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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Spokane

Man gets five years for raping girl

Compiled from staff and wire reports The Spokesman-Review

A 20-year-old Spokane sex offender was sentenced Friday to five years in prison for raping a 14-year-old girl four times last June.

The girl was not legally able to consent to the intercourse, and Christopher M. Foster was a Level II sex offender under a court order to have no contact with anyone two or more years younger than himself.

The rapes were reported when the girl’s mother had to take her to a doctor for a pregnancy test.

A jury convicted Foster in December of four counts of third-degree child rape, as charged.

Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza sentenced him Friday.

Othello man wounded in shooting

A 30-year-old Othello man was taken to Deaconess Medical Center with a bullet wound.

Adams County Sheriff’s deputies were advised late Thursday night that a man who was shot in the abdomen was at the Othello Community Hospital, said Adams County Sheriff Doug Barger in a press release. The man was flown to Deaconess, where he remained Friday, Barger said.

Investigators determined that he was shot in a basement apartment northwest of Othello. Along with blood evidence, deputies found nine ounces of cocaine at the location, Barger said. Othello resident Francisco C. Guerrero, 26, was arrested for possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.

Just before finding out about the man at the hospital, a deputy discovered a two-car accident a few miles from the apartment. Both vehicles were unoccupied, Barger said. The deputy located a handgun in the passenger seat of a car and blood in the back seat of the same vehicle. Investigators determined that one of the cars had several bullet holes and the other had one bullet hole. Whether the auto accident and shooting are connected is part of the ongoing investigation.

Election of park board members proposed

Former Spokane Mayor John Talbott on Friday said he wants Park Board members elected by voters rather than the current mayoral appointment process.

Talbott said he is working with the Senior Legislative Coalition in Spokane to write an initiative law to change the City Charter so that Park Board positions would be elected by council district. He unveiled his ideas during a meeting of the Spokane Neighborhoods Community Assembly on Friday. Former Councilman Steve Eugster also appeared before the assembly as the attorney representing Talbott and the seniors.

“I believe our city will be better served by an elected Park Board,” Talbott told the group. He said an elected board could assure a more equitable distribution of park spending.

Park Board members are appointed by the mayor subject to City Council confirmation. The board acts as an autonomous body with control over park department spending. City Charter requires that 8 percent of general fund revenue go to parks.

Martha Lou Wheatley-Billeter, a member of the Park Board, said that if voters want to change the selection method that is their choice. But criticism that the board is not serving all areas of the city is unfair, she said.

DSHS revokes license of adult family home

The Department of Social and Health Services revoked the license of an adult family home in Spokane on Friday.

The agency said it found several violations at Debbie’s Adult Family Home, 1105 S. Woodlawn Road. Those violations included the failure to ensure residents received necessary care, failure to have a qualified caregiver present, and the failure to properly report changes in residents’ conditions.

The home’s operator, Deborah K. Ehlert, could not immediately be reached for comment late Friday. Ehlert has the right to contest the revocation by requesting an administrative hearing within 28 days of being notified by the state.

Border guard sentenced for importing pot

Seattle A U.S. border guard who tried to drive a van filled with 535 pounds of marijuana across the border from Canada was sentenced to five years in prison followed by five years of supervised release Friday.

Cory W. Whitfield, 35, of Point Roberts, Wash., was wearing an “INS” – Immigration and Naturalization Service – turtleneck when he tried to cross the border Sept. 13. He flashed a diplomatic passport and told a guard, “I’m one of us.”

Whitfield worked for INS for eight years before it was merged into U.S. Customs and Border Protection. At the time of his arrest he worked as a CBP officer at Vancouver International Airport in British Columbia.

Whitfield told the guard the purpose of his trip was to deliver an engine to Bellingham. When the inspector looked in the back of the van he found an engine block strapped to the floor of the cargo area.

Cabinets that lined the inside of the van were packed full of the marijuana, worth up to $1.6 million.

Kidnapping suspect killed by police

Ontario, Ore. An Oregon man suspected in an attempted kidnapping was shot and killed by police Friday night, police said.

The 17-year-old kidnapping victim escaped and described her assailant and his vehicle to the police.

Officers found the man and attempted to pull him over. He ended up in the driveway of his home, officers said. No other information is available other than an officer fired at least one shot at the suspect and killed him.

“The officer involved in the shooting is an Ontario police officer, so protocol is that an independent agency conducts the investigation,” Malheur County District Attorney Dan Norris said.

The incident occurred just after 6 p.m. Authorities had not identified the victim or released his age as of Friday evening.

Authorities have not said whether the man was armed or whether he did anything to prompt the shooting.

Two killed in apparent robbery in Montana

Polson A man and woman believed to be in their 20s were found dead in a home on the Flathead Indian Reservation and three men are charged with their murders, investigators said Friday.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Department said it appeared Gerald Sirucek and Catherine Madplume were shot to death Thursday morning as part of a plan to rob Sirucek of a student loan he had just received.

Sheriff Bill Barron identified the three men arrested as Glen Gardipee, 29; Jeremy Green, 19; and Troy McDonald, 19. They were each charged Friday with two counts of murder and one count of attempted robbery.

In a joint news release, Barron and tribal Police Chief Craige Couture said one of the men showed up at the tribal police office in Pablo Thursday morning claiming to have been harassed.

During a brief interview, the man told investigators that two people had been shot at a home between Ronan and St. Ignatius and that the shooters were still there.

Officers went to the home, discovered the bodies and arrested the other two men. Investigators did not say which of the three men had gone to the police station.

Barron said robbery appeared to be the motive for the killings, but an investigation continues. The victims’ bodies were sent to the state crime lab in Missoula for autopsies.

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