Inmate admits to seeing victim beaten to death

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by HAYLEY GUENTHNER & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on March 7, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 7 at 7:10 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Two men were arrested in early March in connection to the November death of a man in Spokane  On Friday, Michael Bullock sat down with KREM 2 News and admitted to seeing his friend beat Donald J. Kuest, 46, to death.

Bullock, 41, and James Bonham, 35, face murder and robbery charges according to Spokane Police Department officials.

Kuest’s body was found in Nov. 2013. Authorities said his body was found in the Spokane River just east of the Upriver Dam.  The Spokane County Medical Examiner said hypothermia also contributed to his death.

Through their investigation and based on autopsy results, detectives determined the murder took place on Nov. 11.  Detectives believed Kuest was robbed and murdered near Sullivan Park and dumped in the river in that same area. 

Bullock told KREM 2 News that Bonham killed Kuest. However, both men are pointing fingers at each other for the murder and detectives believe both men actively participated.

READ MORE: Body of man in Spokane River identified
“The murder I didn't commit. I was just there” stated Bullock during a jailhouse interview.

He claimed that Bonham beat Kuest to death and threw the body in the Spokane River.

Yet, detectives said both men ganged up on Kuest, beat him, and tossed him into the water.

Bullock said the suspect and victim hated each other from the first day they met. He told KREM 2 News that he wished he would have stepped in.

The investigation involved multiple search warrants of residences, phone bills and interviews of several other people not directly involved in the crimes.  Spokane County Major Crimes detectives were still investigating the case.

Bonham was arrested in Spokane Valley Thursday night by a Spokane Valley Deputy while he was walking down the street.  Bullock was arrested March 5 by an off-duty detective.

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