N. Spokane bank shooting suspect pleads not guilty

N. Spokane bank shooting suspect pleads not guilty

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – The man accused of robbing a Wells Fargo Bank back in April and shooting a customer in the process plead not guilty to charges on Thursday.

Reports said Don Owens was identified by DNA from a mask that was ripped off his head during a robbery at the Wells Fargo on April 28.  After the DNA was traced to Owens, detectives used Facebook photos to determine that he was a physical match for the suspect, according to court documents.

Luke McDonald was shot during the robbery at Wells Fargo. Although he is doing a lot better, his road to recovery still is not over. 

"I go tomorrow for an x-ray check with my orthopedic surgeon and he's going to talk about maybe doing a bone graph too depending on how this x-ray looks," McDonald explained.  

Owens has been charged with one count of bank robbery by force, violence and intimidation and one count of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. McDonald said he is not surprised the case will likely go to trial. 

"That doesn't surprise me because that gives him a little bit of leverage I guess going through the court system," said McDonald.

Although McDonald is not surprised, he sayid he is frustrated because he believes the evidence against Owens is overwhelming. Thanks to McDonald's actions, law enforcement was able to get Owens' DNA off a ski mask that was left at the scene. 

"It is kind of frustrating, but unfortunately it is the law, innocent until proven guilty, so they have to use the DNA on the guy to prove his guilt," McDonald explained. "There was another witness at the ATM machine I guess that saw him come out before or after he had the mask on so that guy will help identify him as well." 

If convicted, Owens could face up to 20 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and a fine up to $250,000. McDonald hopes he will get to testify against Owens and hopes he gets put in jail for a long time. 

Court documents state that detectives believe Owens is also a suspect in a robbery at the Umpqua bank on E. Sprague Ave. Court documents said detectives compared the surveillance video from both robberies and determined both suspects had a similar build in regard to height and weight.

(© 2016 KREM)


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