Cases

Jury Finds Cosby Guilty of Killing Wife

STATESMAN-EXAMINER NEWSPAPER

BY JAMIE HENNEMAN, S-E STAFF REPORTER

April 3, 2012

Last week a Stevens County Jury found Marcus resident Craig Cosby guilty of premeditated murder for the shooting death of his wife, Susan, in 2009.  The jury deliberated for two hours before handing over the guilty verdict to Judge Alan Nielsen.

Cosby, 70, was tried for first-degree murder after shooting Susan Cosby, 53, at their home in Marcus on October 3.  Cosby, who was seeking an acquittal for the crime, said he acted in self-defense and only shot Susan Cosby when he thought he saw her reaching for a gun.

Cosby also claimed he “lost all orientation” when he shot and killed Susan ten times with a .40 caliber handgun.  Evidence presented at trial showed that Susan Cosby was planning on leave her husband and was days away from closing on a new home.

The State, represented by Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen and Senior Deputy Prosecutor Shadan Kapri, showed over 130 exhibits during the trial, including new luggage Susan Cosby had bought and the pending real estate agreement.

Cosby faces a minimum of 20 to 27 years in prison for the first degree murder conviction, as well as additional time because the crime qualifies as domestic violence committed with a handgun.  Cosby is planning to appeal the ruling.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Shadan Kapri said she hopes the jury’s decision can bring peace to Susan’s family.  “It was an emotional trial on all levels,” said Kapri.  “Susan’s family was there every day.  Now that the jury has made it’s decision we hope the family can have some closure and start the long process of healing.  Susan will always be remembered.  She was a loving, mother, daughter, friend, sister, and wife.  She was one of a kind.”

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Neighbor Shooting Sentence Upheld

STATESMAN-EXAMINER NEWSPAPER

BY JAMIE HENNEMAN, S-E STAFF REPORTER

February 15, 2012

The Washington State Appeals court recently upheld a 10-year prison sentence for a Colville area man who shot his neighbor over a dispute about a property easement.

John Eberly Jr. was found guilty for first degree burglary and second degree assault in 2010 after he showed up intoxicated at neighbor Muriel Vermillion’s home and shot her through her living room window.  Despite being shot in the hip, court documents note Vermillion was able to fend off Eberly after he broke down the door and fell into the living room.

Vermillion grabbed a hatchet and hit Eberly in the foot with the blunt end.  According to court records, she ran upstairs to call for help, but the phone was dead.  Eberly eventually left and Vermillion drove to a neighbor’s house to call the police, according to court documents.

The altercation was promoted by a dispute Vermillion and Eberly had over a common easement located at 3891 Cedar Creek Road.  Court record indicate the two had gotten into a heated argument earlier in the day regarding a gate Eberly constructed on the easement road.

Eberly appealed his sentence on the premise the court miscalculated the offender score, counting his actions as two separate crimes that were both conducted with a firearm.  The Division III Court of Appeals upheld the sentence, finding the trial court sentence from Judge Baker in Stevens County Superior Court to be correct.

The State was represented by Stevens County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Shadan Kapri in the decision upheld by the appeals court on January 26.  Eberly was represented by Bellingham lawyer Tanesha La Trelle Canzater.

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Prosecutor’s Desk

THE OUTPOST NEWSPAPER

BY MR. TIM RASMUSSEN, Stevens County Prosecuting Attorney

July 6, 2011

One case is finally finished — maybe.

On Wednesday, May 2, 2007, Mr. Preston Carbary was convicted by a jury of three felony counts of Rape by a Health Care Worker. At the time, he was counseling the victim and used his position to force the victim to have sexual relations with him. After some delay, on June 26, 2007, Judge Baker said the only just sentence was at the high end of the range and sentenced him to 194 months in the penitentiary. The state was represented by David Turplesmith and the defendant by Tim Trageser of Spokane.

After his conviction Mr. Carbary petitioned the Court of Appeals for a new trial. He appealed on the basis that he claimed the judge had made a mistake by allowing the jury to hear some of the evidence. One piece of that evidence was that Mr. Carbary had done a similar thing to another person prior to this victim. Another piece was that the physician had been allowed to say to the jury that the victim had been raped. The defense claimed that he should get a new trial without that evidence being heard by the jury. In the summer of 2008, the Court of Appeals ruled he had received a fair trial and denied his appeal.

He then petitioned the Supreme Court to review the Court of Appeals decision. They declined to review it in 2009.

Then he filed a Personal Restraint Petition. He argued that the rape charges were based upon perjured statements by the victim. He claimed that the victim’s boyfriend was always present at the victim’s home during the counseling sessions; therefore he could not have raped her. He also argued that there was insufficient evidence for the rapes and that he lost the case because of ineffective assistance of his attorney, Mr. Tregaser.

Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Shadan Kapri responded for the State. The Court of Appeals found there was no credible evidence in the record that the victim’s boyfriend was living at the house during the time frame the rapes occurred. The Court also found there was no evidence to corroborate his claim that he was never alone with the victim. The Court of Appeals rejected all of his claims just last week.