Man robs KeyBank March 18

April 1, 2011

Suspect

A man robbed KeyBank, 6917 Coal Creek Parkway S.E., just before 12:30 p.m. March 18.

The man walked in the store and delivered a hand-written note to the teller explaining that he was robbing the bank, King County Sheriff’s Office spokesman John Urquhart said. The teller did not see a weapon, but he gave the man money from the till and tripped the bank’s alarm.

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Eye surgeon given 20-year sentence for murder-for-hire plot

April 1, 2011

Fear of her family being gunned down by a man who was once part of their daily life has consumed Holly King for the past 16 months.

King, the mother of three and wife of successful laser eye surgeon Dr. Joseph King, said that fear prompted her to take firearms training and obsessively monitor the video-surveillance system in their Newcastle home.

“Each day, when I drive my children to school, I wonder which stranger is going to murder us,” Holly King, 32, said in King County Superior Court on March 17.

Riffkin Dr. Michael Mockovak, Newcastle resident and co-founder of Clearly Lasik eye-surgery centers, was sentenced to 20 years in prison. By Courtney Blethen

Judge Palmer Robinson granted the couple some relief from that fear by sentencing Dr. Michael Mockovak to 20 years in prison for plotting to kill Dr. King, his ex-brother-in-law, longtime friend and fellow co-founder of the Clearly Lasik laser eye-surgery centers.

Last month, a King County jury found Mockovak guilty of criminal solicitation to commit first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree theft and attempted first-degree theft. Jurors acquitted Mockovak of a second count of criminal solicitation involving former company President Brad Klock.

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Keep your car safe at local trailheads

April 1, 2011

Spring is here, which means — in theory – the rain will not fall as often, giving way to sunshine and warmer weather. If you’re looking for something to do outside to enjoy the weather, hiking is a great option.

However, be careful about what you leave in your car when you park at trailheads — even those near Cougar Mountain. Also, be mindful of your conduct before you hit the trails.

Although it may seem obvious, don’t leave valuables sitting in your car where a potential thief could see them. We get many police reports about people leaving purses or even laptop computers on seats at trailheads, and it’s not surprising when somebody smashes a window and easily snatches these items.

To be on the safe side, don’t leave anything visible in your car at trailheads, regardless of the value; you never know what may be appealing to a thief. Also, don’t leave a coat on your seat, as it may look like you are trying to conceal something valuable underneath. Although it may not lead to anything being stolen, it can leave you with a broken window and a several-hundred-dollar repair bill.

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Letters to the editor

April 1, 2011

UPDATED — 4:45 p.m. April 1, 2011

Hit-and-run driver needs to admit wrong

My name is Vivian Bae and I have been a resident of the Newcastle/Cougar Mountain area since June 2001. I am writing to ask for your help and I will compensate you for your time.

I was involved in a hit-and-run collision on Tuesday, Feb. 22, on my way home from work. It happened during the beginning of a snowstorm and the snow had just started falling. As I was driving toward Bellevue on Newcastle Golf Club Road — past the YMCA — I came to a stop due to a car stopping in front of me.

While I was waiting for this car to start moving, an oncoming vehicle lost control and slid into me. Given the weather conditions, I didn’t think twice as the driver started to drive away.

I wrote down the license plate number, thinking that we would address the matter once the weather and road conditions improved. When I got home, I contacted the police to file a report. The officer advised me he would get in touch with the other party and try to give him/her the opportunity to resolve the issue without filing a report and I agreed.

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Molestation suspect to appear in court April 22

April 1, 2011

Newcastle man Gil Furman, who was charged in January with one count of second-degree child molestation and two counts of third-degree child molestation, will appear in King County Superior Court April 22 for a case setting hearing.

Furman molested a teenage girl for two and a half years beginning when the girl was 13 and ending when she was 15, according to charging documents. He was 35 when the alleged molestation began.

Furman appeared in court March 22 for a case setting hearing, but a trial date was not set. Furman was arrested and arraigned Jan. 25, and he pleaded not guilty. He was given conditional release with a no-contact order with the girl.

The molestation occurred weekly, and Furman pushed the girl to a wall and kissed and groped her, sometimes under her clothes but over her underwear, the charging papers said.

New photos released of Newcastle bank robber

March 29, 2011

NEW — 11 a.m. March 29, 2011

KeyBank robber at Safeway, photo one

The man who robbed the Newcastle KeyBank was caught on camera when he fled across the parking lot to Safeway.

The King County Sheriff’s Office released new photos March 29 of the man who robbed KeyBank, 6917 Coal Creek Parkway S.E., March 18.

After robbing the bank, the man fled on foot across the parking lot to Safeway, 6911 Coal Creek Parkway S.E., where he entered through the south entrance. He took off his jacket, cap and glasses in the store and left through the north entrance.

Surveillance cameras at Safeway recorded the photos.

The man robbed KeyBank at about 12:20 p.m. that day. He walked inside and delivered a handwritten note to the teller explaining that he was robbing the bank, sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart said. The teller did not see a weapon, but he gave the man money from the till and tripped the bank’s alarm.

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Key Bank robbed March 18

March 21, 2011

UPDATED — 11 a.m. March 22, 2011

Newcastle bank robber, March 18, 2011

Police are searching for this man, who robbed Key Bank in Newcastle, 6917 Coal Creek Parkway S.E., just before 12:30 p.m. March 18.

A man robbed Key Bank, 6917 Coal Creek Parkway S.E., just before 12:30 p.m. March 18.

The man walked in the store and delivered a hand-written note to the teller explaining that he was robbing the bank, King County Sheriff’s Office spokesman John Urquhart said. The teller did not see a weapon, but he gave the man money from the till and tripped the bank’s alarm.

The man was white and about 6 feet tall and thin. He wore a black cap, black jacket, light-blue jeans and black-rimmed glasses. He left the store on foot, and headed northwest toward Safeway after leaving the bank.

Police searched the area but did not find the man, Urquhart said.

If you recognize this man, call the King County Sheriff’s Office at 206-296-3311 at any time of day, or call 911.

Newcastle eye surgeon gets 20-year sentence for murder-for-hire plot

March 17, 2011

UPDATED — 11:30 a.m. March 18, 2011

Dr. Michael Mockovak, co-founder of Clearly Lasik eye-surgery centers, was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

COURTNEY BLETHEN RIFFKIN / THE SEATTLE TIMES — Dr. Michael Mockovak, Newcastle resident and co-founder of Clearly Lasik eye-surgery centers, was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Fear of her family being gunned down by a man who was once part of their daily life has consumed Holly King for the past 16 months.

King, the mother of three and wife of successful laser eye surgeon Dr. Joseph King, said that fear prompted her to take firearms training and obsessively monitor the video-surveillance system in their Newcastle home.

“Each day, when I drive my children to school, I wonder which stranger is going to murder us,” Holly King, 32, said in King County Superior Court on March 17.

Judge Palmer Robinson granted the couple some relief from that fear by sentencing Dr. Michael Mockovak to 20 years in prison for plotting to kill Dr. King, his ex-brother-in-law, longtime friend and fellow co-founder of the Clearly Lasik laser eye-surgery centers.

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Clearly Lasik co-founder found guilty of murder-for-hire plot

March 4, 2011

The co-founder of Clearly Lasik eye surgery centers was found guilty Feb. 3 of plotting to kill his partner.

The King County jury convicted Dr. Michael Mockovak of one count of criminal solicitation to commit first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree theft and attempted first-degree theft. Jurors found him not guilty of a second count of criminal solicitation involving the company’s former president.

The jury deliberated for less than two days.

Dr. Michael Mockovak, co-founder of Clearly Lasik eye surgery centers, is escorted out of King County Court Feb. 3, after he was found guilty of plotting to kill his partner and the company's former president. By Erika Schultz/The Seattle Times

After the verdict was read, Mockovak, who has been out on bail since shortly after his arrest in November 2009, was taken into custody and led to jail. He will face between 31 and 41 years in prison when he is sentenced March 17.

Mockovak’s former partner and target of the murder-for-hire plot, Dr. Joseph King, issued a statement: “My colleagues, my family and I are relieved to put this sad episode behind us.”

Prosecutors said Mockovak was willing to pay more than $100,000 to have King and former company President Brad Klock killed.

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Police release suspect sketch in possible assault near Hazen

March 4, 2011

NEW — 3:15 p.m. March 4, 2011

Investigators released a sketch Friday of a man suspected in a possible sexual assault near Hazen High School.

Sketch of the man believed to have sexually assaulted a teen on Monday.

Washington State Patrol suspect sketch.

Washington State Patrol detectives seek information and witnesses after a teenage girl reported sexual assault late Monday afternoon.

Police said a man in a truck picked up the Issaquah girl at about 5:30 p.m. as she walked along state Route 900 at 148th Avenue Southeast, assaulted her and preceded to drive around the area. The girl told police he held her against her will and released her after about 30 minutes.

Investigators described the suspect as a Hispanic man between 19 and 25 years old, and about 5-feet 6-inches tall. Police said he had a strong accent, and wore jeans, a dark blue sweatshirt and a hat. Sideburns could be seen from beneath the hat.

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