News

Man arrested for murder in N. Spokane was awaiting trial on firearms charge

SPOKANE, Wash - The man arrested for the drive-by shooting murder of a woman in north Spokane over the weekend was out of jail, awaiting criminal charges in another case.

Jonathan Andersen is charged with first degree murder for the shooting death of Misty Hirsch. She was shot in a drive-by shooting Sunday. Hirsch and Andersen knew each other somehow; she returned a purse to him shortly before the shooting.

According to court records, Andersen has been in and out of prison since 2006. Upon his release on probation on multiple occasions, he has re-offended or violated his conditions and been sent back to prison. He has 21 felony convictions to his name, and because of some of those, it's illegal for Andersen to have a gun.

He was most recently released from Airway Heights Corrections Center on January 31st. He was under DOC community custody at that time.  

According to DOC, Andersen failed to report to his probation officer in February, March and May. At that time, DOC issued a warrant for Andersen. 

Court documents show that on April 12th, U.S. Marshals were looking for Andersen because of that warrant. He tried to drive away from the scene, but was blocked by officers and arrested for first degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

Officers found a gun under the seat of the car Andersen was driving. Another man in the car was arrested for drug possession.

At a hearing on April 13th, Commissioner Nichole Swennumson set his bond at $10,000. A judge eventually increased that bond to $50,000 at Andersen's next appearance on April 15th.

Prosecutors, however, missed a 72-hour deadline to file charges and Andersen was released from jail without having to post bond. Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Haskell told 4 News Now that's because his office was waiting on information from Spokane Police. When they finally got that info, it was a day too late.

The charges were eventually filed on April 18th, but Andersen was not arrested. He did not show up for his arraignment on April 23rd.

He appeared in court on that firearms charge Wednesday afternoon.

Upon his arrest, a public safety assessment conducted on April 13th gave Andersen an 85% chance of appearing in court, a 66-70% chance of remaining crime-free as he awaited trial, and a 97% chance of returning to court without "any new violent criminal activity." 

Less than three months later, he was arrested for murder.

DOC says the original warrant for not reporting to his probation officer would not automatically send him back to prison.

4 News Now reached out to Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich for comment, as he often weighs in when criminals are released on low bond or on their own recognizance. A spokesman for the sheriff's office said the sheriff won't comment, as this is still an active investigation.


Catch up on the day's news and look ahead to tomorrow by signing up for the Daily Local email newsletter from 4 News Now. Headlines, events, and staff picks every weeknight at 8 p.m. Sign up HERE to get your news on the D.L.


LOCAL AND REGIONAL NEWS

THIS WEEK'S CIRCULARS