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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels

Haskell addresses decision in deputy-involved death of cyclist

Campaign portrait of Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell, 2014. (Larry Haskell Campaign)
Campaign portrait of Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell, 2014. (Larry Haskell Campaign)

Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell said Monday he weighed "all factors" in determining not to file criminal charges against Joe Bodman, the Spokane County Sheriff's deputy involved in a bicycle crash that killed 15-year-old Ryan Holyk last May.

"No one factor was determinate," said Haskell, who issued a news release Friday after contacting Holyk's mother of his intention not to file criminal charges. "It was the totality of the evidence."

County spokeswoman Martha Lou Wheatley-Billeter said Friday she was asked to hold the news release until Haskell had a chance to speak with Holyk's mother and father. The newly elected prosecutor said he wanted to deliver the news to the family personally, rather than having them hear it from "someone else."

"I think it's a question of respect," Haskell said.

Three separate reconstructions of the crash scene all showed Holyk was not struck by Bodman's patrol car, which was speeding at 70 miles per hour in a 35 zone without its lights flashing as Bodman drove to backup a colleague on a traffic stop. The Spokane County Sheriff's Office is conducting an internal review to determine if Bodman violated department policies in the near-crash.

Haskell said looking at all the evidence, including the actions of Holyk, Bodman's driving did not appear to be criminally negligent.

"It was night, (Holyk) was riding a bicycle without lights, and without a helmet, and he'd started to cross Sprague against the light," Haskell said.

Kip Hill
Kip Hill joined The Spokesman-Review in 2013. He currently is a reporter for the City Desk, covering the marijuana industry, local politics and breaking news. He previously hosted the newspaper's podcast.

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