Northwest Briefly: Four boys, one 11, charged in Bellevue robbery

  • Thu Jan 21st, 2010 11:03pm
  • News

BELLEVUE — Four boys, including one just 11 years old, have been charged with first-degree robbery in a Bellevue gas station holdup.

Police spokeswoman Carla Iafrate said the 11-year-old distracted the clerk while his 15-year-old brother got behind the clerk and held a realistic-looking pellet gun to his neck. They got away with about $200 Sunday night. Bellevue police allege the other two boys, also 15, waited across the street and acted as lookouts.

In court documents, Bellevue police officer Sarah Finkel said the 15-year-old accused of holding the pellet gun had talked about robbing a 7-Eleven to get money but the boys decided the clerk at a nearby store was “huge.” Finkel said the youths decided the clerk at the targeted gas station was “a short scrawny guy.”

Tacoma: Convicted judge admits violating conduct rules

A Pierce County Superior Court judge who was convicted of harassment and patronizing a prostitute has agreed he violated rules of judicial conduct.

The News Tribune of Tacoma reports Michael Hecht reached an agreement last week with the state Commission on Judicial Conduct that will allow him to avoid a public hearing.

Hecht resigned in November before he was sentenced to 240 hours of community service and John School. He has appealed the conviction.

In the settlement with the commission, Hecht agreed that he violated canons requiring conduct to preserve the judiciary’s integrity and public confidence.

A commission panel will decide what punishment to recommend to the state Supreme Court.

Seattle: Jury in dispute in ex-deputy’s assault trial

There’s been a dispute among jurors deliberating an assault trial in Seattle for a King County sheriff’s deputy accused of beating a 15-year-old girl in a jail cell.

KING-TV reports the jury foreman sent a letter to the judge Thursday saying that another juror has a 15-year-old daughter and could not be impartial.

King County Superior Court Judge Michael Fox denied requests to dismiss the juror or to declare a mistrial.

Paul Schene is charged with fourth-degree assault for the beating in November 2008 that was captured on video on widely viewed on the Internet.

Schene said he followed training in restraining the car theft suspect after she kicked a shoe at him in a SeaTac City Hall holding cell. He was fired last September from his job as a deputy.

Traps set for two roaming city coyotes

Washington state wildlife agents are trying to trap and kill two coyotes they say have been threatening people in Seattle’s Discovery Park and the nearby Magnolia neighborhood.

State Fish and Wildlife Capt. Bill Hebner said Thursday the decision to trap the animals was made after several residents and park visitors reported two coyotes stalking them and refusing to back away despite efforts to frighten them. Hebner says while many neighborhoods have urban coyotes that may snack on small pets, “these coyotes have lost their natural fear of humans.”

A U.S. Agriculture Department wildlife control agent set two live traps on Wednesday. Hebner says the animals will be euthanized if trapped because coyotes that have lost their fear of humans can’t be successfully relocated.

A coyote grabbed and injured a small dog earlier this month in Magnolia; the dog recovered.

Moses Lake: Urn found in National Guard Humvee

The ashes of a war veteran were found in the back of a Humvee at the National Guard Armory in Moses Lake.

Sgt. Justin Morris was cleaning out the recruiting vehicle this week when he found a velvet, maroon bag with a box inside from the Hennessey-Smith Funeral Home in Spokane.

The funeral home told him the ashes belonged to a man who had a funeral in August.

Morris told The Columbia Basin Herald he suspects a relative left the ashes in the uncovered Humvee for burial.

Morris is returning the ashes to the funeral home. He says it’s common for families not to understand how to arrange military funerals.

Olympia: State looking for ways to rid lake of tiny snails

The state is considering flushing Capitol Lake in Olympia with saltwater from nearby Budd Inlet to get rid of a snail that’s threatening to infest Washington lakes.

The lake has been closed to the public since November to try to halt the spread of New Zealand mudsnails. The tiny snail — dozens can fit on a dime — reproduces rapidly and is easily spread. Wildlife officials warn it might overwhelm the food chain for freshwater fish and other aquatic life.

Environmental and wildlife specialists told a state Senate committee Wednesday that drawing down the lake during a freeze last month killed most of the snails, but with warmer weather that’s not a reliable solution. Another problem, they say, is the state doesn’t have much money for eradication efforts.

Spokane: Sheriff’s deputies seek stolen guns in raids

Sheriff’s deputies raided two Spokane-area homes in search of guns and other items stolen from a collector who was away on vacation.

A large number of weapons were taken in what detectives believe were a series of burglaries at the collector’s home in the Colbert area between mid-December and Jan. 4, when the collector returned home, said sheriff spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan.

Several persons of interest have been identified in the case, but information on possible arrests was not immediately released.

Washington, D.C.: More former Hanford workers eligible for money

The federal Labor Department is notifying all former workers at the Hanford nuclear reservation that they maybe eligible for money if they developed cancer from radiation exposure.

The federal government has agreed to expand automatic compensation of $150,000 and medical coverage to any Hanford worker who developed a qualifying cancer and who worked for at least 250 days from Oct. 1, 1943, through June 30, 1972.

Survivors may also file for compensation.

The action was recommended in October by a federal advisory board. Previously, only workers assigned to specific Hanford areas were eligible for compensation.

From Herald news services