SPOKANE -- Police said they are making headway investigating a North Spokane murder. Officers arrested Louis Montoya, 29, Wednesday night. They found the suspect, also known as Louis Hanson, hiding in an apartment in the 1900 block of West 2nd Avenue. He is accused of shooting and killing Aaron Cummings inside a home in the 1600 block of North Wall on December 30.
On Thursday, Hanson made his first court appearance. He copped an attitude with the judge. The judge told him he could not have any witness contact, no firearms, and no alcohol. Hanson refused the conditions. The judge responded by increasing the bond from $750,000 to $1 million.
Police said Montoya has an extensive criminal history, as well as local gang ties. A group of people were inside the house when the shooting happened. Witnesses said Hanson asked Cummings if he was a Norteno gang member. Cummings said yes. Court documents show Hanson started punching Cummings in the head. That is when witnesses said Hanson shot Cummings in the stomach, and fled the scene.
Investigators said witnesses initially lied to them, pinning the shooting on a different man. The next day, detectives collected new information.
"Determined that he was not in the area, maybe not even in the country at that time," said Sergeant Mark Griffiths. "During a follow-up investigation, determined they had lied to us, that they actually knew who the suspect was but they were afraid of him."
By Wednesday night, police tracked Hanson down.
"We found he was in her apartment there in the Browne's Addition neighborhood. The apartment had a 2-year-old, a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old all in the apartment along with him," said Sergeant Griffiths.
Hanson's girlfriend, Amanda Tudesque, 22, was also taken into custody because police said she physically tried to help Hanson escape arrest.
The victim's mother cried in the courtroom. She said she was upset at how casual Hanson acted in court. She said she could not believe her son's accused killer smiled at times during the hearing.