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

Former Lincoln County reserve deputy charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of his wife

Brenda and Dwayne Thurman at the 2014 Veterans Administration employee Christmas party at Ft. Wright Mukogawa Institute. (Courtesy of Bret Bowers)

Former Lincoln County reserve Deputy Dwayne Thurman has been charged with first-degree manslaughter for the shooting death of his wife Brenda last year.

The couple, both military veterans, had gone to a shooting range the day before. Thurman told investigators that he was cleaning his wife’s gun when it went off accidentally. He also said the gun had been malfunctioning, and he thought it was unloaded.

Thurman’s attorney, Carl Oreskovich, said he doesn’t believe Thurman should be charged with anything.

“This is simply a case of a tragic accident that occurred and could occur to anybody,” he said. “It’s not a criminal case and shouldn’t be a criminal case.”

The charge was filed June 29, and Thurman received a summons this week ordering him to appear in court, Oreskovich said. He is scheduled to appear Wednesday, when his bond and release conditions will be set.

New court documents filed in the case include some new details, including the fact that Brenda Thurman’s daughter, Gabrielle Corriette, approached a deputy at the emergency room and said, “Arrest him, he did this,” with regard to Dwayne Thurman.

Dwayne Thurman told the same deputy, “It’s my fault, I’m an idiot,” according to court documents.

Though Dwayne Thurman reported that his wife’s gun had been malfunctioning, the forensic expert who examined the gun said he found it to “function reliably” and it “did not have any malfunctions,” court documents state.

Brenda Thurman died of a single gunshot wound to the chest. Spokane County Medical Examiner Dr. Sally Aiken ruled her death accidental.

Aiken’s report, which was sent anonymously to The Spokesman-Review, also states Brenda Thurman had a bruising pattern “suggestive of domestic violence.”

Corriette said in court documents the couple had been having marital problems for at least a year.

Both of Brenda Thurman’s children have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Dwayne Thurman. Corriette said in the lawsuit that she did not go downstairs for several minutes after she heard a loud bang and in that time Dwayne Thurman neither called 911 nor attempted CPR or any medical aid.

The lawsuit is set for trial next year.