Woman calls boyfriend’s killing accident – Judge decides she should remain jailed — (The Spokesman-Review)

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The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA)

September 16, 2003

Author: John Craig Staff writer

A 27-year-old Spokane woman said she didn’t intend to kill her 65-year-old companion at his northern Pend Oreille County home, but a judge found enough evidence to keep her in jail.

Pend Oreille County District Court Judge Philip van de Veer set bail for Jeanette M. Evans at $100,000, pending her arraignment Thursday morning in Superior Court.

Evans was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder, and van de Veer found there was at least enough evidence to hold her on suspicion of manslaughter and illegal possession of a firearm.

The sheriff’s office continued to withhold the name of Saturday’s shooting victim because his next of kin hadn’t been notified.

Evans’ court-appointed attorney, Tim Trageser, said the evidence investigators presented in two affidavits suggests to him that the shooting was accidental. Trageser acknowledged, though, that there was enough evidence to hold Evans on suspicion of manslaughter.

Investigators believe Evans fired at least two shots from a 9mm semiautomatic pistol. One bullet pierced a lung.

Under-sheriff Mike Cress said four spent shell casings and a live round were found near a Ford Bronco where the shooting occurred after Evans and the victim quarreled. Cress said investigators believe two shots were fired earlier in the day for unknown reasons, and two more were fired when the victim was killed.

The live round found at the shooting scene could have been ejected unintentionally if Evans worked the action to make sure it was loaded before firing, Cress said.

Van de Veer said Evans’ lengthy history of domestic violence arrests and convictions in Spokane County justified the $100,000 bail sought by Deputy Prosecutor Tony Koures.

Koures said he hadn’t decided whether to charge Evans with first-degree murder, second-degree murder or first-degree manslaughter.

According to court documents, Evans went to a neighbor’s house for help after shooting the man she was living with. Their home was a half-dozen miles south of Ione on LeClerc Road. Sheriff’s officers said Evans was covered with blood when they arrived.

The only other witness, Evans’ 4-year-old son by another man, also had blood on his clothing.

Deputy Jon Carman reported that Evans asked whether the victim was going to die, and said, “It was an accident. We were just playing around with the gun when I shot him.”

But Deputy Sal Mancini said Evans also told him she heard voices telling her the victim “was a bad guy and that he was touching her son inappropriately.”

Mancini said Evans told him she got the gun from a bag inside the house and was standing next to a vehicle outside the house when she fired the fatal shot.

Evans volunteered to give a statement, but gave vague and conflicting information, according to Carman. He said she claimed she couldn’t remember the shooting because she blacked out, but she remembered hearing the victim curse and say, “You shot me.”

Evans reportedly told the deputies she was taking a generic form of the drug Prozac, but she couldn’t say why. She also said she had been treated at Eastern State Hospital, but couldn’t say when or why, the officers stated.

Investigators recovered two loaded semiautomatic pistols, including a 9mm near the victim’s body and a .380-caliber in a fanny pack.

Record Number: 0309160016
Copyright (c) 2003 The Spokesman-Review