Wild Rose Road. Sellers appeared in court Wednesday after police recommended further charges.

The caller said the Toyota was following them at 90 mph and was just inches from their rear bumper. Two children ages 1 and 2 were in the back of the caller's vehicle, police said.

A Washington State Patrol trooper and a Spokane County sheriff's deputy stopped Sellers' car and arrest him and a passenger, Michael George Swan, 41.

Sellers told police about the gun, which they found sitting on the passenger-side floorboard with a loaded magazine next to it.

Sellers is on Department of Corrections probation and has several felony convictions, including first-degree theft and forgery, which prohibit him from possessing weapons.

The victim said she saw the Toyota driving erratically and trying to pass her before the driver exited and tried to stop her. She drove away, but Sellers followed and motioned with his gun for her to pull over, according to court documents.

Police found a baggie of methamphetamine in Seller's 2002 Toyota Tundra.

A search with a K-9, Jet, revealed a digital scale with 84.6 grams of black tar heroin.

Plea expected in bank robbery spree

A Spokane man suspected of a series of armed bank robberies is expected to plead guilty today.

Lucas G. Woodard, 34, faces up to 25 years in prison. The Federal Bureau of Investigation believes he may be the bicycle-riding bank robber responsible for a spree that began Dec. 22, 2009, and ended last October. More than $144,000 was stolen, according to court documents.

(A July 28 robbery at Spokane Teachers Credit Union on Indian Trail is pictured above; Chase Bank on April 19 is below.)

 Attorneys have been negotiating a plea deal, and prosecutors filed eight bank robbery new charges against Woodard Wednesday

He was previously charged with using a firearm in the commission of a violent crime, which carries seven years to life in prison, but that charge could be dismissed as part of a plea deal.

Woodward has been in jail since his arrest Oct. 14 after a gunpoint robbery at Washington Trust Bank on West Francis Avenue. Witnesses told 911 dispatchers where the robber fled, and Spokane police Sgt. Jason Hartman, who was in plain clothes and driving home, intercepted Woodard as he approached Salk Middle School.

Woodard's bike collided with Hartman's car, and the suspect's gun fell to the ground. Woodard reached for the weapon, but Hartman restrained him until backup arrived, police said.

The incident earned Hartman the medal of valor, the Spokane Police Department's highest recognition. He's pictured with Mayor Mary Verner and Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick.

“Sgt. Hartman had prior knowledge of this serial bank robber and knew him to be extremely dangerous,” according to the SPD website. “Even though he was in plain clothes and not wearing a vest, Sgt. Hartman made the courageous decision to confront the suspect at that time to prevent his escape or his further endangering of innocent citizens, even if it meant he had to shoot it out with him then and there.”

Woodard had no criminal record, was employed at Woodard Construction and was reportedly a regular at Maggie's South Hill Grill.

He lived alone in a rental home on High Drive on the South Hill. After his arrest, he thanked federal agents “for treating him well, explaining that…because of what he did, he could have been treated poorly,” according to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court. “

Woodard admitted that although he had a gun, he would never have used it. Woodard also stated that he was a ‘gentle guy’ apart from the robberies that he committed.”

Along with the Oct. 14 heist, Woodard is accused of the following robberies:

  • Dec. 22, 2009: Sterlving Savings Bank, 3000 S. Grand Blvd.
  • Feb. 13, 2010: Chase Bank, 2215 W. Northwest Blvd.
  • April 19, 2010: Chase Bank, 2215 W. Northwest Blvd.
  • May 18, 2010: Chase Bank, 3007 E. 57th Ave.
  • May 26, 2010: U.S. Bank, 621 E. 30th Ave.
  • July 28, 2010: Spokane Teachers Credit Union, 8703 N. Indian Trail
  • Aug. 13, 2010, Inland Northwest Bank, 2110 N. Ruby St.

Grand jury indicts man for gun threats

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

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

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

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

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

$100 offer helps bust robbery suspects

Spokane police paid a confidential informant $100 for information that helped arrest two robbery suspects last week.

The informant, who had been arrested on a Washington Department of Corrections warrant, told police that he saw a TV and laptop computer in Jeremy L. Standon's apartment that was believed to have been stolen from a home at 1415 N. Post St. May 9.

The informant said Standon, 29, received the items from John G. Dean, who stole them in a robbery, but police say both Standon and Dean, 29, were involved. (Standon is pictured right; Dean is below.)

Police say the two were allowed inside the home May 9 about 11 p.m. and that once inside, Dean displayed a black semi-automatic pistol and ordered three people to “pull out your pockets.”

Dean continued to hold the gun as Standon retrieved $150, a 16-inch imitation gold chain, two lap top computers and a 40-inch Toshiba flat screen TV, according to a search warrant.

Police spotted Standon and Dean in the drive through at Jack in the Box in downtown Spokane May 13 about 8 a.m.

Both men were booked into jail; police say Dean had a Glock 22, .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol that was stolen in Wilbur, Wash., on March 30. Dean remains jailed on gun charges; Standon is jailed on a probation hold and a felony drug charge.

A 2010 Crime Stoppers graduate, Standon's criminal history includes convictions for driving on a suspended license, money laundering, drug possession, second-degree identity theft, first-degree burglary, theft of a firearm, first-degree robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm, second-degree theft, malicious mischief and vehicle prowling.

A 2009 Crime Stoppers graduate, Dean's criminal history includes convictions for riot, making false statements, refusing to cooperate, forgery, theft, harassment, obstructing an investigation, a dozen probation violations and the obligatory driving while license suspended.

Reward for tips on suspect in gun theft

UPDATE 5/20: Guzman is in jail.

A Spokane man accused of helping two brothers steal firearms in a burglary is wanted by authorities.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest Lucky Joe Guzman, 27.

Investigators believe Guzman drove Steven Charles Corkery, Jr., 27, and Thomas J. Corkery, 29, from a home in the 4400 block of East 16th Ave. on Dec. 6.

Steven Corkery, who has felony convictions that prohibit him from possessing firearms, then pawned a stolen shotgun and bow, according to a probable cause affidavit. Corkery also is accused of pawning a .357 Magnum revolver that had been stolen from a home n the 13500 block of North Muzzy Road on Nov. 23.

Guzman is charged with second-degree theft, residential burglary and two counts of a theft of a firearm. He has previous convictions for vagrancy, attempted second-degree arson and vehicle prowling.

A $15,000 arrest warrant was issued May 2 after he didn't show up for his arraignment.

Guzman, 5-foot-10 and 125 pounds, last gave a home address in the 6600 block of North Addison Road in Spokane County.

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