Former VA detective looks for connection between deaths of two local VA employees

Former VA detective looks for connection between deaths of two local VA employees

SPOKANE, Wash. – A former Veterans Affairs detective is raising new concerns about the case where a woman was shot and killed by her husband as he was cleaning her gun.

Dwayne Thurman told deputies he accidentally shot and killed his wife, Brenda, while cleaning a gun that had been malfunctioning. Up until recently, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office said a delay in getting that gun tested was holding up the case. KREM 2 has now learned the gun has been tested, so the sheriff's office is getting ready to forward the case to the prosecutor's office. But, still more questions remain.

“Being a former deputy chief coroner it doesn't jive at all with me. Could it have been an accident? Absolutely, but there's so many questions that there's just not enough answers,” former VA detective Kenneth Collier.

Collier said after the deaths of Brenda Thurman and Dr. John Marshall, who were both employees at the VA, he started looking for a connection between them because several things just did not add up. Dr. Marshall disappeared just a week after Brenda Thurman's death.

“It needs more investigating and that's all we were really trying to do was show that there could be more evidence and I was concerned for the safety of the VA because this individual Dwayne Thurman is still working at the VA as we speak now,” he explained.

Collier said when he went to the Chief of Police at the VA, he was told to stop investigating. KREM 2 reached out to the VA about that they sent us a statement saying, "Mann-Grandstaff VAMC Police never had a formal investigation opened with regard to either Brenda Thurman or John Marshall, as no crime was alleged to have occurred on VA grounds."

“It didn't happen on VA grounds, I knew it didn't happen on VA grounds, my problem is Dwayne Thurman killed his wife, we know this, but we don't know the rest of the story and this guy is still working at the VA hospital,” Collier said.

Not knowing the full story, Collier said he started looking into it because he was concerned about the safety of other employees. The Spokane County Sheriff's Office is still investigating Brenda Thurman's death. They said they will forward the case to the prosecutor's office soon to decide if Thurman will be charged. Private Investigator Ted Pulver said with the evidence he has found he does not believe this was an accident. 

"There is a lot of information on this case that indicates that this case is far more serious than what Dwayne Thurman stated when he was first reporting this shooting to the police," Pulver explained.

Pulver points to the gun saying he has evidence it was not malfunctioning and that it was unusual for Dwayne to clean the gun in the kitchen.

"Any weapon cleaning or solvent would be done in Dwayne's downstairs gun room and that there was never an experience where any weapons were taken apart or gun solvent placed anywhere near her prize kitchen table," he said.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating. Officials said they will forward the case to the prosecutor’s office as soon as possible. The prosecutor’s office will work with detectives to decide if Thurman will be charge and with what.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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