Investigation into attorney’s slaying deepens

SEATTLE – A Justice Department organized-crime prosecutor has been assigned to lead the federal investigation into the slaying of Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas C. Wales.

Joshua Nesbitt, 43, spent several days in Seattle last week being briefed on the case by federal and local detectives before returning to Washington, D.C., on Friday. He is expected to return within a few days, The Seattle Times reported Saturday.

Wales, who specialized in prosecuting white-collar fraud and was also a vocal gun-control advocate, was shot to death at his home in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood Oct. 12. A gunman fired several shots through a basement window into a home office where Wales was working.

Chehalis

Five years for vehicular homicide: A Morton man was sentenced to five years in prison for a single-car accident that killed two of his friends and injured another. Brad Wayne Storm, 21, was sentenced Wednesday in Lewis County Superior Court. A jury convicted him in September of two counts of vehicular homicide and one count of vehicular assault. Storm’s truck crashed off a logging road near Morton on March 24, rolling several times down a steep embankment and striking several large rocks before coming to a rest on its side. Killed were passengers Trevor Nolan Whitlow, 25, of Morton, and JeTaime D. Hall, 19, of Packwood. Another person in the truck, Nadine Jamison, 15, was seriously injured. Storm’s blood-alcohol level after the crash was found to be above the legal limit.

Longview

Child rape sentence: A man convicted of child rape has been sentenced to 26 1/2years in prison.

Jessey Fern Reed, 24, was sentenced Thursday by Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Stephen Warning. He received the maximum time under state sentencing guidelines for one count of rape and two counts of child molestation.

Warning said the evidence showed that Reed sexually assaulted a 9-year-old girl seven times in 1999.

Defense attorney Sam Wardle said Reed was abused as a boy and was a sex-crime victim himself, but he never got the treatment he needed.

Reed was convicted in 1997 of second-degree child molestation.

British Columbia

She can keep the snake: The great snake saga appears to have come to an end after a mother battling to keep the family’s 18-foot pet python and her children signed an agreement with government officials. Kerry-Ann Koop, who owns the 140-pound snake, signed the agreement Thursday night with the British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development. Among other things, the agreement requires Koop, who has six young children, to keep the giant pet inside its habitat with locks and an alarm. When the snake is released from its indoor habitat, there must be two adults present. In addition, when the snake is out of its habitat, a “sharp knife adequate to sever his spine” must be kept close by, the agreement says.

Alaska

Moose takes a swing: Wildlife biologists on the Kenai Peninsula are looking for a moose that dragged off an 18-foot swing set from a Nikiski yard. Parts of the swing have been found but biologists believe the animal is still entangled in ropes and chains. “This moose will be pretty easy to recognize,” said Larry Lewis, a state wildlife technician. In the past, wildlife workers have disentangled moose antlers from tires, garden hoses and Christmas lights.

Oregon

Guilty plea in child’s death: Robert David Walker has pleaded guilty to murdering 5-year-old Tucker Lee Sherman last March after repeatedly assaulting him over several months. Walker, 30, pleaded guilty In a court in The Dalles Thursday to intentional murder and faces a mandatory 25-year prison term with no chance of parole. Sentencing is set for Nov. 8. Tucker Sherman’s mother, 27-year-old Rebecca Michelle Sherman, still faces a charge of manslaughter and is accused of recklessly causing the boy’s death by neglect or maltreatment.

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