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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Toothless inmate sues prison over dentures policy

An inmate at the Washington State Penitentiary has filed a federal lawsuit claiming prison officials refused to provide him with dentures after removing all of his rotten teeth, forcing him to live on a diet of soft and blended food. Jimmy de la Mater arrived at the Walla Walla prison in September 2013. Three months later, one of his teeth broke when he bit into an apple, and the prison’s dental staff pulled the rest. But because he would be in prison for less than five years, the lawsuit claims, state officials refused to provide the 42-year-old with dentures.

Prison psychologist earns award for ‘innovative’ programs

WALLA WALLA – Tamara Russell has found the old saying to be true: Big things do come in small packages. In Russell’s universe at Washington State Penitentiary, tiny has proved mighty for prisoners living with mental illness. So much so that Russell was recently named Outstanding Clinician for 2013 by the American Psychological Association.

Inmate hopes for freedom, new relationship with son

A man who has spent more than three years in prison for a murder he maintains he didn’t commit suddenly has hope he might be released and reunited with his son. Jeramie R. Davis, 37, is serving a 40-year sentence for first-degree murder and second-degree burglary in connection with the June 17, 2007, bludgeoning death of a 74-year-old porn shop owner, John Gordon Allen Jr. Now, forensic evidence has led to the arrest of another suspect in the case, Julio R. Davila, 45.

Corrections center staff fear budget cuts will reduce safety

A cold, damp picket line of state prison guards asked for safety and respect Wednesday in Airway Heights. The pickets got an occasional car-honk salute as they called attention to staffing cuts at the Airway Heights Corrections Center.

‘Graphic’ attack likely leaves inmate blind

A violent inmate who tortured and killed his cellmate at the Spokane County Jail six years ago, resulting in a $180,000 settlement by the county, is accused of gouging out another cellmate’s eye at Airway Heights Corrections Center this week. Michael L. West, 34, attacked Chad E. Bolstad, 25, on Sunday night in a cell the men shared with another inmate, officials said Wednesday.

State carries out first execution in nine years

Cal Coburn Brown was executed early today by lethal injection for the rape, torture and murder of a Seattle-area woman in 1991. It was Washington state’s first execution since 2001 and the 78th in the state’s history.

Rapist-killer to be executed Friday as scheduled

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire will not commute the sentence of Cal Brown for the torture, rape and murder of Holly Washa. Brown is scheduled to be executed early Friday by lethal injection, barring action by the U.S. Supreme Court. The state Supreme Court denied a stay of execution by an 8-1 vote Wednesday.

Brown execution set for Friday

The curtain rose to reveal James Homer Elledge, lying strapped to a gurney under a blue blanket. It was just after midnight on Aug. 28, 2001. Elledge, 58, had only minutes to live.

Washington state’s execution team resigns

Four people designated to administer lethal injections to death-row inmates at the Washington State Penitentiary have resigned, apparently worried that their identities could become public in court.