Latest from The Spokesman-Review
This message from PFPD officer Sgt. Rosenau was posted this morning on the department's Facebook page in response to citizen's concerns over officer safety. I found it very moving.
I am a sheepdog! I watch over the sheep at night as they sleep! I protect the sheep from the wolves in this world and I know no greater privilege than to continue in this profession! I don't run from the cowards of this world but I run to them in their time of need! I accept their hatred and criticism when they say they don't want us around! I accept their gratitude when they say they need us! I will forever be a part of the thin blue line of brotherhood! I know you all have concerns about the safety of the job but if God wills that I lose my life in the line of duty to save the life of my fellow brother or the sheep I will die happy. I will ever remain vigilant in the task that is required of me and know that if God calls me home I will be in paradise! I love you guys so much and please understand that I know nothing else then to be a COP!
Two Post Falls police officers were justified when they shot a fugitive to death in March during a chase that ended in a cul-de-sac in Hayden, authorities concluded last week.
Video from a police cruiser’s dashboard camera released Friday shows Justin Earl Nicholas Todd, 33, strike Idaho State Police Cpl. Michael Thomas Keys with a car before Keys and Post Falls police Officers Aaron Ogle and Bradley Johnson opened fire.
Todd, who died at the scene, was shot 10 times. Johnson fired 16 shots, Ogle fired one and Keys three.
Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall concluded this week that no criminal charges will be filed because the officers’ use of force was lawful.
Watch me talk about the story in the video above with KHQ's Dave Cotton.
A homeowner says his surveillance video brings into question the official account of why law enforcement shot and killed a North Idaho fugitive three weeks ago, though police warn against drawing too many conclusions from the footage because it captures just a portion of the chaotic 20-minute chase and final encounter.
Theft and burglary victims in the Kootenai County area should check out photos of suspected stolen property seized by police recently.
Post Falls police released photos of the items Thursday in hopes the owners will come forward. View all the photos here.
Police seized the items while serving a search warrant recently with the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department.
Anyone who believes the property may be theirs is asked to call Detective John Mason at (208) 773-3517.
A fugitive shot to death by police in North Idaho had material for changing his identity in his vehicle, as well as weapons, drug paraphernalia and an active police scanner.
The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department announced the discovery Wednesday as part of its ongoing investigation into the death of Justin Earl Nicholas Todd, 33.
Todd died early Monday after he was shot by multiple Post Falls police officers following a 20-minute chase that ended in a residential area in west Hayden, Idaho.
Todd was shot after he struck an Idaho State Police trooper with his car and knocked him to the ground. The trooper suffered minor injuries.
Todd, a longtime felon, was wanted on a warrant for eluding police when his car triggered an alert system on Interstate 90 that detects stolen vehicles and fugitives.
Investigators said Wednesday that Todd's car had recently been painted from blue to white. They found six cans of black spray paint in the car that indicated Todd may have planned to paint it again. They also found a brass knuckles/stun gun combination weapons, a knife, three cell phones along with the paraphernalia and scanner.
Investigators interviewed all officers involved in the incident Wednesday. The Kootenai County Prosecutor's Office will decide on charges once a report is submitted.
A North Idaho man with an extensive criminal history was shot and killed by a Post Falls police officer early Monday after striking a state trooper with his car, police say.
Justin Earl Nicholas Todd, 33, died at Kootenai Medical Center after a nearly 20-minue police chase ended with shots fired in a residential area near St. Estephe Court and Bordeaux Drive, just west of Ramsey Road and south of Honeysuckle Drive in Hayden.
In this 2008 photo, Kootenai County sheriff’s Sgt. Brad Maskell stands in the area where newspaper carrier Gary Loesch was murdered in November 1995. (SRarchives)
A cable TV show on Saturday will feature the case of two fugitive North Idaho women who committed suicide in Arizona after America's Most Wanted detailed their ties to two murders.
Tina R. Loesch (left) and Skye M. Hanson (right) were wanted for the 1998 murder of Loesch's mother, Barbara, and suspects in the 1995 murder of her father, Gary, when America's Most Wanted spotlighted them in November 2008.
Gary Loesch, who was killed while delivering copies of The Spokesman-Review, had written his daughter out of his will after she told him she was in a lesbian relationship with Hanson, according to previously published reports.
Detectives believe the women hired Bradley Steckman to kill Barbara Loesch, who was found dead in her hot tub with the TV inside. Steckman is serving life in prison for Loesch's murder and for the 1996 murder of an 89-year-old Pullman woman.
Police have long suspected the father-daughter rift and a $500,000 life insurance policy Tina Loesch took out on her mother were motives in the killings.
Post Falls police had been trying to find the women for years - they were last seen with Loesch's son, Kristopher, in Spokane in 2000. The night the program aired, Loesch and Hanson were found dead of suicide in their SUV northwest of Tucson. Police had no idea the women were in Arizona.
Lt. Greg McLean said Thursday that detectives still are trying to find Kristopher Loesch, who would be 21. Cadaver dogs have searched for his body in Arizona amidst rumors the couple had killed him, but his location still is unknown.
“We're not sure if he was dropped off somewhere before they decided to end their lives,” McLean said. “if he was, we haven't been able to find him yet.”
“It's just been a long-term investigation that in my opinion still hasn't been closed because we're still missing Kristopher,” McLean said.
The show airs at 9 p.m. as part of Investigation Discovery's new series, Deadly Sins. It features interviews with Loesch's brother, Charles Loesch, Paul Farina of the Post Falls Police Department and Brad Maskell of the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department. A channel finder is available here.
Samantha Moore, of Coeur d’Alene, talks in March 2009 about the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Karina, pictured at far left. (SRPhoto/Kathly Plonka)
Post Falls police arrested a Post Falls couple in the January 2009 death of 2-year-old Karina Janay Moore, who was fatally injured while in the couple’s foster care.
Jeremy and Amber Clark were booked into Kootenai County Jail on Thursday on charges of injury to a child, conspiracy and perjury, according to a jail official.
The case has been sealed by a judge until the Clarks’ first court appearance, according to Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney Barry McHugh.
A sex offender with a lengthy criminal history in Oregon will serve 15 years to life in prison for molesting a girl in Post Falls.
Roy L. Goldsborough, 52, was arrested in December after a 12-year-old girl told family members about the abuse.
Post Falls police recorded a phone call between the girl and Goldsborough in which he confessed to the abuse, according to court documents. He pleaded guilty in March to lewd conduct with a minor under 16 and being an habitual offender.
Kootenai County District Curt Judge John Mitchell sentenced him Wednesday to life in prison with eligibility for parole after 15 years, with credit for time served in the Kootenai County Jail.
Mitchell noted Goldsborough's extensive criminal history, the nature of the offense and his “blame shifting” when sentencing him, accoridng to the Kootenai County Prosecutor's Office.
Goldsborough's criminal history includes convictions for two counts of sexual abuse, two counts of felony assault and single counts of petit theft, delivery of a controlled substance and driving under the influence. Goldsborough moved to Post Falls last fall.
In a prepared statement, Prosecutor Barry McHugh said the sentence “was appropriate given the unconscionable nature of the offense and the continued predatory conduct by the defendant.”
A father and son became stuck in the mud Tuesday while leading police on an interstate chase after attempting to steal merchandise from the Wal-Mart just east of the Idaho-Washington border.
Michael R. Dyczok, 64, (left) and Michael Dyczok, Jr., 35, (right) were arrested near East Wellesley Avenue and North Harvard Road just before 11 p.m. after leading Post Falls police on a high-speed chase in a blue Volkswagen Jetta.
Post Falls police began watching Wal-Mart after an employee said the men had filled storage containers with merchandise earlier that day and placed them near the fire exit. Police saw the men grab the storage containers and flee through the fire exit, then speed away in the Jetta.
But the father and son duo drove down a dead end road just across the Washington border and got stuck in mud, police say. Liberty Lake police assisted with the arrests.
Police say the Dyczoks threw a stolen X-Box from their car during the chase. It was recovered, along with other stolen merchandise located in the Jetta.
The men were booked into jail on charges of eluding police and tampering with evidence. The younger Dyczok also faces a charge of driving on a suspended California license.
Post Falls police are trying to identify a passenger who fled a traffic stop with a burglary suspect.
Charles Allen Gutzman ran from his car after police tried to stop him from driving with no headlights in the area of Howell Road and Radiant Star Road Monday at 3:10 a.m.
Police identified Gutzman as the car's owner and contacted him on Tuesday. They arrested him after finding evidence from three recent car prowling.
“Gutzman admitted to detectives that he lied during his initial interview where he claimed that his vehicle broke down and was stolen,” according to a news release.
Anyone with information on the identity of Gutzman's passenger is asked to call the Post Falls Police Department at (208) 773-3517 or leave an anonymous tip at (208) 777-COPS.
Tips can also be submitted online.
A Post Falls sex offender will spend 15 year to life in prison after being convicted of his third sex crimes case since 1990.
Daniel Eugene Nichols, 51, (pictured) was convicted by a jury last month of two counts of lewd conduct related to “inappropriate touching” with an 11-year-old girl whom he knew through her family and lured to a his garage, according to the Kootenai County Prosecutors Office.
Judge Lansing Haynes sentenced Nichols to 25 years in prison with 15 fixed and 10 indeterminate, prosecutors said Friday.
A Post Falls woman is in critical condition at Kootenai Medical Center after being hit on the head in what police believe was an act of domestic violence.
Officers responding to a disturbance at 2595 N. Bradley Drive today discovered the woman unconscious and bleeding in the front hallway.
William F. Gardner III, 53, (pictured) was arrested by Post Falls Police and booked into the Kootenai County Jail on suspicion of aggravated battery. He is being held on a $500,000 bond.
Police ask that anyone with information about the altercation contact Post Falls Police Department at (208) 773-3517 or the tip line at (208) 777-COPS.
Adam M. Johnson, 27, was in a room with a syringe loaded with heroin when police arrived on Friday with a search warrant.
Johnson, the founder of a telecommunications company and a member of the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, “denied ownership of the syringe and advised me that he did not know who it belonged to,” according to a report by Post Falls police Detective Brian Williamson.
When he was arrested, Johnson had on him a plastic straw with brown residue, police say, which is typically used to ingest drugs.
Johnson told The Spokesman-Review on Tuesday that he’s passed a drug test and had no knowledge of drugs in the home until the raid.
Johnson was featured in The Spokesman-Review a weekend before the shooting in a story about the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.. He was also featured in 2007 in a story about his business, Convertec.
For police agencies, cameras that record officer encounters with the public can help prove suspects are guilty and set the record straight if officers are wrongly accused of misconduct.
“It tells you the facts,” Post Falls police Capt. Pat Knight said. “It keeps us out of trouble.”
Over the years, law enforcement officials in Spokane County have largely dismissed cameras as not worth the cost. But as agencies deal with high-profile cases of alleged misconduct, the cameras are getting a new look.
Spokane police Ombudsman Tim Burns recommended in his annual report to City Council earlier this month that cameras be installed in police cars to provide definitive evidence in cases that otherwise would be mostly the officer’s word against the accuser’s.
- Tuesday Poll: 90 of 163 respondents (55.2%) voted that former Post Falls police officer Ian Johnson shouldn't have been fired for pretending to use a Taser on a friend while on duty. 61 of 163 respondents (37.4%) support the firing. 12 were undecided.
- Today's Question: Should Idahoans be allowed to carry concealed weapons without permits?
A Post Falls police officer has been fired for pulling a taser on one of his friends while he was on duty.Officer Ian Johnson was fired last month for what his chief termed “bad decision making.”Just before Christmas, Officer Johnson was wrapping up a call for service at River City Physical Therapy. Johnson is a patient there and familiar with the staff and when he saw one of his friends he took the cartridge off his taser and pretended like he was going to stun the employee. The memory chip in the taser shows it was energized for one second but the physical therapy employee was never tasered/Jeff Humphrey, KXLY. More here. (Photo courtesy KXLY)
Question: Should Officer Johnson have been fired, given his track record of outstanding service?
A convicted sex offender with a lengthy criminal history in Oregon is accused of molesting a Post Falls girl.
Roy L. Goldsborough, 51, is in Kootenai County Jail on $500,000 for one charge of lewd conduct with a minor.
He’s accused of sexually abusing a 12-year-girl who told her mother about the alleged abuse last week.
Post Falls police recorded a phone call between the girl and Goldsborough in which he confessed to the abuse, according to court documents.
Goldsborough was arrested in a Wal-Mart parking lot last Wednesday, where police said he appeared to be trying to fix a flat tire.
Goldsborough, of Coos Bay, Ore., moved to Post Falls about two months ago. His criminal history in Oregon includes several sex abuse convictions, police said.
A baby sitter who pushed a 3-year-old Post Falls boy, resulting in a fatal head injury, pleaded guilty Tuesday to voluntary manslaughter.
Amanda L. Skogen, 26, faces up to 15 years in prison when she’s sentenced early next year in Kootenai County District Court.
Skogen pleaded guilty this afternoon and had her $1 million bond reduced to $100,000, said Post Falls Police Chief Scot Haug.
“We’re pleased to see some resolution to this case,” Haug said.
Prosecutors says Skogen was on her knees when she violently shoved Cohen Johnson on Oct. 4, causing him to fall back and hit his head.
She confessed to shoving the boy after he wet his pants and reportedly told police: “I hurt a poor little defenseless boy … And it was all my fault.”
Prosecutors sought a first-degree murder charge against Skogen, which is punishable by up to life in prison or the death penalty, but Magistrate Judge Clark Peterson ruled earlier this month that involuntary manslaughter was the appropriate charge.
Police have identified two people who were found dead inside a Post Falls home Thursday evening.
Christina K. Mandriguez, 38, and Jeffrey A. Hayes, 54, each died of a single gunshot wound to the forehead in a homicide/suicide, said Post Falls Police Chief Scot Haug.
The couple’s landlord found Mandriguez’s body around 5:15 p.m. and called police.
Investigators found her slumped up against the front door, with a cell phone in her hand, Haug said.
Hayes was working as a store clerk at Stateline in 2005 when he shot and killed a robber. Read more here.
A 28-year-old Spokane man suspected of kidnapping and extortion remains in Kootenai County Jail after escaping a friend’s home during a SWAT standoff Thursday in Post Falls, only to be caught later.
Post Falls police responded to a house at 204 W. 17th Ave. just before noon Thursday, where Joshua M. Moses allegedly held and beat up Joshua M. Branam, 34, on Saturday, Post Falls police Chief Scot Haug said.
Police believe Branam, of Coeur d’Alene, owed Moses money, but the investigation is ongoing. Branam’s family paid Moses $2,500 for his release, Haug said.
The homeowner told officers as they toured the scene of the beating that Moses was in the house, and that he had a gun. Officers called the SWAT team, but Moses sneaked out the back door, Haug said.
Police apprehended Moses around 6:30 p.m. at the Post Falls Club, a bar at 611 E. Seltice Way. A 15-year-old runaway also was arrested today in connection with the Saturday incident. Branam was arrested Wednesday on an outstanding warrant, Haug said.
After making national news last summer, a babysitter sex scandal in North Idaho was plea-bargained out Thursday after the alleged victim gave the accused a perfect alibi: He said the sex acts occurred on dates when the babysitter was living out of state.
Summer Kelli Ashle Hughes, 29, also known as Summer Nelson, will be on supervised probation for two years after entering an Alford plea to four lesser counts of misdemeanor injury to a child.
Kootenai County prosecutors were prepared to take her to trial on felony lewd-conduct charges before her teenaged accuser, who was 14 at the time of the crimes, testified at a preliminary hearing in May.
Read the rest of my story here.
Surveillance photos show two men who police believe robbed a Post Falls pharmacy of OxyContin on Sunday.
The men did not display a weapon but handed an employee a threatening note demand the powerful prescription painkiller about 11:10 a.m.
The robbers entered and exited through the front door of Walgreens, 706 E. Seltice Way, and were last seen leaving on foot, police said.
Both men are described as in their late 20s to early 30s.
One suspect has a medium build and round face with a mustache and slight beard, along with short, dark hair. He wore a black baseball hat, wire-framed glasses, a black long-sleeved shirt, dark jeans and white tennis shoes.
The second suspect has a thin build, “pointed features,” dark, trimmed hair, a lsight beard and wore a blue, long-sleeved shirt, tan pants, a brown belt and brown shoes.
Anyone with information is asked to call Post Falls polite at (208) 773-3517 or (208) 777-COPS. Tips can be submitted anonymously at www.postfallspolice.com.
The same Walgreens was robbed Sept. 30.
A 20-year-old former Post Falls church volunteer accused of raping teen girls is back in jail on new charges.
Jordan C. Vernon was arrested Tuesday on three counts of felony rape of a minor. He’s in Kootenai County Jail on $100,000 bail.
Vernon faces five additional rape charges stemming from his first arrest on Dec. 28, said Dave Beck, a detective/sergeant with the Post Falls Police Department.
Police had said Jan. 6 that the new charges would be filed because a 16-year-old came forward after learning of Vernon’s arrest.
A 14-year-old and 17-year-old girl had already accused Vernon of inappropriate contact between 2007 and 2009, which launched a police investigation in September, Beck said.
Police think Vernon used his position as youth leader in training at Real Life Ministries to take advantage of the girls, Beck said. Idaho law doesn’t differentiate between rape and statutory rape.
A former Post Falls church youth leader was arrested last week on suspicion he had sexual and inappropriate contact with multiple minor girls from the congregation.
Jordan Vernon, 20, (right) is accused of allegedly having sex with at least two girls ages 14 and 17, and having inappropriate contact with at least two others ages 12 and 14 while serving as a youth leader in training at Real Life Ministries in Post Falls from 2007 to 2009, said Post Falls Police Detective Sgt. Dave Beck.
Vernon was arrested Dec. 28 for sexual battery of a minor child under the age of 16, lewd conduct with a minor child under the age of 16, and statutory rape for having sexual intercourse with child under 18, among other charges, police said.
Luke Denman, 28, (left) a relative of Vernon, was also arrested for intimidating a witness.
Denman allegedly went to the church after learning authorities planned to arrest Vernon, and threatened a church member, Beck said.
A year-long graffiti spree in Post Falls has been connected to a 20-year-old man, police said today.
Grayson Kalin Shults was booked into Kootenai County Jail on one count of felony malicious injury to property after detectives with the Post Falls Police Department searched his apartment on a tip.
Detectives found items linking Shults to the 21 graffiti crimes reported over the last 10 months, according to a news release. Grayson also implicated himself in the crimes, police said.
The graffiti included the phrase “Great White” or initials “G.W.” and was found on streets, businesses and government buildings. Damage is estimated at $3,000.
A news release said the crimes “plagued the downtown Post Falls area.”Check out a profile picture for Grayson K. Shults here.
Two Post Falls men are in Kootenai County Jail today after being arrested in connection with a beating and robbery outside a bar in Post Falls last week.
Jacobe J. Blake, 24, (left) and Michael A. Butts, 23, (right) were arrested Thursday and have been booked for aggravated battery and robbery.
Butts also was charged with felony drug possession after officers found a plastic bag of methamphetamine in his wallet, Post Falls police said today.
They appeared in Kootenai County District Court on Friday and are being held on $100,000 bond.
The alleged incident occured at Bob’s 21 Club, 212 E. Seltice Way, when theb victim was seeking a ride home from two men who beat him and robbed him of $160 in the club’s parking lot.
The victim reported being choked, kicked and punched, causing serious injuries including a fractured eye socket and cracked rib.
The men also threatened him with a knife, police said.
A Rathdrum woman was arrested Monday on suspicion of embezzling more than $450,000 from a Post Falls doctor’s office.
Yolanda M. Williams, 36, is charged with grand theft and forgery for allegedly making fraudulent online transfers from the bank account of Post Falls Family Medicine into her personal bank account, Post Falls police said.
(Williams’ mug shot, taken today at the Kootenai County Jail, is at the right. Her Department of Licensing photo is at the left. It’s unclear what year the licensing photo was taken, but I would venture to guess it was a while ago.)
Here’s the rest of Sara Leaming’s report:
Williams, who worked as an office manager, began making withdrawals from the business accounts as far back as July 2003. The thefts were discovered Oct. 5, when management at the practice noticed funds were missing.
Williams is accused of altering bookkeeping records to erroneously show payments were made to various vendors, when they were not.
She also is accused of taking unauthorized checks from the business, forging them and depositing them into her own bank account.
Court records dated Oct. 20 show the clinic is seeking $451,289 in damages from Yolanda and Corey Williams.
Williams reportedly was cooperative with investigators when questioned about the missing money. She was booked into the Kootenai County Jail, where she remained Monday night.
The Post Falls Police Department called it the biggest fraud case they’d investigated.
Post Falls police have released photos of an OxyContin robbery Wednesday.
An employee at Walgreens, 706 E. Seltice Way, called 911 just after 5:33 p.m. and said a man with a bandanna covering his mouth handed her a note saying he had a gun and demanding the prescription pain killer.
Police were already en route to the store to respond to a silent hold-up alarm.
The photos show a man in an orange and tan billed beanie hat walking down an aisle at 5:29 p.m., talking to a pharmacy employee at 5:33 p.m., then walking out of the store at 5:35 p.m.
He wore a white hooded sweatshirt with tan sleeves, dark jeans and dark sunglasses. Witnesses described him as in his early 20s with a thin build, slight facial hair and about 5-foot-8 to 6-feet tall. Anyone with information is asked to call the Post Falls Police Department at (208) 773-3517.
Police don’t know if the robbery is connected to this robbery Sunday night at a north Spokane Rite Aid (the robber fled in a SUV with Idaho plates; the company that makes OxyContin is offering a reward).
While pharmacy robberies have plagued Spokane, Kootenai County has seen only a few in the last couple of years.
Walgreens installed time release safes in all Washington stores this summer (read about it here), and no robberies have been reported at those stores since.
A man who injured a pedestrian in a hit and run crash in Post Falls was arrested for drunken driving shortly after the incident, but officers didn’t connect him to the crime until hours later, according to the Post Falls Police Department.
Jade R. Spann, 35, was arrested when he tried to pick up his car from a tow yard Wednesday after police identified him as a suspect in the crash through witness statements, according to a news release.
Police say he hit a 41-year-old man near Third Avenue and Ross Point Road at 11:07 p.m. Tuesday.
The man suffered a broken arm, police said.
Spann has a long history of driving-related arrests, including convictions for drunken driving, reckless driving and driving the wrong way on a highway.
He was booked into Kootenai County Jail.