April 30, 1996 in Nation/World

Murder Suspect Is No Stranger To Violence

Jeanette White and Gita Sitaramiah Staff writers
 

The man accused of beating two Spokane Valley women to death with a baseball bat is no stranger to violence against women.

Since last summer, two former girlfriends have accused Dwayne A. Woods of violently attacking them - threatening one with a bat, sending the other to a hospital with head injuries.

Terrified, they convinced authorities to order Woods, 25, to stay away from them.

The women Woods is accused of attacking Saturday weren’t so fortunate.

Detectives suspect he fatally beat Telisha Shaver, 22, and Jade Moore, 18. The close friends died Sunday. Shaver’s sister, 19-year-old Venus, was recovering from head injuries and under close watch Monday night at a local hospital.

Detectives aren’t sure why Woods was in the Valley mobile home with the West Valley High School graduates. He forced one of the to help him ransack the home, looking for guns, jewelry and other valuables to steal, authorities said.

Moore and Venus Shaver had spent Friday night at the home of a relative who was out of town, detectives said. When Moore awoke at 7:30 the next morning, Woods was there.

He beat the women, then attacked Telisha Shaver when she arrived at the home about 9:30 a.m. Saturday, detectives said.

The sisters’ mother went to look for them about an hour later. As she approached, a man ran from the house.

The victims were rushed to local hospitals, and detectives talked to one of them between surgeries, said Kathryn Lee, deputy prosecuting attorney.

Deputies suspect robbery is a motive in the attacks. They’re waiting for test results to see whether the women also were sexually assaulted.

Woods is expected to face two counts of aggravated first-degree murder and a first-degree assault charge, prosecutors said. He is being held in the Spokane County Jail. A judge refused Monday to set bond for his release.

A 33-year-old Spokane woman was outraged Woods was “on the loose” again after he had been convicted of assaulting her in 1989.

“When I heard those girls were killed, I thought it was such a waste,” said the woman, who didn’t want her name published. “You let the parents know that I hurt for them.”

Woods initially had been charged with first-degree rape in the 1989 attack. He later pleaded guilty to second-degree assault.

In court records, police say Woods held the woman at gunpoint, forced her to take off her clothes and sexually assaulted her.

He stabbed her leg with a knife to force her to remove her clothes faster, records show.

In 1993, Woods was convicted of second-degree assault in King County and was sentenced to 28 months in prison, authorities said. Further details weren’t immediately available.

Two former girlfriends obtained domestic violence protection orders against Woods in Spokane County Superior Court. One was issued in December 1995, the other a week ago.

At the time of Saturday’s attack, police had been looking for Woods to serve him with the latest protection order.

On Monday, the suspect’s mother refused to discuss the murder case, angrily saying she doesn’t want Woods “tried in the newspaper.”

Approached at the Downtowner Motel where she is staying, Woods’ mother said a white reporter would only twist her words. Woods, who is black, can’t get a fair trial in Spokane anyway, she said.

“I saw what happened to O.J. Simpson!” she added before closing the door to her motel room.

Woods, through a jail sergeant, also refused to comment.

Outside the South Coleman home where the women were attacked, red-eyed relatives huddled together. A woman who lived there waited to go through the trailer with sheriff’s detectives.

The parents of the victims are too heartbroken to talk about what had happened, relatives said.

High-school friends remembered the slain women as fun-loving.

As youngsters, the Shavers once turned up the stereo and invited all the neighborhood kids to their yard for a disco dance, said a neighbor, choking back tears at the memory.

Debbie Maier, 18, said the Shavers readily included her in their family gatherings. Maier is keeping close tabs on the condition of Venus Shaver, an especially good friend.

“She’s really just awesome. She’s so fun to go out with,” Maier said. “She likes to meet people and she loves to dance.”

Other friends are anxious to learn more about why the women were attacked, said Mary Ann Ponsness, a former classmate who works at a day-care center across the street from the Shaver home.

“Their whole being was just strong,” she said.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 3 Photos

The following fields overflowed: BYLINE = Jeanette White Staff writer Staff writer Gita Sitaramiah contributed to this report.


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