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Monday, September 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Man who claimed self-defense sentenced to 10 years in West Central killing

A Spokane man who fatally stabbed a man during a fight last fall will spend a little over 10 years in prison.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Michael Price sentenced Michael Gehrke, 33, to 124 months in prison last week after a jury found Gehrke guilty of manslaughter in February.

Gehrke stabbed Christopher Piñeyro, 35, on Sept. 4, 2015 in the 1500-block of North Adams Street. He told police he had previously warned Piñeyro to stay away from him because he knew Piñeyro had kidnapped and raped a 16-year-old girl, court documents say.

Piñeyro was charged with rape and kidnapping in 2013 and later served nine months in jail after pleading guilty to domestic violence assault.

Gehrke’s attorneys argued he acted in self-defense at trial and said Piñeyro initiated the fight by swinging a hammer at Gehrke. Prosecutors argued Gehrke was the aggressor, relying on witnesses who saw him get out of a car and pull Piñeyro off a bike.

Gehrke’s sentence includes a two-year enhancement for using a deadly weapon. Restitution will be determined at a later date.

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