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Monday, June 1, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Younger Pirtle sought in kidnapping, assaults

Double-murderer Blake Pirtle’s little brother, 18-year-old Jayce Leon Elton Pirtle Jr., is wanted for alleged first-degree kidnapping and other charges in what police say was a violent assault on his girlfriend and her father.

Blake Pirtle was 23 in May 1992 when he ambushed and killed two workers at a Spokane Valley Burger King where he had been fired. He crushed a 24-year-old man’s skull with a fire extinguisher and repeatedly slashed a 20-year-old woman’s throat with a knife and a hacksaw.

Originally sentenced to death on two first-degree murder convictions that were overturned, Pirtle pleaded guilty in July 2003 to two counts of aggravated first-degree murder in exchange for a life sentence without possibility of parole.

Jayce Pirtle told the sentencing judge in 2003 that his older brother had put drugs behind him and become a better person in prison.

“He’s acknowledged his crimes and he apologized for it,” Jayce Pirtle said. “That means he’s found peace.”

But Jayce Pirtle’s girlfriend told police earlier this month that she found no peace in an abusive relationship with him that began in May 2005. Court documents say the girl, who was not identified because she is a minor, told officers that Pirtle assaulted her more than 30 times while they were together.

She described him as a violent, controlling drug addict who had choked her and threatened her with a knife, among other abuse. He allegedly threw her on a bed Jan. 13, told her he was going to kill her and attempted to smother her with a pillow.

Also charged in the incident are Debra Lee Pirtle, 42, and Jayce Pirtle’s friend David Michael Martinez, 18. Debra Pirtle’s relationship to Jayce Pirtle isn’t specified in court documents.

Jayce Pirtle and Debra Pirtle both are charged with first-degree kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment.

Also, Jayce Pirtle is charged with second-degree assault on his girlfriend while Debra Pirtle and Martinez are charged with second-degree assault on the girl’s father.

A police affidavit says Debra Pirtle prevented the girl’s cousin, also a minor, from helping her. The victim eventually managed to escape with her cousin, the affidavit states, but Jayce Pirtle caught the victim and forced her to return to the home in the 1900 block of East Bridgeport Avenue. She escaped again and was forced to return, but a friend called her parents, Jackie Piper and Timothy Johnson, police stated.

The police affidavit says Piper saw several people – including Jayce Pirtle, his 17-year-old brother, Andrew Pirtle, and Martinez – circling Johnson “like a pack of dogs” while he tried to retreat from the home with his daughter.

Police say Johnson suffered two broken ribs in a beating that included blows from fists, a vehicle radiator, a tire iron and a jack that was thrown through the window of his pickup as he drove away with his family.

Martinez admitted seeing Jayce Pirtle imprison his girlfriend and that he joined Jayce and Andrew Pirtle in attacking Johnson, according the police affidavit. Andrew Pirtle was not charged with the others, but court documents say he punched Johnson and slashed one of his tires.

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