Local News

Arteaga freedom bid rejected

SPOKANE, Wash. - Murder suspect Daniel Arteaga has lost his battle to get out of jail, after a judge struck down his request to win his freedom with a little help with GPS technology.

Judges are asked all the time to lower a defendant's bail amount and if the prisoners have a history of showing up in court they usually get it. However judges also have consider the risk to public safety and that's why Arteaga, who is awaiting trial for the murder of Kim Schmidt last January, is still in custody at the Spokane County Jail.

Schmidt was found shot to death inside her North Spokane home Jan. 1. A pistol and other items were staged to make it appear Schmidt had taken her own life. However eight months later, Spokane County Sheriff's deputies arrested Arteaga, the victim's ex-boyfriend.

Arteaga bail reduced, freedom bid rejected

Judge Annette Plese set Arteaga's bond at $1 Million, but on Oct. 19 he asked that he be released on home arrest, something deputies were against.

"With a person that's put in jail after we find evidence to arrest for a violent crime like this we're concerned if they have the opportunity to get out of jail that they're going to commit another act of violence similar to the one he's currently in jail for," Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Chamberlin said.

Arteaga's defense attorney argued his client is not a danger to the community and wanted to put him on an electronic leash. A Spokane company called 2 Watch Monitoring would have outfitted him with a tracking bracelet and if he had tried to leave his Spokane Valley home the company would have immediately notified the sheriff's office.

However Judge Maryann Moreno rejected the request and instead cut Arteaga's bail in half to $500,000.

"We're obviously very concerned anytime home monitoring is offered, and that didn't happen which we're obviously very happy about, and also his bond was reduced from a million dollars to five hundred thousand dollars and that concerns us as well," Chamberlin said.

Deputies are also concerned that Arteaga has traveled extensively as a dive instructor and very familiar with distant locations like the Philippines.

For the time being, however, Arteaga will remain in custody in the Spokane County Jail. His murder trial is scheduled to begin April 15.