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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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July 1 start date sought for Montana crime victim rights law

The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana and representatives of city and county governments on Friday asked the state Supreme Court to declare that a voter-passed initiative establishing crime victims’ rights should not go into effect until July 1.

Bill would allow law officers to testify for victims without a supporter

OLYMPIA – By the time Arlene Roberts’ killer came up for sentencing, the 80-year-old woman had been dead for more than three decades, and no friends or relatives were left to speak for her in a right Washington guarantees to victims and their families. So King County sheriff’s Detective Scott Tompkins, who cracked the “cold case” in 2010 by tracking a fingerprint left at the scene to Ronald Wayne MacDonald, spoke. He argued that MacDonald, who accepted a plea bargain to second-degree manslaughter to avoid a trial on first-degree murder, should get a stiffer sentence than the agreement stated. Roberts was strangled with a blouse and a hairnet, and died “a horrific death,” he said, producing photos from the crime scene in the elderly widow’s trailer.