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A Post Falls man who beat his dog with a hammer as his neighbor watched in horror has been sentenced to six months in jail.
Calvin Franklin Palmer, 53, who served 33 years in prison in Arizona for murder, apologized at his sentencing Friday and said the death of his Akita-pit bull even “traumatized him,” according to court records.
“I was the only one who treated her nicely,” Palmer said.
He told police he killed the dog after she attacked a cat and he feared she would attack him.
“I'm sorry that someone saw me do that,” he said in court Friday, according to a transcript. Palmer was booked into the Kootenai County Jail that day to begin his sentence.
Palmer's neighbors in the 300 block of North Columbia Street in Post Falls called police Dec. 10 and reported the horrific attack.
Tammi Nichols, 40, said her 18-year-old daughter, Carmen Murphy, told her she'd seen Palmer beating the dog with the hammer.
Nichols said she told Palmer “You just traumatized my child,” but Palmer “looked at her with a blank look on his face, then swung the hammer at the dog four more times, striking it in the head,” according to court documents.
Post Falls police arrived to find the dog dead in a trash can, badly beaten with its throat slit.
Palmer initially lied to police and said he didn't own a dog, according to court documents. When they asked him about dog food at the home, he said he fed it to his cats because he can't afford cat food.
Palmer has been out of prison for about three years after being convicted of robbery and murder in Arizona, according to court records. He works at the Sweetgrass Cafe in Worley, Idaho, according to testimony at his sentencing.
His public defender, Megan Marshall, called for him to serve no jail time for the animal cruelty conviction, saying he'll lose his trailer if he can't work. She said his murder conviction “is following him for the rest of his life,” according to court records.
Judge Penny Friedlander instead sentenced him to 180 days in jail but allowed for work release. Friedlander said it was “stunning to the court how anyone could do an act like that to an animal.”
A man who borrowed $4 from an employee at a downtown Spokane motel returned to rob her with a hammer, police say.
Eric Kevin Miller, 36, was arrested on Friday, two days after police say he left his wallet at the Select Inn, 1420 W. 2nd Ave., for collateral after borrowing the cash.
He returned about two hours later and threatened the employee with a masonry hammer when she wouldn't return his wallet, according to court documents. He stole $100 from the cash register, police say, then went to Northern Quest Casino.
From the casino, Miller went to a woman's apartment, where they talked about the bible and he told her he'd robbed an elderly woman at the Select Inn, police say. The woman awoke to her TV missing, along with three butcher knives, $250 from her purse, her apartment keys and miscellaneous bills.
Miller told police he traded the TV for methamphetamine, according to court documents.
Miller appeared in Superior Court Monday on a first-degree robbery charge and remains in jail on $50,000 bond.
A homeless man was sentenced today to 15 months in prison after he attacked another man with a claw hammer for making fun of John Wayne.
Joel S. Parsons, 42, had been charged with first-degree assault but agreed to a plea agreement for second-degree assault with a deadly weapon enhancement.
According to court records, Parsons met Kevin Murphy on Dec. 24 through a mutual friend at the Salvation Army. Murphy allowed Parsons to stay with him at his apartment on West 8th Avenue in Spokane.
They were walking to get beer Dec. 30 when Murphy informed Parsons that he could only continue to stay in the apartment if he agreed to continue sexual relations.
Parsons became angry and said he would not pay for rent with sex, according to the records. The two men returned to the apartment and Murphy put in a John Wayne movie that Parsons began to mock, so Murphy told Parsons to leave.
That's when Parsons struck Murphy in the head with a claw hammer.
Murphy told Parsons he was going outside to get some fresh air but instead went to a neighbor, who called police. Murphy suffered as many as eight blunt force wounds, many of which had cuts from the hammer's claw.
“I lost control of my emotions,” Parsons said today. “As soon as I saw the blood, I dropped the hammer. I'm sorry for what I did.”
The sentence imposed by Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno was the least amount of time available. Parsons had no criminal record.
A violent home-invasion robbery in Spokane Valley last month targeted a former sheriff's deputy with a history of DUI crashes.
James L. Crabtree, 49, was struck in the head with a claw hammer early Jan. 21 by a man who demanded “dope and money,” according to charging papers filed Wednesday against suspects Matthias “Payback” Piggot and Sandy K. Perreira, both 29 (pictured left to right).
The man, who detectives believe was Piggot, had arrived at the apartment in the 12700 block of East Shannon Avenue with a woman Crabtree said had been at his home two days earlier, police say. Detectives believe that woman was Perreira.
Crabtree told police he grabbed a folding knife but dropped it after he was threatened with the hammer. He told his attackers he didn't have any drugs or money, so the two left with his checkbook, wallet and credit cards, according to court documents. Crabtree suffered a concussion in the attack. His girlfriend, Cheryl L. Dassow, told police the robbers threatened to harm them further if they reported the attack.
Perreira faces an additional forgery charge for cashing a check on Crabtree's Numerica Credit Union account. She also faces drug and malicious mischief charges for an unrelated incident last December.
Piggot's criminal history includes convictions for domestic violence and attempting to elude police. In June, he was suspected of stabbing a man in Spokane Valley but an uncooperative victim halted the police probe. He also was present when Andrew T. Burns allegedly shot a man last June.
Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest Piggot, who last gave an address in the 2900 block of North Maple Road, and Perreira, who last gave an address in the 800 block of East Sitka Avenue.
Anyone with information on their locations is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.
In November, Crabtree, (left) who worked as a Spokane County sheriff's deputy in the 1980s and caused a crash that injured Lt. Earl Howerton in 2001, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after motorists noticed him passing out at the wheel of his Cadillac and blocked in his car. Police found an open can of Four Loko in the car. But Crabtree's blood-alcohol level was under the legal limit for driving, and prosecutors haven't yet filed charges.
A North Idaho woman died Monday after she and three others were bludgeoned with a hammer in what authorities describe as an ongoing neighbor dispute that took a violent twist.
A suspect, Larry W. Cragun, 31, was arrested after employees at several Bayview businesses said he walked in after the attack and said he’d “just killed four people with a hammer,” according to police reports.
Cragun, who residents say has a history of odd behavior, remains in Kootenai County Jail on $1 million bail, charged with murder in the beating death of Patricia A. Heath, 43. Three others survived the attack, though one remains in critical condition.
The attack at Heath’s mobile home at 34552 N. Limekiln Road in Bayview followed weeks of problems between her family and Cragun, including bizarre claims by the suspect that authorities say were unfounded.
Four people reportedly were hospitalized this afternoon apparently after being attacked in their Bayview, Idaho trailer home by a hammer-wielding neighbor.
Details were sketchy and the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department did not return calls Sunday seeking information, but residents said authorities at the scene of the attack indicated four people were injured, some with head wounds, and rushed to area hospitals. No condition reports were available. The attack occurred at a mobile home along Limekiln Road, said Herb Huseland, who lives nearby.
Husseland said the suspect, who is his next door neighbor, reportedly called the sheriff’s office from a local restaurant to turn himself in. Recently, the suspect had “tacked up a letter to the community accusing the government of invading his mind,” Huseland said in a posting on his community blog, Bay Views, about the attack.
Huseland is a freelance writer who contributes to The Spokesman-Review’s soon-to-be-discontinued Handle Extra section covering neighborhood news in North Idaho.