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Thursday, October 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Henrikson murder-for-hire trial moved

The trial of James Henrikson, the man accused of ordering the murder of businessman Doug Carlile in his South Hill home in December 2013, will take place in Richland, a federal judge ordered Thursday. Henrikson’s attorneys said media coverage has been “ongoing and constant” since Carlile was shot and killed and argued the publicity would make a fair trial in Spokane impossible.

Prison term ordered in gun case

A man who has already spent about a third of his life behind bars was sent back for another 15 ½ years after he pleaded guilty Tuesday to a gun possession charge in connection with a double shooting in January. The incident was one of a spate of gang-related shootings earlier this year in Spokane.

Feds oppose delays to Thompson’s prison term

Federal prosecutors appear to be growing frustrated with the ongoing delays that have kept convicted Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. out of prison. Eight months have passed since a jury convicted Thompson of using excessive force and lying to investigators in the 2006 fatal confrontation with Otto Zehm, an unarmed janitor errantly implicated in a possible theft. But court-ordered delays have postponed sentencing indefinitely as he seeks a new trial.

Arson suspect remains jailed

A pro football player who claims God told him to start a fire at his apartment complex in Liberty Lake will remain in jail amid concerns about his mental health. Kevin Marcus Ellison, 25, who was dismissed from the Spokane Shock arena football team after his arrest June 14, repeatedly claimed to be Jesus Christ, Assistant U.S. Attorney Aine Ahmed said.

Transcripts reveal officers were given three days to file Zehm report

Newly released documents show Spokane police officers involved in the deadly altercation with Otto Zehm were given three days to think about the incident before writing reports detailing the 2006 encounter, and when they were asked to file reports, did so in a group with the aid of an attorney hired by their union. The transcripts of grand jury testimony that remained secret for three years provide previously undisclosed details of how the Spokane Police Department managed the criminal investigation into the deadly confrontation with the 36-year-old, mentally ill janitor – an investigation that one high-ranking U.S. Justice Department official has said amounted to a cover-up.

Feds dispute misconduct allegations in Zehm case

The U.S. attorney’s office on Friday said allegations of prosecutorial misconduct by a forensic videographer – charges that have indefinitely stalled the sentencing of former Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. – are meritless and claimed the man lied about how he first became involved in the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aine Ahmed filed scores of pages Friday detailing the pretrial and post-trial dealings with forensic video expert Grant Fredericks, who approached U.S. District Judge Fred Van Sickle with concerns only after a jury convicted Thompson in November of using excessive force and lying to investigators to cover up the fatal 2006 confrontation with Otto Zehm.

Feds: Misconduct claims in Zehm trial meritless

The forensic videographer, whose allegations of prosecutorial misconduct have indefinitely stalled the sentencing of former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson, Jr., is depicted in new court documents as an attention-seeking police apologist who lied to federal investigators and whose misguided concerns of prosecutorial misconduct are meritless.

New federal judge hit bench running

Within a couple hours of the U.S. Senate’s approval of Thomas Rice’s appointment as a federal judge last week, Rice was whisked into a courtroom and sworn in to serve the lifetime appointment. “I ran upstairs and had an impromptu swearing-in on (March 8) by Judge Frem Nielsen,” he said.

Juror: Zehm reports moot

The forewoman of the jury that convicted Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. said none of the jurors brought information to deliberations that they picked up from media reports, as alleged by defense attorneys seeking a new trial. Diane Riley, 57, of Ellensburg, contacted The Spokesman-Review Monday to voice her concerns about allegations that jurors may have been exposed to television reports indicating Otto Zehm was mentally ill.

Police trainer says Thompson had no reason for using force against Zehm

YAKIMA – Had the fatal confrontation with Otto Zehm been a mock scenario used in training, Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. would have failed, a use-of-force expert testified Monday. Robert Bragg, who directs use-of-force training for all police recruits at Washington’s police academy, said Thompson violated his training and had no reason to immediately begin striking Otto Zehm with a baton on March 18, 2006.

Judge questions plea deal for Hells Angels member

Hells Angels sergeant-at-arms Ricky W. Jenks pleaded guilty Wednesday to being a felon possessing a firearm, but the federal judge handling the case said he wants more time before accepting the plea that calls for two years in prison. U.S. District Judge Justin Quackenbush questioned why federal prosecutors accepted the agreement for only two years in prison when Jenks faced twice that prison time had the case proceeded to trial.

Plea deal in Hells Angel drug case

A member of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang pleaded guilty Friday to charges that he conspired to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and grow more than 100 marijuana plants. Michael R. Fitzpatrick, 33, was arrested on March 3, the same day federal agents raided the purported Hells Angels clubhouse at 1308 E. Sprague Ave. and arrested Ricky W. Jenks, sergeant-at-arms for the Hells Angels' Washington chapter.

Hells Angels member pleads guilty to drug charges

A member of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang pleaded guilty today to charges that he conspired to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and grow more than 100 marijuana plants. Michael R. Fitzpatrick, 33, was arrested on March 3, the same day federal agents raided the purported Hells Angels clubhouse at 1308 E. Sprague Ave. and arrested Ricky W. Jenks, sergeant-at-arms for the Hells Angels' Washington chapter.

Valley man sentenced for scrap metal scheme

A Spokane Valley businessman, who converted scrap metal stolen by drug addicts into a cash fortune and a stable of exotic sports cars before being raided by the FBI, was ordered Thursday to forfeit $1.55 million as part of an agreement that avoids prison time. Craig A. Dickson, 46, received a sentence of four years of probation, including one year of home confinement, at a sentencing hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Edward Shea.

Businessman dealt with stolen metals, hid transactions

A Spokane Valley businessman pleaded guilty Wednesday to several counts of hiding financial transactions concerning the sale of stolen metals and agreed to forfeit about $1.4 million in cash, property and vehicles purchased with proceeds of the illegal transactions. Craig A. Dickson entered a plea agreement before U.S. District Court Judge Edward Shea at a hearing in Richland. Dickson, owner of Dickson Iron and Metal, 907 N. Dyer Road, pleaded guilty to seven counts of structuring financial transactions to avoid reporting requirements and one count of conspiracy to commit the same offense.