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Sirens & Gavels archive for March 2011


3 men accused of robbing elderly women

A 19-year-old man accused of robbing an 88-year-old woman is suspected of targeting four other elderly women. Jonathan R. Crisler was charged Wednesday with Isaac J. Murphy, 19, for a string of purse snatchings between March 17 and March 19. In each case, an elderly…

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Sex fugitive since '83 arrested in Nevada

A fugitive wanted in Spokane since 1983 has been arrested at the University of Nevada Reno. The Marshals Service says marshals and UNR police arrested 59-year-old Steven M. James on Tuesday as he arrived for class. He was booked into the Washoe County Jail, awaiting…

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Plea deal expected after shooting mistrial

A judge has declared a mistrial in the case against a Spokane Valley man who was facing up to 50 years in prison following an attack on his ex-girlfriend and his former best friend. Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque declared the mistrial Wednesday after a…

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2 arrested in car dealership prowlings

Two teenagers were arrested for breaking into vehicles at a Spokane Valley car dealership early today, police said. William Russell Kelly and Mecayla Ann Santjer, both 18-year-olds living at 8100 E. Appleway Ave., are due in Superior Court this afternoon on a second-degree burglary charge…

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DOJ launches probe of Seattle police

SEATTLE (AP) — The Justice Department today launched a formal civil rights investigation of the Seattle Police Department following the fatal shooting of a homeless woodcarver and other incidents of force used against minority suspects. Seattle U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan and the assistant attorney general…

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Robber targets couple in Valley home

A man at the door of a Spokane Valley home pushed his way into the residence and robbed a couple in their 60s, police said today. The robber knocked on the couple’s door about 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday, asked for someone named Steve and then…

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Grand jury indicts Hells Angels leader

The sergeant at arms of the Washington chapter of the Hells Angels has been indicted by a federal grand jury. Ricky W. Jenks, 33, faces up to 10 years in federal prison after the jury indicted him in U.S. District Court for felon in possession…

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Charge filed in head-on South Hill crash

A 41-year-old Spokane woman has been charged with vehicular assault for a crash on the South Hill last summer that severely injured her and the other driver. Maxine Kristen Tindle pleaded not guilty last week for a head-on collision that injured Molly P. Sutor at…

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No death penalty in triple murder case

CHEHALIS, Wash. (AP) — The Lewis County, Wash., prosecutor won't be seeking the death penalty in the case of a man accused of killing three people last August in the town of Salkum. KOMO-TV reports that Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer has filed court papers indicating he…

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3 arrested in Cheney home robbery 

Three suspects have been charged in a gunpoint home-invasion robbery in Cheney last week. Merle Leon Weeks, 17, Meshion M. Woodruff, 19, and Samuel Chavez, 23, are accused of breaking into their marijuana dealer's home, handcuffing and binding him with an iPod cord and stealing…

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Forty winks: Jim Sorrell, 66, of Texas, takes a research break and makes his noontime home under a tree on the Gonzaga University campus Wednesday. “It has a little bit of sun and a little bit of shade,” said Sorrell on why he picked the spot outside the Crosby Center. (Dan Pelle)

Sex offender, WSU library patron jailed

A sex offender suspected of using college library computers to look at pornography is in jail for failing to register in Spokane County. James Robert Sorrell, 66, alias Douglas Doolittle, was convicted in Ada County, Idaho, in 1987 of lewd conduct of a minor and…

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Transient faces 10-12 years for slaying

A Spokane transient faces 10 to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaguther for the beating death of a man last April. Roland E. Benton II pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree manslaughter with a deadly weapon in the slaying of Douglas J. Klages,…

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Ex-lover on trial after shooting, chase

The criminal trial began Tuesday in a case the prosecution presented as an angry, drug-induced ex-lover threatening both his former girlfriend and his former best friend. Don R. Davis, 29, faces a total of 10 charges, including first-degree burglary, drive-by shooting and violation of a…

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Suspects keep showing up after burglary

Suspects in a south Spokane County burglary continued to show up after deputies were called, leading to the arrest of six people Tuesday. Blaze E. Smith, 40, and William George Tapio, 35, were arrested after a 61-year-old home and shop owner on West Purvis Road…

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MONDAY, MARCH 28, 2011

FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011

Feds: Ex-bank manager embezzled $500k

A former North Idaho bank manager is accused of stealing $514,000 over a 12-year period. Mary A. Head is charged with false entries, a federal felony that carries a maximum 30 years in prison. Head worked at Bank of America, 162 W. Hayden Ave. in…

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Court: Zehm's innocence not admissible

A jury likely will not learn that Otto Zehm was innocent of a crime when he was confronted by a Spokane police officer in a fatal encounter five years ago, federal appeals court judges ruled Thursday. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals supported a…

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Deputies to work at Red Robin for charity 

Law enforcement will work as waiters at Red Robin Saturday to raise money for the Special Olympics. Uniformed Spokane County sheriff's deputies will assist regular wait staff at the Spokane Valley Red Robin, 14736 E. Indiana Ave., from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tips earned…

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Felon arrested w/ pistol, cocaine, weed

Here's a news release from Sgt. Dave Reagan: A 23-year-old Spokane man was arrested Wednesday evening after a deputy discovered drugs and a pistol inside his vehicle during a traffic stop. Deputy Daryl Smith was southbound on Market from Hawthorne Road about 7:30 p.m. when…

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South Hill rapist Kevin Coe loses appeal

Appellate judges on Thursday rejected South Hill rapist Kevin Coe’s claim that state prosecutors in his recent civil commitment trial should have been prohibited from presenting evidence from dozens of sexual attacks that never resulted in charges. Coe had asked the Division III Court of…

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Cavity search produces 50 bags of heroin

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — Police in northeastern Pennsylvania say they recovered more than 50 bags of heroin, cash and loose change from a woman following a cavity search. Authorities say 27-year-old Karin Mackaliunas was detained last weekend following a crash. Scranton police say they found…

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Burglars wheel away bakery's safe

Burglars used a wheeled dolly to steal a safe from a Spokane Valley bakery early today or Wednesday, police say. Employees at Oroweat Bakery, 5424 E. Sprague Ave., believe the theft occurred between 6:45 p.m. Wednesday and 7 a.m. today. An employee arrived at 7:30…

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Ex-clerk pleads not guilty to $139k theft

A former Kootenai County deputy clerk accused of embezzling $139,000 over 10 years has pleaded not guilty to a grand theft charge. Sandy Martinson, 62, entered the plea Monday in 1st District Court. Her attorney, Frederick Loats, estimated in court documents that a trial would…

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Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.

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