Latest from The Spokesman-Review
In this July 26 photo, Ariel Castro sits in a Cleveland courtroom where he pleaded guilty to 937 counts of rape and kidnapping for holding three women captive in his home for a decade. Castro, 53, serving a life sentence for the kidnapping and rape, was found hanging in his cell, Tuesday night at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio. Story here. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)
Question: Good riddance to bad trash?
This story is so incredibly sad; it's hard to imagine how something like this could happen. But nevertheless, investigators say the death of a 6-year-old boy in Payette - by hanging - has been ruled a suicide. Payette Police Chief Mark Clark told the Argus Observer newspaper there were no signs of foul play; the little boy was watching TV with his 7-year-old sister while an older sibling napped and his mother and stepfather showered; the boy went into the kitchen and used a belt to hang himself from the freezer handle. The boy's sister found him and screamed for the parents, who called 911 and administered CPR until paramedics arrived. Clark said it's not clear if suicide was the boy's intent or if he didn't understand the consequences of his actions. Click below for a full report from the Argus Observer and the AP, and if you can, give your kids or grandkids a hug.
Andrew Cain's sister said she doesn't hold the Latah County Sheriff's Office responsible for her brother's suicide on Sunday. Still, she wants an apology from a deputy she claims harassed the 19-year-old Pullman man across the state line using the department's Facebook page. Cain had been wanted by the sheriff's office since a bench warrant was issued for his arrest when he didn't appear in court for a probation violation in April, said Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson. He said Cain likely was facing some local jail time before being placed back on probation. But the sheriff's Facebook page made a bigger deal out of Cain's eluding justice, said his sister, Alise Smith of Pullman. “We have decided that Andrew Cain is no longer the Wanted Person of the Week,” stated a Thursday comment to a Tuesday wanted post on the sheriff's page, “… he is the Wanted Person for the Month of June. Congratulations!”/Brandon Macz, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.
Question: Should the Latah County Sheriff's Office apologize?
It can be a difficult, heart-aching topic, but even addressing it - just bringing it up - can be an important breakthrough. Especially here, around Coeur d'Alene, where the suicide rate is the highest in Idaho, the state with the sixth highest rate nationally. While it can be much easier to ignore the problem than talk about it, the only way those alarming statistics will reverse course is if people tackle the issue head on. That means recognizing it, and discussing it. “It doesn't have to be direct, it doesn't have to be threatening,” said Raquel Kellicut, a therapist and grief counselor on reaching out to someone who may be having troubling thoughts. “It's expressing an interest in somebody”/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Tom Hasslinger's Press photo of state Sen. John Goedde telling of the loss of his daughter)
Question: Has your family been impacted by suicide?
An inmate at Idaho's Pocatello Women's Correctional Center apparently committed suicide yesterday; 51-year-old Cindy R. Jones was found hanging in a shower area at the women's prison at 4:38 p.m., and paramedics were unable to resuscitate her. It was the second suicide in two years at the women's prison; the last was in November of 2011. Idaho Department of Correction spokesman Jeff Ray said since 2006, seven inmates have committed suicide in Idaho state prison facilities; three more Idaho state prison inmates committed suicide while being held in private prisons or county jails.
Ray said from January 2006 to June 2012, the prison system has had a far higher number of “suicide events,” defined as when prison staff place an inmate on suicide watch after the inmate threatens to kill him or herself: There were 3,909 such “events.” Said Ray, “All IDOC correctional officers undergo suicide prevention training when they join the department and receive refresher courses annually.”
The previous suicide at the women's prison came when Cheryl Ann Spellmeyer, 48, was found unconscious in her cell in 2011 with an apparent self-inflicted ligature mark around her neck; she was serving time for robbery, forgery and DUI in Twin Falls County and would have been eligible for parole less than a year after her death.
Jones was serving up to 20 years in prison for 2nd degree kidnapping, aggravated assault and illegal possession of a weapon in Ada County; she was scheduled to be released on July 22, 2018. The state prison system has asked the Idaho State Police to assist in investigating her death.
A man accused of helping Charles Wallace, who shot two sheriff’s deputies before shooting himself to death last month, tried to kill himself at the Spokane County Jail on Friday.
Robert Lee “Bo” Ruth, 42, who was jailed last week after his girlfriend told police he’d assaulted her, remains on life support at a local hospital.
Ruth was found hanging unconscious in his jail cell Friday about 8:35 a.m. A corrections deputy cut him down and performed CPR until medics arrived, said Capt. John McGrath.
Ronald Reynolds, left, returns to his seat as his wife, Linda Reynolds, looks on and his son Jonathan Reynolds, right, steps up to speak during a news conference at an attorney's office Nov. 10, 2011, in Olympia. Jonathan and Ronald Reynolds say they did not kill Ronda Reynolds in 1998, disputing the conclusion of an inquest jury. They said the accusations against them have been wrecking their lives. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
The TV show “48 Hours Mystery” on Saturday will feature the 1998 death of Cheney native Ronda Reynolds, who was found dead of a gunshot wound in her Toledo home.
The former state trooper's death was ruled a suicide, but her mother, Barb Thompson, (left) who lives near Spokane, never believed it. Last year, an inquest jury ruled it was a homcide, and her death certificate was changed.
That was after famed crime author Ann Rule released her book “In the Still of the Night: The Strange Death of Ronda Reynolds and Her Mother’s Unceasing Quest for the Truth.”
Reynolds graduated from Cheney High School and Eastern Washington University before spending several years as a state trooper. She was considering transferring to a security position with a Spokane department store when she died.
For Reynolds, “Spokane was home,” Rule told The Spokesman-Review in October 2010.
“If she’d just gotten away that night, she was planning to fly to Spokane early in the morning, she would still be alive,” Rule said.
Jurors in October named Reynolds' husband, Ronald Reynolds, and her stepson, Jonathan Reynolds, as suspects, but authorties say there is not enough evidence to charge them. They deny involvement and are interviwed by CBS correspondent Peter Van Sant in the “48 Hours” episode, which airs Saturday at 10 p.m. on CBS.
Spokane police saved the life of a suicidal man on Sunday who was armed with a knife.
The 32-year-old man's family had left the location near 1500 E. Pacific Ave. because they were concerned for their safety, police said.
Officers arrived about 7:50 p.m. and the man exited the home with a knife to his throat and told police he wanted to die. He refused their commands and advanced on officers with the knife before they shot him with several bean bag rounds and he dropped the weapon, police say.
The man was taken to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation. He commended officers at the hospital, saying “You were trying to save my life without taking my life,” according to a news release.
“This is an example of a potentially lethal encounter which police face,” according to a news release. “Officers were able to use several of their “less-lethal” tools in this situation to take control of the scene without anyone being seriously injured.”
The National Suicide Lifeline is available at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). More information on suicide prevention is available through the Spokane Regional Health District.
Many times when police encounter an armed person, that person is looking for a way to die – and want the cops to kill them. The phenomenon is so common it even has a name: suicide by cop. It happens in about 10-20 per cent of officer-involved shootings.
Police know this phenomenon and work to protect themselves while seeking ways to help the suicidal person.
This weekend Spokane police were able to do exactly that.
(S-R archives photo: Interim Spokane police Chief Scott Stephens)
Three Spokane Valley police officer saved the life of a suicidal man Wednesday.
Officers Griffin Criswell, Wally Loucks and Richard Johnson found the man attempting to hang himself at his Spokane Valley home after the man called 911 and said he wanted to kill himself.
The officers got the victim down and began CPR. They located a pulse and the man was transported to a hospital, where his family said today that he's alert and conscious “with a positive demeanor,” according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.
They extended their deepest gratitude and thanks to officers Criswell, Loucks and Johnson for their quick response and heroism during this traumatic event,” according to a news release.
The National Suicide Lifeline is available at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). More information on suicide prevention is available through the Spokane Regional Health District.
SEATTLE (AP) — A longtime police officer arrested in a cocaine sting shot himself to death in the Cascade Mountain foothills hours after he was released from jail, the department said Thursday.
Richard F. Nelson, a patrolman in South Seattle for the past 21 years, became the focus of an internal investigation last summer after his colleagues and a member of the public complained about his handling of evidence in drug cases, Chief John Diaz told a news conference.
The investigation culminated Wednesday in a rare sting operation known as an “integrity test.” An undercover officer from another jurisdiction, posing as someone who had just found a purse that contained cocaine, turned it in to Nelson as other investigators monitored him.
The investigators followed him as he neglected to turn the cocaine in, instead taking it with him in his personal car as he drove just past the city limits.
“This is a tremendous tragedy for this department,” said Deputy Chief Nick Metz, who added that he knew Nelson and liked him. “We have a lot of officers grieving. Despite the actions this officer took, he was a friend to many. … His family is grieving very much.”
Nelson, a 50-year-old father of two teenagers, was observed by the department's command staff after his arrest. He was given an opportunity to speak, as well as to call his family or a lawyer. He declined, Diaz said.
He was released without bail from the King County Jail shortly before 5 a.m. Thursday. Members of the command staff drove him home.
About five hours later, he was found on John Wayne Trail, a popular hiking and biking route near North Bend, east of Seattle. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where he died.
The incident was the latest setback for the department, which is in the midst of implementing reforms outlined in a Department of Justice report last month that was highly critical of the use of force by Seattle police.
Inadequate supervision and training had led officers to grab weapons such as batons and flashlights too quickly and to escalate confrontations even when arresting people for minor offenses, federal officials said.
The Department of Justice launched an investigation last spring following the fatal shooting of a homeless Native American woodcarver and other reported uses of force against minority suspects. The probe was aimed at determining whether Seattle police have a pattern or practice of violating civil rights or discriminatory policing.
A North Idaho man who killed himself during a police chase was allegedly trying to persuade his wife to drop charges against him.
Daniel Joe Zehm, 52, contacted his wife Sondra Zehm on Saturday at their Dalton Gardens home, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department.
Police were alerted at 10:15 p.m. that Zehm had called a relative and reported that he was taking his wife to Kellogg, Idaho.
Zehm sprayed his wife with pepper spray and forced her into his vehicle., officials say. He had been driving with her since about 9 p.m, telling Sondra to drop the charges against him, officials say.
Zehm saw the deputies trying to stop him on Fernan Lake Road about 11:15 p.m. He fled toward Coeur d’Alene, running over a spike strip as he reached Fernan Village. He attempted to continue but came to a stop on Sherman Avenue, where he shot himself, police say.
Zehm was arrested in November after pouring gasoline on his wife and trying to light her on fire. He had been released from jail on $200,000 bond for felony charges of burglary and aggravated battery and was prohibited from contacting his wife.
Daniel Joe Zehm, 52, of Dalton Gardens, was reportedly pepper-sprayed his former wife, Sondra, and had driven around with her for two hours before killing himself on Sherman Avenue after a police chase Sunday night. According to Kootenai County sheriff's reports, Zehm had driven with his wife as far as Harrison and back before relatives told police he was in the Fernan area. Patrol officers spotted the Zehms on Fernan Lake Road near the Fernan Gun Range and began pursuit. Zehm reportedly was trying to talk his wife into dropping charges on a Nov. 20 incident in which he doused her with gasoline and threatened to set her on fire. He had a gun with him and had forced his wife into his vehicle after pepper-spraying her. Officers chased the Zehms to Fernan Saddle and to town. Zehm's car reached speeds of 90 mph on the icy road. Mrs. Zehm was able to jump out of the vehicle when her husband slowed on ice to make a turn. Zehm stopped his vehicle and killed himself in the Sherman Avenue intersection with the I-90 eastbound onramp after a spike strip set up by Idaho State Police shredded his tires. You can read the complete KCSD news release here.
Fifteen suicides an hour? That's the rate in India, according to an Associated Press story.
Financial difficulties and debts led to most of the male suicides while women were driven to take their lives because of domestic pressures and demands for dowry. A report released late Thursday says nearly 135,000 people committed suicide in the country of 1.2 billion last year. The report says the suicide rate increased to 11.4 per 100,000 people in 2010 from 10.9 the year before.
India suicides account for 20 percent of all suicides worldwide.
Just darn sad.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a fascinating report today measuring suicidal thoughts and behaviors among adults older than 18 in the United States. Residents of Idaho and Washington have among the highest percentages of “suicidal thoughts” but don't rank as alarmingly high in percentages of those who have actual plans or make actual attempts. In 2008-2009, when the scientific surveys were taken, 6 percent of Idahoans, age 18 and older, reported suicidal thoughts; In Washington, it was 4.7 percent. The U.S. average is 3.7 percent. Utah had the highest reported percentage of suicidal thoughts, at 6.8 percent. Georgia had the lowest percentage, at 2.1 percent/Rebecca Nappi, End Notes. More here.
Question: Would HucksOnline be indelicate if it asked: Have you ever had a suicidal thought?
A Spokane woman was wounded Monday in a shooting by her ex-boyfriend, who then fatally shot himself, police said.
The man’s body was found slumped in a yard outside a home converted into apartments in the 3100 block of East Fifth Avenue, according to the Spokane Police Department. A gun was found nearby, neighbors said. Both the victim and gunman are in their mid 20s, police said. The two recently ended a relationship.
An intriguing study, released by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, found that 800 U.S. military personnel who committed suicide had low omega-3 levels.
Omega-3 is a fatty acid found most commonly in fish and linked to increased heart health and mood improvement.
“A previous placebo-controlled trial demonstrated that 2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day reduced suicidal thinking by 45 percent as well as depression and anxiety scores among individuals with recurrent self-harm,” according to an NIH press release.
Would this finding prompt you to eat more fish — or take fish oil capsules?
(AP file photo)
A report yesterday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention included these statistics/facts on death by murder.
1) An estimated 50,000 persons die annually in the United States as a result of violence-related injuries.
2) The CDC classifies suicide as murder. And a majority — 58.7% — of deaths were suicides, followed by “homicides and deaths involving legal intervention (i.e. deaths caused by police and other persons with legal authority to use deadly force, excluding legal executions) — 26.4% — and then deaths of undetermined intent — 14.5% — and unintentional firearm deaths — 0.4 percent.
3) Firearms were used in the majority —51.5% — of suicide deaths, followed by hanging/strangulation/suffocation (23.1%) and poisoning (18.1%). The most common method used by male suicides was a firearm (57.1%), followed by hanging/strangulation/suffocation (24.2%). Among females, poisons were used most often (40.7%) followed by firearms (31.3%).
4) The homicide rate was three times higher for males compared to females. The highest rates were among black non-Hispanic males and males aged 20—24 years.
5) Among homicide deaths, firearms were used as weapons in approximately two thirds of the incidents. Firearms were used in approximately 75% of homicide incidents that involved multiple victims and 80% of homicide-suicide incidents. Firearms also were commonly used to commit suicide.
I was surprised that suicide is considered murder. Anyone else?
The sad, tragic suicide of Jeret “Speedy” Peterson last week helped bring attention to an issue that’s never pleasant to talk about, but one we can’t ignore. It’s far too easy to get caught up in the daily challenges and travails of our own lives to notice when those around us are troubled. And when we do observe their emotional struggles, it can be tempting to respond by saying something like, “Hang in there; you’ll be OK,” or “Yeah, I know, we all have our crap we have to deal with,” and then move on. But for some people, what may seem to us like a minor bummer is actually a true time of crisis, and chances are we may not be aware of just how serious it is. Maybe they’ve had a string of bad luck, and this particular incident is the straw that broke the camel’s back/Idaho Press-Tribune Editorial Board. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Have you ever intervened when you thought someone was contemplating suicide? Want to tell us about it (no names, of course)?
Jeret Peterson faced serious personal challenges throughout his life, but he rose to great heights in aerial skiing — and will be remembered as an Olympic medalist who took the sport to a new level. “He was never satisfied to do what everyone else was doing and just do it better,” said Tom Kelly, spokesman for the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association. “He always wanted to do something bigger.” The 29-year-old’s body was found at 9:30 p.m. Monday outside his pickup in Lambs Canyon, a 15-minute drive east of Salt Lake City, according to a spokesman for the Unified Police of Greater Salt Lake. Lt. Justin Hoyal said Peterson called 911 and told a dispatcher that he was going to kill himself. He left a note at the scene/Katy Moeller, Statesman. More here.
Question: Has your life been touched by suicide?
When we look at people who are famous, people who have reached success beyond our own imaginations, we think we have an accurate glimpse into their lives. We do not.
Today we learn the sad news of Jeret “Speedy” Peterson’s death – from an apparent suicide. Peterson was a recent Olympic silver medalist, a risk-taking freestyle skier who had overcome personal challenges to reach that podium in Vancouver. “I know that a lot of people go through a lot of things in their life, and I just want them to realize they can overcome anything,'' Peterson said that night. “There's light at the end of the tunnel and mine was silver and I love it.''
We don’t know what pain people carry in their hearts. Peterson witnessed a friend’s suicide. He lost his sister to a drunken driver. Peterson was sexually abused as a child. These life events do not create an easy path. Peterson inspired many young skiers with his feats; may his life story inspire each of us to listen to the pain in others’ lives – as well as the award-winning success.
(AP file photo)
Jeret Peterson of the United States, celebrates his Olympic silver medal in the men's freestyle aerials final at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. Utah police say Peterson has killed himself in an isolated canyon. The Unified Police of Greater Salt Lake said Peterson called 911 before shooting and killing himself on Monday evening. AP Story here. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky, File)
The Unified Police Department in Salt Lake County, Utah confirms they are investigating the death of U.S. aerial freestyle skier Jeret “Speedy” Peterson. Officials say the Olympian took his own life Monday night. Peterson was found dead at about 9:30 p.m. Monday from a self-inflicted gun shot wound. It happened in a mountainous area of Utah called Lambs Canyon. Peterson was arrested Friday in Hailey for speeding and driving while intoxicated. Earlier today, Peterson's attorney filed paperwork on his behalf pleading not guilty to both crimes. His attorney was unavailable for comment/Jamie Gray, KTVB. More here. (AP file photo: Jeret 'Speedy' Peterson of the United States reacts after performing the first jump of Men's Aerials final at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games at Sauze d'Oulx, Italy.) H/T: Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise
In this photo from July 20, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr, bottom, addresses Bayview residents upset about the police shooting of Washington state parolee Kenneth Wade Harding in San Francisco. About 300 people gathered for the meeting which ended early following outbursts from some attendees. (AP Photo/San Francisco Chronicle, Noah Berger)
By TERRY COLLINS,Associated Press
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Distraught relatives of a Washington state parolee who San Francisco police believe fatally shot himself while running away from officers said Monday they are demanding more answers.
Kenneth Harding's family and their attorney said they are troubled with how police have portrayed the shooting. Police first said that the 19-year-old was fatally shot by officers, then said they believed Harding killed himself with his own gun.
“I'm angry and I'm hurt,” Harding's mother, Denika Chatman of Seattle said at a news conference in Oakland. “I want the truth and I want justice to be done.”
Police said officers tried to stop Harding (pictured) while checking for fare evaders on a light-rail train July 16 in the city's Bayview district. His mother said her son, who would have turned 20 on Aug. 5, was in the San Francisco Bay area to visit family and embark on a rap music career.
She also said that her son was enrolled to attend a community college in Seattle this fall.
“We know based upon the police department's shifting stories, conflicting statements, allegations, claims and retractions that the truth seems to be far from at hand,” said Adante Pointer, Harding's family attorney. “A truth that the family is entitled to.”
Police initially said officers gunned down Harding in self-defense after he first shot at them. They later said Harding was a parolee sought for questioning about the fatal shooting of a pregnant woman in Seattle.
Police also that gunshot residue on Harding's right hand backed officers' accounts that Harding fired the first shot as well as audio of the shots captured by a gunshot-detection system used by police.
But angry community reaction to the shooting and videos posted online show Harding bleeding helplessly in the middle of the street as police stood around him with guns drawn and a crowd gathered.
At a packed town hall meeting last week, Police Chief Greg Suhr was cursed and shouted down by outraged residents a short distance from where the shooting took place.
Suhr later said that he now believes Harding shot and killed himself with his own gun. Suhr said after officers shot him in the leg, Harding lurched and fired his gun and the bullet entered the right side of his neck and lodged behind his cheek.
Authorities say they do not know whether Harding killed himself — either intentionally or by accident — with a .380-caliber bullet. A similar bullet was found in Harding's jacket pocket, police said as the gun he apparently used is still missing.
Police said officers only shot Harding in the leg and could not have fired the fatal bullet because they use .40-caliber handguns that cannot fire .380 ammunition.
On Monday, Harding's sister, Mikcolyn Curtis, said her brother told her just hours before her his death that he wanted to provide a better life for their mother.
“He didn't have nothing on his mind to want to blow his brains out,” Curtis said.
Pointer said Harding's family reject the notion that he was on the run and requests police provide them with a preliminary autopsy report, witness statements, surveillance video and the gunshot residue tests.
“So they can have the closure they are entitled to,” Pointer said.
Pointer said they also want witnesses who saw what happened to come forth.
“What's in dispute is the truth and we want to get to the bottom of this situation,” Pointer said. “We've been told a number of different things and we have information that is conflicting. We need to sort this out.”
San Francisco Police chief Greg Suhr speaks at a news conference next to undated booking photos of Kenneth Harding in San Francisco on July 18. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
By TERRY COLLINS,Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A police shooting that stirred community outcry and street protests took a stunning turn Thursday when investigators said they now believe a 19-year-old Washington parolee being sought for questioning in a Seattle murder fatally shot himself in the neck.
Kenneth Harding died Saturday in what San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr previously described as a shootout with police in which Harding fired the first shot.
However, police Cmdr. Mike Biel said Thursday that preliminary autopsy results showed the caliber of the bullet that killed 19-year-old Kenneth Harding did not match the caliber used by police.
“We believe that the fatal wound on Mr. Harding's body was self-inflicted,” Biel said.
John Sanchez, a criminalist at the San Francisco Crime Lab, said the .380-caliber bullet found in Harding's head was not consistent with the.40-caliber guns issued to San Francisco police.
“The bullet could not have been fired from any department-issued firearm,” Sanchez said.
Medical personnel found an unfired .380-caliber bullet in Harding's right jacket pocket, but the gun itself was not recovered, Biel said.
“We want to take this opportunity to reach out to the community in locating the correct weapon,” Biel said. “We believe the weapon that we are looking for is a .380-caliber handgun.”
A gun recovered by police late Saturday as part of the investigation was a .45-caliber pistol and could not have fired the fatal shot, police said.
The only other wound to Harding was a gunshot to his left leg, according to Chief Medical Examiner Amy Hart.
Authorities had not determined whether Harding shot himself on purpose or by accident, police said.
Harding was the main person of interest in last week's South Seattle shooting death of 19-year-old Tanaya Gilbert, Seattle police said. A Seattle police spokesman said he did not have information on the caliber of the gun used in the shooting of Gilbert. No weapon was recovered in that case, Seattle police Detective Mark Jamieson said.
In April, Harding was released from a Washington state prison after he served 22 months for attempting to promote prostitution involving a 14-year-old girl in King County.
Harding had initially been stopped by police in a routine check for fare-beaters on the city's light-rail train system, police said after Saturday's shooting.
Police said Tuesday that gunshot residue on Harding's right hand backed officers' accounts that Harding had fired the first shot, as did audio of the shots captured by a gunshot-detection system used by San Francisco police.
On Tuesday, 43 people were arrested in a raucous rush-hour march to protest Harding's death at the hands of what all believed at the time was police.
On Wednesday night, Suhr was shouted down at a town hall meeting in the city's Bayview neighborhood a short distance from where the shooting took place.
Keevin O'Brien, a minister who co-organized Wednesday's meeting, said he was still trying to process Thursday's developments.
“Nonetheless, we have a dead young man that could've probably changed his life if the police had gotten to him sooner,” O'Brien said. “This should not have happened the way it did.”
O'Brien said the Bayview community is going to have a hard time with the findings.
“They're not going to believe this,” O'Brien said. “They're so broken and hurt by what they already saw. This is going to be hard to digest.”
Biel said Thursday that he also understands likely cynicism in the community.
“I understand how the community feels, however, our investigation is based on total fact. That's what we have now,” Biel said.
O'Brien said he planned on going out in the community Thursday evening to “check its pulse.”
Detectives are seeking a manslaughter charge against a former Spokane County Jail inmate they believe provided prescription drugs used in another inmate's suicide.
Ronald F. Edwards, 41, could be charged with delivery of a legend drug and second-degree manslaughter under a charging recommendation sent to Spokane County prosecutors.
Detectives believe Edwards provided the prescription antidepressant amitriptyline to Christopher H. Devlin, a convicted killer who died of an overdose on Sept. 20, five days after being sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Edwards was one of two jail inmates prescribed the drug.
Investigators believe Edwards gave his daily dose to Devlin after hiding the pills in his mouth so jail employees would believe he'd ingested them.
DNA on a pill hidden in Devlin's mattress matched a DNA sample taken from Edwards at state prison in Forks, Wash., May 6, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office announced today.
Edwards is serving 25 months for third-degree assault. Detectives say Edwards frequently spent time with Devlin when the two were out of their cells.
Devlin was convicted last August of the May 2008 shooting death of 52-year-old Daniel Heily, who was to testify against Devlin in an assault case.
CONNELL, Wash. (AP) — Coyote Ridge Corrections Center officials say the death of an inmate found hanging in his cell appears to be a suicide.
Spokeswoman Lori Wonders says 26-year-old Michael Araiza was found Saturday and could not be revived by corrections officers and medical staff.
The Tri-City Herald reports he was in the general prison population but didn't have a cellmate.
Araiza had been at the Connell prison since November 2010, serving a sentence from King County for assault with a deadly weapon. He was set to be released in June 2013.
A convicted killer who committed suicide at the Spokane County Jail did so using pills prescribed to another inmate.
Now detectives are investigating whether the pill provider could be at least partly responsible for the suicide of Christopher H. Devlin, who was found dead in his jail cell Sept. 20, five days after being sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
An autopsy determined Devlin, 58, died of an overdose of amitriptyline, an antidepressant prescribed to only two jail inmates.
Detectives are awaiting test results comparing inmate Ronald F. Edwards' (pictured) DNA to the DNA found on a pill hidden in Devlin’s mattress.
A Spokane man was sentenced today to six months in jail for his role in the suicide of a longtime friend who jumped off the Sunset Bridge.
Melvin Alephus Gillespie, 41, wept as he apologized to the family of William P. Pickard, (pictured) who died June 30 after jumping from the bridge above High Bridge Park. Gillespie helped bind Pickard with a cord to make the death look like a homicide.
“I feel like I failed Billy, I failed God, and I failed his family,” Gillespie said today. “I’m just ashamed more than anything.”
- Tuesday Poll: A solid majority of Hucks Nation has had someone close commit suicide. 72 of 130 respondents (55.38%) said someone close to them has committed suicide. 58 of 130 respondents said no one close to them have committed suicide.
- Today's Question: Now that barbecue season is upon us … what is your favorite cut of meat?