November 27, 2013 in City

Charges dropped against one suspect in fatal shooting outside Spokane club

By The Spokesman-Review

Charges against one man in September’s deadly shooting outside The Hop! nightclub will be dismissed, Spokane police said Tuesday.

Kalen Bedford, 23, will no longer face charges in the shooting of Julian Morrison, 26, outside the Monroe Street music venue, despite witness accounts that claimed he was the only shooter. He is still a person of interest in the case.

Carlos Fuentes, 25, remains in custody on charges of first-degree murder and 12 counts of drive-by shooting.

Police said that just before midnight, the shooter or shooters opened fire on Morrison. Investigators said the confrontation stemmed from a fight between gang members exacerbated when a rap artist set to appear at the club didn’t show.

As early as last week, Spokane County prosecutors established plans to prove that Bedford shot and killed Morrison, a rival gang member, to enhance his status within his own gang, according to court records.

Police said many witnesses on the scene were not forthcoming with information, complicating the investigation. New information discovered this week led the court to drop the charges.

Earlier this month, Fuentes asked the court to dismiss the charges against him, but Superior Court Judge Ellen Kalama Clark ruled police had provided enough evidence to show Fuentes “was involved in some kind of incident or confrontation with the deceased.”

Police provided no additional information about why the charges were dropped, but said Major Crimes detectives are continuing to investigate the shooting.

Kari Reardon, Bedford’s attorney, said she could not provide any additional information about why the charges were dropped.

“I know that the case has been difficult to investigate, which is not unexpected for something that happened at a bar,” she said.

Bedford was released from Spokane County Jail early Tuesday afternoon, Reardon said. Fuentes remained behind bars on a $1 million bond.

Police encourage anyone with additional information to contact Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

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