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Tuesday, October 15, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Sandpoint homicide suspect appears in court weeks after sitting in jail on unrelated charges

UPDATED: Tue., April 16, 2019, 10:22 p.m.

Michael McDermott appears in court in Bonner County for allegedly murdering Robert H. Wohali. (Courtesy of Adam Mayer, KHQ reporter)
Michael McDermott appears in court in Bonner County for allegedly murdering Robert H. Wohali. (Courtesy of Adam Mayer, KHQ reporter)
By Will Campbell and Thomas Clouse The Spokesman-Review

A man in custody since March on allegations of giving false information to police has been officially charged in connection with the shooting death of 26-year-old Robert H. Wohali, of Sandpoint.

Sandpoint police detectives submitted an indictment charging Michael R. McDermott with second-degree murder and failure to notify law enforcement of a death, according to court testimony Tuesday.

McDermott appeared Tuesday before 1st District Judge Daniel McGee. Arraignment was scheduled for April 23, according to KHQ’s Adam Mayer, who attended the hearing in Sandpoint.

Although the indictment was sealed, McGee read it in open court. Sandpoint detectives believe McDermott shot Wohali in the chest and then dumped his body in the woods outside Sandpoint.

McDermott appeared via video from the Bonner County Jail. McGee ordered McDermott be held on a $500,000 bond.

It’s not clear why Bonner County prosecutors sealed the court documents that detail the detectives’ findings in Wohali’s death. Prosecutor Louis Marshall did not immediately respond to The Spokesman-Review for a request for a comment.

Wohali went missing in March, about the same time police arrested McDermott for an arrest warrant from a car theft and for lying to police.

Police found Wohali’s body in a remote spot south of Sandpoint days later and quickly identified McDermott as a person of interest in the death.

Before he went missing, Wohali had been searching for his early ’90s white Chevy Camaro, which he claimed was stolen, and was setting up deals to recover it.

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