Crime

Pullman serial rapist sentenced to life in prison

PULLMAN, Wash. — A serial rapist who committed crimes across Pullman nearly 20 years ago will spend his life in prison. Kenneth Downing was arrested at a Spokane job site earlier this year. He pleaded guilty to four counts of first-degree rape and one count of second-degree assault with sexual motivation in July. Downing committed his crimes between 2003 and…

Freeman High School shooter sentenced to 40 years

SPOKANE, Wash. — Freeman High School shooter Caleb Sharpe will spend 40 years in prison. Judge Michael Price handed down the sentence Friday, nearly five years after the shooting. Caleb Shape opened fire at the rural high school in September 2017, killing 15-year-old Sam Strahan and injuring three girls. For the past week, doctors, witnesses, Sharpe’s family and victims have…

Kennewick apartment building, vehicle struck by bullets

KENNEWICK, Wash. — A vehicle and apartment building were struck by bullets early Friday morning, Aug. 19.   Kennewick Police Department officers were dispatched to the 1100 block of West 10th Avenue shortly after midnight for a weapons complaint.  …

Burned body launches homicide investigation in Wapato

WAPATO - Authorities with the Yakama Nation Tribal Police and the FBI have launched a homicide investigation after a man's body was found in Wapato. Authorities were called to the 100 block of Progressive Road after a burned body was…

Ex-judge gets 15 months for sex assault against co-workers

A former judge in southeastern Washington state who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two former court employees over several years was sentenced to 15 months in prison. The Lewiston Tribune reports Spokane County Judge Michael Price sentenced Scott Gallina last month. Price handed down his decision after listening to statements from a victim, the former judge, Gallina’s wife and daughter, and attorneys for the state and defendant. The sentencing range was 13 to 27 months in prison. In April, Gallina pleaded guilty to third-degree assault with sexual motivation, a felony, and fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation, a gross misdemeanor.

Ellensburg man among Patriot Front members to plead not guilty in Coeur d'Alene

Four more members of the white nationalist hate group Patriot Front pleaded not guilty in Coeur d’Alene to misdemeanor charges of conspiracy to riot. The men are among the 31 Patriot Front members accused of planning to violently disrupt a Pride celebration on June 11 in Coeur d’Alene City Park. Those who appeared Monday before Judge Mayli Walsh via Zoom were Devin Center of Fayetteville, Arkansas, James Johnson of Concrete, Washington and Lawrence Norman of Prospect, Oregon. Spencer Simpson of Ellensburg, Washington, appeared in person. He is the only Patriot Front member so far to appear physically in a Kootenai County courtroom.

Canadian trucker sentenced for smuggling $2.5M of meth from Washington

A Canadian trucker was sentenced to four years in prison for smuggling more than $2.5 million of methamphetamine from the U.S. into Canada through a Whatcom County border crossing. Sarbjit Chahal of Surrey, British Columbia, was arrested in 2018 at the Pacific Highway Border Crossing in Blaine after a Canada Border Services Agency screening of his Canada-bound semi truck uncovered 33 kilograms of methamphetamine hidden in the driver’s cabin. At his 2021 trial, Chahal twice took the stand in his own defense and claimed that he committed the crimes after receiving death threats from an individual that asked him to act as a drug courier.

OR man who kidnapped WA woman sentenced to 10 years in prison

An Oregon man who at knifepoint kidnapped a Washington woman with whom he had previously been in a relationship has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. The U.S. Attorney's Office — District of Oregon says 61-year-old James Cooley of Rainier was sentenced Monday after previously pleading guilty to kidnapping. Court documents say on May 18, 2020, Cooley traveled from his home to the woman's home in Ilwaco, Washington, approached her, tied her hands with zip ties and dragged her to his vehicle. Documents say he shoved her into the backseat and drove to Rainier while threatening to kill her. His sister saw them in Rainier and called police, who arrested him.