Law

Crime
4:02 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Agency will investigate 911 call in Powell fire

The charred rubble of the home where Josh Powell and his two sons were killed Sunday, in Graham, Wash., in what police said appeared to be a deliberately set fire is shown on Tuesday.
The Associated Press

TACOMA, Wash. — A social worker pleaded with a 911 dispatcher throughout a nearly seven-minute call to quickly get police to Josh Powell's house after he locked himself inside with his two sons.

(The un-edited audio of that 911 call is posted above.)

But the dispatcher seemed to have trouble understanding the seriousness of the situation. It took almost two minutes from the start of the call for the dispatcher to learn Powell's address, as the social worker fumbled through paperwork, and more than three minutes to understand that she was there to supervise a child custody visit. Near the end of the call, she asked how long before officers could get there.

The agency that runs the call center said it would review the matter and start a disciplinary investigation if necessary.

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Crime
2:18 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Powell family blames government, bias, media for murder-suicide

Alex Ramirez, 17, brings a balloon to a growing memorial to Charlie and Braden Powell, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, at Carson Elementary School in Puyallup, Wash., where Charlie attended school.
The Associated Press

An uncle and aunt of Josh Powell issued a statement saying there's no justification for the loss of his children, but Maurice and Patti Leach feel "this family tragedy was set into motion from the beginning due in part to the various questionable government agencies' practices, religious bias, the Internet kangaroo courts, and sensationalized news media."

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Law
1:01 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

$151,000 embezzled from Lakewood fallen officers fund

The Treasurer of the Lakewood Police Independent Guild has been arrested for embezzlement.

Skeeter Timothy Manos allegedly diverted $151,000 from a fund intended to benefit the families of four police officers who were killed by gunman Maurice Clemmons in 2009.

Skeeter was arrested this morning at Lakewood City Hall. He’ll appear in Federal Court in Tacoma this afternoon to face ten federal felony charges.

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Medical Marijuana
1:52 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

42 Wash. lawmakers ask DEA to reclassify marijuana

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — More than three dozen Washington state lawmakers are asking the federal government to reclassify marijuana.

In a letter to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on Monday, the lawmakers said they supported Gov. Chris Gregoire's previous request on the issue. Reclassifying marijuana as a Schedule II drug would allow it to be prescribed by doctors and handled by pharmacists.

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Barefoot Bandit
12:32 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Colton Harris-Moore sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison

A federal judge on Friday sentenced "Barefoot Bandit" Colton Harris-Moore to 6 1/2 years in prison for his infamous two-year, international crime spree of break-ins, and boat and plane thefts that ended in 2010.

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Law
10:26 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Prosecutors won’t support bail reform package

Lawmakers are scheduled to take testimony Wednesday on a proposal to overhaul the state’s bail system. But now two key constituencies have yanked their support.

County prosecutors and an organization representing frontline police officers say they will oppose the measure because it doesn’t require defendants put down a minimum amount before bailing out of jail.

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Death penalty
10:17 am
Thu January 26, 2012

End of death penalty in Washington eyed to save money

Annie Capestany, of Walla Walla, Wash., showed her opposition to the death penalty outside the Washington State Penitentiary in 2010 just prior to the execution of Cal Coburn Brown, the state's most recent execution.
The Associated Press

"I clearly wanted him dead. But I got smart."

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are considering a plan to save money by abolishing the death penalty in the state. That idea got a hearing in Olympia.

Karil Klingbeil testified in support of the ban. Her sister, Candy Hemmig, was murdered 30 years ago in Olympia. The killer, Mitchell Rupe was dubbed “the man too fat to hang.” He initially got the death penalty, but after 20 years of appeals, received a life sentence instead.

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Ecoterrorism documentary
4:10 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Film on Earth Liberation Front up for Oscar, raises specter of UW arson and WTO

Thomas M. Hinckley, right, and an unidentified person at left, survey fire damage at the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle, in this May 23, 2001 file photo.
The Associated Press

A documentary on a cell of the radical environmental group that claimed responsibility for the arson that destroyed a University of Washington research facility in 2001 has been nominated for an Oscar.

The documentary’s exploration of the ideology and tactics involved in radical environmental actions and the law enforcement agencies determined to make arrests raises again the intense passions and dramatic consequences surrounding the arson at UW.

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Author Interviews
8:51 am
Tue January 24, 2012

How The Glock Became America's Weapon Of Choice

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 12:09 pm

Today the Glock pistol has become the gun of choice for both criminals and law enforcement in the United States.

In his book Glock: The Rise of America's Gun, Paul Barrett traces how the sleek, high-capacity Austrian weapon found its way into Hollywood films and rap lyrics, not to mention two-thirds of all U.S. police departments.

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Law and order
9:03 am
Mon January 23, 2012

Supreme Court rules police need warrant for GPS tracking

The Supreme Court heard arguments in a case about whether GPS monitoring devices like this one may be affixed to suspects' cars without a warrant from a judge.
Yasir Afifi AP

Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 11:26 am

The Supreme Court has just ruled that police need a warrant if they want to place a tracking device on a suspect's vehicle. The court's decision was unanimous.

NPR's Nina Totenberg says that this debate has been a contentious issue in the digital age. Here's how she explained it to newscaster Paul Brown:

At issue here is the case of Antoine Jones, a Washington, D.C. night club owner. Police put a GPS tracking device on his car for 30 days. That helped authorities find a stash of money and drugs.

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Child prostitution
1:39 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

'Hub' of underage sex ads targeted by Washington lawmakers

Washington state assistant attorney general Jonathan Mark walks past a display of a Backpage.com ad following a news conference about action being taken against the adult services site in August.
Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state lawmakers introduced legislation Monday that would require classified-advertising companies to attempt to verify the age of escorts listed in sex-related postings.

The bill was one of a dozen introduced by a bipartisan group of senators seeking to curb sex trafficking.

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Wrongful conviction
12:30 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

17 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit - should state pay?

Alan Northrop says nerves caused him to fail a lie detector test. After he was picked out of a lineup, the case went to trial and he went to prison for a crime he didn't commit.
Image from YouTube video

Since 2008, four prisoners in Washington State have been exonerated through DNA testing and other evidence. Advocates for granting them compensation say it’s the right thing to do, even in tough budgetary times.

Of the four wrongfully convicted men, Alan Northrop did the most time behind bars. Now that he’s out, he’s trying to put the pieces of his life back together.

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Luggage check
12:33 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Armed at Sea-Tac: TSA finds 2 handguns in carry-on bags

SEATAC, Wash. — Security officers found handguns two straight days at checkpoints at Sea-Tac Airport.

The Transportation Safety Administration says a .22-caliber was found in the carry-on bag Thursday of a man flying to San Francisco. It was loaded with eight rounds, including a bullet in the chamber.

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Law
3:48 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Fire bomb fails to go off at Seattle bank's ATM

Seattle police are checking surveillance video and banking records Friday in an attempt to find the person who left a firebomb under an ATM inside a Chase bank foyer.

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Law
10:45 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Death of Jewish man on Rainier fuels fight over autopsy

Mount Rainier: Scene of a death and a controversy.
Associated Press

TACOMA, Wash. — The death of a 54-year-old Jewish man on a snowy slope on Mount Rainier set the stage for a Pierce County court fight pitting religious belief against scientific certainty.

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