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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Man pleads guilty to kidnapping, rape

Compiled from staff reports The Spokesman-Review

A Medical Lake-area man admitted in court Wednesday that he imprisoned a woman at gunpoint, tied her to a bed, tried to rape her and then took her – still tied up – to a remote area near Grand Coulee Dam in August 2004.

Tony W. Desautel, 35, pleaded guilty in Superior Court to first-degree kidnapping, as charged, and to third-degree rape in a plea bargain that calls for him to get 5 2/3 years in prison when he is sentenced on Nov. 18.

Desautel had been charged with attempted second-degree rape, but pleaded to third-degree rape even though Deputy Prosecutor John Love and defense attorney Bevan Maxey agreed Desautel didn’t complete the crime. The substitution allowed Desautel to receive a lower sentence.

According to court documents, Desautel kidnapped the woman, whom he knew, when she came to his home at 24527 S. Pine Springs Road.

He took her to a wooded area on the Colville Indian Reservation, about eight miles north of Coulee Dam, Wash., where he apologized, composed a makeshift will and gave the woman the keys to his pickup.

She told Colville Tribal Police she had driven about 15 feet when she heard a gunshot, but it was dark and she kept going and called police on her cellular phone.

Officers found Desautel had shot himself in the upper chest with a .38-caliber pistol. He survived and was freed while awaiting trial scheduled for July 18 this year.

About a week before his trial, Desautel absconded. He was arrested seven weeks later, on Aug. 28, in Sandpoint.

Desautel had no previous convictions except for an Okanogan County misdemeanor in 1992.

Police investigate string of burglaries

Four homeowners in north Spokane County came home Monday to find that their residences had been burglarized.

Investigators believe the same suspect broke into homes along the 13500, 13900 and 12700 blocks of East Frideger Road. Another home in the 42500 block of North Jefferson was also hit, Spokane County Sheriff’s spokesman Cpl. Dave Reagan said in a news release.

In each case, the burglar either forced open a glass door or smashed windows to gain entry. Jewelry was taken from each home. One homeowner also lost a safe, and it appears the burglar copied down check numbers for possible use in identity theft, Reagan said.

Deputies were unable to find any witnesses but did photograph tire tracks found at some of the residences, Reagan said. Anyone with information regarding suspects or their vehicles is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 242-TIPS (8477).

Reward offered for information on shooting

A cash reward is being offered for information that leads to the person who shot a man while he was walking down a Spokane street last Friday night. The wound has left the victim partially paralyzed, according to Spokane Police.

The 48-year-old victim told investigators that he was taking his nightly walk on Garland Avenue near Post Street and was carrying a cup of coffee. The man said he suddenly fell and he didn’t know why, police spokesman Dick Cottam said in a news release.

Medics and police officers arrived and found what appeared to be a bullet wound to the back of the man’s shoulder. He was transported to an area hospital where he underwent surgery to remove the slug, which had lodged in his spine, Cottam said.

The victim initially was admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit but has now been upgraded to satisfactory condition. However, he remains partially paralyzed because of the damage to his spine, Cottam said.

Detective Mark Burbridge wants to talk with anyone who knows something about the shooting, which appears to be a random crime, Cottam said.

Secret Witness, a citizen organization that is not affiliated with law enforcement, is offering a $200 reward. Witnesses can call 327-5111 and do not have to use their own name to be eligible for the reward.

Fugitive sought on assault, burglary charges

Secret Witness is offering a cash reward for information that leads to the arrest of 25-year-old fugitive James R. Nason.

Nason currently has outstanding warrants charging him with second-degree burglary and fourth-degree domestic assault. He has also failed to pay the court or his crime victim the court-ordered restitution, Spokane County Sheriff’s spokesman Cpl. Dave Reagan said in a press release.

Nason is 6-foot-2, 180 pounds with brown eyes and black hair. His last known address was 2324 E. Wellesley in Spokane.

Persons with information about the whereabouts of Nason should call Secret Witness at 327-5111. Callers do not have to give their names to collect the reward. But they should provide a code name or number.

Secret Witness is a civilian organization that is not officially affiliated with law enforcement, Reagan said.

Third of signatures needed for recall verified

Spokane County elections workers have verified more than a third of the signatures needed to put a recall of Spokane Mayor Jim West on a special election ballot later this year.

As of Wednesday afternoon, elections staff had accepted 4,362 signatures on petitions submitted to the county last week. They had rejected 766 signatures and set aside another 355 for further study if those are needed to determine whether the petition drive is successful.

Recall supporters turned in more than 17,000 signatures and need at least 12,567 valid signatures to put the issue on the ballot. The petitions have so far had a validation rate of about 79 percent.

Street repairs may cause delays today

Drivers may see delays today as Spokane city crews repair streets in two areas.

Crews will be sealing cracks on Grand Boulevard between Ninth and 25th avenues, and completing grinder patching on Hamilton Street between Cataldo and Springfield.

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