Editor's note: Above video is a report from 2017 when the victim's body was identified
SPOKANE, Wash. – A jury acquitted a convicted felon of a 2017 drive-by shooting death in North Spokane.
The jury deliberated on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday before finding Darrell T. Tucker not guilty of first-degree murder and unlawful possession on a firearm, among other charges.
Brandon Bushy, 31, was found dead with two gunshot wounds to his right side on Jan. 24, 2017, according to court documents. Spokane police said his body was found under suspicious circumstances in a large pool of blood.
On Jan. 30, Tucker was arrested under suspicion of homicide.
According to court documents, Bushy’s girlfriend spoke with him on Jan. 24. He told her he was staying at a friend’s house on East Crown Avenue and would be heading toward her home on East Rowan Road soon.
That night, an unidentified minor said she heard arguing outside of her home and looked out the window to see a white station wagon in the road and a man standing next to the driver’s side door of the vehicle, according to court documents.
She then heard what she thought were gunshots, which she reported to her mother. The incident was never reported to police, according to court documents.
That same day, a man who lived on East Crown found a body on the sidewalk in front of his home and called 911, according to court documents. The man was later identified as Bushy.
Police later said Bushy’s wounds were consistent with a person shooting from a seated position within the car, according to court documents. They added that Bushy was unarmed.
Police said one of the potential suspect vehicles that they found belonged to Tucker, who had previously been convicted of robbery and multiple occasions of burglary out of Idaho, according to court documents.
Police said Tucker was also a registered violent offender in Montana who served five years in prison for burglary, according to court documents.
Tucker’s parole officer told police that she met him with on January 26, 2017 and that Tucker was driving a black BMW instead of his usual Subaru. She said Tucker’s behavior was significantly different from past experiences and that he was unusually nervous, according to court documents.
On Jan. 30, a man named Christopher A. Burdick was driving the Subaru registered to Tucker. A woman, who claimed to be Burdick’s girlfriend, said she picked up one of his friends in North Spokane a few days prior but was unable to describe the man, according to court documents.
A detective interviewed Burdick and found that he had Department of Corrections warrants.
Burdick said he received a call in the early morning from Tucker five nights before, who sounded panicked and said he wanted to be picked up near Bridgeport and Division, according to court documents. He had abandoned his Subaru.
Burdick told police he received a text from Tucker that said he had parked the Subaru behind Burdick’s home and that the key was on a tire, according to court documents.
During a second interview with Burdick in February, he denied several accusations and changed his story several times, according to court documents. He said Tucker was vomiting and asked Burdick to retrieve the gun he had left under a bush by a dumpster in the parking lot of a nearby apartment complex.
Police said Tucker told Burdick’s girlfriend that he had a problem with a person from a long time ago, and that the two ran into one another and argued. She said that Tucker told her the person said he better use a gun on him or he would kill Tucker.
The woman said she returned to the area where they had picked up Tucker and located a semi-automatic pistol and brought it home to Burdick, who sold it for a half gram of heroin and somewhere between $40 and $50.
A detective found a Spokane Police Department incident from 2008 involving Tucker and Bushy, where Tucker was arrested for the rape of a 14-year-old girl. The victim was a family friend of Bushy, according to court documents.
According to court documents, Bushy assaulted Tucker over the allegations.
Police also found a text sent from Burdick’s phone to Tucker on Jan. 27 that read, “I just think it is safe to say the istol (sic) got disposed of have you seen the news.”
After the jury acquitted Tucker, he was released from custody on Wednesday night, according to a judicial assistant.