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Trial begins for former Spokane advertising executive involved in boat crash that killed three

UPDATED: Thu., July 19, 2018, 10:45 p.m.

Attorneys began opening statements in the trial of former Spokane advertising executive Dennis Magner, who pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and criminal conspiracy after he and several others were involved in a boat crash two years ago that left three dead.

According to a Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office news release, Magner was operating a boat on Lake Coeur d’Alene with four passengers aboard when his vessel crashed into a stationary boat, which was occupied by the victims.

The Sheriff’s Office said Magner and the passengers lied about who was operating the boat, but later recanted their stories.

KHQ reported Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh used his opening statement Thursday to go over investigative reports and the injuries to the victims. The victims, Justin Luhr, Justin Honken, and Caitlyn Breeze, received head injuries in the crash, fell from their boat and died of drowning.

Magner’s attorney, Carl Oreskovich, told the jury that Magner himself sustained a head injury and was not drunk, as investigators allege. He called the incident a tragic accident and not an alcohol-related crime, according to KHQ.

The family of one of the victims, Justin Luhr, has also filed a wrongful death suit against Magner that would benefit Luhr’s wife and daughters.

According to the court schedule, Magner’s trial is overseen by Idaho 1st District Court Judge Cynthia K.C. Meyer and is scheduled into next week.


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