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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Man who stabbed brother ruled insane

Compiled from staff and wire reports The Spokesman-Review

A Millwood man who stabbed his brother without provocation on Aug. 8 last year has been acquitted of first-degree assault by reason of insanity.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Linda Tompkins found Oka continues to be dangerous, and committed him last week to Eastern State Hospital. Oka must remain confined at the hospital or be under court-ordered supervision.

According to court documents, Oka’s brother, Jay, was eating a bowl of ice cream in the home they shared at 8923 E. Grace when Oka came downstairs and said, “Jay, I’m sorry to have to do this to you.” Then Oka repeatedly stabbed his brother with a hunting knife with a 10-inch blade.

Sheriff’s deputies said Jay Oka suffered severe cuts on his head, arms, abdomen and legs. He went to a neighbor’s house for help.

Deputies surrounded the Oka home for four hours, unaware that Joe Oka had left. Eventually, a neighbor spotted the suspect walking nearby and a deputy confronted him. Court documents say Oka had a “blank” expression and ignored commands to halt and drop his knife until the deputy drew his pistol and repeated his orders several times.

Ex-reserve officer gets day in jail for gunshot

A 76-year-old former Spokane Police reserve officer has been sentenced to a day in jail for firing a shot that injured his wife.

Thomas Kagi pleaded guilty last week to fourth-degree domestic assault and intimidation with a dangerous weapon. He had been charged with second-degree assault in a Sept. 27, 2004, incident in which he fired a round from a .38-caliber revolver into the floor of the couple’s home in the 3100 block of West Hallett.

A fragment from the bullet struck Kagi’s wife, Margaret “Ellen” Kagi, in the foot. Thomas Kagi told police he had been arguing with his wife, and “I wanted the loud noise so she knew I meant business.”

According to court documents, Kagi told police he didn’t intend to wound his wife. He told officers he was a “grandmaster shooter” and would have had no trouble killing her if he had wished.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Linda Tompkins suspended all but a day of the one-year jail term she gave Kagi.

When he worked as a reserve police officer, Kagi carried a gun but wasn’t paid.

2 hurt when pickup goes over embankment

Florence, Ore. Two people suffered apparent minor injuries when their pickup drove over the embankment at Sea Lion Caves north of here.

Police said Larry Brugh, 45 and his wife Julie Brugh, 41, stopped at a pullout Saturday to discuss what were described as “domestic problems.”

Witnesses said Larry Brugh accelerated his pickup and drove over the steep embankment.

Officers say the pickup was airborne for about 60 feet before landing in brush and rolling onto a path to the Sea Lion Caves elevator.

A wheel caught on a metal bench along the path, stopping the pickup from plunging several hundred feet down a cliff to the ocean.

The truck blocked the path, preventing 35 to 40 visitors from leaving the elevator area. Larry Brugh was taken into custody on an assault charge. The couple’s hometown was not immediately available.

Award-winning wine writer Gene Alan Ford dies

Seattle Gene Alan Ford, an award-winning wine writer and tireless advocate of moderate drinking, is dead at 77.

Ford, who published a magazine on the virtues of responsible consumption of alcohol and wrote eight books, typically concluding each piece with the same toast he used in person, “To your health,” died June 10 of complications following heart surgery at Virginia Mason Hospital, relatives said.

Ford was named Wine Writer of the Year by the Wine Appreciation Guild in 2001 and his book, “The Science of Healthy Drinking,” received an international award as Best Wine Literature of 2003. He also taught classes on serving alcoholic beverages safely and on understanding wine.

Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Ford joined the Navy out of high school, then attended Coe College, University of Iowa, Catholic University of America and, for graduate studies, Columbia University.

A lifelong Democrat, he ran unsuccessfully for a U.S. House seat in Iowa during the 1950s and later was a Democratic precinct committee chairman in Seattle.

After work in public relations, campaigning and fundraising, he moved west for a job in the development office at Seattle University and, in the mid-1960s, was recruited to become Washington and Montana sales manager for Christian Brothers Wine — the start of his passion for wine.

His books and other writing on wine and moderate drinking were produced after he retired at age 60.

Man drowns while trying to rescue woman

Carver, Ore. A man drowned in the Clackamas River while attempting to rescue a woman Sunday, the authorities said.

The body of Shane Hayden, 21, of Canby was found 200 yards from the Carver boat ramp, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.

Hayden, his brother and two other men jumped in the river to save a 19-year-old woman yelling for help in the swift current.

The men pushed the woman toward the shore, but Hayden went under and could not be located. A diver from the Gladstone Fire Department later recovered Hayden’s body, the sheriff’s office said. The woman was not injured.

The area is marked with signs warning of dangerous swimming conditions.

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