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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels archive for April 2010


Tips sought on suspects in home looting

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information that helps arrest two men accused of burglarizing a home, then filling the family's Dodge Durango with the loot and stealing it. Anthony T. Falasco, 28, (left) and Marcus R. Jolly, 27 (right), are wanted for the…

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Oreskovich: 'I'm not Internet proficient' 

By Thomas ClouseU.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle didn’t have the kindest of responses Tuesday when a defense attorney representing Spokane police Office Karl F. Thompson, Jr. asked the judge to compel federal prosecutors to turn over the names, phone numbers and addresses of…

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Teen gets 11 years in murder over $20 

Matthew T. Shope told police everything. He led them to the victim's body, described her murder in detail and, ultimately, gave detectives a solid case against her killer. But it's what Shope did - and didn't do - before his arrest that earned him more…

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$66 robbery gets gunman 7+ years in prison

A 25-year-old man who robbed a convenience store at gunpoint last fall was sentenced today to nearly eight years in prison. Christopher R. Walinksi pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery and second-degree assault for a Sept. 29 robbery at Zip Trip, 3030 E. Euclid Ave. The…

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Boy-for-sale Craigslist query switches states

Investigation into a Spokane Craigslist ad that offered a 4-year-old boy for sale has been transferred to another law enforcement agency.A sheriff's deputy tracked Internet Provider address information for the posting and believes the post may have originated outside of Washington, the Spokane County Sheriff's…

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Police saw signs smuggler liked bestiality

By GENE JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer SEATTLE (AP) — Last week's animal-abuse arrest of a convicted cocaine smuggler wasn't the first time authorities had found something linking him to bestiality. A Monroe police commander said Monday that when Douglas Spink's sport utility vehicle was pulled…

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2 banks robbed within 90 minutes Monday

A robbery suspect was arrested less than 90 minutes after police say he stole money from a bank at gunpoint Monday. The arrest occurred about the same time a holdup was reported at a Spokane bank. Police reviewing surveillance footage from Washington Trust bank at…

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MONDAY, APRIL 19, 2010

Misdemeanor conviction in hate-crime trial

Jurors convicted a North Idaho man of conspiracy to commit disturbing the peace, a misdemeanor, in the first hate-crime case to go to trial in Coeur d’Alene in recent years. The jury hung on two counts against the man’s brothers. Ira G. Tankovich, 48, (left)…

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Arrested sheriff's deputy refuses DUI tests

A Spokane County Sheriff’s deputy faces a one-year driver’s license suspension after refusing to take sobriety tests during an off-duty drunken driving arrest early Friday.Darin Schaum, a 12-year veteran, appeared to be racing or confronting another motorist while driving his personal Dodge pickup about 1:30…

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Woman, 21, pleads guilty in armed robbery

A woman arrested in a gunpoint OxyContin robbery at Spokane pharmacy last fall pleaded guilty today. Ariel A. Arrieta, 21, (right) faces about 20 to 30 months in prison when she's sentenced in August for conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery, said her lawyer, Chris Phelps.…

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FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 2010

2 on trial in Okanogan Co. ice-pick slaying

Two Spokane residents charged in the ice-pick slaying of a pregnant woman near Tonasket last year face life in prison if convicted by an Okanogan County jury this month. Tansy Fae-Arwen Mathis, 30 (right), and David Eugene Richards, 34 (left), are accused of killing 25-year-old…

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A female mallard duck sits on her nest near the Lincoln Building on Riverside Avenue at about 9 a.m. Friday morning, April 16, 2010, in downtown Spokane. (Courtesy of Gary Grissom)

Shock: Downtown duck's nest raided

Someone or something raided a mama duck’s nest in downtown Spokane on Friday and made off with four of her six eggs. Several tulips that had sheltered the duck in a planter in front of the Lincoln Building were ripped from the flower bed and…

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Prison for coke-buying school booster?

Sentencing for a former Coeur d'Alene insurance agent who bought a kilo of cocaine in an undercover federal drug investigation has been postponed. Jerald S. "Jerry" Carlson originally was to be sentenced Thursday, but a judge approved lawyer James Siebe's request to move the hearing…

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Jury expected to get hate-crime case today

Closing arguments are expected today in the trial of three brothers accused of harassing a Coeur d'Alene men man because of his ethnicity. The prosecution and defense rested Thursday in the trial of Ira G. Tankovich, 48, Frank J. Tankovich, 46, and William M. Tankovich,…

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Happy April 15: Man charged with tax evasion

A former North Idaho resident has been charged with federal tax evasion.Michael George Fitzpatrick is accused of using offshore bank accounts to hide his assets and of failing to file individual income tax returns in 2003 and 2004. He also allegedly didn't filed corporate income…

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Police ombudsman submits first report

The first 18 of 19 internal investigations into police actions to be reviewed by Spokane’s police ombudsman have been labeled “timely, thorough and objective.”Spokane’s first police ombudsman, Tim Burns, released data about his first few months on the job this week as part of his…

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Officer Jake Jensen runs his K-9 partner Duke over an obstacle Wednesday at the Spokane Regional Training Center. Jensen and Duke, as well as Yakima police Officer Jared Nesary and his K-9 partner Bruno, graduated Wednesday from the Spokane Police Patrol Dog School. Duke came from the SPD’s Puppy Program, where older police dogs are bred and the puppies trained by the department, saving money over buying a fully-trained dog.  (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

K-9 nabs 2 burglary suspects after crash

A police dog helped catch two teenagers accused of burglarizing an East Boone Avenue building supply store this morning. Officers saw two men run from Allied Building Supplies, 2808 E. Boone Ave., to a car that fled until crashing in the area of East Garnet…

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Man gets 6 months after judge rejects deal

A Spokane County Superior Court judge rejected a sentencing proposal or a man who returned to jail just weeks after promising to "make better decisions" and "be a parent." Judge Kathleen O'Connor on Wednesday sentenced Michael R. "Mikey Mike" Gardner, 24, to six months in…

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Rapist now a transient in Spokane County

A man who raped an elderly woman at knife point in 1995 is living as a transient in Spokane County, the sheriff's office announced today. Justin J. Stevens, 33, was released from prison in 2004 after serving 114 months in prison for first-degree rape. His…

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Hate-crime defense targets alleged victim

Defense attorneys in the Coeur d’Alene hate crime trial of three brothers lost an attempt Wednesday to challenge the alleged victim’s credibility by introducing his criminal record, which includes felony convictions for illegally transporting guns. At one point, defense attorney Brad Chapman asked the alleged…

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Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.

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