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Cheney couple faces animal cruelty charges

Aug. 18, 2014 8:59 p.m. - Updated: 9:07 p.m.

Prosecutors have filed animal cruelty charges against the Cheney couple who owned multiple animals, including horses and a llama, seized during a search of their property last month.

Terri Marlin, 51, and Thomas Marlin, 53, face multiple animal cruelty criminal counts following an investigation into the conditions at their property at 23239 S. Cross Road in July. Authorities were initially alerted to the couple, who have an extensive history of animal abuse complaints, after several emaciated horses appeared at the Cheney Rodeo Grounds during a wildfire evacuation.

Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Services seized two horses, a llama, eight dogs and six cats from the residence. The Marlins face seventeen criminal counts apiece, including first-degree animal cruelty, second-degree animal cruelty and confining an animal in an unsafe manner, according to a news release from SCRAPS. First-degree animal cruelty is a felony, while the other charges are misdemeanors.

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`Breaking Bad’ spinoff `Better Call Saul’ to debut in February

Aug. 11, 2014 11:41 a.m. - Updated: 11:43 a.m.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — AMC-TV says that “Breaking Bad” spinoff, “Better Call Saul,” will debut in February.

The network recently released a clip of sleazy attorney Saul Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk, arguing about the importance of always having a lawyer. After the clip the word “February” is shown.

Previously, AMC said “Better Call Saul” would premiere in November 2014.

The series will follow Goodman as he defends drug lords, petty criminals and those allegedly injured in minor traffic accidents.

In “Breaking Bad,” Odenkirk played the lawyer of meth lord Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston.

The New Mexico Film Office said in May that “Better Call Saul” would be filmed in Albuquerque.

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Trial for teens accused of killing WWII vet pushed again

Aug. 4, 2014 12:17 p.m. - Updated: 12:31 p.m.

Teenagers Kenan Adams-Kinard and Demetruis Glenn are now scheduled to go before a jury in November for their alleged roles in the August 2013 slaying of 88-year-old World War II veteran Delbert Belton.

Judge Annette Plese delayed the court date in a ruling handed down last month. The teens, now both 17, face murder and robbery charges after their fingerprints were discovered on Belton's car, where he was found severely beaten in the parking lot of an ice rink Aug. 21. Plese signed an order indicating review of investigative materials and negotiations between defense attorneys and prosecutors were ongoing in the case, which made national headlines late last summer.

Adams-Kinard and Glenn have been in custody since their separate arrests a few days after Belton's death. Glenn turned himself in to authorities after surveillance video surfaced of the two teens entering nearby businesses around the time of the alleged beating. Adams-Kinard was apprehended in a basement apartment a few days later, where authorities found a letter they tied to the teen that alleged the beating took place after Belton stiffed Adams-Kinard on a drug deal.

Friends and family of Belton have vehemently denied he dealt drugs.

The order Plese signed calls for the teens to be tried as adults in a juvenile courtroom. It is the third delay in the case. Prior to Plese's order, the jury trial was scheduled to begin today.

 

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Five nominated to Spokane Police Ombudsman Commission

Aug. 1, 2014 12:17 p.m. - Updated: 12:41 p.m.

The five candidates chosen by Spokane Mayor David Condon and the City Council to sit on the Police Ombudsman Commission were revealed today.

According to a statement put out by the mayor's office, the mayor chose Rachel Dolezal, a professor at Eastern Washington University and blogger for local weekly publication, The Inlander, and Kevin Berkompas, a  former Air Force colonel. 

The City Council chose Scott Richter, community indicators project manager at Eastern Washington University, Debra Conklin, pastor at Liberty Park United Methodist Church and Spokane Alliance member, and Adrian Dominguez, a Spokane Regional Health District epidemiologist. Dominguez has also thrown his name in the hat to replace former City Councilman Steve Salvatori, who resigned earlier this year.

The selections still must be approved by the City Council.

 

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Man accused of billing Medicaid for services in Vietnam

July 24, 2014 10:02 p.m. - Updated: 10:07 p.m.

A Spokane man pleaded not guilty this week to charges he stole more than $14,000 in pay and benefits from government programs.

Landon Armani is charged with theft and completing false applications for government assistance after local, state and federal authorities found holes in his story that he’d been caring for his aging Vietnamese mother since August 2012. Investigators say Armani’s mother was not in the United States when the son billed the government for more than $12,000 in services rendered as a Medicaid provider.

Armani told investigators he’d billed for services then sent the money overseas to a health care provider in Vietnam, according to court documents. That practice is outlawed by federal rules, however.

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Trial pushed in ‘Kettle Falls 5’ case

July 23, 2014 2:25 p.m. - Updated: 2:27 p.m.

The controversial federal trial of a marijuana growing co-operative calling themselves the “Kettle Falls 5” has been delayed so that defense attorneys can review new evidence obtained by prosecutors.

U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle granted a continuance of the trial last week. The case, brought by federal prosecutors against five Stevens County residents who say they were legally growing marijuana on property in rural Stevens County to treat medical conditions, could have far-reaching implications for the state’s budding pot industry.

The defendants face several criminal counts that carry mandatory sentences of 10 years in prison. A new trial date has not been set as attorneys review electronic materials they say prosecutors made available to them earlier this month. The trial had originally been scheduled to begin Monday.

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Wanted man flips plain-clothes cop the bird

July 18, 2014 12:58 p.m. - Updated: 1:36 p.m.

A wanted man was jailed earlier this month after he swore at and gave the finger to a plain-clothes sheriff's detective, then struck the detective and ran, according to court documents.

David E. Lee, 22, is in custody at the Geiger Corrections Facility. He faces charges of assaulting a police officer, obstruction and resisting arrest after a series of events around 8 p.m. on July 9 near Mount Spokane High School.

Lee was a passenger in a Chevy sedan that came upon two trucks, one pulled off to the side of North Lowe Road so the driver could take a photo of the sunset, she told investigators. The driver of the sedan sped past the two trucks, at which time Lee yelled profanity and “flipping the finger,” witnesses said. The driver of the second truck, Spokane County Sheriff's detective Shannon McCrillis, pulled the sedan over for a traffic stop.

A woman inside the car told police Lee asked whether McCrillis was a “real cop” because he had warrants out for his arrest. McCrillis said Lee was not compliant with his commands to keep his hands where he could see them during the stop, and when he tried to take Lee into custody on his warrants, the 22-year-old struck the detective with his elbow and ran to the woods nearby.

Police dog Laslo was eventually called in to take Lee into custody. Drug paraphernalia was found in a bag belonging to Lee inside the car, according to police reports.

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Suspected van burner leaves trail of hard lemonade for police

July 17, 2014 3:02 p.m. - Updated: 3:38 p.m.

A 60-year-old Spokane man was arrested on suspicions of arson after investigators found empty cans of Mike's Hard Lemonade at the scene of a scorching van and in the man's vehicle.

Steven Klemz was booked into Spokane County Jail early Thursday morning facing charges of arson and malicious mischief. Police were initially called to a home in the 6900 block of North G Street on Wednesday night around 10 p.m., according to court documents, after a home owner and Stemz got into an argument about yard work. An officer asked Stemz to leave, and he complied.

About two hours later, the home owner called police to say a van outside her home had been set ablaze and the tires of her nearby Chevy sedan slashed. The hoses in the yard had also been cut to prevent her from dousing the flames and the area was soaked in gasoline, she told investigators.

A neighbor reported hearing a bang shortly before midnight, shortly before the fire was reported. The neighbor also reported seeing Klemz in the yard. Found in a van nearby, Klemz denied involvement in the fire, but police found an empty Mike's Hard Lemonade can matching those found near the scene of the cut hoses and an empty gas can near the site of the fires.

Klemz's criminal history in Spokane County includes a burglary conviction in the 1970s, according to court records.

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Police want ‘chronic offender’ to stay in jail

July 12, 2014 8:46 p.m. - Updated: 8:51 p.m.

A Spokane police officer who monitors “chronic offenders” asked a judge this week to help keep a man considered one of the city’s most prolific burglars in jail by setting bail high.

Zachory J. Davis, 22, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of possession of a controlled substance after he was pulled over for driving erratically. Davis was already facing six charges of residential burglary in addition to charges of trafficking in stolen property, possession of stolen property and fourth-degree assault, all from last year.

Officer Kyle Yrigollen said he and his partner in the police department’s Chronic Offender Unit met with Davis eight times to offer him services to help him get out of his life of crime. He got a job, but then failed to show up for an appointment with Yrigollen, and Davis’ employer said he had stopped showing up for work.

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Loud music leads to arrest

June 18, 2014 5:49 p.m. - Updated: 5:51 p.m.

A man who refused to turn his music down after repeated visits from the Spokane Valley Police Department found himself temporarily housed in the Spokane County Jail.

An officer was called to the 1100 block of North University Road around 7:45 p.m. Monday on a noise complaint. The officer reported hearing the music well down the street and feeling the bass in his body, said police spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin. The resident, identified as 27-year-old Zachary Villareal, was less than cooperative and reportedly told the officer “This is the third time you guys have been here. Why don’t you just give me a ticket so I can go back to my music.”

Once Villareal made it clear he had no intention of lowering the volume he was arrested for a violation of the city’s noise ordinance, said Chamberlin.

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