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A 23-year-old man who robbed a boy lured to Spokane through Facebook avoid a life prison sentence recently when a judge approved a plea deal.
David Michael Martinez was sentenced to 15 years in prison for first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and third-degree assault. He was arrested in June 2011 for first-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery and faced life in prison without the possibility of parole under Washington's three-strikes law.
Martinez has previous convictions for attempted second-degree robbery and second-degree assault, which are strike offenses. He also has convictions for attempting to elude police.
His lawyer prepared a mitigation package, and prosecutors agreed to reduce the charges “given the difficult circumstances of defendant's childhood upbringing,” according to court documents.
Spokane County Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza approved the 180-month sentence on Thursday, which is exceptionally high for the gun and assault convictions.
Martinez admitted to robbing a Post Falls boy who arranged to meet a girl through Facebook.
The victim said he agreed to meet the girl at Corbin Park with $75, but when he got in her Chevy Tahoe, two men later identified as Martinez and Brendan T. Dalla pointed handguns at him and demanded his money, according to court documents.
Dalla was sentenced in November to four years in prison for second-degree robbery. The girl was charged as an adult, but her charges later were moved to juvenile court.
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.
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.
A new suspect has emerged in a meth-fueled robbery that led to a police SWAT team standoff at a north Spokane apartment last December.
Allison Elaine Hubbard, 30, (right) is wanted on first-degree robbery and first-degree kidnapping charges for the Dec. 1 assault of a 22-year-old woman who was choked unconscious with her own necklace.
Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to her arrest.
Hubbard is accused of robbing Jennifer M. Taylor of methamphetamine on the South Hill with the help of Bobby S. “Angel” Decaney, 35, and Maceo L. Williams, 27, who were arrested later that day.
A police dog found Decaney (left) inside a couch in his apartment at 13110 N. Addison. A SWAT team had pumped tear gas into the apartment, but Decaney, a reputed Sureno gang member, refused to exit. He faces life in prison if convicted because he has two previous convictions for violent felonies.
Williams and Decaney have pleaded not guilty.
Decaney left jail early February after posting $50,000 bond. His trial is set for April 16. Williams remains in jail awaiting an April 23 trial.
Police used cell phone information to identify Hubbard as the woman who was with Decaney and Williams that night. Messages on Decaney's phone from Hubbard discussed robbing Taylor, police say. A witness also identifed Hubbard from a photo montage.
Prosecutors filed charges March 22.
Hubbard, 5-foot-7 and 220 pounds, has a criminal history that includes convictions for assault, burglary theft and drug possession. She was a Crime Stoppers fugitive in November 2010 when police identified her as a marijuana growing suspect with a “shopping list.”
Hubbard last gave a home address in the 10000 block of East Sixth Avenue in Spokane Valley.
Anyone with information on her current location is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters do not have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.
A 27-year-old Pasco murder suspect facing life in prison under the three-strikes law got his first strike in Spokane County.
Joseph William Hart pleaded not guilty Tuesday n Franklin County Superior Court for second-degree murder.
Hart is accused of killing Rodger A. Lincoln, 53, outside their east Pasco mobile home last Tuesday.
Hart was 20 years old when he was convicted in Spokane County of first-degree robbery and sentenced to 46.5 month in prison. Hart stabbed a man after the man picked Hart up in a car near Coeur d'Alene Park in Browne's Addition in May 2004.
Hart got his second strike in prison for beating up a cellmate, according to the Tri-City Herald.
Though Hart's defense attorney, Scott Johnson, told Judge Craig Matheson that he's not requesting an evaluation of his client's competency, Johnson did note that “there are clearly mental health issues in this case,” according to the Associated Press.
Hart and Lincoln shared a home in the Sundance Mobile Home Park, 925 N. Elm Ave. space 72. The mobile home is one of several owned by Lourdes Health Network and is used as supported housing for people with mental illnesses.
Lincoln died of multiple stab wounds to his head and torso, autopsy results showed.
Hart is being held in the Franklin County jail on $750,000 bail.
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.
Top to bottom, left to right, are Jermaine S. Bedford, 22; Kalen J. Bedford, 21; Rashad F. Toussiant, 25; Roderick D. Shanks, 21; Stafone N. “Stix” Fuentes, 27; and Tyrone J. Carell, 23. All are wanted on assault charges related to the murder.
UPDATE: All suspects except Stafone Fuentes and Rashad Toussiant have been arrested.
Law enforcement officers were in Spokane County Superior Court today to provide extra security at the arraignment of murder suspect John “Lil Danger” Castro, who is accused of shooting another rapper at a Spokane hotel.
Castro (pictured left) pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, riot, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and two counts of second-degree assault for a Nov. 27 fight that ended with the shooting death of Jose A. “Junior” Solis, 21, of Moses Lake, at a Spokane hotel. His trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 27, but that likely will be postponed.
Castro, 27, remains in jail on $1 million bond. Public defender Anna Nordtvedt said a request to reduce his bond is to be heard on Thursday. Castro faces life in prison if convicted because of two previous violent felony convictions that qualify him for the state's three-strikes law.
Eight other men are charged with assault in connection with the case. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to the arrest of the six pictured above.
Sheriff's deputies and Spokane police provided extra security at Castro's arraignment before Judge Annette Plese, which was attended by Solis's friends and family. No incidents were reported.
Police believe Castro shot Solis after Solis and other men tried to help their friend who was being assaulted.
Castro and the other suspects went to the Quality Inn on East Third Avenue after a rap concert and were kicked out of a party hosted by the Moses Lake men, police say.
One of the men argued with a woman in the hallway, and he and others began assaulting her boyfriend. The woman and a friend ducked into a room and called for help as the men continued to assault her boyfriend and kick the door to the room, according to police. Solis and others arrived from another floor to help, and Solis was shot int he chest, police say.
Surveillance video captured the suspects running to and from the melee.
Detectives are reviewing Castro's work as the rapper “Lil Danger” as they continue to investigate the case.
A reputed Sureno gang member who Spokane police say stayed hidden in a couch after tear gas was pumped into his apartment faces life in prison if convicted under the state's three-strikes law.
Bobby S. “Angel” Decaney, 35, (pictured) pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first-degree kidnapping and first-degree robbery. He already has two convictions for violent felonies.
Decaney and Maceo L. Williams, 27, are accused of holding 22-year-old Jennifer M. Taylor while another woman assaulted her and stole methamphetamine from her pocket on Dec. 1.
The female assailant choked Taylor unconscious with her own necklace and threatened to kill her, according to court documents. The incident led to a SWAT team standoff in north Spokane.
Police contacted Taylor at a hospital, where she told them she'd gotten a ride on the the South Hill from Decaney, whom she knew as “Angel” and described as having “Sureno” tattooed across his forehead. Williams, the unidentified female assailant and Michael J. Hall also were in the car, she told police.
She said Decaney stopped the car and the woman accused her of talking badly about her ex-boyfriend, who police say also is a Sureno gang member. Taylor told police lost consciousness while being strangled then awoke to the woman punching her and stealing five ounces of meth that was hidden in her bra.
Police tried to contact Decaney and Maceo at Decaney's apartment at 13110 N. Addison, but they refused to come out and the gang unit and SWAT team were called to assist. Police evacuated the area and, after a few hours, pumped tear gas into the apartment. Williams, Hall and Nicole Coffey emerged and said no one was left inside, documents say, but a Spokane police dog, Stryder, found Decaney hiding in a large zippered bag that was secreted inside a couch, according to court documents.
Williams also pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and robbery charges Tuesday in Spokane County Superior Court. Both suspects are in the Spokane County Jail. Hall and Coffey were arrested after the standoff but have not been charged.
The police investigation into the assault is ongoing.
A 21-year-old man shot to death at a Spokane hotel early Sunday tried to intervene in a fight when he was shot in the chest by a man his friends recognized as an aspiring young local rapper, witnesses told police.
Witnesses told police that victim Jose A. “Junior” Solis, Jr., was part of a rap group from Moses Lake in town for a concert at a downtown bar when a fight broke out with the suspected gunman, identified by detectives as John Anthony Castro, 27 (pictured).
Castro, who raps under the name “Lil Danger,” remains in jail on $1 million bond after appearing in Spokane County District Court Monday on a second-degree murder charge. If convicted, he faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole under Washington’s three-strikes law because of two previous violent convictions.
A Spokane man arrested for a shooting after skipping the last part of his robbery and assault trial was sentenced this week to life in prison under Washington's three-strikes law.
A jury convicted Larry A. Powell, 54, of second-degree assault and first-degree robbery in July for an incident at Kmart after he skipped the last part of the trial.
Crime Stopeprs was offering a reward for his capture when he was identified as a suspect in a July 30 Spokane Valley burglary in which shots were fired at a neighbor who tried to stop the thieves.
Powell is described by Crime Stoppers described as an armed career criminal with a 36-year arrest history that includes convictions for second-degree theft, first-degree theft, third-degree theft, second-degree burglary and second-degree theft.
He's in custody at the Spokane County Jail awaiting transport to prison.
The retired judge who sentenced a Spokane-area sex offender now suspected of murdering a corrections officer said he's “just heartsick for that poor woman.”
Retired Spokane County Superior Court Judge Neal Rielly (above) said Tuesday that he remembers Byron Scherf (right) very well and said he was struck by the man's cunning intelligence when he sentenced him in 1996.
“He was really a brilliant man from an intellectual standpoint,” Rielly said. “Time and again, he would tell the psychologist what a terrible thing he'd done and how sorry he was.”
“I just don't know how you could ever trust him,” Rielly continued. “I can't believe that anybody would ever trust him, would ever leave him alone with any woman, period.”
Scherf is accused of strangling Department of Corrections officer Jayme Biendl, the lone guard at a chapel at Monroe Correctional Facility.
Reports say he acknowledged killing Biendl and said he was angry with the way she'd spoken to him. Scherf also had asked others who attended the chapel to pray for him two days before the killing because he was struggling with temptation.
A Spokane man has been charged with perjury for testimony given at a trial 18 months ago.
Antonine G. Marshall, 26, (pictured) is accused of lying during a trial in April 2009 in which Dwight L. “Hard” Russ was convicted and sent to prison for life under the state’s three-strikes law.
Marshall initially told police he arrived at the home with two men he couldn’t identify, and that he didn’t go inside the home, according to an affidavit by Spokane police Detective Lonnie Tofsrud.
But at trial, Marshall testified that he was allowed inside the home and possessed a firearm but never pointed it at anybody. He said Russ, a convicted felon prohibited from possessing firearms, never touched the gun, but several other witnesses testified to the contrary, police say.
Russ was convicted of first-degree burglary and second-degree assault and is serving a life sentence at the Washington State Penitentiary. Marshall, who had no previous felony convictions, already had pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and two counts of second-degree assault in May 2008 and was sentenced to three years in prison.
Now Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest him on the new perjury charge, which Deputy Prosecutor Mark Cipolla filed on Nov. 9.
Marshall, 5-foot-8 and 220 pounds, is a transient. Anyone with information on his current location is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.
A home-invasion robbery suspect set to go to trial next month is back in jail after the Spokane police detective who investigated the case said the man drunkenly approached him at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.
Nathaniel Jay Dishneau, 30, was prohibited from leaving Spokane County or contacting case witnesses when he approached Detective L. Tofsrud Sept. 3 about 7 p.m. at the Coeur d’Alene Resort and said, “You know I can’t do life, man,” according to court documents, apparently a reference to Dishneau’s possible consequences under the state’s three-strikes law.
Dishneau was arrested over the weekend after prosecutors alleged he violated his release conditions on burglary, assault and armed robbery charges when he left the county and approached a witness.
Prosecutors wanted $750,000 bail; Superior Court Judge Michael Price imposed $50,000. Dishneau already was out on $35,000 bond. Dishneau’s lawyer, Stephen Heintz, had asked for his client to be released on his own recognizance, saying he’s kept in great contact about the upcoming trial.
Police say Dishneau is a gang member. His criminal history includes several assault convictions, including convictions tied to a shooting in 1998 outside a fast-food restaurant, and to a shooting in 2004 at a Spokane Valley restaurant.
His new charges stem from an alleged home-invasion robbery at 1618 E. Liberty on Christmas Eve. Witnesses said Dishneau was armed with a gun when he and two other men burst in stole electronics.
Detective Tofsrud was off-duty at the resort earlier this month when Dishneau approached with a cup of beer.
“Dishneau appeared emotional and indicated that he wanted to talk to me about this investigation and the fact that he was being criminally charged,” according to a police report.
Dishneau denied have a gun during the incident and said he’d “just went over there to get my stuff back,” Tofsrud wrote. Dishneau continued to drink his beer, told the detective he has children “and wanted me to consider this as a deciding factor in whether or not he should be incarcerated,” Tofsrud wrote.
Deputy Prosecutor Mark Cipolla was notified of the contact and issued an arrest warrant on Friday. Dishneau remains in the Spokane County Jail.
A Spokane man whose accomplice is serving a life sentence for a home investigation robbery last year was sentenced recently to eight years in prison.
Derick D. Taylor, 30, (pictured) pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted first-degree robbery and was ordered to serve nearly 97 months in prison.
The convictions stem from March 2009 when Taylor and Thomas A. Butler, 26, forced their way into a home at 4113 E. 16th Ave., where three Eastern Washington University seniors lived.
One of the residents shot Butler, who was then convicted by a jury of six felonies last April and sentenced to life in prison without parole under the state’s three-strikes law.
Detectives believe the men had an inflated impression of what they might find in the home.
Taylor originally was charged with first-degree kidnapping, robbery, burglary and two counts of first-degree assault. He was sentenced Sept. 20 by Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque.
A Spokane man faces life in prison under the state’s 3 strikes law after a jury convicted him in connection with a July 2009 shooting that injured two women.
Jurors were split on attempted murder and first-degree assault charges against Timothy “Stoney Boy” Lucious by Spokane County prosecutors, citing questions over whether another man may have fired shots at the women.
But the jury foreman said all 12 believed Lucious had banged on the car window and threatened the women with a gun, justifying a second-degree assault conviction.
Superior Court Judge Annette Plese ordered Lucious, 39, held without bail until sentencing on Oct. 14.
Described as a gang member by Spokane police, Lucious already has convictions for two violent crimes.
Under state law, Thursday’s conviction earns him a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Public defender Steven Reich said prosecutors “grossly overcharged” Lucious and said while he’s pleased jurors wouldn’t convict on the murder charges, the outcome is the same for Lucious under the 3-strikes law.
A Spokane man facing life in prison for a July 2009 shooting may be wrongly accused, his lawyer told jurors during closing arguments Wednesday .
Police halted their investigation into the shooter’s identity after the alleged victims identified Timothy “Stoney Boy” Lucious (right) as the gunman, said public defender Steven Reich.
Nearly a year after the shooting, authorities learned that another man - possibly armed with a .45 handgun - was with the women. But the group had lied about Antonio E. Cook’s presence because his probation prohibited from being out after 10 p.m. and “they would have continued to lie had it not been discovered,” Reich said.
“They haven’t earned your trust,” Reich told jurors.
Reich suggested that Cook fired, likely on accident, the shots that injured Donna M. Dansby and Zsaja J. Branch.
Deputy Prosecutor Mark Cipolla said Reich may wish a .45 was present during the shooting, but the evidence just doesn’t support that claim.
Jurors are to continue deliberations this morning. Lucious is charged with six counts of attempted murder; first-degree assault is included as an alternative charge.
His defense focuses on what Reich said is a shaky case built on testimony from women who may be protecting the real shooter.
Though most witnesses said Cook (left) did not have a gun, one said he did, and Reich said it was likely the others were lying to protect Cook. He pointed to what Branch told doctors at the hospital - that she’d been shot with a .45.
“How would she know?” Reich said.
Police have said Lucious used a 9 mm handgun in the shooting.
Cipolla said in his rebuttal that if Branch had rally been shot in the chest with a .45 “she would have been split in half.”
Superior Court Judge Annette Plese sustained Reich’s objection because no experts ever testified about the impact of a .45.
Reich told jurors that Cook has been convicted of crimes that contest his character, including witness tampering and theft. He reminded jurors that Cook was forced to testify, despite Lucious allegedly trying to kill Branch, who is the mother of Cook’s daughter. He also pointed out that Cook fled the shooting scene despite Branch being rushed to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Cipolla said the facts of the case speak for themselves.
“This man right here used a gun on a car full of women for no apparent reason,” Cipolla said.
The jury deliberated for about an hour Wednesday afternoon and will be back at the courthouse at 9 a.m. today.
If convicted of attempted murder or the lesser charge, first-degree assault, Lucious will be sentenced to life in prison without parole because he already has two violent crime convictions.
Jurors are not allowed to know his possible punishment, but Reich emphasized that “any decision you make will have a a longstanding impact on Mr. Lucious.”
A codefendant, Michael R. Gardner, pleaded guilty to third-degree assault in January and was credited for time served.
Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Mark Cipolla expects to wrap up his case against Timothy “Stoney Boy” Lucious today after testimony from four or five witnesses, including a man authorities apparently didn’t know was connected to the July 2009 shooting until a few months ago.
Antonio E. Cook, Jr., 29, (left) was with a group of women when they drove to meet another group for a fight early July 24 to settle a dispute that began at a north side bar. Two of the women testified Monday that they’d brought Cook along for “protection” during the fight.
But the women hadn’t told investigators about Cook until long after Lucious’ arrest, according to court testimony. Lucious’ lawyer, Steve Reich, said repeatedly that Cook was known to carry a .45 handgun.
Lucious, who already has two convictions for violent crimes under the state’s three strikes law, faces six counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of drive-by shooting for the shooting on July 24, 2009. First-degree assault is listed as an alternative charge. The trial opened Monday before a jury of eight women and five men (one juror is an alternate). As is customary, jurors are not allowed to know Lucious’ possible punishment.
Lucious (right, in 2009) wore black slacks, black shoes and a white pine striped shirt with buzzed hair and a beard and mustache.
Witnesses included alleged attempted-murder victim, 18-year-old Ebony Branch, who said she didn’t tell police about Cook, the father of her sister’s baby, because Cook was prohibited from being out after 10 p.m. by the state Department of Corrections.
Reich said Branch didn’t tell him that during an interview in March, either.
Branch said she didn’t tell investigators until “a couple of months ago” but denied conspiring with the other women to hide Cook’s involvement.
Testimony from Branch and another alleged victim, Donna M. Dansby, portrayed a wild fight between several women that led to a showdown in a park on the lower South Hill, near 7th and Newark.
Dansby testified that she removed her heeled shoes and used them as weapons while charging a woman who later grabbed a butcher knife after spitting a razor blade from her mouth. Dansby and her friends then traveled from the bar to an after party, where they met the women again and agreed to meet at the park for a fight.
When they arrived at the park, Lucious was there with a gun, Branch said. Lucious fired several shots at the car as they drove away, Branch testified, then was still there with the gun when they realized they’d forgotten Zsaja J. Branch, Ebony’s older sister.
They turned around to picked her up, and Zsaja was shot by Lucious as she ran to the car, Ebony Branch testified.
Branch was shot in the chest and survived, though police initially considered the wound life threatening, according to court documents. Dansby was shot in the arm during the melee but testified that she doesn’t remember how it happened.
A Spokane gang member facing life in prison for a shooting that injured two women in July 2009 is to stand trial this week in Superior Court.
Timothy “Stoney Boy” Lucious, who already has two convictions for violent crimes under the state’s three-strikes law, faces six counts of attempted murder for the shooting on July 24, 2009. First-degree assault is listed as an alternative charge.
Spokane County Deputy mark Cipolla filed four additional attempted-murder charges against Lucious in February after the suspect turned down a plea deal, according to court documents. (Details on the proposed deal are not available.)
Lucious now stands accused of attempting to murder Donna M. Dansby, Zsaja J. Branch, Marquetta M. Scales, Summer R. Abrahamson, Amber C. Branch and Ebony V. Branch. Zsaja Branch suffered a gunshot wound to her chest, Dansby was shot in her left arm.
The melee began when the women were at the now closed Lefty’s Steak and Sports and a woman “was yelling to Dansby something about Spokane girls all being bitches,” then continued to the area of 7th and Newark, when Lucious allegedly showed up with a gun, according to court documents. A co-defendant, Michael R. Gardner, pleaded guilty to third-degree assault for his role in the incident.
A jury of 12 Spokane County resident was to be selected by Friday. Opening statements are to begin this morning.
A judge allowed Lucious to act as his own lawyer in May, but he changed his mind a couple weeks later and Steve Reich was reappointed. Lucious’ Aug. 10 request for a new public defender was denied.
Superior Court Judge Annette Plese is presiding over the trial.