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

2nd suspect charged with murder for killing at Mead homeless camp

A second man was arrested and charged with murder Tuesday for the killing of James H. Peterson, 41, at a homeless camp in Mead last weekend.

Pierre D. Rhodes, 22, was charged with first-degree murder after witnesses reported Rhodes had stored a stolen bike, believed to be the victim’s, in his garage.

Suspect Robert J. Tolliver, 37, was arrested and charged with murder for Peterson’s killing earlier this week.

Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a report of a dead body Saturday at a homeless camp at the intersection of Farwell Road and Newport Highway. The witness who reported the crime told deputies that Peterson’s red-and-white bike was recently stolen.

Another witness told police that day that Rhodes brought a red-and-white bike to his house and asked the witness to “do something” with the bike, according to court records. The witness then stored the bike in his garage.

Tolliver told police he suspected the victim had stolen bike parts from him and that the pair got in a fight over the stolen parts months prior to his death. Tolliver said he had not been to the victim’s camp since that fight.

Tolliver told police that he and Rhodes planned to confront the victim over the weekend because they suspected him of stealing from their mutual friend, but Tolliver said he backed out.

Rhodes was arrested and charged with second-degree assault with a deadly weapon in June. That case is still pending. Rhodes prior convictions include third-degree assault and criminal mischief with a weapon.

Rhodes is being held in Spokane County Jail on a $1 million bond.