SPOKANE, Wash. — A former reserve deputy has been charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of his wife in Spokane Valley last year.
Dwayne Thurman was charged June 29 and is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, The Spokesman-Review reported Friday (https://goo.gl/eH8TKx).
The former Lincoln County reserve deputy told investigators that he was cleaning his wife’s Glock .380 handgun at their home when it went off accidentally in January 2016.
Brenda Thurman died of a single gunshot wound to the chest. Spokane County Medical Examiner Dr. Sally Aiken ruled her death accidental.
Dwayne Thurman told investigators that the gun had been malfunctioning and he thought it was unloaded, court documents show.
A forensic expert who examined the gun, however, said he found it to “function reliably” and it “did not have any malfunctions,” court documents said.
The Thurmans — both military veterans — had gone to a shooting range the day before her death.
Thurman’s attorney, Carl Oreskovich, said he doesn’t believe Thurman should be charged, calling the incident a tragic accident.
“It’s not a criminal case and shouldn’t be a criminal case,” he said.
Aiken’s report, which was sent anonymously to The Spokesman-Review, also said Brenda Thurman had a bruising pattern “suggestive of domestic violence.”
Brenda Thurman’s daughter, Gabrielle Corriette, said in court documents that the couple had been having marriage problems for at least a year.
Both of Brenda Thurman’s children have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Dwayne Thurman.
In the lawsuit, Corriette said that she didn’t go downstairs for several minutes after she heard a loud bang, and in that time, Dwayne Thurman neither called 911 nor attempted CPR or any medical aid.
The lawsuit is currently set for trial next year.
Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com