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Spokane County Medical Examiner reclassifying Brenda Thurman's death as a homicide

In 2016, the Spokane County Medical Examiner ruled that Brenda Thurman's death from her husband was accidental. Now, new evidence suggests otherwise.

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — A major update has surfaced in a case that KREM 2 has covered extensively.

In 2016, the Spokane County Medical Examiner ruled that a Spokane Valley woman's death was "accidental."

Brenda Thurman's husband and former Lincoln County reserve deputy Dwayne Thurman was charged with first degree manslaughter. But, the jury returned a special verdict finding him guilty of second degree manslaughter.

Dwayne claims he was cleaning his wife’s gun when it went off killing her in January 2016. The official report lists the shooting as “accidental.” Based on evidence gathered as part of that civil suit, Brenda's children have said they do not believe this was an accident.  

Now, six years later, the Medical Examiner says Brenda's death was a "homicide" and the office is requesting the Washington Department of Health change this on her death certificate.

In order for the medical examiner to review the manner of death, it has to be at the request of law enforcement or family.

Brenda Thurman's daughter, Gabby Corriette, told KREM 2 she made the request after learning Spokane County had a new medical examiner. She hoped this would produce a second opinion. Gabby and her family have always believed Dwayne Thurman intentionally killed her mother.    

The medical examiner determined Thursday Brenda's manner of death would be better classified as "homicide" on her death certificate.

Gabby told KREM 2 she feels validated by the new medical examiner's determination. She and her brother worked closely with a private investigator, Ted Pulver, on her mother's death. Pulver said the evidence he discovered led him to also believe Brenda's death was not accidental.

"It's good that the new medical examiner took a new look at this case, and maybe there'll be some justice for one, maybe two families, in this matter," Pulver said. "And they'll benefit the entire community."

In 2018, Dwayne Thurman was sentenced to five years for second degree manslaughter.

According to Washington Department of Corrections, he was released from prison on April 12 for work release.

Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell said Dwayne Thurman can't face further charges in Brenda Thurman's death because of double jeopardy.

Credit: Spokane County Medical Examiner

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