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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Robbery suspect had cash in pockets

From Staff And Wire Reports

Spokane police arrested a man allegedly attempting to rob a Wells Fargo bank on the South Hill just four minutes after the bank’s alarm sounded.

Police arrested Jared Bestrom, 37, just after 10 a.m. after a police officer observed him walking near the bank with cash falling out of his pockets. Officer Teresa Fuller said he handed a robbery note to a teller at the bank at 2910 E. 30th Ave. He did not have a weapon.

Bestrom was booked into jail on a charge of first-degree robbery.

McMorris Rodgers, Pakootas to debate

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Democratic challenger Joe Pakootas have added a third debate to their campaign schedules, agreeing to a second match-up in Spokane to be held at 4 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Lincoln Center.

The debate, sponsored by Greater Spokane Incorporated, the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce and the West Plains Chamber of Commerce is open to the public, but sponsors are charging $10 per person.

Pakootas had balked at the initial cost and timing of the debate, saying he thought it should be free and take place later in the day, after more people were off work. The price of the tickets dropped but the timing stayed the same. 

“That’s part of compromise,” he said Thursday. “It’s important to the citizens in Spokane to have more debates.”

Pakootas and McMorris Rodgers debated earlier this month in Walla Walla, and are scheduled for an hourlong debate that will air on Oct. 23 on KSPS-TV Channel 7.

Man accused of Facebook threats

A series of threats made in Facebook messages landed a man in the Spokane County Jail Wednesday. Joshua W. Newkirk, 30, allegedly sent the threatening messages, including a hit list, to his girlfriend. Most of the threats were aimed at his ex-wife.

Court documents indicate that Newkirk also is accused of threatening a local attorney and Spokane County Commissioner Michelle Ressa. His girlfriend reportedly became so frightened that she copied the messages and brought them to police.

The messages allegedly said he planned to kill his ex-wife, take their children and leave the country, according to court documents.

He faces one felony count of harassment.

During Newkirk’s court appearance Thursday, Spokane County Superior Court Judge Greg Sypolt called the threats “graphic and disturbing to a reasonable person.”

Ex-state justice Utter dies at 84

OLYMPIA – Former state Supreme Court justice Robert Utter, who served on the high court for 23 years until his opposition of the death penalty led to his resignation, has died at age 84.

The Administrative Office of the Courts announced Thursday that Utter died at his Olympia home Wednesday night. He had been in poor health, a release by the courts said.

Utter was elected to the King County Superior Court in 1964 and was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 1968. He was appointed to the state Supreme Court in 1971.

Utter resigned in 1995 in protest of the court’s handling of death penalty cases.

He is survived by his wife, three children and four grandchildren.

Car theft suspect’s mother testifies

A man accused of breaking into a Buick dealership to steal a car reportedly did it so he could take his mother to Montana to escape the zombie apocalypse.

Tyler A. Goodman, 25, was arrested in front of Becker Buick at 636 E. Sprague Ave. after midnight Thursday in a Chevy Impala that he allegedly drove through a garage door. Goodman allegedly broke a window with a rock to gain entry to the dealership, according to court documents. The Impala had keys in the ignition and he drove it through the door.

A woman who identified herself as Goodman’s mother spoke during Goodman’s court appearance Thursday afternoon. She said Goodman called her and told her that he was being chased by zombies and that he would do whatever it took to save her. She called 911 to report that her son needed to be picked up by police and taken for a mental evaluation.

Police were in the area looking for Goodman when an officer saw the car drive through the door, according to court documents. Damage to the dealership is estimated at $14,000.

Goodman faces charges of first-degree burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and first-degree malicious mischief.

Candidate drops rival from lawsuit

Congressional candidate Clint Didier has dropped his opponent, Dan Newhouse, from a lawsuit alleging misuse of state resources in the campaign.

Didier’s attorney, Stephen Pidgeon, informed U.S. District Court Judge Thomas O. Rice on Thursday of his intention to remove Newhouse from the lawsuit, according to court records. Chris Voigt, executive director of the Washington State Potato Commission, remains a defendant.

The Didier campaign says Voigt used his Potato Commission email and a car used for commission business for campaign-related activities in Grant County this summer.

Voigt maintains the emails were sent using a commercially contracted email account and sent on personal time.

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