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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels archive for Jan. 1, 2010

THURSDAY, FEB. 4, 2010

Killer's father charged with ID theft

The story of a woman who worked as a prostitute before murdering her husband has reemerged in an otherwise low-level theft case in Spokane County Superior Court. CKLCurtis A. JohnsonÖ, 69, is scheduled for trial next month on one count of first-degree identity theft after…

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This photo proivided by the Suffolk County, N.Y., Sheriff's Dept., Wednesday Feb. 3, 2010, shows a mannequin on the hood of one of their cruisers. A New Yorker faces a $135 traffic fine for using a mannequin as her plus-one in the high-occupancy lane of the Long Island Expressway. An alert sheriff's deputy on Long Island became suspicious when he saw the "passenger" wearing sunglasses and using the visor. The only problem: The sky was overcast. (AP Photo/Suffolk County Sheriff) (Associated Press)

Shady mannequin leads to car pool fine

ISLANDIA, N.Y. (AP) — The tipoff was the sunglasses.A New Yorker faces a $135 traffic fine for using a mannequin as her plus-one in the high-occupancy lane of the Long Island Expressway.An alert sheriff's deputy on Long Island became suspicious when he saw the "passenger"…

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No death penalty for Deer Park man

A Deer Park man accused of murdering a witness in an assault case against him will avoid the death penalty because of prosecutors mismanaged the case, a judge ruled today. Spokane County prosecutors failed to disclose for months pertinent statements from suspect Christopher H. Devlin’s…

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Ignition device law a test for agencies

Changes to a state law put a fired Spokane police sergeant in a new class of drunken drivers: first-time offenders required to drive with an ignition interlock device.That new requirement led to Brad Thoma’s dismissal from the Spokane Police Department after the department said public…

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Darin DeBolt holds a fellow cheerleader in a lift as the EWU band rallies fans outside  Woodward Field in Cheney before EWU played Western Washington Sept. 20. (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)

Gym teacher accused of sexual abuse

A high school gym teacher and local cheerleading coach is accused of sexually abusing a teenager. Darin J. DeBolt, 26, a teacher at Lakeside High School in North Idaho, appeared in court today on one count of sexual battery of a minor child ages 16…

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Chase in Everett leads to police pileup

Fortunately no one was severely injured in this pileup this morning, and the suspect was apprehended, but it makes you wonder how many times the words "oh crap" or similar variation on that phrase were uttered.Here's the initial coverage out of Everett from speed wire:EVERETT,…

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TUESDAY, FEB. 2, 2010

Suspect arrested in weekend stabbing

A man who told a judge two weeks ago that he planned to "make better decisions" and "be a parent" is back in Spokane County Jail after police say he stabbed two men early Saturday. Michael R. "Mikey Mike" Gardner was booked into jail Tuesday,…

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Move over, toothless burglar

A burglar dressed in skin-tight leotards and a red bandana went screaming from a Spokane Valley home this morning after being surprised by a 14-year-old occupant. The boy told officers he was in the shower and heard his dogs barking in the kitchen about 6:40…

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Man accused of stabbing drinking buddy

An argument between two men drinking at a North Side apartment early Tuesday ended with one stabbing the other, Spokane police said. Matthew J. Blizzard, 32, is accused of stabbing Paul J. Erickson, 39, with a pocket knife inside Erickson's apartment at 6616 N. Addison…

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Detectives are looking for help identifying this man, who they say broke into gaming machines at the Hico Village, 1201 North Barker Road, on Jan. 24 about 4:30 p.m. (Crime Stoppers)

Gaming machine thief caught on tape

Detectives are looking for a man they say broke into gaming machines at a Spokane Valley convenience store. The man was captured on security video around the time of the theft, which detectives say occurred Jan. 24 about 4:30 p.m. at the Hico Village, 1201…

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MONDAY, FEB. 1, 2010

This photo provided by the Newark police department shows part of the evidence collected after the arrest of the alleged "Shoe Burglar" Walter J. Rubincan who was arrested by Newark police Friday Jan. 29, 2010 on 25 counts of Burglary in the 2nd Degree, 77 counts of Theft, and 15 counts of Criminal Mischief. Police say the burglar searched the bedrooms and makes off with men's shoes and photographs of men. (AP Photo/Newark Del. Police Department) (Associated Press)

Shoe thief suspect nabbed in Newark

NEWARK, Del. (AP) — Newark Police have arrested a 46-year-old man they say is responsible for the theft of thousands of shoes after recovering much of the stolen property at the suspect's house. Walter J. Rubincan of Newark was arrested Friday. He is charged with…

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Gunman threatens bail bondsman

A man accused of trying to steal an ATM last fall was arrested today after a bail bond company employee said he pointed a gun at her. George W. Butrick, 32, pulled a 9mm Ruger handgun on a woman who works at Angel's Bail Bonds,…

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Buyer turned burglar gets 10 years

A Stevens County man who posed as a home buyer, then burglarized the house as the seller vacationed with his family, will spend 10 years in prison.Aaron Leigh, 32, was sentenced last week in Stevens County Superior Court to 80 months for residential burglary, to…

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SUNDAY, JAN. 31, 2010

Truckers and chili rarely a good combination 

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) — Police say a lumber truck crashed into a Massachusetts home after the driver was knocked unconscious when he choked on chili from Wendy's.Lowell police say Eric Gremm reported that he choked on the chili when the truck hit a bump, causing…

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FRIDAY, JAN. 29, 2010

This banner was hanging in the gym at Coeur d'Alene High School on Tuesday, February 24, 2009. Jerry Carlson, a prominent Coeur d'Alene insurance agent and school booster has been charged with possessing five grams of cocaine last week is part of a larger criminal conspiracy investigation involving at least a half a kilo of the drug. In addition to a state charge of possession of a controlled substance, Jerry S. Carlson faces three federal charges related to distribution of more than 500 grams of cocaine that took place over several months. KATHY PLONKA The Spokesman-Review (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

Imprisoned contractor helped bust school booster

A former Bayview contractor now serving time in federal prison for selling marijuana helped federal drug agents bust a once-prominent Coeur d’Alene insurance agent and school booster weeks before he was sentenced last year. That insurance agent, Jerald S. “Jerry” Carlson, 47, pleaded guilty Thursday…

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Pierre West enters court in May 2009 to face charges of first-degree kidnapping, rape and assault for attacks on prostitutes that date to 2005.  (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Verdict means life in prison for rapist 

A child rapist faces life in prison after a Spokane County jury convicted him Friday of three crimes involving sexual assaults against prostitutes. Pierre D. West, 49, clenched his jaw and shook his head as Superior Court Judge Michael Price said a jury had convicted…

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Mom cited for drunken driving

A Spokane Valley mother faces criminal charges after police say her toddler walked away from a drunken car crash as she tried to free her vehicle. Denice L. Goode, 42, was booked into Spokane Count Jail today on misdemeanor charges of drunken driving and reckless…

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'All the nudes that's fit to sprint'

A news release from the Spokane County Sheriff's Office calls it a clear case of “all the nudes that’s fit to sprint.” A 53-year-old Spokane Valley man was cited for indecent exposure Thursday after a police officer found him naked and fondling himself in front…

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THURSDAY, JAN. 28, 2010

 Claude  Irwin Jr., calling himself Koyote Karlos, labeled this photo of himself "Ayatolla" on his web site posted from the state of Chiapas in Mexico. (courtesy)

Disbarred lawyer captured in Mexico

He lived the high-life he’d become accustomed to in Spokane, escaping to southern Mexico and bragging about his exploits on a Web site that nearly led to his capture. But after evading authorities for more than a decade, disbarred Spokane lawyer and developer Claude Irwin,…

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 27, 2010

Police chief testifies in Olympia

From Jim Camden at Spin Control: OLYMPIA — Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick was among law enforcement brass who told said they should be allowed to fire an officer who lies without fear of being overruled by an arbitrator. Kirkpatrick joined sheriffs from King and…

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Woman accused of drive-by shooting 

A woman accused of driving two men from a shooting outside a McDonald's in August pleaded not guilty to two felonies this week. Nicole R. Dituri, 24, is charged with drive-by shooting and first-degree rendering criminal assistance after police say she drove Jason Giles and…

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Oxy addict who targeted elderly gets 7 years

A man who robbed elderly women in grocery store parking lots to support his OxyContin addiction will spend seven years in prison. Ryan Xavier Burgess, 22, was sentenced to 86 months in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to two counts of second-degree robbery, one count…

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TUESDAY, JAN. 26, 2010

Reorganization at SCSO

Scrambling to reorganize amid spending cuts, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office is moving Sgt. Dave Reagan into a supervisory role over the property crimes division, effective March 1.Reagan, the longtime public affairs officer and the wit behind many of the double entendres that find their…

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