Witness' death complicates Spokane stabbing trial

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by HAYLEY GUENTHNER & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on September 19, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 19 at 7:00 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Officials said they are working hard to prove a suspect brutally stabbed someone in May 2012. But the victim in the alleged incident died recently from an unrelated issue.

This is a third-strike case for Josh Fleming, who police described as violent and dangerous. Officials said his record includes robberies and car theft. He now charges after allegedly stabbing another man.

"Definitely a violent assault. It's one we actually investigated as a homicide," said Spokane Police Lieutenant Mark Griffiths. "Not having him [the victim] testify in court presents big challenges. This will be difficult to prosecute."

The stabbing victim was found in a pool of blood in a North Spokane alley with multiple stab wounds. He survived the wounds and was set to be the star witness in his alleged attacker's upcoming trial.

But he recently died in a way not related to the stabbing. But detectives are working overtime to get a guilty verdict. Detectives said they are applying for more search warrants, such as one filed in mid-September for Fleming's DNA to compare to a bloody coat that was found at the scene of the stabbing.

"It's similar to a homicide case where the victim was unable to testify that's what this case is like," Lt. Griffiths said.

The trial for Fleming is set to begin in October, but that may get pushed back with the new developments.

 

 

 

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