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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels archive for Jan. 1, 2012

TUESDAY, NOV. 27, 2012

Jury deadlocked in judge threat trial

A jury deadlocked today leading to a mistrial for a man facing the rare charge of intimidation of a judge. Timothy A. Hays, 50, had faced between 15 and 20 months in prison after he was charged with threatening Municipal Court Judge Michelle Szambelan on…

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Weekend stabbing being investigated as self-defense

A man suspected of stabbing another man on Saturday night near the intersection of Nelson and Wabash, was never arrested because the incident is being investigated as self-defense, says Spokane Police spokeswoman officer Jennifer DeRuwe. Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office is calling the manner of…

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FRIDAY, NOV. 23, 2012

MONDAY, NOV. 19, 2012

From left, Karl Thompson, Carl Oreskovich and Spokane police Officer John Gately on Nov. 2. (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)

Thompson appeals Zehm conviction 

Just as he promised last week after the sentencing, the attorney for convicted Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. filed notice today that he intends to appeal several aspects of the case. U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle sentenced Thompson last week to…

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THURSDAY, NOV. 15, 2012

Federal prosecutor says Spokane has good police force 

U.S. Attorney Mike Ormsby, whose office handled the excessive force prosecution of former Spokane police officer Karl Thompson, took deliberate steps Thursday to praise the trustworthiness of the local police force overall. "That's not an indictment of our entire police department," Ormsby said just moments…

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TUESDAY, NOV. 13, 2012

Inmates claim gangs are running Idaho prison

A group of inmates is suing Idaho, saying the contractor running the state's private prison is cutting back on labor costs by letting prison gangs help run the prison. Among other things, the litigants claim that gang leaders inside the Idaho Correctional Center are consulted…

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MONDAY, NOV. 12, 2012

Gregoire looking for guidance from feds on pot 

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state Gov. Chris Gregoire will meet with Deputy Attorney General James Cole to discuss the state's recent passage of a measure to legalize and tax the sale of marijuana for recreational use. Gregoire spokesman Cory Curtis said that the governor…

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Spokane police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick talks in January 2011 about her department’s response to the backpack bomb found on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity March route in downtown Spokane. (File)

Former SPD Chief lands new post

It appears that former Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick's search for a new job has ended. King County voters chose John Urquhart as their sheriff; Urquhart, you'll recall, vowed earlier this year to hire Kirkpatrick, who left late last year after serving five years as…

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TUESDAY, NOV. 6, 2012

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 31, 2012

Special Olympics Washington awarded Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich with the 2012 Special Olympics Washington Law Enforcement Torch Run Campaign, Sheriff of the Year Award. (Spokane County Sheriff's Office)

Special Olympics awards Knezovich

Special Olympics Washington honored Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich for his support of the program. Knezovich received the 2012 Special Olympics Washington Law Enforcement Torch Run Campaign, Sheriff of the Year Award. Special Olympics Washington gives the award to one Washington sheriff and police chief…

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TUESDAY, OCT. 30, 2012

Daniel Strange (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman Review)

Excessive force case loses appeal

Appellate judges have upheld a civil judgment in favor of Spokane County after a jury ruled in 2011 that a deputy did not use excessive force during a traffic stop in 2006. Mary Schultz, the attorney for Daniel B. Strange, appealed several rulings by Superior…

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MONDAY, OCT. 29, 2012

Police reform meeting canceled/rescheduled 

A previously scheduled meeting to discuss Spokane police reform and an update of its progress was canceled on Monday afternoon due to an absent chief of Police. Due to a scheduling conflict, chief of Police Frank Straub was unable to attend the Public Safety Committee…

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America's violent crime rate keeps falling 

You'd never know it from watching TV these days but America's violent crime rate is continuing its plunge. The latest FBI stats, released today, show the number of murders, robberies, rapes and other felony assaults fell 3.8 percent nationwide in 2011, the fifth straight decline…

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THURSDAY, OCT. 25, 2012

Stolen wedding band (Spokane Police Department)

Burglar targets bereaved 

Spokane Police detectives say a man may have targeted the home of a burglary victim because of an online obituary, entering when he believed she would be gone. The burglar’s haul included multiple firearms, antiques, and the victim’s dead husband’s wedding ring. The crime occurred…

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Police: Beware of panhandlers

Spokane police arrested a panhandler Thursday afternoon after discovering he had a stolen car. A man left a vehicle parked near the Office Depot by Wellesley Avenue and Division Street and proceeded to the intersection with a cardboard sign to panhandle, according to a Spokane…

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Man pleads guilty to gang shooting

A man, charged in a gang-related shooting in which a 6-year-old girl was hit in the foot, pleaded guilty today in Spokane County Superior Court. Abubakar Samura, 21, had been charged with two counts of first-degree assault following the March 4 shooting in the 1800…

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WEDNESDAY, OCT. 24, 2012

Jeff Harvey of the Spokane Police Department (Spokane Police Department)

Police guild "circled the wagons" after Zehm 14 

In addition to revelations that Spokane Police detectives were feeding information about the Zehm investigation to Officer Karl F. Thompson, Jr., the grand jury testimony of Detective Jeff Harvey had several other insights into how the Spokane Police handled the case. Harvey was a vice…

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TUESDAY, OCT. 23, 2012

Man reportedly assaults Spokane Valley paramedic

A reportedly intoxicated man assaulted a Spokane Valley Fire paramedic on Monday evening while crews treated a woman for a seizure. While the Station 1 paramedic in full uniform and his partner treated the patient, 51-year-old William J. Nachtwey became hostile toward the paramedic and…

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MONDAY, OCT. 22, 2012

Accused cop killer gets own TV in cell

King County Jail's decision to give an accused cop killer a personal TV to watch in his cell has got more than a few people steamed. "This is just terrible," said Seattle Police Officers' Guild President Rich O'Neill. The Seattle Police Department also sent notice…

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THURSDAY, OCT. 18, 2012

Attorney blasts McGill probe

Were detectives just doing their job or did they go too far? A Spokane attorney has accused detectives of misrepresenting facts surrounding a homicide investigation in order to obtain permission to search the belongings of the victim's daughter. Recently unsealed court documents show Spokane police…

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WEDNESDAY, OCT. 17, 2012

Pelican shoots man, claims self defense 

While no charges have been filed, deputies continue to investigate the case of an estranged Spokane Valley husband who was shot in the knee today by a man who was living in his wife’s garage. Spokane Valley deputies responded at about 11 a.m. today to…

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