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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels archive for Dec. 2010

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 22, 2010

Stolen tarp leads to trio of arrests

Spokane Valley police arrested a trio of commercial burglars early today after officers caught them stealing items from a construction shed. A neighbor called police shortly after midnight and reported a suspicious pickup truck parked in the 4900 block of East Sixth. Officers found three…

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Pasco man convicted of 5 murders

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Vicente Ruiz was convicted today of the 1987 slayings of five men and the wounding of a sixth in a Pasco garage in what a prosecutor called "the most heinous" crime in the history of Franklin County. A Spokane County Superior…

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Thieves strike Christian thrift shop

Spokane police are looking for help identifying two men who stole from a Christian school's thrift shop. Surveillance video shows the men remove the rug, which is worth more than $750, from a wall of the Northwest Christian Thrift Shop, 6607 N. Maple St., last…

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Snowy footprints lead to brothers' arrests

Two brothers were arrested on suspicion of vehicle prowling today in north Spokane after police matched their shoes to snow footprints left near an abandoned stolen vehicle. Jesse J. Luna, 26,(left) and Gregory R. Luna, 21, (right) are believed to have eluded police in a…

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25k bond for suspect stopped by cop car 

A theft suspect accidentally caught by police after fleeing a downtown Spokane clothing store remains in jail on $25,000 bond and a probation hold. Gavin D. Wolf, 24, (pictured in 2008) appeared in Superior Court Tuesday on a second-degree robbery charge. A passing patrol car…

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Glass-eating scheme leads to prison

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts woman has been sentenced to more than four years in prison after admitting that she and her husband intentionally ate glass particles, then submitted false insurance claims. Mary Evano was also ordered Tuesday to pay more than $340,000 in restitution.…

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TUESDAY, DEC. 21, 2010

Mead man pleads guilty in wife's slaying

Jeffrey N. Canino pleaded guilty today to second-degree murder for the Dec. 2, 2009, slaying of his wife, 43-year-old Michelle Canino. As part of the plea, Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor John Love agreed to drop a two-year weapon enhancement. He recommended that Superior Court Judge…

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Woman duped in 'grandparents scam'

Law enforcement is again warning of a swindle known as the grandparents scam after a 79-year-old Spokane Valley woman sent money to a con man claiming to be her grandson. The woman called Crime Check on Monday and said a man claiming to be her…

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Assault suspect avoids officer gunfire 

A state probation officer nearly shot a Spokane woman last week after she tried running him over in an SUV to avoid arrest, according to police. Judith M. Freese, 53, faces a first-degree assault charge for a confrontation with Department of Corrections Officer James Hathaway…

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Neighbor dispute ends in deadly attack

A North Idaho woman died Monday after she and three others were bludgeoned with a hammer in what authorities describe as an ongoing neighbor dispute that took a violent twist. A suspect, Larry W. Cragun, 31, was arrested after employees at several Bayview businesses said…

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MONDAY, DEC. 20, 2010

Cops: Girlfriend's hoodie reveals robber

A 28-year-old man accused of robbing a downtown Spokane convenience store remains in jail on $75,000 bond after appearing in Superior Court today.Zachariah T. Puckett was armed with a 12-inch kitchen knife when threatened a clerk at Divine food mart and gas station, 1428 W.…

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Boss assaults man who flipped him off

A propane company supervisor recently was convicted of misdemeanor assault for attacking an employee who flipped him off last summer.A jury convicted John Wilkinson, a supervisor for Ferrellgas, of fourth-degree assault last week after a one-day trial Stevens County, said Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen.Wilkinson was in…

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Delay expected in Otto Zehm trial

The criminal case against Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. now has a slim chance of proceeding in March after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday agreed to speed up its review of the appeal that stopped the case cold in…

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Convicted US student Amanda Knox, center, is escorted by a penitentiary guard as she arrives for a hearing in her appeals trial, at Perugia's courthouse, Italy, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010. Last year, Knox was convicted and sentenced to 26 years in prison for the murder of her British roommate Meredith Kercher. Also convicted of the same charges was Raffaele Sollecito, an Italian who is Knox's former boyfriend. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Both deny wrongdoing, and have appealed the verdict.  (Alessandra Tarantino / (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino))

Court OKs evidence review for Knox

PERUGIA, Italy (AP) — Amanda Knox won an important victory in her appeals trial of her murder conviction in Italy on Saturday, when a court ruled that it will allow an independent review of crucial DNA evidence after defense claims that samples were inconclusive and…

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Police shootings raise notion of inquests

In Montana, coroner’s inquests are conducted for every fatal police shooting in that state and whenever someone dies in law enforcement custody. The same requirement exists in Nevada, with Las Vegas authorities taking the extra step of televising their inquests. And elsewhere, communities are embracing…

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SUNDAY, DEC. 19, 2010

Bayview hammer attack investigated

Four people reportedly were hospitalized this afternoon apparently after being attacked in their Bayview, Idaho trailer home by a hammer-wielding neighbor.Details were sketchy and the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department did not return calls Sunday seeking information, but residents said authorities at the scene of the…

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SATURDAY, DEC. 18, 2010

3 men nominated for U.S. District judge 

Wenatchee attorney Stanley Bastian, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Rice and Spokane attorney Les Weatherhead have been nominated for federal judge in the Eastern District of Washington.U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell forwarded their names Friday to President Barack Obama for consideration after a…

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FRIDAY, DEC. 17, 2010

3rd suspect arrested in robbery spree

A third suspect in a series of convenience store robberies was arrested early today. Aaron L. Goldstein, 18, was caught trespassing inside a building in the 400 block of South Bernard and driven to the Public Safety Building, where interviews with Spokane County sheriff's Detective…

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Gregoire blocks release of cop shooter

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Gov. Chris Gregoire has blocked the release of an Iowa man convicted of nearly killing a Richland police officer 28 years ago, her office announced Friday. The governor signed the order Thursday night canceling the parole release of Jerry Dean Lain…

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Pasco murder trial wraps up in Spokane

(AP) — Vicente Ruiz decided not to take the witness stand Wednesday in the final day of testimony at his aggravated murder trial in Spokane.The Tri-City Herald reports jurors had a day off Thursday while lawyers debate jury instructions. The case is expected to go…

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Reward offered for tips on sex offender

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest a homeless sex offender who hasn't registered with authorities. William Michael Polinsky, 42, was convicted of third-degree child rape in 1991. He's a level 1 sex offender, the classification considered least likely to reoffend,…

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Duo suspected in armed robbery spree

Two 23-year-old transients were arrested this week on suspicion of a string of armed robberies at local convenience stores. Sean T. Smith and Vanessa E. Orr were arrested at the Crossland Motel, 12803 E. Sprague Ave. Wednesday after a sheriff's SWAT team raid. Detectives identified…

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Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.

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