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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels

Another arrested in gang-related homicide

Another man has been arrested in connection with an unsolved gang-related shooting in January.

Justin A. Battle, 29, is accused of possessing the stolen Ruger mini rifle police think was used to kill 38-year-old John S. Williams in an alley behind 5405 N. Crestline on Jan. 17. He was arrested after detectives searched his apartment at 1839 E. Marshall Ave. last week on suspicion that he was selling marijuana.

Police found crack cocaine and marijuana, along with a bullet and a firearm part that belonged to the mini rifle, which was stolen in a burglary in Chattaroy on Jan. 4, according to court documents. Battle is accused of helping a defendant in that burglary sell the mini rifle.

Battle, who was convicted of second-degree burglary in 1998, appeared in Spokane County Superior Court March 18 on charges of first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and trafficking in stolen property. He's out on $10,000 bond.

Three other men, Eric Burton, Jr., Antonio Cook, Jr., and Elexander R. Burgess have already been charged with possessing the mini rifle, which police found in a car rented by Burton. Burton and other reputed gang members were attending a birthday party at the Crestline apartment complex when Williams was killed.

Williams' mother, Cindy Williams, said she believes the killer was after her grandson, John Williams' 21-year-old son.

Past coverage:

'Not a simple investigation'

Police find gun used in slaying

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.