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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Colville boys charged in murder conspiracy

A Stevens County judge has ruled that two boys, ages 10 and 11, are competent to stand trial in juvenile court for first-degree conspiracy to murder a female classmate.

Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen described the details in the conspiracy as “salacious.” A handwritten plan listing seven steps leading up to the planned killing was submitted as evidence during the mental capacity hearing on Friday in Colville.

One of the boys intended to rape the girl before stabbing her, he said.

Under Washington law, children ages 8 to 12 are presumed not to have the mental capacity to form the intent to commit crime. But the judge determined Friday that the boys understood the nature of their actions and the consequences. They each pleaded not guilty.  

A hearing is scheduled for April 8, and Rasmussen expects the defense to file a motion to suppress evidence like the discovery of the intended murder weapons in one of the boys’ backpack at Fort Colville Elementary School.

The plot was foiled when a fellow student reported seeing a knife to a teacher.

The boys will be kept in custody, each with a $100,000 bond.

Nicole Hensley

Idaho Senate to stop ‘last best offer’ bill

BOISE – An attempt to reinstate pieces of voter-rejected Idaho school reforms has been withdrawn.

On Friday, Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, asked the Senate to send HB 260, the “last best offer” bill, back to his committee; senators agreed unanimously. It was the most controversial of the Idaho School Boards Association’s array of bills this year.

“This is at the request of the sponsors, both the school boards association and the administrators,” Goedde told the Senate.

The measure would have revived a provision from the Students Come First reform laws requiring that if school districts and their local teachers unions haven’t reached a contract agreement by June 10, the board unilaterally imposes the terms of its last best offer. Opponents said it would turn the negotiation process on its head by giving one side the power to just wait the other out and win.

Betsy Z. Russell

Washington state parks free on 100th birthday

Today is a free day at Washington state parks to celebrate the 100th birthday of the park system.

Visitors will not be required to display a Discover Pass when visiting a state park.

Associated Press

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