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Courthouse watch: 6.16.09

A man accused of a knife-point OxyContin robbery at a Spokane Valley Walgreens was due in Spokane County Superior Court today.

Michael Alan Miller was arrested Jan. 23, nine days after the alleged incident at the pharmacy, 2702 N. Argonne Road.

The robbery came in the midst of a slew of OxyContin-related robberies that culminated in the arrest of a young couple in late February.

The city saw no successful OxyContin pharmacy robberies for several months until the June 7 robbery at the South Hill Walgreens.

Fingerprints linked Miller, who had a pretrial conference scheduled, to the Jan. 14 crime. His sister told police she wanted him to get help for his OxyContin addiction, according to a search warrant.

The addictive pull of OxyContin has led police to predict the robberies won’t stop in stories you can read here and here.

So far, they’ve been right.

Another Spokane pharmacy was robbed about 5 p.m. today. Read the story here.

Courthouse watch: 6.12.09

Suspects on today’s Spokane County Superior Court docket included a woman whose cat-packed house was raided after a neighbor found what turned out to be broken freezer filled with dead felines and called authorities.

Once described as an animal advocate, Penny K. McIntosh, 57, faces ten counts of first-degree animal cruelty after 85 cats and four dogs were seized from a small house she rented at 2812 W. Sharp Ave. last summer.

Her neighbor described his situation as “like living next to a human toilet,” in a story you can read here.

McIntosh and her attorney, Dave Hearrean, were due to ask for a trial extension today

Two accused OxyContin robbers were also on the docket .

Adam J. Dally, 25, is accused of using a gun to rob the Liberty Lake Walgreens of nearly 900 OxyContin pills Dec. 5. He’s also charged with first-degree robbery for a Nov. 26 at the South Hill Walgreens, 2830 S. Grand Blvd. That Walgreens was robbed again Sunday in a case that remains unsolved. Read about it here.

Liberty Lake Detective Ray Bourgeois spent months building a case against Dally, who traveled to Seattle after the robbery, according to previously published reports.

People who led Bourgeois to Dally included a former girlfriend who claimed to have been having sex with him in exchange for drugs and heard him brag about robbing the pharmacy, records show.

Dally joined Sunshine VanCleave on the pre-trial conference docket. VanCleave is accused of robbing a Deer Park pharmacy in a story you can read here.

She discussed her addiction in a major story on OxyContin back in January that you can read here.

Also on the docket was Scott A. Johnson, 49.

He’s charged with bail jumping and possession of stolen property but is part of a larger Washington State Patrol investigation involving Pinnacle realty found Joe Ward.  

Courthouse watch: 6.5.09

A Spokane man who stole prescription drug patches from nursing homes to get high will spend eight months in prison.

Cory R. Morse, 22, (right) will begin his sentence June 10, Judge Maryann Moreno ruled today.

Morse and his girlfriend, Lacey B. Sell, 20, were arrested in January after a three-week investigation into missing Fentanyl patches from adult care facilities.

Police alleged the two stole patches from the bodies of more than a dozen people. Fentanyl is used to treat chronic pain; Morse said he squeezed gel out of the patches and smoked it to get high.

Morse pleaded guilty this week to burglary charges related to that case, as well as manufacturing a controlled substance for 15 marijuana plants police found when they raided his house in the 2110 block of West Mission.

Moreno sentenced him to six months for the marijuana plants and eight months for the burglary; he’ll serve the sentences concurrently.

Read a story on his arrest and listen to clips of him talking in the Spokane County Jail here.

Sell’s trial is scheduled for July 20.

Other suspects on today’s Spokane County Superior Court docket included a trio of accused robbers.

Zachary T. Allen, 19, Kimberley A. Norman, 20, and Nathan K. Webb, 25, each had pre-trial conferences scheduled before Moreno. Allen and Norman are accused ofa month-long robbery spree that police say was driven by OxyContin addiction.

Police say Allen used a black gun later identifried as a BB gun and wore a black ski mask during eight robberies at conveince stores, cash stores, and one pharmacy.

Norman is accused of being his getaway driver in seven robberies; Webb is accused of driving the getaway car once. Read a story on Allen and Norman’s Feb 6 arrest here. Read a story on the three pleading innocent in March here.

Norman and Webb are free on bond; Allen is being held in Spokane County Jail on $200,000 bond.

Courthouse watch: 5.29.09

Friday’s smorgasbord of suspects on the Spokane County Superior Court docket include an accused OxyContin robber, a teenager charged with attempted murder for a shooting spree in a motel parking lot and a man connected to Pinaccle Realty founder Joe Ward, who is the subject of a major Washington State Patrol investigation into a suspected stolen property and drug ring.

Joshua G. Dixon, 26, is charged with first-degree robbery for an alleged OxyContin heist in January with Richard T. Ludvik.

Dixon was arrested that night and told police he’d driven Ludvik to the Walgreens at 29th Avenue and Grand Boulevard in exchange for a couple of pills, court appears show.

Ludvik turned himself in a month later. Mark Hannibal is defending Dixon; Larry Steinmetz is the prosecutor. Read a story on the case here.

Anthony R. Covert, 18, is charged with attempted first-degree murder, possession of a stolen firearm, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault.

He’s accused of spraying 10 bullets at two men in a parking lot at the West Wynn Motel, 2701 W. Sunset Blvd., in November, records show. Read a story on that case here. Alan Rossi represents Covert; Dale Nagy is the prosecutor.

But the hidden gem on Friday’s docket was David K. “Ink” Sankey, 34, who’s accused of firing shots on Joe Ward’s property overlooking Long Lake in December. Ward is pictured left.

Sankey is charged with second-assault and harassment against his girlfriend, Chelce Zimmerman, after witnesses told police he’d held a gun to her head in “retaliation for Chelce sleeping with Joseph Ward,” court papers show. Sankey’s lawyer is David Loebach; the prosecutor is Gayle Ervin.

Sankey’s arrest came about a month before WSP raided Ward’s home, seizing stolen property and methamphetamine and launching an investigation that was recently forwarded to the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office and involves more than 200 criminal charges and several suspects, according to WSP.

Charges have not been filed, and Ward remains free on bond.

Ward’s alleged accomplice, longtime felon Scott Johnson, remains in Spokane County Jail. Read a story on the January raid here.

Dixon, Covert and Sankey were each granted trial extensions by Judge Ellen Kalama Clark.