Charge added in attempted murder case

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NEWPORT — A Bonner County man accused of firing on a Bonner County sheriff’s deputy during a pursuit pleaded not guilty on Thursday to an additional charge arising from the incident.

Steven Michael Gervasi is accused of opening fire on Deputy Alex Hughes after the deputy pursued him into Pend Oreille County, Wash., on May 9, 2016. Hughes narrowly missed being struck by incoming rounds and Gervasi was later apprehended.

Gervasi, 26, was charged with attempted second-degree murder. Pend Oreille County Deputy Prosecutor Brooks Clemmons filed amended charging paperwork on Thursday which added a second count alleging unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree. Gervasi was barred from possessing a gun due to a 2006 burglary conviction in Bonner County.

If convicted of attempting to kill a law officer who was discharging his duties, the mandatory penalty is life in prison without possibility of parole. The weapons offense is punishable by up to 10 years, according to charging documents.

Gervasi is being held at the Bonner County Jail on robbery, arson, theft and assault charges that predated the armed clash with Hughes. His bail is set at $180,0000.

Gervasi and a former girlfriend are accused of burglarizing a home and vehicle in Cocolalla on May 6 and stealing a Beretta semiautomatic pistol, an all-terrain vehicle and a trailer. Two days later, the allegedly set fire to a trailer home in the 900 block of Curtis Creek Road in the Spirit Valley. Gervasi was further accused of attacking a woman in a parked car on the property, snatching her phone and firing the pistol at her vehicle.

Hughes spotted a Jeep Cherokee Gervasi was in south of Oldtown and attempted to pull the sport utility vehicle over.

The driver, later identified as a Gervasi’s ex, sped off and fled into Washington state. Hughes told investigators that rear window of the SUV suddenly obliterated and gunshots pelted his Chevrolet Tahoe patrol vehicle.

Gervasi’s ex was granted immunity from prosecution for the Idaho crime spree and the pursuit into Washington state in exchange for divulging Gervasi’s actions, court records indicate.

A hearing to take up motions in the Washington case is set for March 3. A status hearing in Gervasi’s Idaho case is scheduled for Feb. 21.

The Pend Oreille County Prosecutor’s Office said Clemmons does not comment on pending cases.

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