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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels archive for Dec. 2009

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 30, 2009

Man gets 6 years for fatal stabbing

A man involved in a fatal stabbing will spend six years in prison. Joseph T. Harper, 25, pleaded guilty Wednesday to first-degree manslaughter in connection with the March death of Michael “Mickey” Lyng. Lyng, 19, stepped into a fight between Harper and another man before…

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TUESDAY, DEC. 29, 2009

Search ends with suspect still at large

Police searched the area of Sharp Avenue and Stone Street in east central Spokane today for a man wanted on a state Department of Corrections warrant. Officers didn't find Joshua A. Jackson, 31, and ask anyone who knows where he is to call 911. Police…

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“I still have trouble with it on Mother’s Day,”  Vicky Littell said last week. Her daughter, Susette G. Werner, was struck and dragged to death, and the driver has never been identified. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Dragging death still unsolved

Ten months since their daughter was found dead in a Spokane street, dragged more than 13 blocks by a driver who has never been found, and the questions remain: How? Why? And, above all, who? “I have a hard time with it, especially on Mother’s…

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MONDAY, DEC. 28, 2009

Shooting suspect claims self defense 

A young businessman facing attempted murder charges after a chaotic confrontation in downtown Coeur d’Alene told police he felt threatened when he opened fire on a group of men looking for a fight. “I did what I was trained,” Adam M. Johnson told police, according…

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Oxy robber gets 31 months

A man who robbed a Spokane pharmacy of OxyContin in June was sentenced to 31 months in prison today. Nicholas A. Blessing, 28, pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery for the June 16 holdup at the Walgreens at 2105 E. Wellesley Ave. The plea deal approved…

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SUNDAY, DEC. 27, 2009

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 23, 2009

Spokane cop shooter still at large

A gunman fired several rounds at a Spokane police officer early this morning, missing the officer but striking his patrol car.The shooting occurred as the officer, who has not been identified, was guarding the scene of a shooting several hours earlier in the 1100 block…

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Thoma files $4 million claim 

A Spokane police sergeant fired after a drunken hit and run crash filed a $4 million claim against the city of Spokane Wednesday, claiming he was wrongfully fired because he’s an alcoholic. Bradley N. Thoma, 44, was fired Monday after refusing an offer from Chief…

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Charge reduced in Mead murder

A Mead man accused of killing his wife in front of their 11-year-old son has been charged with second-degree murder. Sheriff's detectives recommended charging Jeffery N. Canino, 46, with first-degree murder for the Dec. 2 stabbing death of Michelle Canino at their Mead home, but…

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GPS phone leads to theft arrest

A stolen cell phone with a GPS tracker installed led to the arrest of two teenagers this morning. The phone was stolen from an unlocked car this morning in near 6th Avenue and Pines Road in Spokane Valley, then recovered when police used the GPS…

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Richard Heene, center, looks up as he sits in the courtroom with his wife Mayumi, right, and attorney David Lane, left, before he and his wife were sentenced in connection with the balloon boy hoax on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009, in Fort Collins, Colo. (AP Photo/Rich Abrahamson, Pool)
 (AP Photo/Rich Abrahamson)

Jail for Balloon Boy's parents

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The parents who carried out the balloon boy hoax were sentenced to jail today and given strict probation conditions that forbid them from earning any money from the spectacle for four years. Richard Heene was sentenced to 90 days in jail,…

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More charges in Friday's shooting

Two men arrested in a shooting Friday are due back in court today on more charges related to the alleged robbery attempt that began as an apparent carjacking attempt. Joseph P. Ellery, 30, is charged with attempted first-degree robbery and drive-by shooting, as well as…

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TUESDAY, DEC. 22, 2009

A Christmas carol for cops?

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Christmas spirit seems to be in full swing at a police department in Wisconsin. Kenosha police officers have made a Christmas video that features their version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas." The cops sing about gifts from their chief…

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This Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009 image made from video released by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department shows a man dressed as Santa robbing the Sun Trust Bank in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Metropolitan Nashville Police Department) (AP/Metropolitan Nashville Police Department)

Gun-toting Santa Claus robs bank

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — He may have been dressed all in fur from his head to his foot, but this Santa was no saint. According to Metropolitan Nashville Police, a man wearing a Santa Claus suit — including hat, beard and mustache — and dark…

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Spokane church rammed, ransacked

Here's a report from Sara Leaming: A 56-year-old man who investigators say was so upset over a $70 repair bill he rammed his truck into a northeast Spokane church and ransacked the inside was arrested today. Mark T. Heitman, a parishioner of the Country Crossroads…

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An unidentified person was caught on video in a robbery Tuesday morning December 22, 2009 at Mountain West Bank.  Courtesy of Coeur d'Alene Police Department (Courtesy Police / The Spokesman-Review)

Picture shows CdA bank robber

An employee arriving to work this morning at Mountain West Bank in Coeur d’Alene was confronted by a man who attempted to take money from the bank, but instead robbed the woman of a small sum, police said. The robber entered the bank at 125…

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Sergeant in drunken hit and run fired

A police sergeant involved in a drunken hit and run crash in September has been fired. Bradley N. Thoma, 44, is no longer with the Spokane Police Department as of Monday, police said today. Thoma, a 20-year police veteran, will avoid criminal prosecution for the…

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Police stopped traffic on Meridian Ave. about a mile north of a triple-shooting near Tanwax Lake, Pierce County, Monday night, December 21, 2009. Two sheriff's officers responding to a dispute between two brothers were shot by one of the men lying in wait after being welcomed into the home by the other, authorities said. The gunman was killed and the officers were seriously wounded. (AP Photo/The News Tribune, Peter Haley) (Peter Haley / The News Tribune)

2 cops hurt in West Side shooting 

By GEORGE TIBBITS Associated Press Writer SEATTLE (AP) — Two sheriff's officers were wounded while responding to a dispute at a home between two brothers — the third shooting of law enforcement officers in Washington state in the last three months. The officers killed the…

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MONDAY, DEC. 21, 2009

Pharmacist who tackled robber fired

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) — A northern Idaho pharmacist who tackled a gun-toting robber and received a special award from the city of Coeur d'Alene has been fired for violating company policy. Jerry Gunderson said he was dismissed from the Shopko pharmacy late last month…

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Sharon and Dewey Brown stand behind their daughter Cami  next to the wanted poaster she made to try and get her favorite doll "Jenna" returned Monday December 21, 2009.  The family was staying overnight in the Spokane valley when their truck and attached U-Haul trailer were stolen and they lost all their possessions. (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)

U-Haul stolen from motel lot, again

A family traveling from North Dakota to Western Washington awoke this morning to find their pickup and rented moving trailer stolen from a Spokane Valley motel parking lot. Dewey and Sharon Brown and their 7-year-old daughter were headed to McChord Air Force Base, where he's…

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