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

Suspect pleads innocent in wife’s slaying

A man who investigators say killed his wife and severely beat the man she was having sex with when he walked in on them earlier this month pleaded innocent Thursday to murder and other charges in U.S. District Court. Kevin I. Pakootas, 23, is accused of fatally beating Colette Peone Pakootas, 23, and injuring Mark Edgett after leaving a party and discovering the pair together about 4:30 a.m. Sept. 5 at his home in rural Inchelium, Wash., which is on the Colville Indian Reservation south of Kettle Falls. Colville tribal police found Edgett and Colette Pakootas naked on the living room floor about 6:15 a.m., according to a report by the FBI. Colette Pakootas died Sept. 11 at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane; Edgett, who investigators say was also struck with the bar of a chainsaw, remains at the hospital. His condition was unavailable. Kevin Pakootas told a detective “he knows what he did was wrong, but what his wife did was wrong as well,” according to the FBI report. “She ‘violated the most sacred vows’ and cheated on him.” Pakootas, who played in the National Native American All-Star football game in 2004, later wrote a letter to his wife’s mother asking for forgiveness. “I want you to know that I forgive (Colette) for her actions,” according to an FBI transcript of the letter. “I know that I was wrong to beat them so bad, but I couldn’t control myself.” Pakootas is in Spokane County Jail on federal charges of murder in the second degree in Indian Country and assault with intent to commit murder in Indian Country. His cousin, Eli M. Pakootas, 30, was arrested for aiding and abetting and obstruction of justice; a co-worker, James L. Phillips, 27, also faces charges of aiding and abetting. Pakootas told investigators he’d intended to shoot his wife and Edgett but “couldn’t pull the trigger” before Phillips drove him to his uncle’s home, where Eli Pakootas was. The three went for a drive but were shortly arrested. “Kevin stated he never told Phillips or Eli what happened, but believed they knew,” according to the FBI report. Witness reports indicate Pakootas was hysterical before and after the alleged assault. He phoned his wife’s mother sounding “hysterical” and said his wife was bleeding and that’s he’d beat her, according to the report. He sent his wife’s sister text messages asking why his wife had cheated on him. But regret soon sunk in, according to court documents. Before his arrest, “his uncle told him he heard what had happened on the scanner. Kevin gave his uncle a hug because he probably wouldn’t see him again because he’d be in jail,” the report said.