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

Sirens & Gavels

Courthouse watch: 6.4.09

A teen boy accused of burning a homeless man over stolen beer money pleaded innocent today to first-degree attempted murder and an alternative charge of first-degree assault.

John C. Palmer, 16, is charged as an adult but being house in juvenile detention after his arrest May 22 - two weeks after transient Peter H. Krueger walked into Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center with second-degree burns, court papers show.

The Spokesman-Review only prints the names of juvenile suspects if they are charged with serious felonies.

Appearing in court via video, Palmer wore a yellow shirt with "honor level" written on it in red letters, a sign of his achievements while in juvenile detention, his lawyer, Dennis Dressler said.

"That's gotta be a good thing," said Dressler, of the Counsel for Defense Judge Ellen Kalama Clark set Palmer's omnibus and trial dates for July 9 and July 27.

"Due to the nature of the case we do not expect the July 27 trial date to stand," Dressler told the court.

Tony Hazel represented the Spokane County Prosecutor's Office. Palmer is being held on $250,000 bond.

Read the story on his case here.

Other suspects on today's Superior Court docket included a woman arrested in an alleged identity theft ring and a man connected to Pinnacle Realty founder Joe Ward.

Brittaini C. Dorman, 22, was arrested in January in an investigation triggered by a stolen iPhone from Wal-Mart. Read about that case here.

David K. "Ink" Sankey is charged with harassment and assault for alleging firing shots on Joe Ward's property. Details of Sankey's case are in this blog post, and a story on Ward's arrest in January is here.

Dorman had an omnibus hearing today; Sankey had his trial date postponed.

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.