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Attorney suspected of assault turns self in

A Spokane attorney wanted for failing to show up in court to face charges for allegedly assaulting his former law partner turned himself in Monday.

A Spokane Police Department news release issued Saturday, which said 41-year-old Dean Edward White had been missing for several days and should be considered dangerous, was misleading, said attorney John Clark, a trustee of the Spokane County Bar Association who briefly represented White before withdrawing from the case.

“He was never on the run, and he was never armed and dangerous,” Clark said Monday.

White has been booked into the Spokane County Jail, said police spokeswoman Jennifer DeRuwe. He has been charged with two counts of second-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment. A judge Monday denied his request to lower his $100,000 bail.

Police got a Spokane County District Court warrant for White’s arrest Friday after he failed to show up to face charges that he beat, choked and threatened to kill attorney Connie L. Powell, who had practiced law with him in Spokane for a year. At the time, White’s attorney Julie Twyford was out of town for the weekend, and White had left on an elk-hunting trip, Clark said.

Clark said he withdrew from the case, because detectives designated him a witness because of things Powell said to him after the incident, which occurred on Nov. 7.

According to a police affidavit, Powell told detectives that White became angry after he backed her car into another car in the parking lot of Parker’s Bar & Grill in Spokane. Powell and a group of their friends, all of whom were also in the car, told him to stop and leave his personal information. The friends left, and Powell was left alone in the car with White.

On the way to State Line, where they’d intended to go drinking, Powell told police that White choked her into unconsciousness three times before turning the car around and driving back to their law offices at 921 N. Adams St. Powell said she tried to call 911 when they were in the office but White put a loaded gun to her head and threatened to kill her.

The police affidavit also includes excerpts from interviews with several witnesses, including a law firm employee who took cell phone photos of bruises on Powell’s neck, arm, back, chest, eyes and legs. It also includes an eyewitness account of the alleged assault by a Spokane County Jail corrections officer and interviews with two attorney friends whom Powell allegedly confided in after the incident.

The police report indicates that Clark surrendered White’s Colt .45-caliber Mark IV handgun to police detectives Nov. 26, when Clark was still representing White.

The case was originally prosecuted as a domestic-violence assault, which resulted in an order barring White from contacting Powell. Police say White violated that order by immediately coming back to work on Nov. 8 and inquiring about Powell after being released from jail.

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