Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 41° Partly Cloudy

Sirens & Gavels

Courthouse watch: 9.1.09

A career criminal whose defense attorney said he'd "about run himself out of rope" at his sentencing four years ago is back in the court system, accused of something police say he does for a living: burglary.

Christopher J. Cannata, 37, was scheduled to plead not guilty today to charges of second-degree burglary and possession of burglary tools. He was arrested Aug. 21 with Joseph A. Gariepy, 38, after watchful neighbors in Rockford spotted the men breaking into a storage unit.

The residents gave the Spokane County Sheriff's Office a description of the men and their vehicle, and a deputy saw a 1997 White Chevy Lumina matching that description pass him northbound on state Highway 24 as he headed to the burglary scene.

Other deputies set up stop sticks on the highway at 32nd Avenue, which disabled a front tire. Deputies found a bolt cutter and items stolen in the burglary, including a $450 air conditioner and wood frames and oil paintings worth $200, according to a search warrant filed in Spokane County District Court.

Cannata was sentenced to prison in 2005 on charges of residential burglary and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

His mother and new wife pleaded with the judge for leniency at the time, blaming Cannata's 19 criminal convictions on an untreated drug problem. When he sought treatment at 13, he was molested by a priest, his lawyer said, leading to a successful lawsuit.

Read the story from May 2005 here.

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.