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It’s official: ID angler shatters WA tiger trout record

FISHING —  An 18.49-pound tiger trout caught in Bonaparte Lake near Tonasket on May 5 has been confirmed as a Washington state record, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today.  

The catch was reported earlier but records processing has taken more than two months.

Kelly Flaherty, 53, of Priest River, Idaho, caught the trout measuring 32.5 inches while bait fishing with a worm and egg at the Okanogan County lake.

A tiger trout is a cross between a brown trout and brook trout. The hybrid is a sterile trout that's fond of eating forage fish.  Tigers are stocked in lakes where they can help control prolific sunfish, perch and other forage fish.

“The fish skyrocketed out of the water,” said Flaherty, who was fishing from a boat launch. “As soon as I hooked it, I was whooping it up, while a crowd gathered around the whole time.”

Flaherty estimates it took 15 minutes to land the fish from the time he set the hook until he pulled his prize onto the boat launch without a landing net.

The record exceeds the previous record tiger trout record by 3.45 pounds. That fish was caught in 2012 by Kirk Herrin in Roses Lake, Chelan County.

Okanogan County sued for opening roads to ATVs

OHVs — Two conservation groups have sued to block the opening of nearly all of Okanogan County’s roads to ATVs, according to the Wenatchee World.

Conservation Northwest and the Methow Valley Citizens Council sued Wednesday in Okanogan County Superior Court seeking an injunction prohibiting the ordinances from taking effect, and an order declaring that they violate state law.

2 convicted in murder of pregnant woman

Okanogan County jurors late Thursday convicted two Spokane residents in the 2009 ice-pick slaying of a pregnant woman near Tonasket.

Tansy Fay-Arwen Mathis, 30, and David Eugene Richards, 34, were convicted in the killing of Michelle Kitterman, 25, who was found dead along a driveway adjacent to Stalder Road in Tonasket on March 1, 2009. Kitterman was 11 weeks pregnant.

Mathis was found guilty of aggravated first-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter of an unborn child, first-degree kidnapping and tampering with evidence. Richards was found guilty of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter. The jury reached its verdict about 11 p.m., said Sheriff Frank Rogers. Aggravated first-degree murder carries a sentence of life in prison.

Awaiting trial for murder is Lacey K. Hirst-Pavek, 33, of Tonasket, who is accused of offering $500 to have Kitterman killed because Kitterman was having an affair with her husband.

A key witness was Brent L. Phillips, 39, of Spokane, who was involved in the killing and pleaded guilty last month in the murder.

Mathis, formerly of Tonasket, is believed to have met with Hirst-Pavek several times in arranging to have Kitterman killed.

Past coverage: April 16: 2 on trial in Okanogan ice-pick slaying

2 on trial in Okanogan Co. ice-pick slaying

Two Spokane residents charged in the ice-pick slaying of a pregnant woman near Tonasket last year face life in prison if convicted by an Okanogan County jury this month.

Tansy Fae-Arwen Mathis, 30 (right), and David Eugene Richards, 34 (left), are accused of killing 25-year-old Michelle L. Kitterman and her unborn baby in an attack authorities say was motivated by an affair Kitterman was having with the husband of Lacey K. Hirst-Pavek, 33, of Tonasket.

Richards and Mathis are charged with aggravated first-degree murder, which carries a life sentence if convicted. Kitterman was 11 weeks pregnant when she was found dead on March 1 along a driveway adjacent to Stalder Road, near Tonasket.

Investigators say Hirst-Pavek offered $500 for the killing, then rented a car that detectives said was used in the attack. Hirst-Pavek (right) is awaiting trial on charges of first-degree murder for Kitterman’s slaying and first-degree manslaughter for the death Kitterman’s unborn child.

A key witness against Mathis and Richards is 39-year-old Brent L. “Hollywood” Phillips, of Spokane, who pleaded guilty to Kitterman’s murder March 29.

A plea deal calls for him to get 26 years in prison when he’s sentenced May 11, said Okanogan County Prosecutor Karl Sloan.

Other witnesses include Spokane police investigators who assisted Okanogan County in the investigation because “several of the people (Okanagan investigators) needed to speak with were in Spokane,” Sloan said.

Phillips (left) and Richards lived in Spokane at the time of the murder.

Mathis, formerly of Tonasket, is believed to have met with Hirst-Pavek several times before reaching an agreement to “take care of” Kitterman for $500 and persuading Richards and Phillips to get involved, Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said in previously published reports.

Richards is believed to have provided the ice pick, Rogers said.

Lawyer Steve Graham, who’s defending Mathis, said the murder was the “sole work” of Phillips.

Past coverage:

Affair may have triggered ice-pick slaying

Fourth suspect arrested in pregnant woman’s death

Suspect in ice-pick playing surrenders