February 21, 1996 in Idaho

Judge Releases Suspect In Death Of Man Hit By Car Not Enough Evidence To Connect Hayden Man To Body Found In Brush

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Tags:Assault

A Hayden man arrested on suspicion of murder was released from jail Tuesday.

A Kootenai County magistrate decided there was not enough evidence to file charges against Frederick “Rick” Donohoe, 37.

Donohoe, however, remains the primary suspect in the death of Daniel J. Bonin, 33, of Kansas City, said sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger.

Deputies found Bonin’s body in the brush near Ohio Match and Ramsey roads on Feb. 12.

It appears he had been struck by a car and dragged underneath it, said Jody Deluca, deputy coroner. It also appears Bonin’s body was then dragged by hand 100 to 150 feet into some brush and trees, she said.

“It appears that somebody tried to hide him there,” Wolfinger said.

Witness reports led investigators to believe that Bonin and Donohoe met at Pub 95 in Hayden the night before Bonin was found dead. Employees at the bar said the two men had been drinking together.

Monday evening, three teenage boys were riding dirt bikes on a trail when they came across a pool of blood near Ramsey Road. Bonin’s body was found later that evening.

Investigators on Friday asked Donohoe to bring the vehicle he was believed to be driving into the county shop for inspection.

What appeared to be small pieces of clothing, blood and possibly flesh were found on the bottom side of the car, Wolfinger said. Donohoe then was arrested on suspicion of murder.

The items will be tested to determine whether they belonged to Bonin, Wolfinger said.

Tuesday, prosecutors tried to charge Donohoe with aggravated battery. Judge Paul McCabe, however, determined there was not enough evidence for Donohoe to be charged with that crime, said Prosecutor Bill Douglas.

There remains some question as to the identity of the person who was driving the car that ran into Bonin, Douglas said. He said the car Donohoe brought to the shop does not belong to him. The prosecutor said there also is a question as to whether the driver of the car intended to run into Bonin.

“Basically the law requires that he be released. That does not mean he’ll never be charged,” Douglas said.

Prosecutors decided not to try to file a lesser charge of leaving an accident scene but decided instead to continue the investigation with the sheriff’s department.

Neither Donohoe nor his family could be reached for comment.

According to Kootenai County court records, Donohoe was convicted of drunken driving after he pulled his car in front of an oncoming car in 1992.

In 1989, he was cited for failing to remain at an accident scene and failing to give immediate notice of an accident. He pleaded guilty to failing to give notice of an accident and the other charge was dismissed, according to court records.

In August 1994, Donohoe was charged with first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary in Spokane after he and another man broke into an apartment wielding handguns.

Donohoe pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of second-degree criminal assistance, according to Spokane County court records.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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