COLFAX, Wash. -- A Whitman County judge decided on Thursday afternoon to release a Washington State University student accused of attacking a professor.
The judge ordered Joshua W. Nantz, 23, to appear in court again on Friday, April 19th. Court documents claimed that Nantz and three others attacked Dr. David Warner on March 30th in a Pullman parking lot. One suspect punched Warner while two others tackled him according to the police report.
Warner suffered serious head injuries. Documents showed that Warner suffered severe head injuries and required emergency surgery. Doctors removed a piece of Warner’s skull according to the paperwork. Sacred Heart Medical Center staff upgraded Warner’s condition to serious on Thursday.
Police arrested Nantz and Madeline Fouts, 21, on Wednesday. The two men have not been arrested.
Nantz’s classmates said that they find the charges hard to believe.
"He makes everyone laugh, you know, he's the type of guy that's always been positive, at least level headed," said Tommy Hodges.
Nantz and Hodges attended Kamiak High School and WSU together. Hodges said that Nantz was not the type to look for trouble.
“To hear what happened, or him being involved is pretty shocking or not like him or at least the Josh I know," said Hodges.
He described Nantz as a jock who was also the class clown. WSU officials said that Nantz is a junior studying social sciences.
Officers credited an anonymous tip with leading them to Fouts on Wednesday. Fouts’ boyfriend confirmed the names of all four suspects to police according to court documents.
Prosecutor had not decided how to charge Nantz before the hearing on Thursday afternoon. The judge explained that Nantz could be charged with first degree assault.
The defense lawyer said that Nantz does not have any criminal history. However, family friends of Dr. Warner expressed concerns in court about Nantz’s release.