Arrested Time And Time Again: Why Do These Repeat Offenders Keep - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Arrested Time And Time Again: Why Do These Repeat Offenders Keep Getting Out?

SPOKANE, Wash. - It was in 2010 when someone called Bonnie Stimson to let her know that her grandson was staying at Susan Burke's house. The "anonymous" caller went on to share with her that Burke was known for "taking in young boys and getting them high on meth and having them steal stuff, basically work for her," Stinson said.

Sure enough, when she traveled to Burke's house her grandson was there.

"We hauled him out of there higher than a kite," Stimson said.

Burke's been arrested dozens of times, convicted of everything from burglary and possession of stolen property to drug possession and theft. KHQ received a press release in December from the Coeur d' Alene Police saying they arrested Burke in connection with a burglary ring. In April, Spokane Valley Police announced they arrested her for stealing gas. In May, KHQ received another release, this one from the Spokane County Sheriff's Office, when they announced they arrested Burke in connection with a burglary ring.  

"I'm trying to understand why these repeat offenders are continually being released by the courts," Knezovich said.

You may remember Charles Wallace. He was released to a drug treatment facility earlier this year. It's unclear when Wallace got out, but when he did he went on to shoot two Spokane County Sheriff's Deputies.

Then there's Jay Shippy. Shippy was arrested in connection with a string of 24 burglaries in April. In June, he pleaded not guilty to those crimes and was released until trial. But two weeks ago, Spokane Police arrested him again for burglary.

"The information isn't getting to the judges that these people are repeat offenders and they need to be held," Knezovich said.

The Sheriff says many things have to happen before the case gets to a judge. Police make an arrest, they complete an investigation, that investigation heads to the Prosecutor's Office, then to Pre-Trial Services, and often times the Probation Office gets involved as well. Somewhere in there, Sheriff Knezovich thinks some information isn't making its way to the courtroom.

"Right now the system is making more victims because we're releasing these individuals that we know as soon as they get out they're going to be victimizing more individuals," Knezovich said.

Knezovich says he hopes to meet with all of the people in the chain of communication and try to figure out why these people continually are getting released.

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