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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels archive for May 2011


Suspect in '92 murder pleads not guilty

A sex offender and convicted felon linked to a 1992 murder by DNA on a fake beard pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge Tuesday. Patrick K. Gibson, 59, appeared via video before Spokane County Superior Court Judge Michael Price, who set a trial…

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Wave goodbye to road rage?

The National Motorists Association has designated June as Lane Courtesy Month and is urging drivers across America to engage in the practice of yielding or moving over for faster moving traffic on multi-lane roads. Seriously. We're not making this up. Here's a prepared statement that…

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TUESDAY, MAY 24, 2011

Cop pinned in car during chase w/ teen

A 17-year-old driver briefly pinned a Spokane police officer inside his patrol car during a chase Monday that ended with the boy's arrest, officials said today. Police were called to a fight near North Chestnut Street and West Mallon Avenue about 10:30 p.m., where people…

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Police: Drunk mistook railway for road

A drunken driver mistook railroad tracks for a roadway early Sunday in southwest Spokane County. Miles D. Matthews, 43, jumped from his 2002 Mercury Mountaineer just before a train hit it head on about 2 a.m. near Cheney-Spokane and Scribner roads in Marshall, the Spokane…

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Morbid question leads to legal oddity

Questions about whether an accused killer had sex with his victim before or after she was dead has led to the suspect's lawyer being named a witness in the case. A judge ruled Monday that defense attorney Chris Bugbee will continue to represent accused crossbow…

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5th Somali guilty plea in piracy killings

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Two Somali men pleaded guilty on Monday to piracy in the hijacking of a yacht that left all four Americans on board dead, while new details emerged about who fired at the hostages. Burhan Abdirahman Yusuf and Jilani Abdiali face mandatory…

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Apparent suicide at in prison at Connell

CONNELL, Wash. (AP) — Coyote Ridge Corrections Center officials say the death of an inmate found hanging in his cell appears to be a suicide. Spokeswoman Lori Wonders says 26-year-old Michael Araiza was found Saturday and could not be revived by corrections officers and medical…

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'Photo Red' comments lead to trouble

An executive at the company that provides red-light cameras in Spokane has been suspended after a newspaper in Western Washington discovered he misrepresented himself as a local resident on its website and made comments to promote business in the area, a company spokesman said Friday.…

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MONDAY, MAY 23, 2011

Army honors slain Spokane native 

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — The Army presented a heroism medal Monday for a Spokane native credited with being the first to try stopping the Fort Hood gunman before being slain in the rampage. Michael Grant Cahill clutched a chair over his head and ran…

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Charge: Worker stole from judges group

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — The former bookkeeper from the Washington State Judges' Association has been charged with stealing nearly $452,000 from the taxpayer-supported group. Barbara Jo Ericsson, also known as Barbara Jo Fulton, is accused of three counts of bank fraud according to charges unsealed…

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Child safety event focuses on 'sexting'

The Spokane Police Department and Spokane County Sheriff's Office are co-hosting an event Wednesday to raise awareness about child safety. The "Take 25" national campaign calls for parents, guardians and educators to take 25 minutes to talk to their children about safety. Law enforcement officials…

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Document details Steele's trial request 

Edgar Steele's lawyers have 10 reasons he should receive a new trial, including alleged untimely production of Larry Fairfax's notes, errors in admitting the video tapped deposition of his alleged Ukrainian love interest, and newly discovered evidence about the viability of the explosive device. Federal…

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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

Body in river identifed as missing man

Michonda Weaver, center, waits for word of what happened to Leighton Welch, while two of her children Elijah, left, and Zackahriha have a snack in their South Hill apartment April 6. Welch's body was recovered from the Spokane River last Thursday. (Jesse Tinsley/SR) A body…

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Bayview murder suspect unfit for trial

COEUR d’ALENE, Idaho (AP) — A district judge has suspended the criminal case against a Bayview man accused of attacking four neighbors with a hammer, killing one, because a psychologist has determined he’s unfit to stand trial. The ruling last week is in the case…

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Man arraigned in Top Hat bar stabbing

A Spokane man pleaded not guilty Thursday to a first-degree assault charge for a stabbing outside the Top Hat Tavern. Bobby S. Galloway, 23, is accused of stabbing Mickey Davis during a fight May 5 about 1:30 .m. Davis suffered a serious but non-life threatening…

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Woman wanted for vehicular assault 

A woman is wanted for vehicular assault after Spokane police said she crashed her car, injuring her passenger, then asked an officer, "Can I leave my car like that?" Michelle R. Purkey, 47, smelled of alcohol when police responded to a crash at North Crestline…

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SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011

Jury seated in Casey Anthony trial in Fla.

As expected, the Casey Anthony child-murder trial in Florida is a complete circus. The defense recently added a mitigation expert who left her high-society, powerhouse lawyer husband for a serial killer on death row, and jury selection is taking longer than most trials in Spokane…

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FRIDAY, MAY 20, 2011

Skinhead accused of damaging jail door

A skinhead jailed on a federal gun charge could be charged with an additional felony for damaging a jail door. James Daniel Bacon, 23, allegedly slammed the door to a jail day room backwards against a concrete wall so hard that the middle and bottom…

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Overheated car leads to heroin bust

Things went from bad to worse for a Colbert man whose car overheated outside a liquor store Thursday night. Eric Joseph Powell, 24, was arguing with his female passenger in his overheated Toyota Corolla about 11:30 p.m. when Deputy Robert Brooke arrived to see why…

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Suspect who also is victim was fugitive

Crime Stoppers was offering a reward for tips on a Spokane woman who's both accused of a crime and the alleged victim of a crime. Moleasha M. Barker, 32, (left) is charged with first-degree burglary, fourth-degree assault and resisting arrest. Barker was arrested Jan. 6…

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'Bicycle Bandit' faces 17-22 years

A bike-riding bank robbery who terrorized local bank tellers for almost a year faces between 17 and 22 years in prison after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court Thursday. Lucas G. Woodard, 34, pleaded guilty to nine counts of armed bank robbery that netted a…

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Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.

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