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Spokane Co. deputy sues Rep. Shea for defamation

Shea alleged a gun, once owned by Deputy Travis Pendell, was used by Roy Murry to kill his estranged wife’s mother, stepfather and brother. 

Credit: KREM.com
Matt Shea

SPOKANE, Wash. -- A Spokane County Deputy is suing Rep. Matt Shea for defamation.

Shea alleged a gun, once owned by Deputy Travis Pendell, was used by Roy Murry to kill his estranged wife’s mother, stepfather and brother. Shea made the accusations on his podcast, though both Pendell and Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich have called that accusation a lie.

The lawsuit states that in the podcast he said, “It was reported by a source that Deputy Travis Pendell, when they ran the firearm that Roy Murry had, that that firearm came back to the Deputy Travis Pendell, who has a federal firearms license and is now the subject of an investigation because apparently when asked where the gun was he didn’t know and he didn’t know where it got where it got.”

The lawsuit alleges that Shea knew his conduct was negligent and malicious and would result in damage to Pendell.

Back in September 2016, the allegations outraged Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. He said he checked with the ATF and verified while Pendell did exchange guns with Roy Murry, it happened five years before the murders and was completely legal. Knezovich said a murder weapon in the Murry case has never been found.

The lawsuit also names Scott Maclay, who has had a lengthy battle with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. Maclay alleged posted false and defamatory statements on the Rattlesnakes Motorcycle Club Facebook page. The lawsuit claims Maclay said that Pendell was a party to the murders and that he played a role in the murder and cover up of Lt. Terry Canfield (Murry’s estranged wife’s stepfather.)

The lawsuit states that Pendell suffered emotional and mental distress. The suit does not specify how much money Pendell is seeking for the damages.

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