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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane County Superior Court may have new judge

Early election results Tuesday night showed Judge Greg Sypolt, who’s been in office since 1996, losing to challenger Tim Fennessy, a civil attorney. Judge Linda Tompkins held on to her seat by a comfortable margin against challenger Ward Andrews.

In race for Spokane County judge, Linda Tompkins cites experience, challenger Ward Andrews points to obscure report

An attorney challenging an incumbent judge in the November election is highlighting an obscure 2015 report showing how often attorneys request different judges to hear their cases. Civil attorney Ward Andrews is vying for the position held by Superior Court Judge Linda Tompkins. Since her appointment in 1997 voters have given her several terms on the bench, usually in unopposed elections.

Daiquiri Factory owner loses appeal of eviction

The owner of a controversial bar that closed last month after it was evicted lost an appeal on Thursday to reopen the downtown business. Spokane Superior Court Judge Linda Tompkins denied Jamie Pendleton’s appeal to restore the tenancy of his Spokane Downtown Daiquiri Factory on Wall Street. Tompkins upheld the orders that evicted Pendleton and his business last month following controversy over one of the bar’s drink names, “Date Grape Koolaid.”

Love, multiplied: Local families expand on National Adoption Day

Robert and Tammy Fritz love children. So much so that they’ve fostered 28 children over the last four years and adopted two, in addition to their two biological children. On Friday, they finalized the adoption of their family’s newest arrival, a 17-month-old boy named Jay, in Spokane County Superior Court.

Bar owner pleads guilty to fatal crash

Wiping tears and looking away as his victim’s family spoke, a Spokane Valley bar owner pleaded guilty today to vehicular homicide after he drove drunk and fatally struck a bicyclist in 2010.

Hung jury focused on pot-smoking drivers

A second jury in nine months failed to agree on whether a Deer Park man’s marijuana use caused a fatal crash, highlighting the lack of accepted legal standards for when motorists should be considered too stoned to drive. A Spokane County jury deliberated about seven hours before announcing the impasse Tuesday in the vehicular homicide trial of Jonathon P. Bales, 22, who caused the crash on July 26, 2010, that killed 54-year-old Rene Blaume. Verdicts require unanimous decisions.

Murder conviction in road-rage case tossed out

A man who shot a retired teacher to death in a 2002 road-rage case had his first-degree murder conviction overturned. Christopher W. Conklin was improperly denied an opportunity to withdraw his guilty plea, the Washington Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

Juror’s suspicion breaks case open

A Spokane woman never imagined that serving on the jury of a prolific burglar would solve her burglary, as well. “In all my time as a prosecutor, that’s the first time I had a juror solve her own case,” Deputy Prosecutor Bob Sargent said. “What are the odds of picking a jury and picking a gal who is a victim of the defendant but doesn’t know it? Then she gets a suspicion that is correct.”

Jury duty brings closure to crime victim

A Spokane woman never imagined that serving on the jury of a prolific burglar would solve her burglary, as well. “In all my time as a prosecutor, that’s the first time I had a juror solve her own case,” Deputy Prosecutor Bob Sargent said. “What are the odds of picking a jury and picking a gal who is a victim of the defendant but doesn’t know it? Then she gets a suspicion that is correct.”

Mother’s suit faces challenges

Kathleen Smith was a sweet, 52-year-old woman whose body aged but her mind did not. She lived in state care from age 14 until her death at the Lakeland Village Nursing Facility in Medical Lake in 2006. Smith drowned after she was left unattended in a bathtub despite having a seizure disorder that required arm’s-length supervision at all times.