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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels archive for Feb. 23, 2011

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 23, 2011

Trial begins in alleged house theft, arson

A man charged with the theft and arson of his former landlord's house is on trial in Spokane County Superior Court. Lawyers gave opening statements this morning in the case of Stephen J. Czako, who is charged with first-degree theft and first-degree arson. Czako, 26,…

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Motor home rams patrol car in wild chase

A police chase with a motor home Tuesday night ended with a Spokane Valley man's arrest after the rig tried to ram a patrol car, officials said today. Michael Manuel Chavez, 56, was booked into jail on a second-degree assault charge after inviting police into…

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Steele's lawyers want trial moved to Wyo. 

Edgar Steele's lawyers want his murder-for-hire trial moved to Wyoming. A change of venue request filed by Robert McAllister and Gary Amendola cites "negative pre-trial publicity" that will hinder finding an impartial jury in North Idaho. The lawyers say ongoing news coverage, including the release…

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Forensic scientist Anna Wilson examines biological evidence under a forensic light source at  Washington  State  Patrol Crime Lab Monday, Oct. 25, 2010.  DNA discovered using similar techniques by a scientist at the lab has led to an arrest in a 1986 murder over the weekend.  (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

State patrol: DNA solving more crimes

DNA testing in Washington is identifying more criminals than ever before. The Washington State Patrol crime lab reported 379 hits last year using a DNA index system and DNA samples from crime suspects and convicted felons. In 2009, 257 hits were recorded. Officials attribute the…

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Few vacancies at Spokane County Jail

An increase in the number of inmates prompted the Spokane County Jail to begin limiting new bookings on Tuesday. As of noon Tuesday, 665 people were housed at the jail. Booking restrictions are put in place once the population climbs above 650. Bookings will be…

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After three trials, jury convicts burglar 

It took three tries, but a Spokane County jury has convicted Gary D. McCabe of his 17th burglary. A jury late Friday found McCabe, 45, guilty of residential burglary and possession of a controlled substance. They acquitted him on one misdemeanor count of possession of…

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Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.