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

In brief: Suspected killer Donna Perry’s bond set at $1 million

Suspected killer Donna Perry had her bond set at $1 million in a brief court appearance Tuesday after refusing to come to court Monday.

Perry is accused of killing Yolanda Sapp, Nickie Lowe and Kathleen Brisbois in Spokane more than 20 years ago when she was living as Douglas Perry. Perry had a sex-change operation to become a woman in 2000.

The change caused some confusion for her attorneys, who reported in court that they were unable to meet with their client previously because she is listed as Douglas Perry in Spokane County Jail records. “They say she’s not here because they have her listed under her prior name,” defense attorney Anna Nordtvedt said.

Richard Brisbois, brother of homicide victim Kathleen Brisbois, drove from his home in Fruitland, Wash., to attend the court hearings with his family. Brisbois said he didn’t think it was right that Perry could refuse to come to court Monday. “That was quite aggravating,” he said.

Seeing Perry in court Tuesday brought a sense of closure, Brisbois said. “It was good to see and hear that (Perry’s) in jail and will be staying in jail,” Brisbois said. “We’re all really happy to have some closure even after 24 years.”

Brisbois thanked the detectives who continued to investigate his sister’s death for decades, calling them “devoted.” His sister left behind three daughters and there are now several grandchildren, Brisbois said.

“It still brings tears to my eyes,” he said. “My heart gets heavy when I think of my sister. I miss her.”

Nina Culver

Inslee, Washtucna students meet for waterfall ceremony

Palouse Falls is officially the state waterfall.

In a ceremony Tuesday afternoon with the Eastern Washington falls as a backdrop and dozens of Washtucna Elementary students around the table, Gov. Jay Inslee signed the bill that bestows that title on the geologic feature. The students came up with the idea as a way to draw attention to the falls, and a handful of them traveled to Olympia to testify on behalf of the bill.

Jim Camden

Bill allowing land exchanges involving cabin sites is signed

BOISE – Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has signed legislation authorizing land exchanges involving lake cabin sites owned by the state endowment. The bill takes effect July 1.

Exchanges of cabin sites at Priest and Payette lakes were halted earlier this year after questions were raised about whether the state could legally trade the sites for land that wasn’t “similar” – such as timberland, grazing land or other property used for purposes other than summer homes. The bill says such trades are OK but adds a limitation: The state couldn’t trade endowment land for property whose main value is buildings or other structures, unless they’re public buildings.

The state has been trying to get out of the cabin-site renting business, after years of legal and political battles over the prime sites, on which many lessees have had their family cabins for generations. The state constitution requires that endowment lands be managed for the maximum long-term financial returns to the endowment’s beneficiaries, the largest of which is the state’s public schools.

Betsy Z. Russell