Warner Assault Investigation Update (01/17/14)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 August 2014 09:10


January 17, 2014
Gary Jenkins, Chief of Police
Pullman Police Department
(509) 334-0802

Warner Assault Investigation Update

PULLMAN – The Pullman Police Department initiated an investigation of a reported assault on Dr. David Warner on March 30, 2013.  The investigation concluded nearly seven weeks later on May 14, 2013.  A total of four suspects had been identified and arrested for various charges associated with that alleged assault: Madeline A. Fouts, Joshua W. Nantz, John “Matt” Cabanos-Soriano, and Robert D. Bean.  Additionally, a friend of Dr. Warner who was involved in the altercation, Lawrence John McDonald, was arrested on suspicion of attempted assault against Mr. Bean.  Whitman County Prosecuting Attorney Denis Tracy announced today that no criminal charges will be filed.

Pullman Police Detectives conducted a thorough and exhaustive investigation.  Investigators interviewed suspects and numerous witnesses, reviewed Adams Mall video and responding officers’ body-worn camera video, served search warrants for suspects’ cell phone records, and interviewed victim David Warner.  Mr. Warner was not able to provide any specific details of the event that resulted in his injury.  The investigation was then forwarded to the Whitman County Prosecuting Attorney.

While significant investigative resources were utilized due to the seriousness of the injury to Dr. Warner, standard investigative practices were employed.  The arrest of suspects furthered the investigation by providing additional evidence and statements.  The arrests were based upon ‘probable cause’; the requirement for a constitutionally valid arrest.  Probable cause exists where the facts and circumstances lead a person of reasonable caution to believe that a particular person has committed an offense.  However, there is a gap between the requirements for arrest and the requirements for criminal prosecution.  To obtain a criminal conviction, the Prosecuting Attorney must meet a much higher standard of proving that a particular person has committed an offense beyond a reasonable doubt.  In this case, the Prosecuting Attorney did not believe he could meet that high burden of proof.

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