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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels

Crips gangster on trial in Spokane

A Spokane man police say has ties to the Rollin 60s Crips gang is on trial this week for an early-morning shooting outside a downtown night club more than a year ago.

Anthony D. Singh, 21, has been in jail since July 30, 2008, four days after a bullet struck Alex Tauala in his right shoe in a parking lot near Sprague and Stevens.

Police say Singh fired that bullet, which did not injure Tauala.

Now a jury will decide whether to convict Singh (pictured right in his MySpace photo) on charges of second-degree assault, drive-by shooting, conspiracy to commit first-degree assault, witness intimidation and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

His brother, 25-year-old Jamal Singh, pleaded guilty to riot last year and was given a year probation and credit for 24 days served in jail.

Police reports say the brothers were with two women, Jennifer Jacobs and Ashley Breesnee, when they were confronted by Tauula in the parking lot across the street from Jimmy'z bar.

They were then driven to a home at 1653 E. Ostrander in Breesnee's Monte Carlo, where Jamal Singh retrieved a gun and put in the car's trunk. They returned to the parking lot, where the Singhs got out of the car and confronted Tauala with the gun.

Anthony Singh is accused of taking Jacobs' cell phone to prevent her from calling police. His ties to the violent Crips street gang is a factor in the prosecution's case, which appears to paint the shooting as a gang war in the making.

According to a search warrant filed last week in Spokane County Superior Court, Jamal Singh called Breesnee a day after the shooting and said he didn't believe the police were investigating.

"Jamal also told Breesnee that he beleive that 'things were heating up and they wanted to be ready,'" the search warrant said.

"In the context of gang culture, respect is the center of the universe. A gang member acts either to gain or preserve respect or to tear down the respect garnered by a foe. Respect in gang culture is synonymous with fear and intimidation in mainstream culture as recognized by most American citizens," Spokane police Detective Jeff Barrington wrote in the search warrnt, filed Dec. 8.

The warrant seeks access to Singh's private MySpace page after his sister testified in court that they communicated through the wbe site prior to his arrest.

One witness in the case is cab driver Todd Hughes, who heard the gun shot and followed the Monte Carlo has it sped away. (In what appears to be an unrelated case, Hughes was assaulted at gunpoint last month in Spokane Valley.)

The trial will resume Tuesday morning before Judge Kathleen O'Connor. Larry Haskell is the prosecutor.

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.