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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels archive for Sept. 2011

FRIDAY, SEPT. 30, 2011

Hate crime alleged at Spokane 7-Eleven

A Spokane man was arrested on a hate-crime charge late Thursday for allegedly threatening two 7-Eleven clerks with a weapon while yelling racial slurs. Anthony C. Brockie, 37, had a 12-inch strait razor blade in his pants pocket when a police officer approached him at…

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Deputy pleads guilty to fraud, resigns

Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Brett J. Peterson pleaded guilty Thursday to defrauding a federal program that provides discounted mortgages to law enforcement officers. Peterson, 41, who’s a 14-year veteran of the department, declined comment other than to say he resigned from the Sheriff’s Office this…

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Man gets 20 years for wife's murder

A Colville tribal member was sentenced to 20 years in prison Wednesday for an assault that left one dead and another permanently disabled. Kevin Isaac Pakootas, 25, of Inchelium, Wash., pleaded guilty in November 2010 to second-degree murder and assault with a dangerous weapon. In…

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Sex offender probed in Moore homicide

A sex offender arrested on suspicion of rape last week has been identified as a suspect in the homicide of a woman whose body was found near an east Spokane warehouse in August. Derrick Ross Vargas, 24, has not been charged in the death of…

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Officer in fatal shooting is 16-year vet

A 16-year Spokane police veteran and member of the SWAT team has been identified as the officer who shot and killed an armed and suicidal man Monday. Authorities said Thursday that Officer Dan Lesser (left) was the only officer who fired shots during the nearly…

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Copper theft for wedding nets $18

ELLWOOD CITY, Pa. (AP) — Police say a western Pennsylvania couple desperate for money to pay for their wedding netted just $18 for the stolen copper wire they cut from more than a dozen utility poles. North Sewickley police say 23-year-old Joseph Russell and 24-year-old…

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THURSDAY, SEPT. 29, 2011

Pit bull owners face cruelty charges 

A dog owner is facing animal cruelty charges after bringing his emaciated, starving pit bull to the vet. The Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service filed a charging request against Randy Jensen for first-degree animal cruelty and second-degree animal cruelty. Charging requests were also filed…

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Woman charged for pawned eagle parts

A Spokane woman who police say pawned a staff containing bald eagle feathers and talons has been charged with a crime. Kristina D. Booth faces up to a year in prison, five years probation and a $5,000 fine if convicted of knowingly selling any bald…

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Suicidal man fired shot before chase 

A suicidal man who was shot to death by police during a nearly two-hour standoff apparently fired a shotgun outside his workplace before officers arrived, according to information released today by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. A sheriff’s K-9 team recovered a portion of a…

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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder walks into the Thomas C. Wales Conference Room at the U.S. Federal Courthouse on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011 in Seattle. The Federal Government and family of Thomas Wales are launching a new campaign to find the killer of the former Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Wales back in October 2001. He was shot and killed while in his home in October 2001.  ((AP Photo/, Joshua Trujillo))

Tips sought on prosecutor's '01 slaying

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder walks into the Thomas C. Wales Conference Room at the U.S. Federal Courthouse on Wednesday in Seattle. (AP Photo/, Joshua Trujillo) By DONNA GORDON BLANKINSHIP, Associated Press SEATTLE (AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder sought help from the public on…

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Canadian cocaine smuggler gets 4 years

A Canadian man caught with 71 pounds of cocaine near the international border in February has been sentenced to about four years in prison. Jonathan Darren "Grundy" Smith, 40, is to serve 51 months for possession with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of…

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2 at large after fatal shooting in Quincy

Police have identified three persons of interested in the shooting death of a man in Quincy, Wash., on Friday. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Gerardo Miguel Valenzuela Navarro, 18, (right) or Erwin Vazquez, 20, (left) is asked to call their local law enforcement…

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Elderly man indicted in drug conspiracy

A 77-year-old man who lived near the Canadian border in Ferry County is accused of being a major drug trafficker. Alvin O. Shields was allowed to leave the Spokane County Jail on Tuesday, where he was booked Sunday on federal cocaine and marijuana charges that…

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Spokane Police and members of the SWAT unit investigate after a stand-off with a man in a wrecked van ended with shots fired Monday, Sept. 26, 2011 near Seventh and Hatch in Spokane. Several shots were heard around 8:20.  (Jesse Tinsley)

Family questions fatal police shooting

Spokane police and members of the SWAT unit investigate after a stand-off with the shooting death of James E. Rogers on Monday near Seventh and Hatch on the lower South Hill. (Jesse Tinsley/SR) James Edward Rogers spent Monday driving around the Spokane area, calling his…

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TUESDAY, SEPT. 27, 2011

Tips sought on man missing since 2010

Authorities are looking for information on a 44-year-old Spokane Valley man who was reported missing in May 2010. A Kellogg, Idaho, police officer found Terry L. Mattingly's red Ford Tempo in August 2010 when he stopped its female driver, who said she'd bought the car…

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Young Ecstasy dealer gets 5 1/2 years

A Spokane man arrested on Ecstasy and firearm charges after telling a federal informant that he would "shoot it out with the cops" is headed to prison. Patrick Hayes Wellman, 20, was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court to to 5 1/2 years in prison…

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1 arrested for stabbing near fire station

A firefighter standing outside a station at West 1st Avenue and South Walnut Street Friday witnessed a stabbing and treated the victim's head injury, authorities say. Dean Carr was on the south side of the fire station when he saw a man approach two people…

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2 men suspected in Ford fiend thefts

Spokane Valley police recently arrested a man for a series of vehicle prowls targeting Ford trucks after using Department of Licensing records to identify the suspect's SUV. Surveillance video showed two men breaking into several Ford trucks at different locations and leaving in a green…

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Crash kills off-duty Rathdrum policeman

CUSICK, Wash. (AP) — A police officer from Rathdrum, Idaho, was killed in a motorcycle crash near Cusick on Highway 20. The Washington State Patrol says 27-year-old Jonathan Franco was riding his motorcycle Saturday when it rear-ended a car that has slowed for an injured…

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In this Friday, Sept. 23, 2011 photo, officers keep an eye on handcuffed men at the east entrance to John Ascuaga's Nugget after a shooting in Sparks, Nev. One person has been killed and two others wounded in a shooting at a hotel-casino in Sparks that witnesses say involved members of rival motorcycle gangs, the Vagos and Hells Angels. ((AP Photo/The Reno Gazette-Journal))

Nev. casino shooting kills Hells Angel

In this Friday, Sept. 23, photo, officers keep an eye on handcuffed men at the east entrance to John Ascuaga's Nugget after a shooting in Sparks, Nev. (AP Photo/The Reno Gazette-Journal) By KEN RITTER,Associated Press LAS VEGAS (AP) — With a Hells Angel dead in…

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MONDAY, SEPT. 26, 2011

Hoopfest convict wanted in North Idaho 

A man involved in a gang-related shooting at Hoopfest is wanted in North Idaho for felony injury to a child. Marquis D. Johnson, 23, has a $50,000 warrant for his arrest in Kootenia County for allegedly assaulting a 6-year-old girl in Coeur d'Alene on June…

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Cable TV show to feature Spokane case

The case of a retired Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who killed himself in Spokane after being accused of a 14-year-old murder will be featured on a cable TV show next weekend. A TV news crew found the body Ted Eugene Kirby, 54, in a…

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2 more charged in Stevens Co. homicide

Two additional suspects have been charged with murder in the shooting death of a Stevens County man in July. Jesse J. Fellman-Shimmin, 27, (pictured) and Collette Marie Pierce, 25, appeared Thursday in Stevens County Superior Court on first-degree murder charges for the death of Gordon…

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Hanford kickbacks lead to $1.5M deal

A subsidiary of the engineering firm CH2M Hill has agreed to pay federal authorities $1.5 million to resolve allegations that its employees knowingly submitted false claims and paid kickbacks as part of its contract to operate and manage mixed radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear…

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Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.

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