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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sirens & Gavels archive for Aug. 2012

TUESDAY, AUG. 14, 2012

Gun confrontation leads to 2 arrests

Two men were arrested on felony assault charges after witnesses told police they pointed guns at woman sitting in a car near a Spokane Valley bar early Sunday. Charles Willy Jackson, 25, and Anttwon D. Scurlock, 21, are accused of confronting the 27-year-old woman across...

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Detectives search murder suspect Daniel Arteaga's home at 19329 E. Valleyway Ave., in Spokane Valley on Tuesday. (Meghann Cuniff / The Spokesman-Review)

Suspect had victim's obituary in his truck

Detectives search murder suspect Daniel Arteaga's home at 19329 E. Valleyway Ave., in Spokane Valley on Tuesday. (SRPhoto/Meghann Cuniff) Detectives found a newspaper containing murder victim Kim Schmidt's obituary when they searched the truck of her suspected killer recently. Daniel R. Arteaga, 40, had the...

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MONDAY, AUG. 13, 2012

Switch to back seat saves man's life 

A man's decision to move to the back seat of a car as he drunkenly argued with his brother may have saved his life early Sunday, police said today. Spokane County sheriff's Deputy Jeff Thurman doesn't believe the man would have survived the crash into...

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Suspect cleared in May home invasion

A Spokane man arrested for a May home-invasion robbery has been cleared of wrongdoing in what his lawyer says was a case of mistaken identity. Joshua Clint Epperson, 32, still faces seven felony gun, drug, burglary and theft charges for a May 1 burglary. Police...

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Encounter with jurors sparks debate

Buried in the transcripts unsealed last week of the secret jury hearings held by a federal judge in the Karl F. Thompson Jr. case, was an apparent chance encounter between the jury forewoman and the alternate juror. Jury Forewoman Diane Riley said she was having...

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FRIDAY, AUG. 10, 2012

Do you know this child porn peddler?

Federal authorities are trying to identify a woman who is featured in child pornography with victims who have yet to be rescued. The woman could live anywhere in the United States. She is depicted in several videos discovered in June during a child pornography investigation...

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Judy Reisner wants her son, Kevin Ellison, to get mental health treatment, but he sits in the Spokane County Jail. The former Spokane Shock player has been in the jail’s solitary confinement since he was arrested for arson in June. (Dan Pelle)

Ex-Shock player in solitary confinement

Judy Reisner wants her son, Kevin Ellison, to get mental health treatment, but he sits in the Spokane County Jail. (SRPhoto/Dan Pelle) A former pro football player arrested for arson in June remains in solitary confinement at the Spokane County Jail, and his mother says...

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Man, 78, sent to prison for pot dealing

A 78-year-old man who allowed drug traffickers to use his property just south of the Canadian border in Ferry County will spend 2 1/2 years in federal prison, a judge ruled Thursday. Alvin Oliver Shields had 700 pounds of marijuana on his property when federal...

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A woman being pursued by police crashed a stolen car into a house in north Spokane Wednesday then tried to hide in a stranger's garage, police say.
Kristina M. Groce, 21, ran from the crash at 4906 N. Pittsburg St. and entered a home at 1711 E. Wabash Ave., uninvited, asked to use the phone and told the homeowner not to call police, according to court documents.
Officer Dan Cole tried to stop Groce after realizing the 2003 Toyota Celica she was driving was stolen. Cole said Groce drove over 60 mph and ran a stop sign at Nevada and Wabash before crashing into the home.
"Luckily no children were in the yard when the stolen car went onto sidewalk under cyclone fence and into corner of house," police wrote on Facebook.
The car's owner was at a laundromat earlier that day when someone grabbed his keys and stole his it, police say. (Spokane Police Department)

Woman crashes stolen car into house

Police released this photo of the crash at North Pittsburg Street and East Wabash Avenue Wednesday. A woman being pursued by police crashed a stolen car into a house in north Spokane Wednesday then tried to hide in a stranger's garage, police say. Kristina M....

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This image provided by KVVU-TV shows a billboard with a mannequin dangling from a hangman's noose near The Strip in Las Vegas. Authorities said calls began coming in early Wednesday Aug. 8, 2012, from drivers worried the dummy along Interstate 15 near was a real person. A Nevada Highway Patrol spokesman said the sign is a publicity stunt done in bad taste. A woman who answered the phone at Lamar Advertising Co. says the sign was not authorized and was being removed. (AP Photo/KVVU, Peter Dawson) ((AP Photo/KVVU, Peter Dawson))

Dummy on noose shocks Vegas drivers

This image provided by KVVU-TV shows a billboard with a mannequin dangling from a hangman's noose near The Strip in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/KVVU, Peter Dawson) By MICHELLE RINDELS,Associated Press LAS VEGAS (AP) — Even by Las Vegas standards, it was a shocking billboard: A...

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THURSDAY, AUG. 9, 2012

Tips sought on CdA gun, car thefts 

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that solve a gun and car theft at a Coeur d'Alene business. Someone entered Tate Engineering, 1103 N. 4th St., early July 30 and stolen two guns and credit cards, as well as a 2003 GMC Sierra...

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'Sovereigns' arrested after SWAT standoff

Two men arrested after a SWAT team standoff in Otis Orchards Wednesday have been identified as Michael Francis Hicks, 55, and David Ray Galland, 58. A sheriff's detective was driving east on Interstate 90 near Sullivan Road when he saw a red truck in front...

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New details revealed in Schmidt homicide

A former scuba diving instructor arrested for murder dated the victim for years and was described by her friends as violent and controlling, according to information released Wednesday. Daniel R. Arteaga, 40, remains in the Spokane County Jail on $1 million bond after appearing before...

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Alternate juror blasts case against Thompson

New documents released Thursday show that the only person who raised issues about juror misconduct in the trial that convicted former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. was an alternate juror who was not privy to the final deliberations. U.S. District Court Judge Fred...

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Feds seek Ariz. property in Ridpath probe

Federal investigators are attempting to seize an Arizona property owned by Spokane real estate investors as part of a broader probe into alleged fraud by the couple, who are tangled in the complicated ownership of the former Ridpath Hotel complex. FBI agent Lisa Jangaard filed...

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WEDNESDAY, AUG. 8, 2012

PCP found on Valley prowling suspect 

A psychedelic drug best known for stories of strange and violent behavior by its users was found on a car prowling suspect early Monday in Spokane Valley. Deputies first thought the small piece of paper found in a plastic baggie in Eric Faux's pants pocket...

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Detectives search murder suspect Daniel Arteaga's home at 19329 E. Valleyway Ave., in Spokane Valley on Tuesday. (Meghann Cuniff / The Spokesman-Review)

Scuba instructor arrested for murder

Detectives search murder suspect Daniel Arteaga's home at 19329 E. Valleyway Ave., in Spokane Valley on Tuesday. (SRPhoto/Meghann Cuniff) A Spokane diving instructor romantically linked to a woman who was found shot to death on New Year’s Day has been arrested as a suspect in...

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Juror: Thompson lawyers twisted words

The forewoman of the jury that convicted former Spokane Police officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. of excessive force said in a letter to a federal judge that defense attorneys have twisted her words in their effort to force a new trial for the decorated officer....

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TUESDAY, AUG. 7, 2012

Woman gets 18 1/2 years for murder

The woman convicted of killing a Spokane man in December has been sentenced to 18 ½ years in prison. Melinda R. Barrera, 32, was convicted last month of killing Robert A. Nelson following a bizarre altercation where Barrera was struck in the face with a...

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