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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Stabbing ruled cause of death of man found in apartment

A man found dead in his apartment by Spokane police on Thursday was stabbed to death.

The Spokane County medical examiner’s office determined that Richard Wesley Whipple, 66, died from multiple stab wounds.

Officers were called to an apartment in the 1600 block of West Pacific Avenue by an apartment manager who reported that he had not seen Whipple recently.

Police have released few details of the incident. Department spokeswoman Monique Cotton said detectives are following leads and ask that anyone with information call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Staff reports

Man sentenced for baby’s death

A Spokane man was sentenced on Friday to 8 ½ years in prison for killing his girlfriend’s 18-month-old toddler.

Rylee Castner died March 31, 2013, from blunt force trauma to his head. Superior Court Judge James M. Triplet sentenced Joshua Burnett on a first-degree manslaughter conviction following emotional testimony from the child’s family.

Investigators determined the abuse that led to the toddler’s death occurred while Burnett was alone with the child on March 30, 2013, at his then-girlfriend’s home. Later that day, Rylee’s grandmother noticed the child was lethargic and bleeding from his mouth, according to court records.

An ambulance took the child to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center where he underwent surgery and died the next day.

The medical examiner’s office said Rylee suffered a partial skull fracture and had bleeding in his brain.

Jody Lawrence-Turner

WSP: Cellphone involved in crash

A man who allegedly was looking at his cellphone while driving Friday morning caused a crash that sent three people to the hospital, the Washington State Patrol said.

Vincent S. Embler, 19, of Chattaroy, was headed south on U.S. Highway 2 near Westmoreland Road about 7:30 a.m. when his 1999 Dodge Durango crossed the centerline. The Durango hit a 1988 Ford pickup headed north, driven by Carson J. Meissner, 17, also of Chattaroy. Ryan A. Meissner, 16, was a passenger in the pickup.

All three were wearing seat belts, but all were injured and taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, a WSP news release said.

The WSP said Embler was looking at his cellphone when his vehicle crossed the centerline.

Staff reports

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