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

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


Child killer's prison sentence upheld

Appellate judges have upheld the enhanced sentence of convicted child killer Robert Doney, Jr., who pleaded guilty in 2005 to bludgeoning a 2-year-old girl to death as her mother pleaded for her life on the day after Christmas 2003. The case has bounced repeatedly back…

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VA hospital locked down over gun threat 

The Spokane veterans hospital was locked down Tuesday after a man with a history of gun threats said he was going to return with a gun when his narcotics prescription refill was denied. John Alvin Barr II, 26, apparently was upset he couldn't immediately the…

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Beauty school killer gets 14+ years 

WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) — A Wenatchee man accused of killing a beauty school classmate pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in a plea deal Wednesday and was sentenced to more than 14 years in prison. Jury selection had been under way for the trial of Christopher…

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Murder suspect known as 'Psycho Shane'

Acquaintances of a man arrested for the shooting death of another suspected methamphetamine user told detectives he was dangerously unstable and often accused people at gunpoint of things they did not do. A witness in the investigation of Warren Scott Flinn’s homicide said suspect Shane…

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2012

Murder suspect chooses trial over deal

A woman charged in connection with the 2011 killing of Nicholas J. Thoreson appeared in court but chose not to accept a plea agreement. Breeanna C. Sims, 20, faces the charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, rendering criminal assistance, arson and the taking of a motor…

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Man nets 2nd police chase in 3 weeks 

A Spokane man arrested at gunpoint after a police chase three weeks ago was picked up again Tuesday morning after another chase with law enforcement. A profusely sweaty Michael S. Wheeler, 38, was taken to a hospital after he told a sheriff's deputy he had…

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Police bust burglary suspect in 4 hours

A burglary suspect was arrested within four hours thanks to an alert neighbor and quick-responding Spokane police property crimes detectives. A resident called 911 about 11 a.m. Tuesday to report a burglary in progress in the 700 block of North Elgin Street. The neighbor described…

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Serial theft suspect charged, again 

The suspected leader of a burglary ring that victimized homes in the Spokane area has been charged by prosecutors. Randall T. Smeltzer, 33, is to be arraigned May 30 on burglary, theft and meth charges. He's accused of burglarizing a home in the 3500 block…

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Detective Michael Drapeau (front) and investigators with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office remove evidence from a house at 6704 E. Third Ave. Shane Caleb Smith, 38, was arrested there this afternoon in connection with the homicide of Warren Flinn in Spokane Valley. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Suspect arrested in Valley homicide

Detective Michael Drapeau and investigators with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office remove evidence from a house at 6704 E. Third Ave. in Spokane Valley Tuesday. (SRphoto/Colin Mulvany) A suspect was arrested today in Spokane Valley for the May 12 shooting death of a 44-year-old man.…

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Rapist's civil commitment overturned

Appellate judges ordered a new trial today for Spokane man convicted in 2009 of being a sexually violent predator because the note he wrote, detailing his desire to rape, kidnap and dismember a woman, was never communicated to anyone and thus did not meet the…

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TUESDAY, MAY 22, 2012

'Secret Shopper' loses $1,000 in fraud 

Authorities are reminding people to be cautious when responding to purported "Secret Shopper" and other offers through email or phone after a Spokane Valley woman lost nearly $1,000. The woman told a sheriff's deputy on Monday that she responded to an email asking if she…

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A woman found lost and confused in Oregon last week took a bus there from Spokane, and authorities are asking for help identifying her. (Linn County Sheriff's Office)

Police seek help IDing mystery woman

A woman found lost and confused in Oregon last week took a bus there from Spokane, and authorities are asking for help identifying her. The woman told police her name is Katie Walker and that she hitchhiked from Maine when she was found walking near…

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$40k in copper stripped from building

About $40,000 worth of copper was stolen from a business in Spokane Valley last weekend. A manager of a building in the 4600 block of East Sprague Avenue that's used as a trailer storage told a sheriff's deputy on Monday that he noticed insulation on…

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Shellye Stark testifies in Spokane County Superior Court March 12. She's charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the Dec. 9, 2007, shooting death of her husband, Dale Robert Stark. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

11 of 12 jurors wanted to convict Moore

Shellye Stark testifies in Spokane County Superior Court on March 12, 2009. (SRarchives) One juror. That's what stood between Brian Leigh Moore and felony convictions for first-degree murder and conspiracy to first-degree murder. Eleven jurors wanted to convict Moore (pictured left) on both charges, but…

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MONDAY, MAY 21, 2012

New details in Kala Williams homicide

A 20-year-old woman found dead of what police say was significant trauma told a confidant days before she disappeared that she was worried and concerned for her safety. Kala Williams got to know Erin Newberry through the Catalyst Project, an organization that helps homeless youth.…

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Bonner Co. killer faces new gun charge 

A Bonner County man who served 10 years in prison for the shooting death of his girlfriend in 1999 could be headed to federal prison under a recent indictment. George John Bondurant is accused of possessing a a Remington 20-gauge shotgun on May 8, according…

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Man arrested for DUI, drugs after crash

A man described by sheriff's deputies as "extremely intoxicated" crashed his Jeep Cherokee into trees near Handy and Hatch roads in Colbert early Saturday. Warren Anderson, 22, said he couldn't remember how much he had to drink but "it was a lot," the Spokane County…

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Women arrested in Oxycodone fraud

Two women are accused of trying to obtain the powerful prescription painkiller Oxycodone through fraudulent prescriptions Sunday night at a Spokane Valley pharmacy. Police were called about 6 p.m. after a pharmacist at a store in the 13400 block of East Sprague Avenue realizing a…

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Okla. fugitive in Spokane prompts probe

Spokane police are investigating why an Oklahoma fugitive ended up here with a large amount of marijuana and cash. Police on Friday obtained a search warrant for Mitchell R. Green, Jr.'s cellphone in hopes it will lead to what they suspect is a marijuana trafficking…

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Robbery case resolved in 3 weeks

That was fast. A 35-year-old man arrested for a robbery nearly three weeks ago has pleaded guilty. Shawn James Combs was sentenced to about 3 1/2 years in prison for first-degree robbery last week in Spokane County Superior Court. He'd made his first court appearance…

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Metal theft nets $250k restitution

A man who stole metal as part of a licensed business has been ordered to pay about $250,000 in restitution. Tristan M. Goiri-Christensen, 26, a former Crime Stoppers fugitive, pleaded guilty last week to first-degree theft and eight counts of first-degree trafficking in stolen property…

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Man gets 17 years for 1986 murder

A life of crime likely ended Friday as a Spokane judge sentenced a man to 17 years in prison for the beating, rape and slaying of a 62-year-old woman on Christmas Eve 1986 that was solved only through advances in technology. Gary L. Trimble, 63,…

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SATURDAY, MAY 19, 2012

Duncan wants to appeal death penalty 

BOISE - Notorious multiple murderer Joseph Duncan was back in a Boise courtroom on Friday morning, as lawyers and a federal judge wrangled over setting a date for a new hearing into whether Duncan was mentally competent when he waived appeals of his triple death…

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Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.




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