A man who fled town after killing another man during a downtown robbery will not face murder charges, prosecutors have decided.
Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Jack Driscoll said his office does not have enough evidence to disprove allegations that Kevin M. Heaton acted in self defense when he shot and killed 33-year-old Paul A. Haney. Haney died on Sept. 13 outside the Days Inn, 120 W. Third Ave.
“We have to disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt,” Driscoll said. “We didn’t think with the facts that we would be able to do that.”
Prosecutors, however, intend to continue to seek charges against Heaton, 36, for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Witnesses told investigators that Heaton had rented three rooms on the second floor of the Days Inn, according to court records.
Witness Marc Martinez 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.”
According to Spokane Police detective Jeff Barrington, Martinez and Paul Haney entered the room and Haney “pointed a gun at the drug dealer” while Martinez filled a pillowcase with methamphetamine and clothes.
Martinez and Haney left the hotel room and ran downstairs. As they fled the scene, Heaton started shooting at them, according to court records. One of the bullets struck Haney in the back and killed him.
After detectives arrested Heaton in Metaline Falls on Sept. 28, he agreed to be interviewed and claimed he had been robbed and pistol whipped on Sept. 13 at the Days Inn.
Heaton also admitted that he fired two to three shots from a 9 mm pistol, which he later threw into the Spokane River.