Northwest briefs for Sunday


Woman admits she shot herself, faked gunman story

A woman who told police that she was shot by a masked gunman when she opened her apartment door recanted her story on Friday and admitted she had accidentally shot herself.

The woman, 25, told police detectives in a follow-up interview Friday afternoon that she accidentally shot herself at her first-floor apartment at 3003 Pacific St., then called 911 to report that she had been shot by a masked suspect.

Police spokesman Mark Young said he did not know the woman’s motive for making up the story.


Former historical museum director to plead guilty to theft

The former executive director accused of stealing more than $137,000 from the Lewis County Historical Museum’s endowment fund is expected to plead guilty next week as a result of a plea agreement reached between prosecutors and her court-appointed attorney.

Debbie S. Knapp will appear in court at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday for a change of plea hearing. She will not be sentenced on Wednesday.

The deputy prosecutor handling the case, Will Halstead, declined to elaborate on the specifics of the agreement.

“There are certain conditions that need to happen,” Halstead said. “At this point, we have an understanding.”


Judge sentences two men to 20 years for 1997 slaying

Despite declarations of innocence, two men convicted of killing a Selah woman 15 years ago were sentenced Friday to just more than 20 years in prison, the maximum allowed under the law.

Michael O. Gorski, 62, and Frank Brugnone, 59, were convicted at trial last month in the slaying of Carolyn Clift, 56, who was found brutally stabbed to death in her Selah apartment on the night of Aug. 28, 1997. It was Selah’s first homicide in 10 years.

In a long, sometimes rambling statement to the court, Gorski professed empathy with the Clift family, who sat in the front row only a few feet from him, but repeatedly proclaimed his innocence, saying, “I’m not the guy.”

“They need closure,” he said. “But they’re not going to get closure with me, because I’m innocent. I didn’t do this. I’m innocent.”


Woman shot inside home in critical condition

A pregnant woman who was shot in her Terrace Heights home, apparently after her husband mistook her for an intruder, remains in critical condition at a local hospital, authorities said.

Chief Civil Deputy Bob Udell, a spokesman for the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, said the woman was shot at least twice early Friday by her husband in the bedroom of the couple’s duplex on Nola Loop.

An investigation so far “has not shown any criminal activity to be involved in the shooting,” Udell said in a statement. He earlier described the woman’s husband as cooperative.

The names of the woman and her husband were not released by Udell, who said authorities had yet to make contact with the woman’s family out of town.


BPA declines to meet with county

Clark County was looking to have a sit-down with the Bonneville Power Administration before the public comment period ends on a 500-kilovolt line proposed to run through Clark and Cowlitz counties.

The BPA says it will pass.

“We declined the meeting as proposed to protect the integrity of what has been a very public and very publicly noticed process,” said Doug Johnson, BPA spokesman. “We gave many opportunities to give oral comment.”

Clark County Senior Policy Analyst Axel Swanson said he agrees the agency has offered the opportunity to comment, but he was hoping for a final workshop with stakeholders so the BPA could hear a solidified opinion on the preferred line.

McClatchy News Services

“Some of the jurisdictions have similar feelings and views, and I think it would be good to bring stakeholders together,” Swanson said. “My vision is it would have been like a work session.”