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

In brief: Two serial burglary suspects arrested

One of two suspected serial burglars arrested in Oldtown, Idaho, recently told investigators they were afraid to burglarize homes in Spokane County because of the recent surge in property crime arrests there, officials said.

Jessica L. Davis, 25, and Randle “Kyle” Phelps, 29, were followed Friday by members of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Burglary Task Force to a secluded neighborhood near Bead Lake in Pend Oreille County, which has been the target of recent burglaries.

Task force members observed two home burglaries and contacted the Pend Oreille County Sheriff’s Office. Patrol deputies helped task force members arrest the two in the parking lot of an Oldtown gas station.

A drug dog with the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office detected something in the vehicle, which led deputies to recover what police said was heroin and methadone.

“Davis made a comment to a BTF investigator that they had gone to the rural area of Pend Oreille County because of the recent and numerous Burglary Task Force arrests and was afraid to commit burglaries in Spokane County,” a news release said.

Man frees himself from trunk of car

A kidnapped man forced into the trunk of a car in Montana freed himself on a Pend Oreille County highway early Sunday, leading to two arrests.

A motorist said he was driving on Highway 2 near Pend Oreille Park about 7:10 a.m. when the trunk of the vehicle in front of him opened and a man started waving his arms and yelling for help, the Pend Oreille County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

The vehicle stopped and the man jumped from the trunk and ran toward the witness’ vehicle. He said he’d been beaten, bound and forced into the trunk while in Montana.

Sheriff’s deputies stopped the suspect vehicle a short time later near Newport, Wash. The driver initially refused to stop, and someone threw a firearm from the vehicle that was later recovered.

Kenny J. Morrison, 29, and John M. Davis, 39, of Columbia Falls, Mont., were arrested on charges of kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, fourth-degree assault, possession of methadone without a prescription and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Pend Oreille County sheriff’s investigators are working with detectives in Flathead County, Mont.

Police say they saved criminal’s life

Spokane police say they saved the life of a career criminal and sex offender when he went into cardiac arrest after he was taken into custody Sunday.

Officer Nick Geren administered first aid on Joshua Clint Epperson, 32, while he was being transported to the jail.

Epperson was taken to a hospital, then booked into jail on a slew of felony charges related to a home-invasion robbery and a burglary spree.

Epperson is a level 3 sex offender, which is the classification considered most likely to reoffend. Epperson was arrested three weeks ago for a burglary in the Country Homes area in north Spokane County and is suspected of burglarizing other homes to help pay a $1,000 debt to his heroin dealer.

Epperson was out of jail awaiting arraignment in that case when police say he helped rob residents at a home in the Indian Trail area May 22. Suspects Nathan W. Day, 21, and Nathan T. McDaniels, 28, were arrested Wednesday and remain in jail.

Garland stabbing suspect identified

A suspect has been identified in a May 1 attack that left a man with stab wounds in the West Garland District.

Fingerprints on a Coors Light can at the scene of the stabbing matched those of Joshua David Fleming, 31, who has been in jail in Kootenai County since May 18, police said.

Fleming is accused of stabbing Eric Stensgar, 29, several times in the upper chest and head. Stensgar was found in an alley in the 600 block of West Garland Avenue and treated at a hospital. He told Spokane police he was drinking Coors Light and Goldschlager schnapps when a man asked if he could drink with him.

They shared the alcohol, and Stensgar said his next memory was waking up in the alley with stab wounds. Stensgar underwent surgery at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center for life-threatening injuries, including a stab wound that entered his brain, according to court documents.

Fleming is in the Kootenai County jail on a probation violation for a grand theft conviction.

Man charged in ex-girlfriend’s death

SEATTLE – A 19-year-old Washington man accused of killing his 17-year-old ex-girlfriend, setting fire to her house and fleeing the state has been charged with first-degree murder and arson.

King County prosecutors filed the charges Tuesday against Jarod Lane, arrested Monday in Oklahoma. Earlier Tuesday, Lane appeared before an Oklahoma County district judge and waived extradition.

Lane was picked up after his abandoned vehicle was spotted on the shoulder of Interstate 35 about 18 miles north of Oklahoma City.

An autopsy showed Jessica Scholl died last Friday from multiple stab wounds, blunt force injuries and possible strangulation.

According to court papers, Lane’s friends told police in the Seattle suburb of Renton that the teen was distraught over Scholl’s recent decision to break up with him.