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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels archive for April 7, 2011

THURSDAY, APRIL 7, 2011

Michonda Weaver, center, talks about her boyfriend and waits for word of what happened to  Leighton  Welch, while two of her children Elijah, left, and Zackahriha (cq) have a snack in their South Hill apartment Tuesday, April 6, 2011. Weaver said she was talking to  Leighton  Welch on the phone a week ago when it sounded like he fell or dropped the phone and that was the last she has heard of him. Two of her three children are his and she can't conceive of why he would disappear like he has.  (JESSE TINSLEY jesset@spokesman.com)

Spokane man missing after bizarre call

The mystery of the man’s disappearance began with what his fiancée described as a bizarre ending to a phone call. Leighton Welch, 35, was walking in Spokane and talking on his cellphone to Michonda Weaver, his girlfriend of nearly four years. Weaver said he described…

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Ormsby bros. on 2 sides of medical pot 

There's an odd family dynamic in U.S. Attorney Mike Ormsby's shut-down-or-face-federal-prosecution warning to Spokane-area medical marijuana dispensaries Wednesday. His younger brother, state Rep. Timm Ormsby (D-Spokane, pictured left), is among the Washington legislators trying to legalize and regulate the production and sale of medical marijuana…

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Scherf warned of danger before murder 

MONROE, Wash. (AP) — A Washington inmate charged with strangling a corrections officer barraged state officials for decades with letters complaining about the conditions of his confinement, suggesting at least once that he might hurt someone if he didn't get sex-offender treatment. Convicted rapist Byron…

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Feds fight release of Harpham records

Federal authorities want to block the unsealing of court records related to the arrest of domestic terrorism suspect Kevin W. Harpham. In a 13-page response Wednesday to a request by The Spokesman-Review, with support from The Seattle Times and The Associated Press, Assistant U.S. Attorney…

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Missing woman's jailed grandson probed

The grandson of a woman missing in the Kamiah, Idaho, area has been named a person of interest in her disappearance. Justin M. Hietala, 27, was arrested on suspicion of burglary on April 1 and is in the Lewis County Jail in Nez Perce, Idaho.…

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Feds warn local marijuana dispensaries 

Medical marijuana dispensaries in Spokane face federal prosecution if they do not end their operations immediately, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday. Federal authorities hope for voluntary compliance but are prepared “for quick and direct action against the operators of the stores,” according to a…

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Steele will undergo mental health exam

The former Aryan Nations lawyer accused of hiring a man to kill his wife will undergo a mental health examination. Edgar J. Steele, 65, is to be evaluated by a licensed psychologist Friday at the Ada County Jail in Boise. Psychologist Robert Engle is to…

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In this Dec. 6, 1995 file photo, rapper Notorious B.I.G., who won rap artist and rap single of the year, clutches his awards at the podium during the annual Billboard Music Awards in New York. Records show FBI agents on both coasts participated in an 18-month investigation aimed at finding out who killed the Notorious B.I.G. and determine whether any Los Angeles police officers were involved. The inquiry ended in early 2005 after federal prosecutors concluded there wasn't enough evidence to pursue a case against any Los Angeles Police Department officers or another man implicated in the rapper's 1997 shooting death.  (Mark Lennihan / (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File))

Files released in Notorious BIG's murder

In this Dec. 6, 1995 file photo, rapper Notorious B.I.G., who won rap artist and rap single of the year, clutches his awards at the podium during the annual Billboard Music Awards in New York. By ANTHONY McCARTNEY, AP Entertainment Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) —…

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Plea deal drops attempted murder case 

A Spokane man whose attempted murder trial ended in a mistrial last week was sentenced this week to nearly 10 years in prison. Don R. Davis, Jr., 29, pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance and…

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