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September 13, 2013 at 9:01 AM
By Gina Cole
Skagit Valley Herald / MCT
MOUNT VERNON — A man accused of burglarizing the Sedro-Woolley Museum naked pleaded not guilty Thursday in Skagit County Superior Court.
Kevin Quinn of Sedro-Woolley is charged with second-degree burglary and taking a motor vehicle without permission.
Museum security footage showed a naked, bleeding man trying to spell out letters with sticks that appeared to be broken off of various items in the museum’s garage.
Quinn, 21, was arrested Sept. 1 after a Sedro-Woolley man told police Quinn stole his Ford F150 pickup. Quinn led sheriff’s deputies to the truck, which was parked at the museum and full of sawdust, according to the affidavit in the case.
The garage to the museum had been broken into, but not the museum itself.
Deputies found beer cans with blood on them that matched some beer cans in the truck. Museum property also had blood on it.
Quinn had a fresh wound on his hand that was still bleeding, according to the affidavit.
Quinn, who has six prior felony convictions, is in the Skagit County Jail with bail set at $25,000.
August 14, 2013 at 11:54 AM
A team of Army prosecutors can remain on the case of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales for his sentencing next week, even after they read documents they weren’t supposed to, a military judge said Wednesday.
Lawyers for Bales, who pleaded guilty to killing 16 Afghan civilians during nighttime raids last year, asked the judge, Col. Jeffery Nance, on Tuesday to dismiss the prosecutors because they had read compelled statements their client gave to Army doctors.
In a brief email Wednesday morning, Nance denied the motion, one of the defense attorneys, John Henry Browne, told The Associated Press. The email offered no reasons for the decision, Browne said.
The issue arose last month after Nance inadvertently sent the prosecutors a six-page, un-redacted document that included statements Bales made to Army psychiatrists. Bales was required to participate in the “sanity review,” aimed at determining whether he was sane at the time of the attacks and whether he was capable of standing trial.
It isn’t clear what the statements concerned, but they are protected by Bales’ Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself, and neither they nor any information derived from them can be used against him during his sentencing.
Because of the difficulty in figuring out whether arguments by prosecutors or testimony by witnesses might have been informed by the protected statements, Bales’ defense team suggested removing the prosecution team from the case and appointing new prosecutors who would have no knowledge of their contents.
That would almost certainly have required the sentencing to be delayed. Bales faces life in prison either with or without the possibility of parole.
During Tuesday’s hearing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle, three substitute prosecutors argued that removing the trial team would be too drastic. Instead, they suggested measures to help ensure that the protected statements don’t make their way into court.
“The Constitution prohibits the use of statements,” said Capt. Chad Fisher. “It doesn’t prohibit disclosure.”
Among the safety measures, he said, was that the government gave the judge a DVD containing the prosecution’s entire case as it existed on July 17 — one day before prosecutors received the compelled statements — along with summaries of what each government witness would testify about at sentencing. If the witnesses or the government vary from those statements, the judge could require the prosecutors to prove that none of the information presented was based on anything Bales told doctors, Fisher said.
Browne said the judge’s ruling would probably require a special hearing to determine whether any of the evidence presented at the sentencing originated from the protected statements.
“The judge is making this unnecessarily complicated,” Browne said.
Bales, an Ohio native and married father of two young children who was on his fourth combat deployment, admitted leaving his post in Kandahar Province before dawn on March 11, 2012, to attack two villages of mud-walled compounds nearby. He pleaded guilty in June in a deal to avoid the death penalty.
March 29, 2013 at 9:54 AM
SPOKANE (AP) — A Spokane jury awarded $813,000 this week to a woman whose foot was amputated following the wrong diagnosis by her physician.
It was the second time a jury heard Darlene Turner’s medical malpractice suit against now-retired Dr. Nathan Stime. The first case, in 2008, was declared a mistrial because of juror misconduct.
The Spokesman-Review reported that Turner first went to Stime in 2004. She alleged that Stime failed to conduct an appropriate physical when he diagnosed her as having terminal cancer. She actually was suffering from pneumonia, which caused her to lapse into a coma and later resulted in the amputation of her left foot.
The jury awarded Turner damages for past and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and for changes to her lifestyle.
September 28, 2012 at 3:04 PM
The Associated Press
TACOMA — The man who operated the wastewater treatment plant in Mount Rainier National Park pleaded guilty today to violating the Clean Water Act in August 2011 when he let hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage run into the Nisqually River.
Plant operator James Barber, 52, pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle.
In agreeing to plead guilty, Barber can’t operate a wastewater facility and is resigning from the Park Service.
He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Richard Creatura in December.
The News Tribune reports Barber was in charge of the plant that handles waste from the Paradise Visitor Center and Paradise Inn.
He wass accused of diverting untreated waste into a drainage ditch in the spring and summer of 2011 after a filter became clogged. Testing found about 200,000 gallons of minimally treated sewage reached the river.
December 19, 2011 at 12:10 PM
The Associated Press
SPOKANE – A federal judge has denied a defense motion to acquit a Spokane police officer who has already been convicted of using excessive force in a case that ultimately led to the death of a mentally ill man.
U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle ruled Monday that a reasonable jury could conclude that Officer Karl Thompson acted willfully in his 2006 confrontation with janitor Otto Zehm.
Thompson’s lawyers had sought the acquittal on grounds there was no evidence that he acted with bad or evil purpose in beating Zehm.
Thompson was convicted by a jury of using excessive force and then lying about it to investigators. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 27.
November 23, 2011 at 3:59 PM
A man who lost his left arm in a 2007 accident at a Kent envelope-manufacturing plant was awarded $4.9 million Wednesday.
The King County jury decided Ken Wessling’s injury occurred because the machine he was using at the time was improperly constructed, making it dangerous to operate, according to a news release from his attorney. It added the company that made the machine, Alabama-based Marathon Equipment Company, knew about problems with it and didn’t do anything about it.
“This was an important verdict for safety of workers in an industrial plant,” said Wessling’s attorney, Jack Connelly. “The manufacturer was not paying attention to known problems with this machine.”
After the injury, Wessling received a prosthetic arm but could not return to his job at the Cenveo Envelope plant. Instead, the 44-year-old went back to school and became a medical technician at Children’s Hospital in Seattle.
It is unclear if Marathon Equipment Company will appeal the verdict. A spokesman for the company did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.
November 16, 2011 at 1:22 PM
Publishers of the yellow pages are taking to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals their legal challenge to a law that allows Seattle residents to opt out of receiving the phone books.
The appeal was filed Monday by Dex Media West, SuperMedia LLC and the Yellow Pages Association (now known as the Local Search Association.)
The companies argue that the Seattle opt-out registry, adopted by the City Council in October 2010, violates their First Amendment rights and unfairly discriminates against their ability to engage in commerce.
A federal judge in June ruled that the opt-out ordinance did not violate the companies’ free speech rights. He further ruled that the benefits to the city in waste reduction, resident privacy and cost recovery outweighed any burdens placed on the publishers’ interstate commerce rights.
The law, believed to be the first of its kind in the country, imposes a 14-cent fee for every book delivered. The companies also can be fined up to $125 if they deliver books to someone who has used a city website to say they don’t want to receive the yellow pages.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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