Why deputy shooter was not in jail


by KREM Staff and Katie Utehs


Posted on June 21, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 10:06 AM

SPOKANE-- Charles Wallace fatally shot himself after police say he fired at two Spokane County deputies during a traffic stop.

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Wallace has a rap sheet that spans more than 20 years and includes 15 felony convictions.

In a press conference Wednesday, Sheriff Knezovich said our justice system is to blame for this repeat offender being back on the street.

Charles Wallace’s criminal history dates back to 1985. His 15 felony convictions include possession of a controlled substance, assault, burglary and escape.

Wallace was scheduled to go to trial on July 9th, and was not in custody.

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich waved Charles Wallace's criminal history at a news conference Wednesday. “When somebody is facing those types of serious crimes and they are serious offenders, you keep them in jail, that’s the solution.”

Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno is the federal judge who set Wallace’s release conditions in his heroin distribution case. She sent him to drug treatment which he skipped.
KREM 2 News spoke with judge Imbrogno's clerk who said judges are not allowed to make statements about cases.

In general, during bond hearings the prosecution has to prove to the judge that the defendant is either a flight risk or a danger. In this case, the U.S. Attorney's felt strongly and argued to keep Wallace in jail

Ultimately it's the judge’s decision after hearing the arguments.  Imbrogno sent Wallace to a drug rehab program.

If the U.S. Attorney's office disagrees they can appeal to a district court judge who will review.