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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Region in brief: Man gets 30 years for woman’s murder

The Spokesman-Review

A Spokane man convicted of second-degree murder for killing a woman and dumping her body near Long Lake in February 2004 was sentenced to 30 years in prison Friday.

James C. Metcalf, 39, said that he and Denise M. McCormick were drunk and having consensual sex when she died, and that he panicked and hid her body.

But in November a jury found that Metcalf killed McCormick, 40, intentionally and with sexual motivation. A medical examiner said the woman died of strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head.

Spokane County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Jack Driscoll had asked for a sentence above the standard range for second-degree murder, and Spokane County Superior Court Judge Kathleen M. O’Connor agreed. Second-degree murder convictions typically carry sentences of 10 to 20 years.

Meghann M. Cuniff

Washington, D.C.

Lawmakers back McCain, Obama

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is backing John McCain for president. Rep. Brian Baird is backing Barack Obama.

Both members of the state’s congressional delegation announced their endorsements Friday in advance of Washington’s presidential primary Tuesday.

Baird’s may mean a bit more, because the southwest Washington congressman is an automatic superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention and will cast a vote for the party’s nominee. McMorris Rodgers is not an automatic delegate to the Republican National Convention, because her party’s rules are different.

It hadn’t been decided whether she intends to run for a delegate position, a spokesman for her re-election campaign said Friday.

– Jim Camden

Post Falls

Police officer cleared in January shooting

A Post Falls police officer was justified in shooting at a man during a brief standoff Jan. 18 in the parking lot of a Post Falls church, Kootenai County Prosecutor Bill Douglas has ruled.

The Post Falls Police Department on Friday identified the officer as Ian Johnson, a 12-year veteran of the department.

Johnson fired eight times at Christopher J. Kimsey, 33, Lt. Scot Haug said Friday. Kimsey’s truck was hit by bullets, and one struck Kimsey in the chest. But a cell phone in the man’s shirt pocket stopped the bullet from hurting him.

Kimsey was suspected of firing several shots outside a Spokane Valley Hooter’s restaurant earlier in the day, but he has not been charged.

Johnson fired at Kimsey after the man brandished a weapon, Haug said. Kimsey is charged in Kootenai County with aggravated assault on an officer.

– Taryn Hecker

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

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