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Judge rejects mom-based lawyer plea

A 50-year-old Spokane man recently sentenced to prison for drugs won't be allowed to retain his publicly funded lawyer while he awaits legal advice from his mother, a judge ruled Monday.

Vernon V. Jackson had objected to public defender Mark Hannibal's routine request to withdraw as his attorney after Jackson was sentenced last week to two years in prison for three counts of possession of a controlled substance.

Jackson said Monday that he spoke with his mother after he pleaded guilty and “might have a change of heart” but needed to talk to his mother again. He wanted Hannibal to stay on as his attorney just in case.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Annette Plese asked Jackson if his mother was a lawyer. He said no, but she “has lawyer skills.”

“I wanted to become an attorney, but I messed up,” Jackson said.

Plese denied Jackson's request, noting there was no legal basis for Hannibal to continue to represent him. Jackson can still try to change his plea once he talks to his mother even without a lawyer currently assigned.

Mother charged in crash disappearance

Police say a Spokane mother who caused a car crash last month removed her injured child from the scene before medics arrived because she feared getting in trouble.

Tamika L. Hill, 28, appeared in Superior Court Thursday on a second-degree criminal mistreatment charge and two counts of vehicular assault for a June 27 crash at North Ralph Street and East Upriver Drive that injured her passenger, Andrew Neil Powell, and her young daughter, identified by the initials T.W.

A woman who witnessed the crash said she arrived to find Powell unconscious and bleeding, but Hill repeatedly asked her not to call the police, according to court documents.

The woman said the inside of Hill's Ford Escort smelled like alcohol and that Hill called someone to pick up her daughter.

The woman pleaded with Hill to keep her daughter at the scene because she appeared to be injured, but Hill refused “saying that she could get in trouble,” according to court documents. The child was driven from the scene by an unknown person, the woman told police.

Hill didn't tell responding officers that her daughter was involved in the crash but police later contacted the child and learned she'd been treated for minor injuries at Holy Family Hospital.

Last year, Hill was watching a woman's three children when she left them with a neighbor, causing an argument with their mother that led to a stabbing. Read more here.

Mom’s stolen truck leads to son’s arrest

A woman's report of a stolen pickup led to her son's arrest in a separate car theft, authorities said today.

Robert Kevin Reeder, 43, was arrested after Spokane Valley police saw him driving away in a red Ford pickup that had been stolen from M2 Tech Services, 4207 E. Rowan Ave., overnight, according to a news release.

Reeder's mother had called police to her home at North Burns Road to say her son had loaned her pickup to someone to move items but it hadn't been returned.

Police haven't recovered that pickup, but they did recover the red pickup, as well as a motorcycle,  air compressor and two tube-type heaters that had been stolen from M2 Tech Services. A lawnmower also was stolen; police say the thief cut a padlock on the firm's storage lot.

Reeder was booked into jail on charges of third-degree possession of stolen property and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

Parenting without a map


      Last week at the bookstore, I spent an hour moving slowly along the rows and bookshelves, my head tilted to one side, reading titles.

      After an hour or so of skimming titles and sampling chapters I had three books I couldn’t leave behind so I carried them to the cash register and got in line. There was a man talking to the cashier and just ahead of me a pregnant woman stood with three books of her own. Tilting my head again, I read the titles she held.

      Each of them had something to do with parenting.

      Ah, I thought. She’s looking for an owner’s manual. I remembered doing the same thing.