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September 26, 2013 at 9:13 AM
The state Supreme Court this morning upheld the death penalty in the case of Dayva Cross, who killed his wife and two of her daughters in Snoqualmie in 1999.
Cross’ case is still winding its way through the courts on a number of appeals, but one particular issue, whether a defendant can be condemned to death after entering an Alford plea, was resolved unanimously by the state high court. In an Alford plea a defendant concedes there is sufficient evidence to support a conviction, but they are not directly acknowledging guilt.
“We hold that a capital sentence can be predicated on an Alford plea and deny that portion of his personal restraint petition,” Justice Tom Chambers wrote, adding that Cross’s separate appeals will be resolved in other opinions.
Chambers added that a “careful review of the record reveals that Cross’s Alford plea was a calculated one.”
“It likely avoided having all the gruesome details of the murders presented to the jurors at the guilt phase and preserved his ability to argue at the penalty phase of the trial that he killed the three women without premeditation or a common scheme or plan. Unfortunately for Cross his tactic did not work.”
Cross, who had a history of mental illness, stabbed his wife, Anouchka Baldwin, 37, and her daughters, Salome Holly, 18, and Amanda Baldwin, 15, in March 1999. Cross then kept another daughter confined at knife point for five hours while he drank wine and watched television. He was arrested without incident after the surviving girl escaped and called police.
In October 2000, Cross told King County Superior Court Judge Joan DuBuque “I don’t see any reason for a trial, because I’d tell a jury from the start that I’m guilty.”
He added that he wanted to take responsibility for what he had done.
In June 2001, Cross was sentenced to death.
Among Cross’s appeals already dismissed by the Supreme Court was his argument that the state’s death penalty is unconstitutional. Cross pointed specifically to Green River Killer Gary Ridgway, who in 2004 pleaded guilty to 48 counts of murder and was sentenced to life in prison in a deal that helped prosecutors close several of his unsolved murders.
In February 2011, Ridgway pleaded guilty to a 49th homicide.
The majority of justices said Cross’ sentence could not be judged only in comparison with that of Ridgway.
September 19, 2013 at 8:05 AM
Weather: Nice today, in the mid-70s. The forecast for the next few days.
Hiroshi Yamauchi: The Mariners’ majority owner and the patriarch of Nintendo Corp. has died in Japan. He was 85. Yamauchi held a 55 percent stake in the baseball team he bought in 1992, along with a group of minority investors from the Seattle area. Read more from Seattle Times Mariners reporter Geoff Baker.
Starbucks asks that you leave the guns at home: The coffee giant says guns aren’t welcome in its stores, but isn’t banning them outright. The gun issue has hounded Starbucks since the company said in 2010 it adheres to laws in states where it operates — permitting guns in states with open-carry laws and prohibiting them where such laws don’t exist. Open-carry activists have staged “Starbucks Appreciation Days,” and those on the other side of the debate have staged Saturday boycotts. The company is running ads in some major newspapers today, explaining that Starbucks has been used as a political stage, and guns in stores make customers uneasy. Read about CEO Howard Schultz’s reasoning, and the reaction to the latest announcement.
Overnight shootings: A King County sheriff’s deputy is on leave after shooting and wounding a man who authorities say tried to hit her with a van in the Snoqualmie area. In Seatac, two men in a car were shot and seriously wounded. No arrests have been made, and the sheriff’s office says it is not known if the shooting was random or the men were targeted.
Sports: Mariners win with pitching — and hitting! — in Detroit, while the Seahawks work to reduce those pesky penalties as they prepare for Sunday’s game against Jacksonville. Seriously, don’t gloat about the team yet. Seattle is 13th among 16 teams in the NFC and 23rd in the NFL in penalty yards per game at 330, writes Seahawks reporter Bob Condotta.
Most-read stories on seattletimes.com:
- Giant red ‘R’ will light up Seattle’s skyline again
- Earl Thomas is stepping it up
- Seattle redraws school maps to ease overcrowding
- ‘Jetsons’ in vogue for Husky defense
- Seattle stabbing suspect had been sent to Calif. mental hospital
Memo light: Tundra | By Chad Carpenter
September 19, 2013 at 6:24 AM
A King County sheriff’s deputy shot and wounded a man early Thursday in Snoqualmie after officials say the man tried to hit the deputy with his van. The deputy was not hurt.
The 35-year-old man, from Snoqualmie, was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with a gunshot wound to the head. Authorities said the injury was not life-threatening.
The sheriff’s office said the man is well-known to deputies in the Snoqualmie area. A deputy tried to arrest the man, who was naked, on outstanding warrants, and he took off in the van. Deputies pursued him, but called off the chase as it was headed to a heavily forested area, according to Sgt. Cindi West, sheriff’s office spokeswoman.
Early Thursday, two deputies found the van at Southeast Reinig Road and 428th Avenue Southeast. As they approached, they saw the man inside, and according to West, he drove toward one of the deputies, who fired at least one shot at the driver at about 2 a.m. The man crashed the van about 50 feet away.
The deputy, a seven-year veteran, has been placed on administrative leave, standard practice after a shooting.
January 19, 2013 at 9:31 AM
A woman described by police as suicidal was arrested last night for investigation of DUI after she crashed her car in Snoqualmie, according to Issaquah police.
Police responded to a business in the 22500 block of Southeast 64th Place in Issaquah just after 7:30 p.m. after the 31-year-old woman made suicidal threats to her therapist. When officers tried to talk to the woman she refused to cooperate and drove off recklessly east on Interstate 90, police said.
The woman struck a guardrail as she exited I-90 in Snoqualmie and her car ended up in a wooded area, police said.
The woman was arrested for investigation of DUI by the State Patrol. Issaquah police will also seek charges of reckless driving and failure to obey a police officer.
January 7, 2013 at 7:54 AM
The “s” word – snow – has crept into the forecast again, but not in a huge way.
A cold front moving in Wednesday evening could drop the snow level well below 1,000 feet, producing a dusting or more around Puget Sound.
“Maybe the tops of the higher hills could get an inch or two,” said Danny Mercer of the Weather Service, “places like the Cascade foothills, the Issaquah Highlands or the top of Queen Anne.”
In the meantime, snow is staying where it belongs – in the mountains. Heavy snow, as much as 18 inches, could fall in the passes today and tonight. Traffic on Interstate 90 across Snoqualmie Pass could be particularly difficult during the day today, as a coat of ice forms on top of compact snow.
Today and Tuesday are forecast to be wet all around Western Washington, with an 80 percent chance of rain in the Seattle area today (make that 100 percent if you’re already wet) and a 90 percent chance Tuesday.
November 15, 2012 at 10:16 AM
A 61-year-old Snoqualmie woman was arrested last night after she inexplicably fired numerous gunshots from her driveway, police said.
Snoqualmie police received several 911 calls reporting gunshots from the 8500 block of Falls Avenue Southeast just after 11 p.m. With King County sheriff’s deputies assisting by blocking off surrounding streets, Snoqualmie police responded to the home where the gunshots were being fired and found an armed woman in her driveway, police said.
After several attempts, officers convinced the woman to drop her handgun. She was arrested and booked into the King County Jail on several charges, police said.
No one was injured by the gunplay.
The woman’s home has been secured and police are seeking a search warrant to have a look inside.
November 7, 2012 at 9:45 PM
The Associated Press
NORTH BEND – A North Bend-area burglary that netted a .357 magnum handgun and a checkbook led to one quick arrest in Snoqualmie and a high-speed escape attempt along Interstate 90 before a second person surrendered.
King County sheriff’s Sgt. Cindi West says the elderly victims reported Tuesday’s burglary to officers and quickly alerted their bank. While a sergeant was still at the home, the bank advised that someone was trying to cash a stolen check at a Snoqualmie grocery store. Police there quickly arrested a woman with the stolen checkbook but a male accomplice took off in a car when officers tried to stop him.
The fleeing driver avoided spike strips and raced west along I-90 at speeds of 90 mph before finally pulling over on Interstate 405. The sheriff’s helicopter helped track the speeding car.
West says two Renton residents were booked into jail for investigation of burglary, theft, forgery and gun theft.
September 23, 2012 at 6:16 AM
Six boys serving time a state juvenile detention center in Snoqualmie were arrested this morning after authorities say they planned a violent escape that left a staff member at the facility injured and police searching for them in the woods.
A female staff member at Echo Glen Children’s Center was found unconscious around 11:30 p.m. last night, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Cindi West. Witnesses told investigators that the staff member was beaten with a bottle filled with frozen water, West added.
After the assault, the suspected attackers, ages 14 and 15, took the staff member’s keys and radio. The staff member was found unconscious in a locked room, authorities said.
“She was unconscious and some other kids [at the facility] found her. They called for help,” West said. “It definitely appears this was planned. The detective on the scene said when they found the boys they had their packed bags with them.”
The sheriff’s office, the Washington State Patrol and Snoqualmie police were brought in to search for the boys and investigate, West said. The sheriff’s office helicopter searched the area near the facility, 33010 SE 99th Street in Snoqualmie, and located the six boys.
West said that when the boys were spotted by authorities in a wooded area they broke into three groups of two and ran in different directions. Deputies from the sheriff’s K-9 unit used their dogs to find the boys in the woods; several of the teenagers were bitten, West added.
One of the boys is at Harborview Medical Center, in Seattle, being treated for dog bites. He is expected to join the other five at the King County Youth Service Center. The six will be held at the Seattle juvenile jail for investigation of second-degree assault, unlawful imprisonment and escape, West said.
Three of the youths are 14, the other three are 15. The majority of them were at Echo Glen for assault and firearms convictions, West said.
The staff member who was hurt in the assault is expected to recover, West said.
According to the Department of Social and Health Services, Echo Glen is a medium/maximum security facility that is not fenced, but bordered by natural wetlands. The facility houses younger male offenders and juvenile female offenders.
Echo Glen is part of the state’s Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, which is part of the Department of Social and Health Services.
April 13, 2012 at 7:24 PM
The Associated Press
SNOQUALMIE — A 3-year-old ewe in Snoqualmie has done something that rarely happens: she gave birth to a litter of seven lambs.
Colleen Peck’s Finnsheep ewe, Trina, gave birth to the unusually large brood at the end of March. Trina and the four little males and three females are healthy.
American Finnsheep Breeders’ Association acting secretary Herb Tucker says such a feat has only been recorded twice in the United States. He says the all-time record is nine, but that happened in Finland, where the Finnsheep originate.
Peck says Finnsheep are known for having three or four lambs at a time, but she was surprised when the lambs kept popping out of Trina.
Peck keeps her as pets but sells their wool occasionally.
March 14, 2012 at 6:06 AM
The Associated Press
Forecasters have issued a winter storm warning for the Cascades for today and tomorrow that could bring a lot of snow to the mountains.
Snoqualmie and Stevens passes could see 1 to 2 feet of fresh snow by Thursday evening, according to the National Weather Service.
Accumulations of 2 to 3 feet are expected above 4,500 feet in the Cascades.
Forecasters also expect snow Wednesday along the Hood Canal, the east slopes of the Cascades and the mountains of Eastern Washington.
The Weather Service says the pattern of cool showery weather is likely to continue in Washington for the rest of winter, at least.
Spring starts on Tuesday — on the calendar, anyway.
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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