Hate trial, take 3 - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Hate trial, take 3

Kootenai County prosecutor set to re-try brothers

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Posted: Friday, April 30, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 11:58 am, Fri Nov 16, 2012.

COEUR d'ALENE - Two brothers will again stand trial for an alleged hate crime.

Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh said Monday his office will re-try Frank J. Tankovich, 46, and William M. Tankovich, 49, on charges of conspiracy to commit malicious harassment and malicious harassment - or hate crime.

It will be the third time the two brothers will go before a jury stemming from a pair of altercations Aug. 16 outside the home of Kenneth Requena, who is Puerto Rican, in Coeur d'Alene.

The new trial has been scheduled for June 21 before 1st District Judge John Luster.

"We just made the decision to go forward and retry it," McHugh said, declining further comment on the pending case.

The third brother, Ira Tankovich, 48, was found guilty April 19 of conspiracy to disturb the peace.

During that trial the jury was 11-1 in favor of finding William and Frank Tankovich not guilty on malicious harassment and 8-4 in favor of not guilty on the conspiracy charge.

The first trial ended in mistrial in March after the first witness referred to the incident on a 911 tape as possibly racially motivated, which the judge said was out of order since the charge forces the prosecution to first prove that the victim was threatened, and then that the threat was racially motivated.

The three brothers stopped their truck outside Requena's home near 20th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue back in August and approached him in his yard.

The brothers, two of whom have racist symbols tattooed on them, said they were attempting to buy electrical equipment from Requena, but Requena said he felt so threatened that he asked his wife to get his gun and call 911. When the Tankoviches saw the gun, they left, only to return on foot 20 minutes later with a pit bull.

When police arrived at the scene they arrested Ira Tankovich, who was approaching the home with a gun from another direction than his other brothers.

The brothers called Requena racial names in front of officers.

Ira Tankovich, convicted in 1990 of voluntary manslaughter in California, is scheduled to go to trial May 18 on felony in possession of a firearm charges.

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  • RadRevD posted at 8:52 am on Sat, May 1, 2010.

    RadRevD Posts: 3333

    A Grand Jury to ensure the rights of skinheads are not violated??? Seemed to work for Adam Johnson:
    ( http://www.krem.com/news/local/Charges-dropped-in-Coeur-dAlene-bar-shooting-81032357.html )

    interesting take thetruthinID...

    When I was teen in the Pocatello about 1966, a downtown greasy-spoon had a sign behind their counter that read "NO DOGS OR INDIANS ALLOWED" in that order.

    It seems that Coeur d'Alene is hanging an invisible sign of diversity that says "NO ARYANS OR TATTED SKINHEADS ALLOWED".

    Was Requena holding a yard sale that day offering electrical supplies? Was it really necessary for him to have a handgun with easy access in case ONE OF ThOSE KIND showed up? There are a lot of unanswered questions.

    ( http://www.cdapress.com/news/local_news/article_33b1a5f7-7005-5f7c-8974-a06f53b8146f.html )

    Did the Tankoviches stop because they were responding to an ad selling electrical supplies in the Nickelsworth? Would a reasonable person stop near an electrician's business vehicle in a residential area to buy electrical cables? OR, did they stop because a person of color was selling something at curbside in their neighborhood.

    This case is getting blown out of proportion and should be given to a Grand Jury for criminal determination against all parties involved. Now we have another incident of intended hate crime. Old farts with minimal hair driving an old beater truck note: You OLD FARTS are perceived as filled with hate and will be turned in on trumped up charges.

    ( http://www.cdapress.com/news/local_news/article_6db89ba2-dab8-594f-9d62-3d9ff716fb99.html )

    Funny how the above story failed to mention two victims, in calm control of their actions, getting a license number with an APB out for two old farts. In our quest for diversity, we have lost much!

  • TomKatt posted at 12:34 pm on Fri, Apr 30, 2010.

    TomKatt Posts: 125

    I'm a resident of Kootenai County rather than CDA, but if I did reside there I would be voting against this McHugh person, or his boss, however it works. This is absolutely ridiculous, trying to turn a drunken shouting match into a felony because you don't like the patriotic political stance of the Tankovich brothers,

    If McHugh wants to do something useful, how about filing attempted murder charges against the 8 low-life cowardly rat-pacing scum that tried to beat Adam Johnson to death? Where violence was actually perpetrated?

    And how about charging Requena with weapons crimes?

  • rollingthunder posted at 12:32 pm on Fri, Apr 30, 2010.

    rollingthunder Posts: 318

    What a waste of money, looks like a good case on the firearms possession and the rest is for show only.

  • Triumph posted at 9:02 am on Fri, Apr 30, 2010.

    Triumph Posts: 533

    I'm with ya Take Back USA. There is no such thing as a "hate crime". A crime is a crime, weather it's comitted out of love, hate, greed, anger, ect... Just a crime. And it is frustrating that this is still going on. Tax dollars poorly spent. Why wasnt Ira charged with the weapon charge origionally? Why wait until now? Why isnt Requena being charged with the same thing?

  • 3Cheers posted at 8:01 am on Fri, Apr 30, 2010.

    3Cheers Posts: 350

    Why isn't Requena being prosecuted for felony gun charges? He's not an angel in all of this, either.

  • Mark M posted at 7:24 am on Fri, Apr 30, 2010.

    Mark M Posts: 10

    Just another prosicutor embellishing his resume at our expence. This case is not not that big of a deal, but Mr. McHugh is going to throw away a wheelbarrow full of $$$ on it.

  • straight up posted at 6:40 am on Fri, Apr 30, 2010.

    straight up Posts: 922

    Justice 2
    McHugh 0

    Incompetence loses but in typical government fashion one wants to continue to spend tax dollars and resources to feather one's own nest.

    Can't a judge step in an order a Grand Jury to hear the Prosecutor's case to deem whether it will be worthy of a third trial before this cowboy goes off on his own personal agenda yet again?

  • TakeBackTheUSA posted at 5:52 am on Fri, Apr 30, 2010.

    TakeBackTheUSA Posts: 765

    I'm not as reticent to call a spade a spade as TheTruth was. This is all about posturing for McHugh. He's out to claim some sort of glory for himself. Was this an unfortunate occurrence - sure. A hate crime? No such thing. A crime is a crime and everyone was at fault here, but not criminally so. It should be VERY obvious, and is to me, that an 11-1 position from the jury for acquittal is evidence that further prosecution is harassment. Some might claim prosecutorial malfeasance. It's an abuse of power and I wouldn't be surprised, when these two are acquitted, that they sue the county. Then the rest of us will be on the hook for the actions of this moronic, glory hound.

  • thetruthinID posted at 3:58 am on Fri, Apr 30, 2010.

    thetruthinID Posts: 59

    What a cluster. Im not taking sides here, but just commenting on some of my observations. There are so many unanswered questions at so many levels. Why would the Tankovich's call the police themselves if their intent was to conspire about the commission of a criminal act or carry out a criminal act.

    I suppose that the disparity of force (3 vs 1) would be reasonable grounds for Requena to produce a handgun if there were threats made against him. But then again, from what I understand, Requena isn't even supposed to be in possession of a weaponat all. The Tankovich's, for their part, did the right thing by calling police, but messed up by going back to the site of the altercation and one of them bringing a firearm when he was not supposed to have one in the first place. I'm quite sure they have had some time to reflect on those mistakes so they do not place themselves in a situation like this again.

    As far as the 911 call from Mrs. Requena and saying that it might be "racially motivated" right off the bat, I am a bit skeptical and my BS alarm is going off a bit.

    I guess for the prosecutions sake, they hope that the third time is a charm as they cannot re-file charges again after this. Doesn't really seem like a very narrow margin from the jury poll so I wonder what strategy the prosecution has for this final stand. My guess is that this could get pretty interesting.

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