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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

In brief: OxyContin robbery suspect turns self in

A man suspected of robbing a pharmacy of OxyContin last month turned himself in early Tuesday morning.

Richard T. Ludvik, 23, is accused of robbing the Walgreens at 29th Avenue and Grand Boulevard on Jan. 21 and the Walgreens at 15510 E. Sprague Ave. in Spokane Valley on Jan. 11.

Joshua G. Dixon, 26, was arrested that night and told police he’d driven Ludvik to and from the pharmacy in exchange for a couple of pills.

Purdue Pharma LP, the company that makes the drug, had offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to his capture. Ludvik turned himself in at Spokane County Jail about 1 a.m., police said.

Also Tuesday, police announced the arrest of a third suspect in a string of robberies that had prompted extra security at payday loan centers and police patrols at pharmacies.

Nathan Webb, 25, was arrested Monday evening and booked into jail on a felony charge of first-degree robbery. He’s accused of driving the getaway car for suspected serial robber Zachary T. Allen, 19, in one of eight robberies.

Allen and his girlfriend, Kimberley A. Norman, 20, were arrested Friday evening.


State liquor chief says sales are up

Liquor sales in Idaho are up despite the economic downturn, proving that liquor is a “recession-proof business,” Idaho’s state liquor chief told state lawmakers Tuesday.

Sales are up 4.7 percent over last year, state Liquor Dispensary Superintendent Dyke Nally said, at a record $135.4 million, up from $130.8 million last year, $78 million in 2003 and $58.1 million in 1998. Per-capita consumption remains low, however, ranking 37th in the nation; Nally attributed the increases to population growth and the increasing popularity of higher-priced liquors.

Idaho’s state liquor dispensary plans new stores next year in Post Falls and Meridian. New stores quickly pay for themselves, Nally said.

Medical Lake

Man charged in wife’s death

An 82-year-old Medical Lake man faces second-degree manslaughter charges for leaving his wife lying on the floor for 10 weeks until she died.

Authorities say John O. Klein arrived home one day to find his wife, Pia Klein, had fallen, naked, in a bathroom doorway. He told the 73-year-old to get up, then gave her a pillow, a blanket, food and water, and cleaned up her urine and feces, said Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Dave Reagan.

Klein waited until Monday to call for help, after his wife of 52 years stopped breathing, Reagan said.

Klein’s bond was set at $200,000 when he made his first appearance Tuesday in a Spokane County courtroom. In his defense, he told the judge: “I don’t consider it to be my fault. She did not want help.”

“I thought she would just get better, get up and start moving around,” he told police.

Meghann M. Cuniff Betsy Z. Russell Jody Lawrence-Turner