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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels archive for Jan. 1, 2010

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 8, 2010

Man in 100 mph chase gets 100 months

A 23-year-old Spokane man once considered one of the city's top 10 repeat offenders was sentenced this morning to eight years in prison. Allen S. Easley was in and out of jail several times last spring for property crimes and a freeway chase with police…

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Idaho man sentenced in trooper assault

(AP) — A northcentral Idaho man has been sentenced to just six months behind bars — the maximum — for an assault on a state trooper that resulted in the trooper shooting another man who was attacking him.Ricardo Daniel Rodriguez was sentenced Monday in U.S.…

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Cops: Thief struck after finding corpse

Police say a Spokane man had an unusual reaction to his grandfather’s death: grand theft. Anthony S. Jungen, 19, was ordered held Tuesday at the Spokane County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail on theft allegations that border on the macabre. Police say Jungen found…

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Gambling man owes mother $137,000

A Spokane man was ordered this week to repay his mother nearly $140,000 after bilking her out of the cash to fund his gambling addiction.Mark B. English, 52, also was ordered to serve 90 days in jail, three times as long as a plea agreement…

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Police: Thief targeted retirement homes

A 23-year-old Spokane man is suspected of a string of burglaries at South Hill retirement homes.Police say they found more than 1,000 pieces of jewelry in a car owned by Pavel V. Altukhov, who investigators believe has been stealing from elderly retirement home residents since…

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Arrest made in 1982 Kennewick killing

LEWISTON — A DNA match has led to the arrest of a 56-year-old Lewiston man in the 1982 strangulation death of his girlfriend in Kennewick, Wash., authorities say.Jack L. Welch was briefly booked into the Nez Perce County jail on Tuesday on a first-degree murder…

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TUESDAY, DEC. 7, 2010

Drunken driving suspect blows .354 

A suspected drunken driver arrested in Spokane on Monday had a blood-alcohol level more than four times the legal limit for driving, according to court testimony. Donald J. Lafavor, 66, blew a .354 and was booked into Spokane County Jail about 6:15 p.m. on Monday.…

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Medical examiner is '87 murder witness

A Pasco murder trial moved to Spokane because of extensive publicity featured testimony Monday from Spokane County Medical Examiner John Howard.Howard performed autopsies on the five men killed in the 1987 Pasco body shop slayings and described their gunshot wounds to jurors.Three of the men,…

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"It didn't have to go down the way it did," said Robert Thompson whose longtime friend Jeremy Groom was shot and killed by Spokane police in a Hillyard parking lot Saturday night. Groom was allegedly pointing a handgun at Thompson when police fired their weapons.  (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Friends question fatal police shooting 

After Jeremy Groom pointed a gun at his own head and threatened suicide Saturday in Spokane, his friend of 20 years, Robert Thompson, Jr., figured he needed to do something fast to calm him down.So he asked a question: “What do you see when you…

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This combination of photos provided by the City of Lakewood, Wash., shows, from left to right, Lakewood police officers Greg Richards, 42,  Tina Griswold, 40, Ronald Owens, 37, and Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39. The four were killed when a gunman opened fire on them at a Parkland, Wash. coffee store on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009. (City Of Lakewood)

Mixed verdict in Lakewood shooting trial

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A jury in Tacoma returned mixed verdicts today against four people accused of helping Maurice Clemmons after he gunned down four Lakewood police officers in a coffeeshop last year. Two of the defendants — Clemmons’ aunt Letrecia Nelson and his cousin…

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MONDAY, DEC. 6, 2010

Feces-caked 2-year-olds rescued in CdA

Coeur d’Alene police on Sunday arrested a woman whose 2-year-old twin daughters were found with dried feces caked all over their bodies. Elizabeth C. Crossley, 26, was charged with two counts of felony injury to a child. A warrant also was issued Monday for the…

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A Canadian man arrested while crossing the border with $520,000 in cash remains in Spokane County Jail after appearing in U.S. District Court today.
Richard Paul Neumeyer, 66, of Kelowna, B.C., told federal agents he'd been transporting cash into the United States for a fee after he was arrested Friday at the border crossing in  (United States Customs and Border Patrol)

Man gets 1 year for smuggling $520,000

A Canadian man arrested who tried to smuggle $520,000 into the United States will spend a year in federal prison. Richard Paul Neumeyer, 66, of Kelowna, B.C., was sentenced last week to 12 months in prison and three years probation. He also forfeited the cash…

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Police are trying to identify two beer thieves who assaulted someone outside a convenience sore last month.
The man and woman stole beer from 7-Eleven, 323 W. Indiana, about 4:05 a.m. on Nov. 14, Spokane police said today.
The man assaulted someone outside the store before fleeing. Police have not said if the victim was a customer or store clerk.
The woman is described as white, 5-foot-7, 160 pounds, about 35 years old with shoulder-length brown hair and blond highlights. She wore a baggy jacket and shorts.
The man was described as white with a shaved head.
Surveillance video captured an image of the woman.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. (Spokane Police Department)

Photo shows 7-Eleven beer robber

Police are trying to identify two beer thieves who assaulted a clerk outside a convenience sore last month.The man and woman stole beer from 7-Eleven, 323 W. Indiana Ave., about 4:05 a.m. on Nov. 14, Spokane police said today.The man assaulted a clerk outside the…

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2 robberies in Valley likely not linked

Armed robberies were reported at Spokane Valley two convenience stores Saturday and today, but police don't yet suspect a serial robber. "Armed robberies always go up over the holidays. It's an annual thing," said Sgt. Dave Reagan, spokesman for the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. "I…

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Remains are woman missing since '94

Human remains found in Stevens County two years ago belong to a Spokane Valley woman missing since 1994, sheriff's officials recently confirmed.A death certificate for Kay L. Melius was issued Nov. 22 after the University of North Texas confirmed remains found in 2008 belonged to…

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Laurie Partridge was 17 when she left Ferris High School on Dec. 4, 1974, but never made it home. Investigators believe she was murdered but have no evidence and few clues. Detective Mike Ricketts of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is trying to generate more tips.  (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Police hope for new clues in cold case

Laurie Partridge’s disappearance not only stumped detectives, it pushed her parents apart and prompted her family to move far from Spokane County.“It determined the whole way my family lived,” said Partridge’s sister, Taryn Chambers, who lives in Florida.Their parents reunited and remarried more than a…

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SATURDAY, DEC. 4, 2010

FRIDAY, DEC. 3, 2010

Bogus 911 caller blames lack of cigs

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Police in Tennessee say a man accused of making three bogus calls to 911 told them he was bored and anxious because he had not smoked a cigarette in two days.Twenty-year-old Alex Lee Baker of Clarksville was charged with making the…

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Drunk-to-keep-warm defense nixes DUI

JACKSON, Mo. (AP) — A southeast Missouri man has been acquitted of drunk driving after claiming that he consumed alcohol to keep warm after — but not before — he lost control of his vehicle on an icy road.Thomas Drummond of Jackson told a court…

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Florida boy voted out of class gets $350k

MIAMI (AP) — The mother of a Florida child who was kicked out of his kindergarten class after the teacher held a vote among fellow students about his disruptive behavior has reached a $350,000 settlement with St. Lucie County education officials.Federal court documents show the…

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THURSDAY, DEC. 2, 2010

New Superior Court commissioner named

Spokane attorney Rachelle E. Anderson will replace James Triplet as court commissioner for Spokane County Superior Court.Anderson, a 1994 graduate of Eastern Washington University and a 1997 graduate of Gonzaga University School of Law, will start in her new post on Dec. 10, according to…

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Deputy breaks hand in fight w/ inmate

A Spokane County Jail deputy recently fractured his hand during a scuffle with an inmate.Deputy John Madsen said property crime suspect Casey A. Beck, 21, hit him "for no apparent reason," according to court documents. Madsen then hit Beck in the head and fractured his…

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Baby sitter charged w/ manslaughter

A baby sitter accused of killing a 3-year-old Post Falls boy will be charged with involuntary manslaughter, a judge ruled this week. Kootenai County prosecutors had sought to charge Amanda L. Skogen, 26, with first-degree murder, punishable by up to life in prison or the…

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Store clerk's refusal stops armed robber

A Spokane store clerk recently deterred a knife-wielding robber by simply refusing to give him anything. The suspect, Jonas J. Henry, is in jail on assault and attempted robbery charges after a clerk at Qwik Stop, 3021 E. Wellesley Ave., said Henry threatened him with…

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