Thursday morning's headlines

Mar 10, 2011

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Pirates in Fatal Yacht Hijacking Indicted
  • Arrest in Spokane MLK Day Bomb Plot
    • State Details Patient Escape from Western State
    • UW-WSU Meet Tonight in Pac-10 Championships


    Indictments in High Seas Hijacking, Murders

    Fourteen men are charged today with the hijacking of a yacht on which four Americans - including a Seattle couple - were shot to death.

    The US Justice Department is holding the 13 Somalis and a man from Yemen in Norfolk, Virginia. They are expected to make a court appearance today, according to The Associated Press.

    Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle of Seattle were found dead on the yacht Quest, along with the boat's owners Jean and Scott Adam of California. Their deaths came after the pirate hijacking off the coast of Oman, and after the ship was stormed to free the hostages.


    FBI Arrests Man with Alleged Supremacist Affiliation

    Federal agents arrested Kevin William Harpham of Colville, Stevens County, on Wednesday, in connection with a potentially deadly backpack bomb discovered in Spokane during MLK Day celebrations in January. The Spokane Spokesman-Review's Thomas Clouse reports:

    The Southern Poverty Law Center confirmed thatHarphamin 2004 was a member of the National Alliance, which is one of the most visible white supremacist organizations in the nation. It was founded by the late William Pierce, who authored “The Turner Diaries,” a novel about a future race war. That book was believed to be the blueprint behind the 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh.

    The National Alliance is based in West Virginia. Its chairman told the Spokesman-Review Harpham is not a member of the group.

    The bomb was discovered on a bench alongside a planned parade route. FBI investigations revealed it could have caused significant damage and potentially loss of life. 

    Harpham is a former soldier, stationed with the Army at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in the late 1990's. 


    Lax Protocols Led to Patient Escape

    A mentally ill man described by the state as dangerous and paranoid was able to walk away from authorities at Pierce County's Western State Hospital last week because of "insufficiencies" in protocols. 

    The News Tribune's Stacia Glenn reports the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS)  released a review of the incident today that details how a man who describes himself as the "Son of Satan" escaped from the facility:

    The report was prepared at the request of DSHS Secretary Susan Dreyfus after Jonathan Wilson, 26, walked away from the Lakewood facility Friday morning. He was found the following day at a Tacoma park and is being held at Washington Corrections Center in Shelton.

    The report says Wilson left through an unlocked door, and unclear policies delayed the report of his escape. Glenn writes DSHS came under sharp criticism for telling Lakewood police that Wilson was low-risk, while the Department of Corrections labeled him as dangerous and delusional.


    Huskies and Cougars Play for NCAA Hopes

    The UW-WSU matchup in today's Pac-10 Conference Championships pits teams with dimming hopes of NCAA tourney bids, and who are limping into post-season play. Sportspress Northwest's Bob Sherwin reports UW star Isaiah Thomas is looking to rebound from recent performances:

    “I’m just trying to figure out what it is why I’m not playing too well the last two, three games,” said. Thomas, the Huskies 5-foot-9 junior point guard.

    The UW's Venoy Overton was charged this week with supplying alcohol to minors. The Cougars were stung by the arrest of star Klay Thompson last week on marijuana possession charges. Thompson apologized to his team and fans in Pullman before the final regular season game, one they lost to UCLA. 

    The game starts late tonight, at 8:40 p.m., in Los Angeles.