August 12, 2009

Two arrested in shooting; judge won’t charge one

By The Spokesman-Review
 

A Spokane County Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday there was no probable cause to charge a man arrested in connection with a shooting in a Spokane fast-food parking lot last week.

But Jason M. Giles will remain in Spokane County Jail on attempted assault charges filed late Wednesday. His alleged accomplice, Toby L. Hunt, 31, also remains jailed and is charged with first-degree attempted murder and drive-by shooting for sending bullets flying through a popular South Hill shopping area.

The men’s arrest Tuesday night came five days after police say Hunt fired five shots at a car driving away from the McDonald’s parking lot, 2903 E. 29th Ave.

Giles, 31, and Hunt had confronted a man and woman in the car about 9:30 p.m. Aug. 6, according to a probable cause affidavit prepared by Spokane police Sgt. Daniel Ervin.

No injuries were reported, but police found a bullet hole in the woman’s car.

That shot came from a silver handgun Hunt pointed at the two before the woman drove away, according to the affidavit.

Hunt is being held on $350,000 bail after his first court appearance Wednesday, but Superior Court Judge Ellen Kalama Clark found no probable cause to support the state’s recommended charges of first-degree assault and drive-by shooting against Giles. The state later filed attempted assault charges.

The incident began with a dispute over a woman, Giles told police. Giles told Hunt that his ex-girlfriend had been assaulted by the male victim, whom Hunt was already angry with over money.

“They decided to go beat him up,” according to the affidavit.

That’s where the facts supporting Giles’ arrest get dicey, public defender Kari Reardon said in court. The only allegation connecting Giles to the first-degree assault charge was an allegation he’d head-butted the car before the shooting.

“I’m not sure that qualifies as an assault,” Clark said.

And while Giles may have known Hunt had a gun, Reardon said, there’s no evidence to say he knew Hunt intended to shoot anyone.

A judge will now decide the merits of the attempted assault charges.

“They throw anything they can at you so anything will stick,” Giles said in an interview.


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