Plea agreement for former Hells Angels member

A former Hells Angels member pleaded guilty to racketeering Monday, admitting his involvement in the killing of one man and the assault and robbery of another.

Last month, after a 10-week trial, a federal jury said it could not decide if Joshua Binder, 31, of North Bend was guilty of murder but did convict him of conspiracy to commit racketeering and attempted interference with commerce through threats and violence.

The jury found three current and former members of the Hells Angels motorcycle club in Spokane guilty of running or conspiring to run an organized crime ring involved in motorcycle theft, extortion and murder.

As part of a plea agreement announced Monday, Binder admitted he took part in the murder of Michael “Santa” Walsh, who was shot to death during a party in rural Snohomish County in 2001.

Binder also admitted taking part in the robbery of an Everett man.

Spokane: Fuel fire damages two businesses

A fire that started in a biodiesel fuel container Monday night badly damaged a fuel business and an adjacent wheelchair transport business in northeast Spokane, fire officials said.

The fire went to three alarms, which meant that virtually every city firefighter on duty turned out before crews got the upper hand.

The blaze started about 5:30 p.m. in a biodiesel container at Whitley Fuel Co., then spread to a truck with two tank trailers, each carrying 5,500 gallons of fuel, Spokane Fire Chief Bobby Williams said.

In addition to Whitley Fuel, an attached business, Wheelchair Transport, was badly damaged.

There were no reports of injuries. The fire prompted a neighborhood evacuation and also drew thousands of bystanders. At the peak of the blaze, a plume of black smoke was visible throughout Spokane.

Mount Vernon: Man on most-wanted list jailed

A man on the Washington State Patrol’s most-wanted list has been returned to this state after being arrested in New Mexico, authorities said Monday.

Terry Ellingson was booked into the Skagit County Jail on a vehicular assault charge earlier this month, the State Patrol said.

Ellingson was involved in a crash on State Route 20 near Concrete in October 2004. A 57-year-old woman had to swerve out of the way to avoid Ellingson and struck a power pole.

Investigators believe Ellingson was under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the time of the crash.

Ellingson was booked into jail that day and later released. He failed to appear for court on April 28, 2006.

B.C.: Bear blamed for woman’s death

A mountain biker was found dead in southeastern British Columbia, apparently after being attacked by a black bear, and in a separate incident a grizzly protecting her cubs charged two bicyclists, authorities said.

The 34-year-old woman was reported missing Saturday night and was found dead Sunday on a trail near the Panorama Ski Resort near the Alberta boundary, Paul Visentin, a British Columbia conservation officer, told Global TV.

A bear was “right where the body was recovered, as though it was guarding the site, which would indicate to me that the bear had preyed upon this person or obviously was trying to claim ownership,” Visentin said.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police shot the bear.

To the east, in Banff National Park, two bicyclists escaped with minor injuries after being charged by a grizzly protecting her cubs Sunday on the trail near Lake Minnewanka. The trail was later closed.

Associated Press

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