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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels archive for Feb. 2011

TUESDAY, FEB. 8, 2011

9th Circuit hears arguments in Zehm case 

SEATTLE — A jury should be told Otto Zehm hadn’t committed any crime before he was beaten by a Spokane police officer who claims Zehm was aggressive and defiant when confronted in a North Side convenience store, a federal appeals court panel was told Monday.…

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Robbery suspect escapes drug rehab

A robbery suspect allowed to leave jail for drug rehabilitation is wanted by police for escape. Aaron Lee Goldstein, 18, left Spokane Addiction Recovery Center, 812 S. Walnut Ave., on Friday, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday. He’d been in custody since December, charged…

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MONDAY, FEB. 7, 2011

Phony name helps bust sleepy fugitive

A fugitive wanted by Crime Stoppers since November was arrested Saturday after reportedly trying to use a phony name during a traffic stop. Shanell L. Haddon, 27, was a passenger in a 1996 Cadillac when Spokane Valley police Officer Juan Rodriguez stopped the car at…

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Police: Officers caught burglars in act

Two burglars were caught in the act this morning in north Spokane, police say. Spokane police officers saw two men flee an unsecured garage and drop items in a backyard after responding to a burglary in progress in the 4000 block of North Cincinnati Street…

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Convicted bank swindler John Earl Petersen is pictured in 1997. (Dan McComb/The Spokesman-Review)

Bank swindler faces new fraud charges

A convicted bank swindler who boldly walked out of a federal courtroom in Spokane three years ago to avoid arrest is back in jail, accused of another scheme. John Earl Petersen, the key figure in the collapse of a Montana bank more than a decade…

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Man sentenced in love triangle stabbing

A man who stabbed his lover's estranged husband was released from jail after pleading guilty to a felony assault charge. Dumont P. Whitt, 35, was sentenced to 2.25 months in jail Thursday in Spokane County Superior Court but credited for time already served and good…

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SATURDAY, FEB. 5, 2011

DOC changes policies after officer slain

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The state Department of Corrections is changing some of its procedures in response to the killing of a female guard at the Monroe prison last weekend. Jayme Biendl was found strangled in the prison's chapel last Saturday night. An inmate has…

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Bank robbery suspect, 69, shot by police

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — Police in Lewiston have released the name of a 69-year-old man who was shot by law enforcement officers after a bank robbery. David L. Payton of Clarkston, Wash., is hospitalized in critical condition in Seattle. Officers investigating the robbery of a…

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FRIDAY, FEB. 4, 2011

GPS app cracks Sandpoint phone caper

SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) — Recovering a stolen cell phone? There's an app for that. The Bonner County Daily Bee reports 22-year-old Sean B. Mahoney of Sandpoint pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft and possession of drug paraphernalia on Wednesday in a case that was cracked by…

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Jury rejects lawsuit against CdA police

A federal jury recently rejected a Coeur d'Alene man's claims of excessive force by police related to a May 2008 traffic stop in which he was shocked with a Taser several times. Jurors found that Coeur d'Alene police Officers Jonathan Cantrell and Timothy Neal did…

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Strine: Cops pinned fatal crash on me

A Spokane stockbroker admits to drinking alcohol the day his Mercedes crashed into a motorcycle, paralyzing the driver and killing the passenger, but he told jurors he wasn’t drunk. He’d told the doctor who examined him after the June 2, 2009, crash that he hadn’t…

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Edgar Steele seeks new defense lawyer 

Edgar Steele is set to ask for a new attorney in his murder-for-hire case. Longtime Denver defense lawyer Robert T. McAllister said a hearing will take place Monday morning in Coeur d'Alene. "I am not Mr. Steele's attorney of record at this point in time,…

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In this 1950's photograph provided by William Brown through The Concordia Sentinel shows Frank Morris, fourth from right wearing a visor, and his employees standing before his shoe repair shop in Ferriday, La. Morris was a successful shoe repairman and part-time gospel radio host in Ferriday who was died as a result of injuries caused in a deliberately set fire Dec. 10, 1964 that destroyed his shop while he was still inside. Morris' death is one of more than 100 unsolved civil rights cases the FBI reopened in recent years.  ((AP Photo/William Brown Archives via the Concordia Sentinel))

Editor links ex-Klansman to '64 murder

FERRIDAY, La. (AP) — Arthur Leonard Spencer says sure, he made some mistakes back when he was a "snot-nose kid," like joining the Ku Klux Klan. But murder? No, the 71-year-old Spencer says, a small-town weekly paper got it wrong when it reported recently that…

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Giant spoon stolen in Bellingham

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Hey, diddle, diddle! The cat and the fiddle ... the thief ran off with the spoon? The owner of Bellingham's Fountain Bistro is hoping someone will spot a 4-foot-tall silver spoon that vanished from the restaurant over the weekend. Jill Holmes…

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THURSDAY, FEB. 3, 2011

Prosecutors want Sanders off cases

SEATTLE (AP) — Prosecutors in five Washington counties want former Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders barred from continuing to rule on cases — an effort he calls a blatant attempt to manipulate the court. Sanders (left) was narrowly defeated by Charlie Wiggins (right) in his…

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Dr. Michael Mockovak, co-founder of Clearly Lasik eye surgery centers, is escorted out of King County Court on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011 in Seattle. Mockovak was found guilty of four counts, including attempted murder. The King County Superior Court jury deliberated for less than two days. Prosecutors said Mockovak was willing to pay more than $100,000 to have business partner Dr. Joseph King and former company President Brad Klock killed, and that he solicited an employee to hire an assassin.  (Erika Schultz / (AP Photo/The Seattle Times/Erika Schultz))

Eye surgeon convicted in murder plot

SEATTLE (AP) — The co-founder of a Northwest chain of eye-surgery centers has been convicted of plotting to kill his business partner. Dr. Michael Mockovak of Clearly Lasik eye centers was found guilty Thursday of four counts, including attempted murder. The King County Superior Court…

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Prison guard's family prepares for funeral

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — The family of slain Monroe prison guard Jayme Biendl released a statement through police Thursday saying they are devastated by the loss. They thank law enforcement and the community for their support but don't want to talk to media. The family…

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Man sentenced for robbing credit union

A bank robber turned in by his girlfriend's mother will spend about two years in prison. Eric C. Mason, 42, was sentenced to 28 months and will be credited for 166 days served in the Spokane County Jail after pleading guilty Wednesday to second-degree robbery,…

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Officer in fatal crash to return to patrol  

The Spokane police officer involved in fatal collision with a pedestrian Sunday is scheduled to return to full patrol duty. The officer, identified Wednesday as Gordon Ennis, an eight-year veteran, has been interviewed by investigators and is scheduled to return to full patrol duty. He…

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In this photo made Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011, anti-sex trade advocate Jackie Edmonds holds anti-trafficking awareness coasters that her group will ask restaurants to use near the Super Bowl site in Arlington, Texas. Cities that host the big game often attract a bustling sex trade, and this year Texas authorities and advocacy groups are stepping up their anti-prostitution efforts, especially where young girls are concerned. (Lm Otero /  (AP Photo/LM Otero))

Child prostitution concerns at Super Bowl 

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — As thousands of football fans descend on Texas for Sunday's Super Bowl, law enforcement agencies are keeping watch for a different kind of out-of-town visitor: pimps selling children for sex. Cities that host the big game often attract a bustling sex…

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2 prior attacks on women at state prison

SEATTLE (AP) — Two other women were assaulted in the past six months at the Washington state prison where a female guard was strangled, adding to questions about the safety of prison workers. Officer Jayme Biendl, 34, was killed Saturday night in a chapel at…

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Valley man sentenced for bank robbery

A Spokane Valley bank robber arrested less than 90 minutes after the heist has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison. Jesse R. Adams, 44, received 46 months in prison Monday after pleading guilty to first-degree robbery before Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen. He…

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