crime

Strategic Living's Twitter account

The Seattle Police Department reports that there were 2,022 instances of aggravated assault and 1,329 robberies on record in Seattle in 2012. Violent crimes in general have increased on the national level by 4 percent between 2011 and 2012. We hear figures like this all the time, and they sometimes get us worrying about our own safety. What can an individual do to stay safe? Ross Reynolds talks with personal safety and self-defense expert, Joanne Factor about the best ways to reduce risk and stay safe.

Washington Department of Corrections

  A House committee in Olympia will hear public testimony Wednesday for a bill that would abolish capital punishment in Washington. House Bill 1504 would eliminate the death penalty in favor of life without parole.

Joseph McEnroe
AP Photo/Kevin P. Casey

Both of King County’s death penalty cases are on hold pending appeal to the Washington Supreme Court. A key issue in both cases is whether the defendants have experienced any hardships that should have required prosecutors to be more lenient.

Seattle police officers
AP Photo/Kevin P. Casey

As part of the agreement with the Department of Justice to implement reforms in the Seattle Police Department, Mayor Mike McGinn proposed the creation of a Community Police Commission. The 13-member commission, selected by the mayor and City Council,  is supposed to ensure that the police are acting lawfully and safely.

The commission still has to be confirmed by the City Council, but Ross Reynolds sits down with commission co-chair and deputy director of the Defender Association, Lisa Daugaard, to discuss what the commission can and hopes to accomplish.

RICHLAND, Wash. – The state of Washington’s largest public sector embezzlement case ever moves forward Thursday with a guilty plea. A public works employee admits he took the money over more than 20 years in Franklin County in the southeast part of the state.

King County

Seattle-area officials are touting a new campaign to fight human trafficking. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn announced the new effort Wednesday that mainly involves Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.

Ann Dornfeld

Seattle and King County officials today announced the city’s first gun buyback program in 20 years. The goal is to reduce gun violence, both intentional and accidental.

The top forces commander at Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord has decided to seek the death penalty against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. He’s the 39-year old soldier accused of murdering 16 Afghan civilians earlier this year.

Bales is accused of conducting two predawn raids on villages in southern Afghanistan. The victims were mostly women and children and the Army says some of the bodies were burned. Prosecutors had asked for a death penalty trial and top commanders at Lewis-McChord agreed.

The U.S. Army announced Wednesday that Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will face a general court-martial on 16 counts of premeditated murder and other charges. If convicted, the maximum penalty is death. The decision follows a pretrial hearing last month.

An attorney for  Bales says she's "disappointed" by the Army's decision to seek the death penalty against the Washington-based soldier accused of massacring Afghan villagers in March.

KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Former Seattle Public Schools manager Silas Potter faces 33 new felony theft charges for allegedly embezzling more than a quarter of a million dollars from the district.

A decade on the lam has ended for a suspect in a string of eco-sabotage attacks across the American West.  Alleged Earth Liberation Front fugitive Rebecca J. Rubin turned herself in at the Canadian border Thursday morning. 

Later in the day, she showed little emotion during a brief appearance in U.S. District Court in Seattle. Outside the federal courthouse, defense attorney Richard Troberman explained why Rubin surrendered.  "She really wants to move her life forward without these impediments. It was just time," said Troberman.

KUOW/Deborah Wang

There’s a new sheriff in town, at least in King County: John Urquhart will officially take over as King County Sheriff today.

Urquhart was the long-time spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, and he was well known for his colorful press releases, with titles like: “Two Men Arrested After Dragging Cow With Car.”

Three years ago this Thanksgiving weekend, an Arkansas parolee named Maurice Clemmons shot and killed four Lakewood police officers in a coffee shop. Chris Sorrells was one of the first officers at the scene. In the years since, his life has changed dramatically.

Chris Sorrells is probably alive today because of a twist of fate. He says he would have been at coffee that morning with his fellow officers. But his wife had gotten up early with him and made coffee at home – something she didn’t normally do.

Washington state is heading south in its quest to recover the largest ethics fine in state history. As KUOW reported this spring, a former Evergreen State College professor has evaded efforts to collect the $120,000 fine against him.

But the state hasn't given up just because Jorge Gilbert has moved to South America.

Pages