SCSO requests manslaughter charge against reserve deputy who shot wife

Dwayne Thurman shot his wife on January 18, 2016. On that day, he called 911 saying he accidentally shot his wife.

SPOKANE, Wash. – Detectives have requested that Lincoln County Reserve Deputy Dwayne K. Thurman be charged with second degree manslaughter in the shooting death of his wife Brenda Thurman.

Dwayne Thurman shot his wife on January 18, 2016. On that day, he called 911 saying he accidentally shot his wife.

Court documents state Brenda’s daughter, Gabrielle, rushed her to the hospital after waiting several minutes for emergency responders to arrive at their home. Brenda was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The requested charge comes after the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office received a Washington State Patrol Crime Lab report stating the Glock pistol involved in the shooting functioned reliably during testing.

Detectives said Thurman acted with negligence causing the death of his wife.

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Thurman also faces two civil lawsuits in the case. Attorney Richard Wall filed two lawsuits on behalf of Brenda Thurman's daughter, Gabrielle. The first lawsuit claims damages and wrongful death. The second lawsuit is a claim for relief under Washington's Slayer Statute. This would prevent Thurman from benefiting financially from Brenda's death.

"The family is very upset with the time it's taken, with the fact it appears it started out as a manslaughter investigation and never a murder investigation," Wall said on Wednesday. "Just based upon what we do know, the charge of second degree manslaughter is entirely insufficient to do justice to the family."

Wall said he believed key witnesses had not been interviewed. 

"We don't know the full extent of the investigation, but we do know there are key witnesses that have not been spoken to or questioned," Wall said. 

Thurman's attorney filed to have both civil lawsuits dismissed last week. 

Officials said part of what delayed the investigation was the testing the glock pistol Thurman claimed was malfunctioning the day he shot his wife in the kitchen. SCSO said tests from the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab shows the glock in question was not malfunctioning and instead functioned reliably during testing.

Based on the gun test results and other information found during the investigation, detectives said they believe Thurman acted with negligence causing the death of his wife.

"The prosecutor in evaluating this case should keep in mind the experience Mr. Thurman had as a reserve law enforcement officer and the training he received in the use and handling of firearms in evaluating the credibility of his explanation for how he shot his wife in the heart," Wall said.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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