No charges for local man who admitted to killing robbery suspect

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by HAYLEY GUENTHNER & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on July 22, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 22 at 6:21 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- A man won’t face any charges after he admitted to shooting and killing a man back in September 2012 at the Days Inn in Downtown Spokane.

Spokane Police said they wanted to charge Kevin Heaton with second degree murder for shooting and killing Paul Haney but prosecutors did not agree.  

Major Crimes Detectives said Heaton was robbed at gun point by Haney and four others during a drug deal gone wrong. Then, as Haney was running away, Heaton shot him in the back from the hotel balcony.

Prosecutor Jack Driscoll said a murder charge would never stand.

“In this case there were significant self-defense issues that we didn’t feel we could overcome,” said Driscoll.

Detectives also wanted Heaton charged with being a felon in possession of a gun but that has yet to be determined.

KREM 2 News asked prosecutors to comment on the similarities of this case to the one of Gail Gerlach who killed a car thief as he was fleeing back in March.

Gerlach is charged with first degree manslaughter. Prosecutors say the cases are different because heaton was robbed at gunpoint. Gerlach was the victim of a property crime and the suspect was not armed.

 

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