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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels archive for May 2011

FRIDAY, MAY 20, 2011

Idaho murder suspect to get mental eval

A 26-year-old woman accused of killing her uncle in St. Maries, Idaho, will undergo a mental evaluation. Melisa R. Bates could be heard yelling uncontrollably from her holding cell upstairs from the Benewah County courthouse Wednesday, according to KHQ. Bates was to be arraigned on…

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Sibling murder suspects plead not guilty 

Two teenage siblings pleaded not guilty to aggravated first-degree murder charges Thursday in Spokane County Superior Court. Video conference at the jail isn't working, so Breeanna C. Sims, 19, and Justice E.D. Sims, 18, appeared in person before Judge Michel Price, wearing light blue jail…

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2 children seized in Maffia meth bust

A two-week old girl and an 18-month-old boy were taken from a Spokane Valley apartment during a methamphetamine investigation early Thursday, police said today. Detectives with the Spokane police drug unit arrested Matthew P. Maffia, 34, (pictured) and Kayli N. Hamilton, 24, were arrested for…

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Man w/ HIV gets 31 months for assault

A Spokane Valley man with HIV who had unprotected sex with two girls has been sentenced to 31 months in prison. Edward I. Casto, 20, will be credited for 212 days served in the Spokane County Jail. He was arrested last October. Police said he…

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Charges: Thefts cost Seattle stores $6M

SEATTLE (AP) — The crime appeared petty on the surveillance video: a mother-daughter team of heroin-addict shoplifters nonchalantly wheeling a cart of boosted items through the open sliding doors of a grocery store. But their arrest early last year led investigators to the organizers of…

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Party photos help ID shooting suspects

Three suspects have been arrested in connection with a shooting at a house party after Spokane County sheriff’s detectives used photos from a digital camera to identify witnesses. The alleged shooter, 16-year-old Tarique R. Jeske, was hiding in the trunk of a car when his…

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Per request, bank suspect lowers hood

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The FBI says an Ohio bank robbery suspect left authorities with good surveillance photos because he lowered his hood when an employee told him to. FBI Special Agent Harry Trombitas says the man in his mid-20s entered a Columbus PNC Bank…

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Mayor calls for hiring more officers

Spokane Mayor Mary Verner ordered the hiring of at least six new police officers to fill vacant positions within the department and called for adding more officers next year. The move comes after Verner, facing a contested bid for re-election this year, sent two plans…

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THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2011

Drug suspects lose meth, children in raid

A Spokane man awaiting trial on methamphetamine charges was arrested today during a SWAT team raid at his home. Gerald A. Ogelsbee faces new meth charges in an investigation that led to four children being taken by Child Protective Services today, according to the Spokane…

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This combination of photos provided by the City of Lakewood, Wash., shows, from left to right, Lakewood police officers Greg Richards, 42,  Tina Griswold, 40, Ronald Owens, 37, and Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39. The four were killed when a gunman opened fire on them at a Parkland, Wash. coffee store on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009. (City Of Lakewood)

Cop killer's driver convicted of murder

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — The getaway driver in the coffee shop killings of four Washington police officers was convicted of first-degree murder Thursday, but he escaped an automatic life sentence because jurors determined he was not a major participant in the bloodshed. Dorcus Allen, 40,…

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Cops: Road rage with gun yields heroin 

A convicted felon is accused of brandishing a gun during a road rage incident on U.S. Highway 395 that led to the discovery of heroin. Brian L. Sellers, 34, is in jail on felony assault, gun and drug charges after the alleged victims called police…

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Suspect spoke of murder in jail calls

After Spokane County sheriff’s detectives took a man into custody on suspicion of murder last month, a man who witnessed the arrest expressed his surprise to a childhood friend. “Justice told her that he couldn’t believe that Taylor was being arrested for something he had…

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Man shot by police won't be retried

Prosecutors have dismissed assault charges against a man shot by Spokane Valley police in 2009. A jury was split 6-6 after Michael E. Young's trial last March in Spokane County Superior Court. Prosecutors decided not to pursue another trial, and Deputy Prosecutor Patrick Johnson dismissed…

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Plea expected in bank robbery spree

A Spokane man suspected of a series of armed bank robberies is expected to plead guilty today. Lucas G. Woodard, 34, faces up to 25 years in prison. The Federal Bureau of Investigation believes he may be the bicycle-riding bank robber responsible for a spree…

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 18, 2011

Mud thwarts father-son theft suspects

A father and son became stuck in the mud Tuesday while leading police on an interstate chase after attempting to steal merchandise from the Wal-Mart just east of the Idaho-Washington border. Michael R. Dyczok, 64, (left) and Michael Dyczok, Jr., 35, (right) were arrested near…

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Grand jury indicts man for gun threats

A Worley, Idaho, man has been charged with assault for allegedly threatening two people with a gun. Timothy R. Allen, Jr., 19, was arrested March 12, accused of assault Daniel J. Hutchins by pushing him with the firearm and threatening him and of assaulting Sharleen…

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Man admits to stalking, bomb charges

A man who tried to blow up his wife with a homemade bomb after transporting the device from Omak, Washington, to Kamiah, Idaho, in 2009 has pleaded guilty to three federal felonies. Levi Wayne Mendenhall, 31, faces up to 10 years in prison and three…

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Court: Bankrupt woman must pay $47k

A former Mullan, Idaho, woman now living in Oregon is required to pay nearly $50,000 in restitution for concealing property during a bankruptcy filing. The $47,927.95 restitution is the amount Vicki Jean Fehrs, 56, earned from the sale of a property in Mullan she'd transferred…

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Shooting victim ID'd; clues still sought

UPDATE: Three people have been arrested. Read more here. A 23-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to his upper left thigh during a part in South Spokane County last week. Detectives with the Spokane County gang and major crimes units say they were hampered by…

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CdA man sentenced for child porn

A Coeur d'Alene man was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in federal prison for possessing child pornography. Cyle Anthony Wyckoff, 35, pleaded guilty to possession of sexually explicitly images of minor in December 2010 after members of the multiagency North Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children…

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Man sentenced for girlfriend's overdose

A Stevens County man who provided methamphetamine to a woman who later died of a brain hemorrhage has been sentenced to 51 months in prison. James W. Swinney, 51, obtained meth and shared it with his girlfriend, Tamara Anderson, 39, in March 2010. The drug…

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TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

Federal public defender's job opens

The future of the top federal public defender in Eastern Washington and North Idaho could be in doubt, with the board that oversees the attorney’s office advertising for his replacement even as the attorney, Roger Peven, prepares to represent domestic terrorism suspect Kevin W. Harpham.…

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John Polos, left, and Jake Hockett, both with search and rescue experience, are taking a fresh look at the cold case of missing person Julie Weflen. Polos was a co-worker of Weflen’s at BPA. She had gone missing from a substation in 1987. (Dan Pelle)

1987 Weflen cold case gets fresh look

John Polos, left, and Jake Hockett, both with search and rescue experience, are taking a fresh look at the cold case of missing person Julie Weflen. A former co-worker of a Deer Park woman who disappeared in 1987 is hoping to bring fresh attention to…

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Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.




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