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Victim says sexuality prompted attack

A knife assault that nearly killed a man early Saturday began after the victim described himself as gay, according to Spokane police.

The 28-year-old victim was drinking with a friend at a home in the 400 block of South Fiske Street when a man approached them on the porch and began talking. The victim said he was gay, “and an argument ensued about him being gay,” accordeing to court documents.

The victim said the man, identified by police as Jesse D. Bell, 21, calmed down, and they talked for about 45 minutes, but Bell again got angry and a fight ensued.

Bell walked away, and the man realized he’d been stabbed and his friend was cut on her hand. Another man also sustained a small stab wound.

Police contacted Bell, and he told them he’d told the man he would stab him if he did not get off of him as they were fighting. He said he thought he stabbed the man once but was unaware he’d stabbed anyone else.

Bell was arrested for first-degree assault. He remains in jail on $100,000 bond after appearing in Spokane County Superior Court on Monday.

The victim was treated for stab wounds to his torso, back and arm, including one that punctured his right lung. His heart stopped beating at the hospital but emergency room staff revived him.

Arrest in attack that nearly severed leg

Two suspects have been identified in a brutal stabbing on Monday that left a woman with a huge cut on her scalp and a right upper leg sliced nearly to the bone.

Marquis D. Jackson, 28, and Kelsey K. Peone, 23, are charged with first-degree assault, first-degree burglary and attempted first-degree robbery for the knife attack at a home in the 4000 block of East Pacific Avenue.

Victim Danielle Bains told police she hard a knock on her front door and opened it only to be punched in the face by Jackson, according to court documents, and Jackson began heaving objects at her, including a coffee table.

An unidentified man pushed her to the floor and held her there while Peone “began to slash and cut Bains with a large knife,” according to court documents. “Bains described this knife as a large fillet knife, similar to one you would cut up fish with.”

Bains said Peone repeatedly asked “where's the money?” while attacking her.

Bains needed 14 staples to close a large cut to her scalp. She also cut her right hand, and police described her right calf as being cut nearly to the bone.

She underwent surgery at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center for what were described as life threatening injuries. Police arrived to find blood everywhere and were told by Bains that “Marquis Jackson and Kelsey had done this to her.” Police say Bains' head injury “continued to spurt blood the entire time she was in the emergency room.”

A detective talked to Bains after surgery and said she was in excruciating pain from her injuries and would be in the hospital for an undetermined amount of time.

Peone was arrested Wednesday and appeared in Spokane County Superior Court. Jackson was not in custody as of this afternoon, and the third suspect has yet to be identified.

Peone previously served time in prison for delivery of a controlled substance. She was at Pine Lodge Corrections Center when it closed and women had to move to prisons on the West Side. She described the move as “devastating” during a visit with her mother in May 2010.

“I am trying to change my life,” Peone said, according to the May 2, 2010, article, “and they are taking away my support network.”

“Ends in stabbing” in SR headlines

Seeing one of those headlines on the newspaper's website this morning made me wonder.

How many SR headlines have included the wording “ends in stabbling”?

Not so many as you might suspect.

In fact, in searching our electronic archives, I could find just four in the past 15 years.

Of course, that was just looking at print editions and considering only local news stories.

More significantly, that counts only headlines with the exact wording “ends in stabbing.” Certainly many other stories about local stabbings had headlines with different wording.

After all, sometimes the stabbing is not the end but is just the start of another Lilac City adventure. 

Tips sought on missing stabbing suspect

 A 19-year-old Spokane man is wanted in connection with a stabbing at a party in January.

Devenir X. Lewis, 19, was to begin trial July 9 for first-degree assault, but he never showed up. A $15,000 warrant was issued after he failed to show up for a pre-trial conference on June 29.

Lewis is accused of stabbing Michael J. Dowd in the head in the 4100 block of North Nevada on Jan. 28 about 12:59 a.m., according to court documents.

The fight broke out when Michael Langford noticed items in his home that appeared to be staged to be stolen and accused three men, according to court documents. Dowd was treated for injuries to his head and hand.

Lewis had a bloody screwdriver with him when he was arrested, according to court documents.

Lewis, 5-foot-4 and 125 pounds, last gave an address in the 0 block of East Olympic Avenue in Spokane.
Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to his arrest. Anyone with information on his current location.

Anyone with information on his location is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Tipsters do not have to leave their name to collect a reward but should lave a code name or number.

Convicted killer arrested in CdA stabbing

Police on Wednesday arrested a convicted killer accused of trying to kill another man in a stabbing Monday night north of Coeur d’Alene.

 James H. Kountz, 56, was arrested about 5:40 p.m. in the same wooded area near U.S. Highway 95 and Wilbur Avenue where he stabbed another transient, James R. Hoglen, 42, on Monday.

Read the rest of my story here.

Police still awaiting DNA in McGill murder

Police continue to investigate the stabbing death of a woman who was walking her dog near the Spokane River May 3 and say they have leads coming in frequently.

 “They are all being followed up on by a detective,” according to an email from Major Craig Meidl of the Spokane Police Department on Friday. “We are as engaged in this investigation as we have been since day one.”

Meidl said they still are awaiting results from DNA tests at the Washington State Crime Lab. He said he doesn't know why that DNA is taking longer than John Walsh's DNA sample took to process for the Patrick Gibson murder trial, but wrote that “one would also likely have to take into account current staffing levels at the DNA testing facility, backlog of current cases, types of tests to be completed, number of tests to be completed on same DNA, number of samples total to be tested.  This would just be an educated guess, as WSP has ultimate control over their schedule and how they prioritize.”

Meidl said police are intentionally not detailing all aspects of the investigation.

“We are mindful that suspects frequently watch and read the news. It would be imprudent to reveal aspects of this investigation that could potentially jeopardize the successful capture of the person involved in this,” Meidl wrote.

Sharlotte McGill, 55, died of stab wounds after she was attacked in the 1800 block of East South Riverton Avenue.

She was able to describe her attacker before she died: a black man in his 30s with a bad eye. No other details were given.

Past coverage:

May 9: Police seek public's help, but fear racial profiling

May 5: Homicide victim's daughter speaks out

May 4: Attacker fatally stabs woman

Suspect in knife attack jailed in Idaho

A suspect has been identified in a May 1 attack that left a man with stab wounds to his chest and head in the West Garland District.

Fingerprints on a Coors Light can at the scene of the stabbing matched those of Joshua David Fleming, 31, who has been in jail in Kootenai County since May 18.

Fleming is accused of stabbing Eric Stensgar, 29, several times in the upper chest and head. Stensgar was found in alley in the 600 block of West Garland Avenue and treated at a local hospital. He told Spokane police he was drinking Coors Light and Goldschlager schnapps hard liquor when a man asked if he could drink with him.

They shared the alcohol, and Stensgar said his next memory was awaking in the alley with stab wounds. Stensgar underwent surgery at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center for life threatening injuries, including a stab wound that entered his brain, according to court documents.

Prosecutors issued a $125,000 warrant for Fleming's arrest on May 21. By that time, Fleming already had been arrested on a probation violation for a grand theft conviction in Kootenai County. He waived extradition from Spokane May 18 and remains in the Kootenai County Jail.

Spokane police didn't know this when they issued a news release Tuesday calling for tips on his location.

Fleming has at least nine felony convictions in Spokane County beginning in 1996, inlcuding first-degree robbery, attempted second-degree assault, first-degree possession of stolen property, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance.

2 cars seized; murder probe continues

Police today seized two cars near the scene of last week's homicide as part of an ongoing effort to find any possible evidence related to the case.

“At this point, we need anything and everything,” said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, spokeswoman for the Spokane Police Department. “We're not receiving a lot of tips.”

Police are canvassing the area of 1800 E. South Riverton today with fliers showing a car battery found where Sharlotte McGill, 55, (pictured) was fatally stabbed in an apparent attack as she walked her dog last Thursday.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information on the battery, which detectives believe may be associated with McGill's killer.

Officers found a car missing a battery while canvassing at an apartment complex right near the scene. That car is being processed for evidence, as is another car that was possibly prowled but not reported, DeRuwe said.

“We are literally going door to door and car to car,” DeRuwe said.

Detectives have checked homeless shelters and have contacted recycling centers where car batteries can be sold for scrap, DeRuwe said.

McGill, 55, (pictured) was walking her dog on a trail along with the Spokane River when a stranger jumped from the bushes about 8 a.m. Thursday and repeatedly stabbed her.

Police say the car battery found nearby was stolen in the same area within a few days of the attack and may be associated with the killer.

McGill was able to describe her attacker before she died. Police say she described him as a black man, about 30 years old with a bad eye.

Anyone with information on the battery, or who may have information on the man or may have seen someone similar is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

DeRuwe urged anyone to call, even if they're not sure of what they saw or they think police already know about their information.

As police continue to search for McGill's killer, her daughter said last week that she feels “really sorry for whoever did this.” “Because if they had a mother like I did … they wouldn’t have done this to anybody,” said Billie McKinney, 24. Read more here.

2 homicide victims killed each other

A fight over an old car near a remote Pend Oreille County lake led to a rare double homicide in which investigators believe the victims killed each other.

No arrests are expected in the homicides of Richard “Richie” R. Hill, 18, and Steven Quinn Divine, 22, early Sunday because investigators believe each is responsible for the others death, officials said Monday.

“One of the victims had a knife, the other had a gun. And the results are they are both deceased,” said Thomas Metzger, Pend Oreille County coroner and prosecutor.

Read the rest of my story here.

Man, 20, sentenced for 2nd strike

Dressed in long shorts, sneakers with no socks and a collarless shirt, Cole M. Kendall stood before a judge Wednesday and entered an Alford plea for stabbing two people last year at an underage drinking party.

Still six months shy of legal drinking age, Kendall is now one conviction away from facing life in prison under Washington’s three-strikes law.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Cops: Assailant requested bigger knife

A woman accused of stabbing her longtime boyfriend said she wanted a bigger knife so she could cut him deeper, witnesses told police.

Cathleen A. Parke, 50, was arrested Saturday at an apartment on North Washington Street in Medical Lake after deputies found her boyfriend, Steven M. Mitchell, 56, being treated for two stab wounds in his upper body about 5:10 a.m.

Witnesses said the couple were arguing outside when they came inside the house and Mitchell was covered in blood. Mitchell said “I can't believe you stabbed me,” and Parke said she wanted to get a bigger knife so she could cut him deeper, according to court documents.

Parke told another witness that she stabbed Mitchell after he hit her. Spokane County sheriff's deputies seized a 3-inch folding knife from the apartment, as well as a bloody blanket, pillow and clothing.

Bizarre stabbing leads to $250k bond

A bizarre stabbing at a north Spokane apartment late Saturday led to the arrest of a 20-year-old man.

Spokane police say the woman Kurt J. Clausen is accused of stabbing has no idea why he attacked her. She said Clausen said nothing during the incident, which occurred as she exited her bathroom at 49 E. Pine Ridge Ct., according to court documents.

The woman said Clausen was waiting for her with a knife and stabbed her in the upper chest, then dropped the weapon and ran from the apartment about 11:30 p.m., police say.

A Washington State Patrol trooper contacted Clausen just after midnight near West Main Avenue and North Lincoln Street in downtown Spokane. Police responded and arrested him on a first-degree assault charge.

Officers say Clausen admitted to stabbing the woman and said he told her there was something in a room in the apartment, then attacked her as she exited that room, according to court documents.

Clausen remains jailed on$250,000 bond after appearing before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese on Monday.
  

Plea replaces life sentence w/ 3 years

A Spokane man whose three-strikes trial was halted because of concerns about racist comments made by jurors has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

 Bobby S. Galloway, 24, was sentenced to three years in prison for third-degree assault after pleading guilty last week before Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno.

Galloway already has two convictions for violent felonies. Had he been convicted of first-degree assault as originally charged, a judge would have no choice but to sentence him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Galloway was arrested last May after stabbing a man outside the Top Hat Tavern, 6412 N. Division St.

He was on trial in February, but Spokane County Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen declared a mistrial after a juror reported inappropriate, racially toned comments being made in the jury room, court officials say.

Witness sought in three-strikes case

Police are looking for a witness in an assault case that could put the defendant in prison for life. 

Morgan S. Snider, 23, (right) is expected to testify in the first-degree assault trial of Bobby S. Galloway, but police said this week that she still has not been located.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen declared a mistrial Monday in Galloway's case after a juror reported inappropriate, racially toned comments being made in the jury room, court officials say.

Galloway (left) faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of felony assault because he already has two previous convictions for violent felonies.

Galloway, 24, is accused of stabbing Mickey Davis during a fight May 5 outside the Top Hat Tavern, 6412 N. Division St.

His new trial is set to begin April 2. Snider is wanted on misdemeanor driving warrants.

Anyone with information on Snider's location is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Man pleads not guilty in fatal stabbing

A man accused of stabbing another man to death in downtown Spokane pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a second-degree murder charge.

David J. Fagundes, Jr., 34, is accused of killing Casey W. Anderson, 23, during a fight that included Anderson peppery spraying Fagundes, according to court documents.

Anderson fell into traffic near the intersection of Third Avenue and Howard Street about 4:50 a.m. Feb. 19 with two stab wounds to his back and bite marks on his forehead.

Anderson broke into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment, assaulted her and stole her cellphone, police say. He then went to Fagundes’ apartment at 225 S. Wall St., where the men fought and Fagundes bit Anderson on the forehead several times.

The two men fell to the floor and “Anderson apparently ‘fell’ on top of a ‘butterfly knife,’ ” according to documents prepared by police.

Detectives say Fagundes became uncooperative during questioning and tried to grab a concealed firearm. He was disarmed and detained after a brief struggle.

Fagundes has a felony conviction for burglary in Montana in 1996 that prohibits him from possessing firearms. He also has a conviction in Bonner County for felony battery.

Fagundes remains in jail on $100,000 bond after his arraignment Tuesday before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese.

Body found downtown; suspect arrested

A man was found dead from a stab wound in a downtown Spokane street early Sunday.

The man has not been publicly identified, but suspect David Joseph Fagundes, Jr., 34, has been jailed on a second-degree murder charge.

The victim was found near the intersection of Howard Street and Third Avenue shortly before 5 a.m., according to the Spokane Police Department.

Police dispatched major crimes detectives to the scene. A portion of Third Avenue was closed to traffic for about four hours as police scoured the scene for clues.

Fagundes also faces a charge of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm because of a previous felony conviction, according to the jail roster. '

Fagundes has a felony conviction in Bonner County, Idaho, for felony battery. He also had a misdemeanor warrant there for failing to pay fines on convictions for driving without privileges and failure to provide proof of insurance.
  

Spokane stabbing suspect turns self in

A Spokane man accused of stabbing his ex-girlfriend's new beau turned himself into police Thursday.

Ezra Lawerence Bedeski, 35, faces a first-degree assault charge for the stabbing Tuesday about 9 p.m. outside the Walgreens at 2105 E. Wellesley Ave.

The victim, Jared Reichenberg, 26, needed 13 stitches for a large cut on his neck. Reichenberg said he was going to Walgreens to pick up his girlfriend when he saw Bedeski yelling at her.

Reichenberg told him to leave her alone, and Bedeski “bum rushed him,” according to court documents. There is a restraining order between Bedeski and the woman, according to court documents.

Police attempted to track Bedeski with a police dog Tuesday night but were unsuccessful.

Bedeski was booked into jail Thursday after showing up at the Public Safety Building and requesting a lawyer. He remains in jail on $20,000 bond after appearing today in Spokane County Superior Court.

Woman arraigned for attempted murder

A teenager accused of attempted murder for a knife assault at a party has pleaded not guilty.

Kiana M. Murphy, who turned 18 two days before the Oct. 30 incident, allegedly stabbed a teen boy twice in the stomach during an argument about gang affiliations, according to court documents.

Murphy allegedly chased the boy through the home at 1807 W. Spofford Ave. before he escaped through a bedroom window. When the boy returned, Murphy stabbed him twice in the stomach, police and prosecutors allege.

The victim required surgery but is recovering. He identified Murphy as a suspect through her Facebook page. A witness told police Murphy said the victim was “going to…die” when he returned to the residence, documents say.

Murphy was arraigned Wednesday on a charge of attempted first-degree murder, with first-degree assault as an alternate charge.

She is out of custody awaiting trial, which is scheduled to begin on Feb. 21.

2 arrested after citizens witness burglary

Two burglary suspects were arrested early this morning after citizens witnessed a break-in at an east Spokane convenience store.

Officers located Carl J. Biamond 18, and Jelemeto B. Akilang, 20, near North Magnolia Street and East Tilsley Place after citizens observed two men breaking into the Mission Food Mart, 1905 E. Mission Ave., and called police.

Biamond was bleeding from a 3- to 4-inch cut on his inner thigh near his groin when police arrested him, according to the Spokane Police Department.

Police say Biamond claimed to have been robbed and stabbed earlier that night, but police believe he cut himself while through broken glass at the store. Police treated his wounds with a clotting agent and requested medical attention.

Biamond and Akilang were booked into Spokane County Jail for second-degree burglary.

Woman wanted for attempted murder

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for a teenager accused of attempted murder for a knife assault at a party.

Kiana M. Murphy, who turned 18 two days before the Oct. 30 incident, allegedly stabbed a teen boy twice in the stomach during an argument about gang affiliations, according to court documents.

Murphy chased the boy through the home at 1807 W. Spofford Ave. before he escaped through a bedroom window. When the boy returned, Murphy stabbed him twice in the stomach, police and prosecutors allege.

The victim required surgery but is recovering and identified Murphy as a suspect through her Facebook page. A witness told police Murphy said the victim was “going to…die” when he turned to the residence, documents say.

Murphy is charged with attempted first-degree murder, with first-degree assault as an alternate charge.

She was convicted last month of violating her juvenile probation after being convicted as an juvenile in connection with a wild fight involving a suspect's ex-boyfriend at 1735 W. Boone Ave. in March.

Murphy last gave an address in the 200 block of East Wedgewood Avenue. Anyone with information on her current location is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1800-222-TIPS (8477) or submit tips online.

Tipsters don't have to give their name to collect a reward but should provide a code name or number.

Stabbing in West Central leads to arrest

A man was booked into jail after allegedly stabbing his roommate in West Central Spokane Monday.

Robert Aron Young, 30, was booked into Spokane County Jail Monday for first-degree assault, domestic violence.

The victim, Davis D. Botts, was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center after the attack, which occurred about 9:31 p.m. at 2202 W. Gardner Avenue. The extent of his injuries is unknown, but a hospital employee said he was not listed as a patient there Tuesday night.

According to police, Botts and his mother, Angela M. Durazo, with whom Young had an intimate relationship, were watching a movie when Young came home and a verbal fight between Durazo and Young ensued.

Botts locked Young out, but Young regained entry through Botts’ bedroom window and reached over Durazo, who was apparently trying to intervene, to stab Botts once in the chest with a folding knife with a four-inch blade, police said.

Young fled the scene, but police stopped his vehicle at Mission Avenue and Astor Street and he was arrested despite claims of self defense.

1 arrested for stabbing near fire station

A firefighter standing outside a station at West 1st Avenue and South Walnut Street Friday witnessed a stabbing and treated the victim's head injury, authorities say.

Dean Carr was on the south side of the fire station when he saw a man approach two people who were sitting in the grassy area just south of the station about 6:15 p.m., according to court documents.

Carr called 911 when a fight broke out and saw the assailant pick up two sleeping bags and walk away. He treated the man for a stab wound to the head and identified Richard A. Sala, 21, as the attacker. Spokane police had found a knife with blood on it in Sala's right front pocket, documents say.

Sala, who has previous convictions for assault, said he fought with the couple because he believes the sleeping bags belong to him, police say. He was arrested for first-degree robbery. The sleeping bags were recovered.

Two hours later, another stabbing was reported at 2305 W. Dean Ave. Suspect Kenneth W. Middleton, 32, was arrested for first-degree assault for allegedly attacking a man who was arguing with the man's own wife.

Both men appeared in Superior Court on Monday.

Woman sentenced in road rage murder

A young mother sobbed and promised the family of the man she stabbed to death during a chaotic road rage confrontation two years ago that she would take it all back if she could. Instead, a judge sentenced her today to nearly 16 years in prison.

 Maggie M. Tyler, 28, stood before Superior Court Judge Kathleen O’Connor and read a letter she had prepared for her sentencing after being convicted by a jury in April of second-degree murder in connection with the July 6, 2009, slaying of Vitaly Shevchuk in Spokane. Tyler had argued at her trial that she was defending herself, but jurors rejected it.

“If I could turn back time, I would do that in a heart beat,” Tyler said as she cried. “None of this should have happened and I am so very sorry that it did.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

June 3: Man in fatal street fights gets 21 years

April 29: Man, woman guilty in fatal 2009 stabbing

April 20: Man, woman on trial for fatal '09 stabbing

2 murder charges dropped in plea deals

Two Spokane residents arrested on murder charges in Benewah County face less than a year in custody under recent plea agreements.

  Kelly A. Miller, 40, (left) and Stephen Milton, 22, (right) pleaded guilty to felony criminal accessory charges for helping Miller's husband, Jody Miller, 40, and her son, Irael Kennedy, 21, after a fatal stabbing in Plummer April 17.  

Milton was sentenced to five years in prison, but a judge retained jurisdiction over the case, which means he'll undergo treatment with the Idaho Department of Corrections for three months to a year, depending on what prison officials decide, said Douglas Payne, Benewah County deputy prosecutor.

Kelly Miller has not yet been sentenced but faces the same time, Payne said.

Jody Miller (left) and Kennedy (right) are scheduled to go to trial in October on first-degree murder charges, but Payne said that likely will be delayed.

 The men are accused of killing Antowyn D. “Tony” Swiney, 37, (left) at his girlfriend's home in Plummer after Swiney left a Spokane bar to avoid a confrontation.

Jody Miller used to date Swiney's girlfriend, officials say.

The four were arrested in Spokane hours after the murder.

Past coverage:

May 25: Boy says he witnessed Plummer murder

April 23: Romantic tie figures in murder case

Felon accused of stabbing man in back

A suspect has been arrested for an assault in which a man was stabbed in the back.

Stephen J. Heidt, 26, was arrested Friday, one week after a stabbing that left Daniel Kelly, 30, with a stab wound in his back.

Spokane police responded to the 4800 block of North Lacey Street about 8:41 p.m. Aug. 12 and found Kelly with the non-life threatening injury. A K-9 team unsuccessfully searched for the assailant, whom Kelly identified as “Steve” or “Stephen,” according to police.

Witnesses identified Heidt from photo montages, and Heidt was charged last week with first-degree assault. He remains at the Spokane County Jail after appearing in court on Monday.

Heidt, who has previous felony convictions, was arrested in June 2010 after trying to flee police in a stolen car.

Officers found several weapons in the car, including a hatchet and meat cleaver. He pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen motor vehicle a month later.

2nd suspect arrested in hotel stabbing

Spokane police on Wednesday arrested a second suspect for an attempted gunpoint robbery at a motel last month.

Walter S. Reiter, 31, is due in Superior Court this afternoon on robbery, assault and unlawful possession of a firearm charges for an incident at the Comfort Inn, 923 E. 3rd Ave., on July 25.

A TV station employee recognized Reiter and suspect Jason M. Doyle, 32, from surveillance photos released to media.

The tipster told police he's known Reiter and Doyle since middle school and that suspects are best friends. Doyle was arrested last week on charges of first-degree attempted robbery, first-degree assault and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

The victim, Dustin T. Hayes, of Omak, told police he was staying with his girlfriend at the motel when he was assaulted by two men and threatened with a shotgun.

He said he prevented the men from taking his duffel bag “even though they were overpowering him and he was being stabbed,” according to court documents. Hayes wrestled the shotgun away from the men, but one grabbed it as the fled the motel. The men also stole Hayes' Los Angeles Dodgers baseball cap after they couldn't get the duffel bag, police said.

Hayes said he didn't know the men but believes they were trying to rob him because they thought he had money in the duffel bag.

Doctor accused of killing partner, son

By GENE JOHNSON,Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) — A doctor who failed to show up for his new job at a Seattle hospital was charged Tuesday with killing his partner and their young son, days after a hospital manager who went to his apartment to check on him discovered the grisly scene.

Louis C. Chen, 39, faces two counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the deaths of Eric A. Cooper, 29, and Cooper Chen, 2, last Thursday. He remains hospitalized with undisclosed injuries, and it was unclear if he had an attorney.

The endocrinologist recently moved to Seattle from Durham, N.C., where he had completed a fellowship at Duke University. On Thursday, he was to begin work at Seattle's Virginia Mason Medical Center by meeting with a manager there for orientation, a detective wrote in a probable cause statement.

Chen didn't show up for his 7:50 a.m. Thursday meeting, and when the manager, Madonna Carlson, received a worried call from Chen's sister an hour later, she went to Chen's high-rise apartment to check on him. The building's property manager accompanied her.

Carlson heard some rustling noises and knocked several times, and finally Chen opened the door — nude, covered in dried blood, with his right eye swollen shut. He held a box in front of himself, and inside Carlson could see a man's body on the floor in boxer shorts.

Cooper, Chen's longtime partner, had been stabbed well more than 100 times, including wounds to his face, back, neck chest and hands, authorities said.

Police arrived to find Chen slumped down by the front door. In the bathroom tub off the master bedroom, they saw the couple's son, Cooper Chen, obviously dead.

The officers were about to leave the apartment when they noticed Dr. Chen moving his head and eyes. One nudged him and asked Chen for his name, according to the charging papers, and the following conversation ensued:

“Who did this?” the officer asked.

“What?” Chen answered.

“Stabbed you and him.”

Chen looked at the officer. “I did,” he said.

Friends told police they had not heard from Chen since Aug. 8, and a review of the electronic keys assigned to the apartment revealed that they had not been used since that afternoon.

Five large kitchen knives that might have been used in the attack were found in the apartment — including three on the bed in the master bedroom that were stained with blood, the charging papers said.

Aggravated murder is punishable only by life in prison without release or execution. Chen's arraignment is set for Aug. 29. The prosecutor will then decide whether to seek the death penalty.

1 arrested, 1 wanted in hotel stabbing

Spokane police have arrested a suspect in a stabbing and attempted robbery at Comfort Inn last month and are asking for help locating a second suspect.

Walter S. Reiter, 31, (pictured) is wanted for first-degree robbery, police said today. Anyone with information on his location should call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Jason M. Doyle, 32, a felon, was arrested Thursday on charges of first-degree attempted robbery, first-degree assault and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. He and Reiter are accused of using a shotgun to try to rob a man at the Comfort Inn, 923 E. 3rd Ave. on July 25 about 1 a.m.

The victim suffered a non-life threatening stab wound after reportedly bragging “about how much money and dope he had in his car,” police said at the time.

Surveillance photos released last week led police to identify Doyle and Reiter as suspects.
  

Photos show suspects in hotel stabbing

Spokane police are asking for help identifying two robbers who stabbed a man at the Comfort Inn last week.

The victim suffered a non-life threatening stab wound after reportedly bragging “about how much money and dope he had in his car” about 1 a.m. on July 25, said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, spokeswoman for the Spokane Police Department.

Police today released surveillance photos from the hotel at 923 E. 3rd Ave. that show two men who are believed to be the assailants.

Anyone with information on their identities is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Experts detail problems with Knox case

By ALESSANDRA RIZZO,Associated Press
PERUGIA, Italy (AP) — The investigators who collected the genetic evidence used to convict Seattle student Amanda Knox of murder in Italy made a series of glaring errors, including using a dirty glove and not wearing caps, two independent forensic experts said Monday.

 The experts had been appointed by an Italian appeals court to review the DNA evidence used in Knox's trial, including some found on a kitchen knife believed to be the murder weapon and some found on the clasp of the victim's bra.

That evidence played a crucial role in securing the convictions of Knox (right) and her co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito (left) in the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, a Briton who shared an apartment with Knox while they were both exchange students in the city of Perugia.

 Knox, 24, and Sollecito, 27, have denied wrongdoing and have appealed. The evidence review was granted at the request of their defense teams.

In the first trial, prosecutors maintained that Knox's DNA was found on the handle of the kitchen knife and Kercher's DNA was found on the blade. They say Sollecito's DNA was found on the clasp of Kercher's bra.

But the independent experts told the appeals court that the collection of evidence fell below international standards and may have resulted in contamination. They used slides to refer to international protocols for the collection and sampling of evidence, including one from the U.S. Department of Justice and others from various U.S. states.

One of the two experts, Stefano Conti, (pictured) cited several cases of forensic police entering the crime scene or coming into contacts with objects there not wearing protective equipment such as masks or hair caps. He said that while evidence should be wrapped in paper or kept in a paper bags, police often used plastic bags, heightening the risk of contamination.

“There are various circumstances do not adhere to protocols and procedures,” the forensic expert told the court.

In footage and framegrabs shown to the court, two police officers collected the bra clasp, and the glove worn by one of the two appeared to be dirty on two fingers. Conti noted the bra clasp was collected 46 days after the Nov. 1, 2007 fatal stabbing of the 21-year-old Kercher.

“Over those 46 days several objects were moved, and in at the same time several people will have come in and out,” he noted, again stressing the risk of contamination.

The other expert, Carla Vecchiotti, (pictured) explained to the court that the genetic profile on the knife's blade that was attributed to Kercher is dubious and cannot be attributed with certainty. She said the original testing did not follow recommendations of the international scientific community for dealing with DNA testing.

Vecchiotti said the review concurred with the original testing in saying that the genetic profile on the knife's black plastic handle could be attributed to Knox. The knife was found at Sollecito's apartment.

The independent experts, both from La Sapienza University in Rome, will be questioned and cross-examined in the next hearing, scheduled for Saturday. That will be the last hearing before the summer break.

The full review, a 145-document obtained by The Associated Press, was filed to the Perugia court last month.