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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Trial set in bridge-pushing case

Thomas Clouse Staff writer

The man charged with trying at gunpoint to force his estranged wife’s male companion to jump over a highway bridge was given a July 20 trial date Wednesday.

David Earl Epley, 36, faces two counts of first-degree kidnapping and one count of attempted first-degree murder in connection with the incident reported early May 13. Epley pleaded innocent in Spokane County Superior Court to all charges.

According to court records, Epley and his wife of 10 years had ongoing marital problems and she had started seeing another man. On May 12, she met her acquaintance at Cinola’s Restaurant, 14710 N. Newport Highway.

Epley allegedly appeared in the backseat of his wife’s car and pointed a pistol at her friend’s head as the pair drove away, court records say. Epley ordered his wife to drive to the southbound lanes of the Wandermere Bridge on U.S. Highway 395, according to court records.

Epley then took the male friend outside at gunpoint and tried to push him over the bridge railing, according to court records. The man caught his balance, pushed away and fled down an embankment to safety. The wife exited the car and flagged down a driver, who drove her away so she could call 911, records say.

Epley then drove his wife’s car to a grocery store, where he obtained his vehicle, according to court records. Epley was later arrested at a Shell gas station on Newport Highway after he called 911 to report that his wife’s friend had threatened to beat him up.

When deputies took Epley into custody, they found a suicidal note and a key to his wife’s car, according to court records.