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Independent autopsy conflicts with police account in Pasco shooting

An autopsy commissioned by an attorney for the family of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, the Mexican national shot dead by Pasco police Feb. 10, rebuts claims by police the migrant worker was not shot in the back during the confrontation.

Charles Herrmann, the Seattle attorney hired by Zambrano-Montes' widow, released on Thursday a diagram of the autopsy Carl Wigren performed on Zambrano-Montes following an initial examination by a Franklin County-hired forensic pathologist earlier this month. Wigren's initial report indicates Zambrano-Montes was struck seven times by bullets, and that he was struck in the back of his upper arm as well as the buttocks. Wigren says two of the entry wounds may have been made by the same bullet, and also said Taser probes were found in areas of Zambrano-Montes' body "where they would have had letter effect," according to the news release.

You can read Herrmann's press release, and view the diagram of Wigren's examination, in its entirety below:


Antonio Zambrano-Montes Autopsy Diagram

Sgt. Ken Lattin, a spokesman for the multi-agency investigative team from the Tri-Cities looking into the shooting, said emphatically Wednesday that their autopsy did not indicate Zambrano-Montes was shot from behind.

But Herrmann hinted later that the findings of his independently commissioned autopsy would indicate otherwise.

"The Zambranos are going to have their day in court," Herrmann said after the police news conference.

Herrmann joins Benjamin Crump, a high-profile civil rights attorney who has represented family members of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, has been retained by Zambrano-Montes' mother. Agapita Montes-Rivera attended the funeral for her son in Pasco on Thursday, flying in from Mexico to return her son's body to his native country.

Lattin and Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Shawn Sant said Thursday they do not anticipate releasing more details about the shooting before a coroner's inquest is held in the case. The rarely used procedure, in which jurors examine evidence to determine if criminal charges should be filed in a homicide, will likely not occur for at least two months, Sant said Thursday.

Montes-Rivera said through an interpreter Thursday night she had not yet made firm plans on when she will return to Mexico.

Update: CPD Officer In Shooting ID’d

Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Wayne Longo said Thursday that Officer Spencer Mortensen, a six-year veteran of the force, is the officer who shot and killed Eric B. Johnston on Sunday morning in an apartment near downtown. Johnston, 35, a Dalton Gardens resident, died from multiple gunshot wounds. A friend who had been in the apartment with him moments earlier said Johnston had been holding a kitchen knife to himself. Mortensen was in the news three years ago as one of four Coeur d’Alene police officers credited with rescuing a woman from a burning building. He received a department commendation for his response in that incident. Earlier this year he helped apprehend arson suspect Clark E. Richman of Denver, Colo., at a fire near Kootenai Health. Richman pulled a knife on Mortensen in the dark, and the officer drew his service revolver and ordered Richman to drop the knife. Mortensen held the suspect at bay until backup arrived/Scott Maben, SR. More here.


Man Shot, Killed By CdA Police ID’d

Sources tell The Spokesman-Review that the man shot and killed Sunday by a Coeur d’Alene police officer was Eric Byron Johnston, 35, of Dalton Gardens. Johnston worked at a mechanic at Complete AutoCare in Dalton Gardens and also worked for his brother-in-law at Ray’s Rooftop Moss Removal in Coeur d’Alene. David Larsen, a close friend and coworker at Complete AutoCare, said Johnston was soft-spoken and a hard worker. “Just a good guy all around, you know, give the shirt off his back to help you out,” he said. Johnston was shot shortly before 8 a.m. Sunday at the apartment of a friend at 1422 E. Young Ave., north of Sanders Beach and west of the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course. Police said he had smashed his pickup truck into an Avista Utilities pole, severing it at the base, a block and a half away from there about a half hour earlier/Scott Maben, SR. More here.


Shot bank robbery suspect remains free

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — A 69-year-old Clarkston, Wash., man is out of jail but barred from casinos after being arraigned on charges related to a bank robbery.

David Payton was shot by officers after robbing a U.S. Bank in Lewiston at gunpoint Feb. 3, Lewiston police said. He was hospitalized for two months.

Nez Perce County prosecutors asked Magistrate Judge Jay Gaskill to arrest Payton Wednesday because of the seriousness of the charges and because Payton has been seen casinos. Police suspect gambling debts may have been the motive for the robbery.

Gaskill allowed Payton to remain free, but ordered him not to enter casinos. Payton is charged with robbery and four counts of aggravated assault. His preliminary hearing is set for June 8.

Bank robbery suspect, 69, shot by police

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — Police in Lewiston have released the name of a 69-year-old man who was shot by law enforcement officers after a bank robbery.

David L. Payton of Clarkston, Wash., is hospitalized in critical condition in Seattle.

Officers investigating the robbery of a US Bank branch Thursday morning found Payton walking nearby about 15 minutes after the robbery.

Capt. Tom Greene says when officers approached, the suspect pointed a gun at them and he was shot multiple times. He underwent surgery at a Lewiston hospital and was flown to Harborview Medical Center Thursday night.

Greene says the suspect pointed the gun at the teller and made off with a "fair amount" of cash. Payton has no significant prior criminal record.

The officers involved in the shooting are on paid administrative leave

Public announcement at noon…,

Good morning, Netizens…

Spokane Co. Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and Spokane Valley Mayor Tom Towey will make a joint statement from the Spokane County Courthouse at noon today regarding the office-involved shooting yesterday. Although I will be unable to attend, I trust that one or all of the local television news sources will carry this event live.


Cop Kills Valley Pastor, Biz Owner

RE: Officer shoots Southern Baptist pastor, business owner in Valley/Mike Prager, SR

Community Comment: It will be interesting to see how the spin-moguls manage to make it sound like Pastor Creach is at fault for his own death. it. More here.

Question: What’s wrong with the police departments in Spokane County?

Gunman threatened to cause a ‘war zone’

A gunman shot and killed by police last week had told his brother-in-law the day before that he planned to turn the neighborhood into a “war zone,” according to court documents filed Friday.

Todd E. White, 46, had previously threatened to kill Gary Paul in a dispute over firearms inherited from White’s late father, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

On March 26, he showed up at Paul’s home at 4127 E. 36th Ave., with a semi-automatic pistol equipped with a laser-sighting device and fired at least four shots at two officers when they arrived, the sheriff’s office said.

Officer Trevor Nollmeyer, who joined the forced in 2003, shot White twice about 6:29 a.m. He was declared dead at a hospital about 8 a.m.

White, who pleaded guilty in 2002 to assaulting two Clark County deputies, had been at the scene for about 20 minutes prior to the arrival of Nollmeyer and Mason, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

White’s felony convictions made him ineligible to possess a gun, and family told police he had “mental instability issues.”

Police searched White’s 1999 Mazda truck on Monday as part of an ongoing investigation.

Previous coverage:

Man killed in police shootout identified

Gunman assaulted cops in ‘01