MONDAY, JANUARY 17 This week of immigration raids, stabby drunks, and regrettable humanity kicks off today with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the federal holiday honoring the Baptist minister/ political activist/posthumous icon for King County who changed history as the Nobel Prize–winning leader of the US civil rights movement before his assassination in 1968. In Western Washington, MLK Jr. Day was commemorated with a march into downtown Seattle and a rally in Olympia, where hundreds of people led by the Washington Community Action Network gathered on the steps of the state capitol to protest proposed cuts to social services. Meanwhile in Eastern Washington, MLK Jr. Day was commemorated with a parade in Spokane, most notable for the discovery of a backpack containing a bomb rigged with a remote detonator and placed along the parade route. As the Associated Press reports, "The bomb was placed on a metal bench with a brick wall behind that would have directed shrapnel toward Main Street, where marchers were expected to pass." Lucky for all, a trio of city workers found the bomb-rigged backpack an hour before the parade's start. Authorities defused the bomb without incident and a pair of T-shirts found with the backpack will be traced to nearby Stevens County. The T-shirts, backpack, and bomb (which officials say could've caused "mass casualties") are in a federal lab, and the FBI has announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to the bomb-plotters.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 18 The week continues with the infuriating return of Billy Chambers, who first warranted Last Days' attention in late 2008, when a then 15-year-old Chambers and two friends robbed and fatally beat Ed McMichael, better known as Seattle's Tuba Man, who regularly shared his tuba talents outside Seattle's sports and entertainment venues, until his untimely death. "After serving a few months in juvenile detention, Chambers was released," reports Chris Ingalls at KING 5 News. "He re-offended in a similar type of armed robbery last year. He'd been out of jail for only two weeks, after finishing out his sentence, at the time of Monday night's bus disturbance." Which flings us back to last night, when a now 18-year-old Chambers was arrested after allegedly refusing to pay the fare on a Metro bus and bragging about his prior crimes to responding officers. As King County sheriff's spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart told KING 5, "What he said was that, 'I was one of the people that stomped the tuba man to death. I only got three months. My attorney got me off. He'll get me off this charge as well.'" Today, Billy Chambers was released from jail, after a King County judge failed to find probable cause to hold him on the bus disturbance.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19 Speaking of craptacular humanity, today we travel to Los Angeles, where this evening brought a mind-bending mess ably summed up by the Associated Press: "A man crossing a busy Los Angeles–area boulevard was twice struck by hit-and-run drivers, a woman who tried to help him was hit by yet another car, and the driver who tried to help her was beaten and robbed by a mob." The man who was twice run over is dead, the woman who was hit while trying to help him and the man who was attacked trying to help her suffered non-life-threatening injuries, and police arrested 32-year-old Tran Moore Lewis, of Long Beach, on suspicion of robbery. "Police [are] still looking for the gray or white minivan that first hit the man," reports the AP.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 20 The week continues in Ellensburg, Washington, where early this morning federal agents raided three trailer parks and arrested 30 people—14 on criminal charges of falsifying documents and/or falsely claiming US citizenship, and 16 on assorted immigration violations. Silver lining: No one's accused of beating and mugging a man who'd stopped to help a lady who'd been hit by a car.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 21 Today brings some long-awaited closure in the case that history will remember as the Stinky Feet Stabbing of Monroe, Washington, wherein a young man complained about the smell of a young woman's feet, and the young woman plunged a knife into the young man's back. Details come from Everett Daily Herald, which reports the 2010 attack happened at a house party near Monroe, where "[18-year-old Dallas Smith] was intoxicated and bragged about being able to do a backflip off a deck. When she attempted the stunt, Smith wound up in a heap. Before the jump, she had removed her shoes. [19-year-old Willy Simpson] teased her about having smelly feet. She began hitting him. The young man managed to push her away. That's when witnesses said Smith grabbed her coat, picked up the knife, and stabbed him in the back before heading out the door. The knife's blade still was embedded in the man's back when deputies arrived." In December, Dallas Smith pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, and today, she was sentenced to one year and three months in prison. Snohomish County Superior Court judge David Kurtz also ordered Smith to write a six-page essay on the problems of binge drinking. "Let me be absolutely clear: This case is not about smelly feet," said Judge Kurtz. "It is about binge drinking and [the] criminal behavior that did flow from that." Ms. Smith's deadline for completing the assignment is May 2012.
••In less entertaining sentencing news, today also brought a tangible blast of justice to Ahmed Mohamed, the 23-year-old man who last month pleaded guilty to robbing, beating, and torturing a 16-year-old West Seattle boy "because he was a different race" (the victim is white, Mohamed is not) and who was today sentenced to nearly six years in prison. Jonathan Baquiring, Mohamed's partner in the race-based attack, is scheduled to go on trial February 22.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 22 Nothing happened today.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 23 The week ends with ridiculous violence outside a Washington State Walmart, where this afternoon a suspicious man in the parking lot of the Port Orchard Walmart responded to police queries by opening fire, fatally wounding a young woman and nonfatally wounding two sheriff's deputies.
••Meanwhile in Morro Bay, California, today brought the final breath of Jack LaLanne, the pioneering fitness guru whose daily exercise regime and ironclad diet ended today at age 96.
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