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Nine Mile Falls murder suspect's bond set at $500k

Jason Hart, the man suspected of killing his girlfriend and then dumping her remains in a tub full of acid, made his first appearance in court Wednesday afternoon.

Prosecutors asked for $1 million bond for Hart, a military veteran who was on disability and according to witnesses, had been using meth and other drugs. Superior Court Judge James Triplet found that based on the evidence presented Hart had made efforts to conceal the crime scene and it was reasonable to find probable cause for a first degree murder charge, and set his bond at $500,000.

"I'm satisfied that a $500,000 bond is necessary to try to protect the community," Triplet said.

Court documents identified the murder victim as Regan Jolley, who prosecutors said had�moved in with Hart recently. They were introduced several weeks ago and, shortly after meeting, Jolley and her mother, who suffers from dementia, moved in with Hart. He was also reportedly taking care of his father, who also lived in the home.

Detectives: Man threatened children into silence over sexual abuse

Spokane sheriff's detectives say Ronald Whitehall used threats to keep two young relatives from revealing that Whitehall was repeatedly raping them while their mother slept in another room.

Whitehall was so confident that he had brainwashed his victim into keeping his alleged sex assaults a secret, that he even texted her at school detailing his desires for their next encounter.

Detectives say Whitehall sexually abused two of his relatives but that the more vulnerable 13-year-old got the worst of the attacks. What Whitehall didn't count on is that one of the girl's friends wouldn't be afraid to speak up.

In mid-May, she confided in a friend in what was happening and that fellow student walked the alleged victim straight to their school counselor's office.

"I went in and I was talking to a school counselor who was talking to a 13-year-old girl and she had just revealed to her counselor that she had been sexually molested," Spokane Police Officer Marie Rosenthal said.

The teen appeared to have proof of Whitehall's advances in the form of recent texts from the suspect's cell phone.

Cross Home Plate at the Spokane Indians Pennant Run

Cross Home Plate at the Spokane Indians Pennant Run

The Spokane Indians are gearing up the annual 4th of July Pennant Run, and for the second year in a row, runners will cross the finish line on home plate.


The run has both a 5K option and a shorter 1K run for kids 12 and under. Even the little ones can join the fun with the Little Sluggers Dash around the bases with OTTO. Fun activities and snacks will follow the race.


All the proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. The organization provides programs and services to severely injured services as they make the transition between active duty and civilian life.


One dead, suspect in custody in Nine Mile Falls killing

One woman is dead and a suspect has been taken into custody for an early morning homicide in Nine Mile Falls Tuesday.

The sheriff's office received a call at 2:42 a.m. from an individual that said a roommate had killed their girlfriend. The dead woman was later found in a plastic tub filled with acid in a detached garage at the residence, located in the 14800 block of Autumn Lane.

It's not yet known how the woman was killed, but detectives say they believe she was killed Monday and then placed in the acid-filled tub.

"When did this murder take place, where did this murder take place, we don't even know if it took place here at this residence, and obviously we want to find out why. Those are all the investigative questions we have right now," Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Chamberlin said.

Deputies responded in the early morning hours and set up a perimeter and the Spokane Police SWAT Team was called in to assist. The Spokane County Sheriff's Office SWAT team responded later as they were assisting the Washington State Patrol auto theft unit in executing a search warrant earlier in the morning near Newport.

Starbuck guilty of ex-wife's killing

After several hours of deliberations a jury found Clay Starbuck guilty of killing his ex-wife Chanin.

The jury also found aggravating factors in the murder, that he was guilty of sexually violating human remains. The jury did not find that the murder was unusually cruel. Found guilty of murder with at least one aggravating circumstance, Starbuck is now facing a potential life sentence without possibility of parole.

Starbuck's attorney said they will appeal his conviction.

Chanin's mother Melanie Bourcier reacted to the verdict in the hallway outside the courtroom after the hearing, saying that her ex-son-in-law's motivations for killing her daughter were greed, anger and jealousy,

"The death penalty would be too easy. I hope he goes to prison with his kind and gets what he deserves every single day," Bourcier said.

Starbuck was on trial for the Dec. 2011 killing of his ex-wife, Chanin Starbuck. Prosecutors alleged Starbuck broke into his ex-wife's home, waited for her to return, and then strangled her to death. Her body was found lying on her bed and showed signs of being beaten, with bruises from head to foot.

Make Your Garden Bloom at the Friends of Manito Plant Sale

Make Your Garden Bloom at the Friends of Manito Plant Sale

The annual Friends of Manito Spring Plant Sale is this Saturday and will have over 500 plant varieties to make your garden bloom.


The plant sale is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Friends of Manito and they say this year is shaping up to be the best sale to date. For the first time, there will be an edible plant selection featuring blueberry, purple raspberry, blackberry, hard kiwi, alpine strawberry and grape plants.


As always, there will be a large selection of flowers, shrubs and ornamental vines. There is more to the sale than just taking home some of your favorite flowers. There will be demonstrations on how to build retaining walls, garden paths and benches as well as information on what soil to use and how to keep deer from eating all your hard work.


Don't be afraid to bring the kids! Fun activities like making leaf rubbings and paper flowers and caterpillars make the day fun for the whole family.

Detectives arrest man for allegedly raping teen family member

Spokane County Sheriff sex crimes detectives have arrested a man for allegedly sexually abusing a minor family member for the past 18 months.

A Spokane police officer was called to a local middle school for a rape report. When the officer arrived they met with a school counselor, who said that a student reported a family member, Ronald Whitehall, had been abusing her for a year and a half, and had been forcing her to have intercourse nearly nightly since January.

The girl also said Whitehall had been sending her text messages daily, with pornographic images attached, asking for sex. She said she never responded to the messages but he kept sending them anyway.

Whitehall was arrested Monday on charges of child rape, child molestation and communications with a minor for immoral purposes.