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Sirens & Gavels trials archive

FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012

Gibson's bravado as robber didn't help

In the end, Patrick Kevin Gibson's bravado as a professional bank robbery didn't exactly contribute to his defense in the 1992 murder of a Spokane Valley furniture store owner. Spokane County Superior Court Judge Tari Etizen said he appeared to be bragging about his exploits...

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FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

Accused killer gives riveting testimony

In what longtime Spokane County court officials described as riveting testimony, accused killer Patrick Kevin Gibson described Thursday his years as a big-time bank robber who earned about $850,000 before heading to federal prison. Gibson's 12-year prison sentence led him to the federal witness protection...

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TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2012

Report details Gibson's criminal history

When a man now charged in the 1992 shooting death of a Spokane Valley businessman left prison in the last few years, his brother attended a community meeting defending him. Patrick Kevin Gibson's neighbors had been notified of his status as a level 3 sex...

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MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2012

Judge in DNA case: 'I got it wrong'

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen said today that her misunderstanding of how DNA evidence was handled led her to initially make the wrong decision about whether it can be used in a murder suspect's trial. Eitzen originally was going to prohibit prosecutors from...

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MONDAY, MAY 24, 2010

Trial continues in YWCA ex-director's lawsuit

Monica Walters, the former longtime Spokane YWCA executive director who's suing the organization, is expected to continue testifying at a bench trial today in Superior Court.The trial began last week before Judge Jerome Leveque.Walters, who was director for 13 years, left the YWCA in February...

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FRIDAY, APRIL 30, 2010

New hate-crime trial for 2 CdA brothers

Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh said Thursday that he will re-try two Coeur d’Alene brothers on malicious harassment charges stemming from a racial incident last summer. Frank J. Tankovich, 46, and William M. Tankovich, 49, will be tried on charges of conspiracy to commit malicious...

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MONDAY, APRIL 19, 2010

Misdemeanor conviction in hate-crime trial

Jurors convicted a North Idaho man of conspiracy to commit disturbing the peace, a misdemeanor, in the first hate-crime case to go to trial in Coeur d’Alene in recent years. The jury hung on two counts against the man’s brothers. Ira G. Tankovich, 48, (left)...

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FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 2010

Jury expected to get hate-crime case today

Closing arguments are expected today in the trial of three brothers accused of harassing a Coeur d'Alene men man because of his ethnicity. The prosecution and defense rested Thursday in the trial of Ira G. Tankovich, 48, Frank J. Tankovich, 46, and William M. Tankovich,...

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THURSDAY, APRIL 15, 2010

Hate-crime defense targets alleged victim

Defense attorneys in the Coeur d’Alene hate crime trial of three brothers lost an attempt Wednesday to challenge the alleged victim’s credibility by introducing his criminal record, which includes felony convictions for illegally transporting guns. At one point, defense attorney Brad Chapman asked the alleged...

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TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2010

Tankovich erases the smile just in time

By Thomas Clouse The hate crime trial in Coeur d’Alene taught one of the defendants to check his gear before he draws a practical joke. Deputy Prosecutor Art Verharen used an erasable board to have a witness draw how the Tankovichs' pickup, which had a...

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Hate-crime trial begins in CdA, again

Opening statements are expected today in the trial of three brothers accused of harassing a Coeur d'Alene man because of his ethnicity.Ira Gino Tankovich, 47, Frank James Tankovich, 46, and William Michael Tankovich Jr., 49, (left to right) were indicted by a grand jury last...

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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31, 2010

Mistrial declared in CdA hate-crime case

A judge declared a mistrial Tuesday in the trial of three Coeur d’Alene brothers accused of racially harassing a Hispanic family in August. Kootenai County 1st District Judge John Luster declared the mistrial after Deputy Prosecutor Art Verharen played a recording of a 911 call...

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TUESDAY, MARCH 30, 2010

Hate-crime trial to begin in Coeur d'Alene

Three brothers accused of harassing a Coeur d’Alene man because of his ethnicity will stand trial this week in Kootenai County District Court. Opening statements are expected today in the trial of Ira Gino Tankovich, 47, Frank James Tankovich, 46, and William Michael Tankovich Jr.,...

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THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 2010

'Caffeine psychosis' defendant to stand trial

(AP) A Moscow man whose lawyer blamed caffeine-induced psychosis for alleged hit-and-run crashes at Washington State University in December has been released from a hospital and will face trial. Dan Noble, 31, (left) has been declared fit to stand trial by doctors at Eastern State...

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FRIDAY, FEB. 26, 2010

Witness in next month's murder trial jailed

A key witness in an upcoming murder trial is in jail after investigators say she broke contact with them.Colleen Sue Janson, 49, was booked just after midnight Friday on a $100,000 material witness warrant out of Spokane County Superior Court, and a misdemeanor warrant for...

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Ronald Reo Timm is led into court Thursday in the Spokane County Courthouse for his civil commitment trial. Timm is a sex offender who has admitted to molesting 24 victims. (Jesse Tinsley)

A child molester with a method

A jury will decide next week whether Ronald Reo Timm will ever get out of state custody. But the question remains: How does someone molest 24 children in Spokane over a period of two decades and essentially remain out of public view?The answer, according to...

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MONDAY, FEB. 8, 2010

 The Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner waits in the fourth-floor hallway of the Spokane County Courthouse to testify in the Morning Star Boys’ Ranch trial on Wednesday. 
 (Dan Pelle)

Ranch trial could go to jury Tuesday

Closing arguments are expected tomorrow in the Morning Star Boys' Ranch sex abuse trial. The lengthy trial is the first of more than a dozen cases that could go to trial in Spokane County Superior Court.On Thursday, the Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner (pictured above) said that...

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FRIDAY, DEC. 18, 2009

TUESDAY, DEC. 15, 2009

Victim testifies in kidnapping trial

A kidnapping and robbery suspect accused of victimizing a Good Samaritan will soon have his fate decided by a Spokane jury. Jason P. Shepard, 33, is accused of conning a 20-year-old Spokane woman into thinking he needed gas to see his sick baby, then forcing...

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MONDAY, DEC. 14, 2009

Crips gangster on trial in Spokane

A Spokane man police say has ties to the Rollin 60s Crips gang is on trial this week for an early-morning shooting outside a downtown night club more than a year ago. Anthony D. Singh, 21, has been in jail since July 30, 2008, four...

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MONDAY, OCT. 12, 2009

Trial this week in parking lot shooting

Jury selection began today in the trial of a teenager accused of shooting at two men in a motel parking lot late last year. Anthony R. Covert, 19, was arrested in November, accused of shooting Shane L. Hagedorn in a dispute police say centered on...

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TUESDAY, AUG. 25, 2009

Courthouse watch: 8.25.09

Shawn Dale Botner’s adult life has been one of continual clashes with law enforcement. The convicted sex offender, who twice attacked victims in women’s bathrooms, now awaits a jury’s decision on whether he ever will be a free man. The jury went home Tuesday without...

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THURSDAY, JULY 30, 2009

Pierre West enters court in May 2009 to face charges of first-degree kidnapping, rape and assault for attacks on prostitutes that date to 2005.  (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Juror's omission gets West new trial

A judge has overturned a conviction that would have put a registered sex offender in prison for life. Spokane County Superior Court Judge Michael Price on Thursday ordered a new trial after a juror acknowledged she knew the defendant, Pierre D. West, prior to his...

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MONDAY, JULY 27, 2009

Second mistrial declared in rape case

A mistrial was declared in the trial of a young man accused of raping a woman at a party on Halloween 2007. Kevin A. Thompson is charged with second-degree rape for the alleged attack at a home in the Whitworth University area. Spokane County Superior...

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TUESDAY, JULY 21, 2009

Courthouse watch: 7.21.09

A college student accused of raping another student is on trial this week in Spokane County Superior Court. Opening statements were today in the case of Kevin A. Thompson, who's charged with second-degree rape for an alleged attack at a home in the Whitworth University...

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Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.