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Days Inn shooting followed drug robbery

Mon., Oct. 8, 2012, 6:05 p.m.

The shooting that left a man dead outside a downtown Spokane hotel last month appears to have been the result of an attempted drug robbery, according to newly filed court records.

Spokane Police officials previously named Kevin M. Heaton, 35, as the person suspected of shooting 33-year-old Paul A. Haney, who was found dead on Sept. 13 outside the Days Inn, 120 W. Third Ave.

Heaton was arrested Sept. 28 in Metaline Falls but has yet to be charged in connection with Haney’s killing. Heaton, a convicted felon, appeared before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese Monday on two drug charges.

Plese kept Heaton’s bond at $15,000 on those charges, but he’s being held on a separate $30,000 bond for the charge of felon in possession of a firearm, according to court records.

In a search warrant filed Thursday, Detective Jeff Barrington said witnesses told police that Heaton had rented three rooms on the second floor of the Days Inn.

Witness Marc Martinez, who was arrested on Sept. 13 in Yakima on a state Department of Corrections hold, told Spokane detectives that he had gone to the Days Inn with Haley A. Smith, Paul Haney and Lindsey Haney “to rob a drug dealer in room #203.”

Martinez and Paul Haney went into the room and Haney “pointed a gun at the drug dealer while Martinez took a pillowcase and placed some methamphetamine and other miscellaneous clothing items” inside. He and Haney then left the hotel room and ran downstairs.

As they fled the scene, “the drug dealer started shooting at them,” Barrington wrote.

One of the bullets connected, striking Haney in the back and killing him in the parking lot. Detectives also found a pillowcase in the parking lot near Haney’s body with items similar to those Martinez described. Martinez later said he fled the scene with Lindsey Haney in Paul Haney’s green Honda, which they abandoned in East Wenatchee.

After detectives arrested Heaton in Metaline Falls, he agreed to be interviewed and said he had been robbed and pistol whipped on Sept. 13 at the Days Inn

Heaton “further admitted that after being robbed and pistol whipped, he exited the motel room during which time Heaton fired approximately two or three gunshots from a 9 mm pistol that Heaton later threw into the Spokane River,” Barrington wrote.

In another new development, detectives apparently haven’t ruled out Jimmy J. Blackburn, 29, as having some type of role in the Days Inn shooting. Blackburn currently is charged with attempted second-degree murder in connection with a separate attack in which three black youths claimed that he fired at them on the South Hill on Sept. 12.

Blackburn was found inside one of the Days Inn rooms that had been provided by Heaton and detectives found the stolen red 2012 Roketa Sicily outside the Days Inn near where they found Haney’s body.

On Friday, Spokane Police obtained a search warrant that listed Blackburn as a suspect in the Haney shooting and obtained a judge’s approval to test one of three handguns from the scene to see if Blackburn’s DNA can be matched to the guns.

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