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Wednesday, September 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sirens & Gavels Washington Department of Corrections archive


Wanted: Woman w/ 254 police contacts

A 25-year-old Spokane woman who police say they've contacted 254 times is again wanted for violating her probation. Desarae M. Dawson, a former Crime Stoppers fugitive, was sentenced in February to 17 days in Spokane County Jail after pleading guilty to riot and escape from...

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TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2012

DOC fugitive now accused of assault

A Spokane man arrested for violating his probation on a robbery conviction also is accused of a new assault. Christopher M. Prusch, 35, faces a second-degree assault charge for allegedly choking a woman and striking her during an argument at a home in the 5300...

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FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2012

Spokane gang team arrests 2 fugitives

The gang team arrested two men this week in Spokane for violating their probation on violent crimes. Christopher M. Prusch, 35, (pictured left) was booked into jail Wednesday on a Department of Corrections warrant for escape from community custody, Spokane police Officer Matt Rose said...

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MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2012

Suspicious vehicle leads to meth arrest

A suspicious vehicle report in north Spokane led deputies to arrest a wanted man on new drug charges early today. Deputies were watching a Suzuki that was parked on he wrong side of the road in the area of 630 West Ivanhone Road when they...

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'Fugitive' missed court while in jail

A man targeted by Crime Stoppers missed his court appearing last week because he's jailed in another county, and officials refuse to transport him. Mark William Bush, 35, is in the Benton County Jail under the Washington Department Corrections warrant for violating his probation. He...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 25, 2012

Patrol team arrests repeat offender, wife

A fugitive targeted by Spokane police since Jan. 11 was arrested by patrol officers Tuesday night. Shaun P. Davis, 39, was booked into jail about 11 p.m. after members of the Patrol Anti-Crime Team located him at 5015 N. Haven St., police said today. Davis...

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FRIDAY, JAN. 13, 2012

THURSDAY, JAN. 12, 2012

Fugitive was in court day before arrest 

A man who Spokane police say has 167 criminal charges in 15 years appeared for a court hearing Tuesday and was allowed to stay out of jail despite a felony warrant for his arrest. Mark W. Bush, 36, was captured Wednesday night by a police...

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FRIDAY, SEPT. 2, 2011

Claim: Man hoarded urine to make meth 

A man arrested after Spokane police found a suspected methamphetamine lab was said to be collecting his urine to use in the manufacturing of the drug. Washington Department of Corrections probation officer Scott Wright tipped police to the suspected lab Wednesday at a home Michael...

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TUESDAY, AUG. 30, 2011

Facebook asked to disable inmate pages

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington prison officials have asked social media giant Facebook to disable inmate accounts. Department spokesman Chad Lewis says inmates are not allowed to have Internet access. He says Facebook accounts are sometimes set up by relatives or by inmates with contraband...

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Judge: Scherf confession is open record

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — A Snohomish County judge ruled Wednesday that documents containing Spokane County sex offender Byron Scherf's alleged confession to the killing of a Monroe corrections officer are public records and should not be sealed. Washington law favors public access, Judge Thomas Wynne...

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Prisons chief quit after affair uncovered

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington’s former secretary of corrections said Tuesday that he abruptly departed his job last week because of an extramarital affair with a subordinate. In an interview with The Seattle Times, Eldon Vail said that he learned last week of a video that...

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Slain guard named in inmate complaints

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Newly released documents show several grievances were filed by inmates of the Monroe Correctional Complex over operations of the prison chapel in the years before corrections officer Jayme Biendl was strangled there last January. Biendl was the subject of numerous grievances...

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Killer's history not communicated at DOC

When a rapist who murdered one of his cellmates in the Spokane County Jail requested a transfer to a medium-security prison several years later, the approval process at the Washington Department of Corrections was quick and routine. Although prisoner Michael Lee West Jr. was known...

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FRIDAY, JULY 1, 2011

State prisons chief Eldon Vail resigns

Three days after a man who shot seven people at the Tacoma Mall took a prison guard hostage and a convicted Spokane killer was shot to death on a fork lift, state prisons chief Eldon Vail has resigned. Gov. Chris Gregoire, who reportedly learned about...

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Escape plot timed to guard's lunch break

By GENE JOHNSON,Associated Press SEATTLE (AP) — Following the strangling of an officer at the state prison in Monroe this year, national correctional experts made a simple suggestion for improving safety at Washington's prisons: Eliminate meal breaks for corrections officers. The idea to have the...

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Murder victim Jamie Lynn Drake is pictured in 2006 with her prized 1993 Mustang. (Spokane County Sheriff's Office)

Spokane murderer dies in escape attempt

Murder victim Jamie Lynn Drake is pictured in 2006 with her prized 1993 Mustang. (File photo) A Spokane man serving 45 years for the murder of a 19-year-old woman in 2006 was shot and killed today in what prison officials describe as an apparent escape...

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FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 2011

Escapee knocks on off-duty guard's door

SEATTLE (AP) — An escaped convict was caught following a day on the loose after he knocked on a cabin door — only to find out the man renting the lodge was an off-duty guard at the prison he just fled. Authorities said 39-year-old James...

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TUESDAY, MAY 24, 2011

Apparent suicide at in prison at Connell

CONNELL, Wash. (AP) — Coyote Ridge Corrections Center officials say the death of an inmate found hanging in his cell appears to be a suicide. Spokeswoman Lori Wonders says 26-year-old Michael Araiza was found Saturday and could not be revived by corrections officers and medical...

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Scherf warned of danger before murder 

MONROE, Wash. (AP) — A Washington inmate charged with strangling a corrections officer barraged state officials for decades with letters complaining about the conditions of his confinement, suggesting at least once that he might hurt someone if he didn't get sex-offender treatment. Convicted rapist Byron...

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State prison staff waiting for more safety

State prison guards who were promised safer working conditions following the Jan. 29 slaying of a corrections officer in Western Washington are still waiting. At Airway Heights Corrections Center near Spokane, for example, self-defense pepper spray that experts recommend all officers carry while on duty...

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Murderer, rapist jailed for 6 months

A convicted killer and rapist deemed so dangerous that prosecutors said they wished his 19-year prison term had been longer is back in jail after serving just half of his original sentence. Joseph Earl Singleton, 47, is to serve six months in jail for failing...

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Death penalty sought in guard's slaying

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe says he'll seek the death penalty if Byron Scherf is convicted of aggravated murder in the death of Monroe prison Corrections Officer Jayme Biendl. In announcing his decision Tuesday in Everett, Roe said jurors "should have...

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SATURDAY, FEB. 12, 2011

A group of bagpipers leads a procession for a memorial service for slain prison guard Jayme Biendl, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011, in Everett. Biendl was found dead Jan. 29, 2011, at the Monroe Correctional Complex in Monroe, Wash., where she worked as a guard. (Ted Warren / Associated Press)

Report: Rapist admits to guard's murder

MONROE, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state reformatory inmate has acknowledged killing Correctional Officer Jayme Biendl in the prison chapel, saying he was angry with the way she spoke to him minutes earlier, according to a search warrant made public Friday. The search warrant said...

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FRIDAY, FEB. 11, 2011

A photo of Jayme Biendl is surrounded by flowers and candles during a candlelight vigil outside the Monroe Correctional Complex in Monroe, Wash. Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011. Biendl was found dead Saturday night in the chapel at Monroe Correctional Complex (Sarah Weiser / (AP Photo/The Herald / Sarah Weiser))

Guard's alleged killer asked for prayers

MONROE, Wash. (AP) — A search warrant issued in connection with the death of a Monroe correctional officer says the suspect had asked people to pray for him because he was struggling with temptation, the Daily Herald reported Friday. Inmate Byron Scherf, a Spokane-area sex...

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Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.