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Multiple victims claim they fell victim to online sexual predator

Multiple victims claim they fell victim to online sexual predator

More women are coming forward, five since they beginning of the year, saying they've been a victim to an alleged online predator.

According to court documents multiple victims say 24-year-old Michael McNearney contacts women online, begins a relationship with them and then steals their money. Allegedly he's had a history since 2010 involving at least a dozen women that include charges such as indecent liberties, theft, unlawful imprisonment, fourth-degree assault and second-degree assault.

On Tuesday he was in a Spokane courtroom facing another charge: Second-degree rape.

In March a woman came forward after seeing McNearny's photo on the news. She filed a report back in June of 2012 but didn't know who the suspect was other than his name was Mike. According to court documents she met him on a dating website and agreed to meet at a Spokane bar. She told police McNearney took her back to his home in north Spokane and raped her.

Police reports detail how detectives tracked down suspects in Shorty's death

Police reports detail how detectives tracked down suspects in Shorty's death

Investigative reports released in relation to the killing of WWII veteran Delbert "Shorty" Belton are giving a behind the scenes look at how Spokane Police detectives tracked down the two teens suspected of beating Belton to death.

Detectives painstakingly searched for evidence in Shorty Belton's murder and found surveillance video that put both suspects at the scene.

One of the suspects alleged Belton, 88, was a drug dealer, but the reports indicated the exact opposite of that allegation, that there was nothing inside the man's car or background that suggested he was a drug dealer. In fact, detectives were contacted by one witness who said she heard the "drug dealer alibi" was conjured up by one of the suspects' friends in the hopes of sparing the teens the death penalty.

Belton's death still has all the hallmarks of a non-race related strong armed robbery. Scuff marks on his car show Belton was accosted outside his vehicle, shoved in the back seat and then beaten with fists and perhaps a flashlight, that was broken when police found it.

Planes, pills and piles of cash

Planes, pills and piles of cash

Newly unsealed court documents are revealing new details of a massive drug ring busted in Spokane last year that shows how a group of California gangsters trafficked thousands of OxyContin pills into Spokane every few days on commercial flights.

The Spokane Regional Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Agency executed a series of raids in Spokane in February 2013. At the time, federal prosecutors had the court records sealed, so the only information released was that the drug ring involved OxyContin and that 41 people were arrested. The raid also led to the arrest of Sally Blakely Guthrie, who owns Flamin' Joe's restaurant.

This week, the ringleader of the group pleaded guilty to two federal charges. With that plea, many of the court records were made public. Federal prosecutors say Richard Haynes, aka "Tiny Schoolie," was the leader of the trafficking organization and part of the Eight Trey Gangster Crips, a street gang operating in Spokane and Los Angeles.

Police searching for Lion's Lair shooter

Police searching for Lion's Lair shooter

A bouncer at the Lion's Lair was injured after an early-morning shooting Thursday and now Spokane Police are searching for the two suspects involved in the incident.

The shooting happened just before 2 a.m. outside the Lions Lair bar at Browne and Riverside. According to Spokane police, witnesses said the two men were kicked out of the bar earlier in the evening following a fight.

The men then came back, driving a silver Pontiac Trans Am, and fired multiple rounds at the bar from the sidewalk, targeting the bouncer through the window. At least two rounds hit a window and the bouncer was hit in the leg. He was transported to the hospital for treatment of his injury.

Patrol officers were on the scene in less than two minutes.

"What we found were two bullet holes in [the] front window of the Lion's Lair tavern and one of the employees, a bouncer inside, with a bullet wound to his leg," Spokane Police Lieutenant Dean Sprague said. "Injuries are non-life threatening, he's currently being treated up at the hospital."

The wounded bouncer never lost consciousness and was able to give police a pretty good idea about what had happened.

Defense skips opening statement in Arteaga murder trial

Defense skips opening statement in Arteaga murder trial

Was he a jealous killer or have Spokane County Sheriff's detectives arrested the wrong man? That's the question a jury will have to decide as Dan Arteaga's murder trial got underway Wednesday.

Arteaga stands accused of killing his girlfriend Kim Schmidt on New Year's Eve 2011.

The prosecutors theorize Arteaga was able to sneak up on Schmidt and shoot her at point blank range because he had taken his small caliber pistol and hid it in a woman's sock as he approached the victim.

Detectives collected that sock as evidence and now say it has Arteaga's DNA inside of it, and that was the lead off statement prosecutors told the jury as the trial got underway Wednesday morning.

"He forgot to take the sock," Deputy Prosecutor John Love said.

Tests later confirmed the gun was inside the sock as well as Arteaga's DNA.

Prosecutors say Arteaga shot and killed Schmidt because his long-time lover was rekindling her relationship with the father of her 12-year-old daughter.

"Kim Schmidt said Mr. Arteaga was her friend and he was her friend but not the way he wanted it to be. She was ready to move on. He was not," Love said.

Police see rise in phone scams

Police see rise in phone scams

From the Spokane Police Department:


Over the past weeks, Spokane Police have received several reports of scams involving power companies. Victims have reported receiving a call about an overdue payment from the caller stating they are an employee of the power company, demanding immediate payment. Victims have sent money orders in as payments before realizing the calls was fraudulent.

 

Cracking robberies top priority for Spokane Police

Cracking robberies top priority for Spokane Police

With eight robberies in the last month, cracking those cases and finding the suspects behind them are a top priority for the Spokane Police Department.

The robberies include multiple Subway restaurants, the Yoke's off Indian Trail, Mug Shots coffee stand on Garland and three robberies of Jitterz Hava, which has prompted their employees to start carrying guns.

"We have been working on this all week. It's a top priority for our department right now," Spokane Police Captain Brad Arleth said. "We are looking at the probability that many of these robberies are related."

Police say there are multiple reasons for that theory, including similar suspect descriptions, similar targets and similar methods of operation when the robbery subject comes in and confronts people.

The robbers have been described as tall men in their mid-20s and at almost every robbery displayed a handgun. Detectives say there are things businesses can be doing to better prepare themselves if they are targeted next.