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Prosecutors rest case against murder suspect Dan Arteaga

Prosecutors rest case against murder suspect Dan Arteaga

Prosecutors rested their case Tuesday in the murder trial of Daniel Arteaga, suspected of killing his girlfriend Kim Schmidt on New Year's Eve 2011, but not before playing the jury videotaped excerpts of his interrogation.

Arteaga has been sticking to his story even during that two-hour interrogation where detectives overstated the amount of evidence they had that allegedly tied Arteaga to the crime scene.

It wasn't until eight months after Schmidt was found shot to death in her bedroom that detectives confronted Arteaga about the killing. A video tape was made during Arteaga's August 12, 2012 interrogation just before he was arrested.

Arteaga was Schmidt's lover and a suspect in her death from day one, however he bent over backwards to cooperate with investigations and even agreed to an interrogation without the benefit of an attorney. An hour into the interrogation the detective then revealed evidence tied Arteaga to the murder scene after the fatal shot was fired.

Detective Mike Drapeau then gave Arteaga the impression he'd found the victim's blood on something belonging to Arteaga.

Police investigate second armed drive-thru robbery in two nights

A second fast food restaurant drive-thru window was targeted by an armed robber Wednesday night, making it the second in two days. This time the robbery targeted a Wendy's in the 9000 block of N. Newport Highway.

Spokane Police responded to the scene just before 9:30 pm. Investigators say the suspect walked up between the drive-thru window and a car and displayed a black handgun before reaching in through the window and grabbing the entire money tray out of the register and fleeing with an undisclosed amount of money.

Police quickly set up a perimeter, but neither officers nor a K9 unit were able to find the suspect.

There are many similarities between this robbery and the first drive-thru robbery Monday night at a McDonald's on Monroe and Francis, but police are not confirming that it was the same suspect.

The suspect is described as a white male in his 20's, about 5'10" and 160 pounds. He was wearing a grey knit cap and a grey and blue plaid jacket.

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.

Armed robbery at north Spokane McDonald's

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office is investigating an armed robbery at a north Spokane McDonald's on Monroe and Francis Tuesday night.

Investigators say the suspect approached the drive-thru window on foot while the cashier was with a customer. He displayed a black revolver, then reached in and grabbed the money tray out of the open register.

The suspect was last seen headed eastbound on foot, but a K9 track found nothing.

The suspect is described as a white male wearing a grey hoodie with a black piece of cloth covering his face.

Arteaga murder trial begins Wednesday

Arteaga murder trial begins Wednesday

A Spokane jury will hear opening arguments Wednesday morning in Daniel Arteaga's murder trial.

Arteaga is suspected of killing his girlfriend Kim Schmidt inside her north Spokane home on New Year's Eve 2011.

Detectives say Arteaga first drugged Schmidt and then a shot her in the head hoping investigators would think the victim committed suicide.

Spokane County Sheriff's deputies think Arteaga was jealous that Schmidt was rekindling her relationship with her ex-husband.

Arteaga admits being with Schmidt the night she was killed but says he left her very much alive inside her locked north side home.

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.


Police intensify search for serial armed robber

Prior to Tuesday's robbery at a North Spokane Baskin and Robbins franchise, Spokane police were intensifying their efforts to catch a serial armed robber.

The number of victim businesses are adding up and after taking a five day hiatus, the robbery suspect was back at work late Monday afternoon, hitting Deb's Espresso at 921 E. Houston and then walking away with cash. On Tuesday came another hit at Baskin and Robbins, located at 1925 North Monroe.

Previous businesses hit in the city limits include three Subway restaurants, the Yoke's grocery store off Indian Trail, Mug Shots Espresso and Jitterz Java was also hit three times.

"I think the public needs to know too that our response times have been incredibly quick," Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub said. "I think last night we were there within a minute of the incident taking place."

Police are missing their suspect by just seconds because they're positioning their patrol officers to hold up hot spots. Senior crime and intelligence analyst Thomas Michaud is using the thief's modus operandi to project where he might strike next.