I was the sketch artist for the Bombing/Bank Robbery Trial that took place in the federal
courthouse in Spokane, Wa. This is a collection of the sketches used by local and
national media in the United States.
The Spokesman-Review’s Valley office and the U.S. Bank Branch was bombed on April
1, 1996 and the Planned Parenthood office near Sprague and Pines was bombed on
July 12, 1996. The U.S. Bank branch at Sprague and Mullan was robbed minutes after
In April 1997, Verne Jay Merrell, 51; Charles Barbee, 45; and Robert Berry, 43, all of
Sandpoint, Idaho, faced mandatory sentences of life in prison without parole. A federal
jury convicted the men on eight felony counts after a four-week trial. U.S. District Judge
Frem Nielsen sentenced them to life in prison without parole.
Prosecutor Thomas Rice, contended the defendants were acting out unorthodox
religious beliefs against banking and abortion when they committed the crimes.
The defense attorneys were Frank Conklin and John Rodgers.