A man charged with attempted second-degree murder in connection with a shot targeting three black youths was ordered held in jail Tuesday as federal authorities also indicated that they would investigate the shooting as a possible hate crime.
Jimmy J. Blackburn, 29, pleaded not guilty before Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza, who ordered Blackburn to remain in custody on a $500,000 bond. Cozza set Blackburn’s trial on the three attempted murder charges for Nov. 19.
Blackburn was arrested Sept. 13 as Spokane police officers converged at the Days Inn, at 120 W. Third Ave., to investigate the shooting of Paul A. Haney, 33, who was found dead in the parking lot.
According to court records, investigators believe Kevin M. Heaton, 35, is responsible for that shooting and remains on the loose. Heaton had paid for the room in which Blackburn was found at the Days Inn, but the court records don’t indicate whether Blackburn had any involvement in the Haney shooting.
Outside the hotel, however, investigators found a red 2012 Rocketa Sicily moped that was linked to a shooting the day before near 33rd Avenue and Thor Street.
In that case, three black youths were walking on 33rd Avenue at 4:20 p.m. on Sept. 12 when they heard a white man yelling racial slurs at them. That man was later identified as Blackburn, according to court records.
Blackburn challenged them to fight. “At this time, (Blackburn) asked the victims, ‘Have you guys ever had a gun pointed at you?'” according to court records.
Blackburn then walked over to the moped – which had been reported stolen earlier that day – and grabbed a locked pistol box, the records say. Unable to open it, Blackburn threw it on the ground several times until it opened.
According to one of the boys, Blackburn “pointed the handgun” at them and said “they could have a six second head start before he shoots them,” court records state. Blackburn then began yelling for someone named “Suicide” to come out of the house at 3304 E. 33rd Ave.