Murder suspects arrested after Spokane apartment shooting

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by KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on March 12, 2013 at 8:03 AM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 12 at 5:24 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.-- Spokane authorities arrested two suspects early Tuesday stemming from a fatal shooting at an apartment complex near Spokane Falls Community College. 

Spokane Police Major Crimes detectives arrested Jonathan J.L. Ritchey, 23, for 1st Degree Murder Domestic Violence and Gary L. Stoddard, 45, for 1st Degree Murder and 1st Degree Kidnapping. Stoddard also had a warrant for his arrest before this charge. Stoddard will appear in court on March 26 at 11 a.m. Ritchey will appear in court on the same day at 11:30 a.m.

Family member of Ritchey say he has a baby boy with the victim, Heather Cassel. Stoddard is Ritchey's uncle. They say Cassel dated Ritchey for the past few years and they had just broken up.

It stemmed from the shooting at College Terrace Apartments on Fort George Wright Drive around 4:30 a.m. Monday.

Residents reported hearing gunshots followed by a woman screaming.  When authorities arrived, they found the woman dead outside of one of the rental units between the leasing office and resident mailboxes. The woman is now identified as Heather Cassel. Police say she was shot in the face and was found wearing one handcuff.

Detectives used the help of media to identify Cassel.  From there, they were able to retrace her activity in the hours leading up to her death.  Three search warrants were executed early Tuesday for evidence related to the crime.  While executing one search warrant, investigators found a firearm of the same caliber used in the murder.  Authorities also located and seized Cassel's car for evidence.

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