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Tuesday, September 22, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

22-year-old charged with first-degree murder in Nevada Heights killing

UPDATED: Tue., Aug. 4, 2020

A 22-year-old man from Spokane was arrested Monday and accused of killing a man last month in the Nevada Heights neighborhood in north Spokane.

Bradley S. Willy, 22, faces a charge of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting on July 24.

The shooting happened in the second confrontation that day involving the victim, Lonnie Montoya, 38, and people who lived at 1212 E. Nebraska Ave., including Willy.

Montoya got in a disagreement with Colby Sellers early that morning over stolen engine parts, Sellers told police according to court documents. Sellers said Montoya threatened his life when leaving the area.

Sellers went back inside and told his friends at the house about the incident, including Willy.

Although Willy was not involved in the morning confrontation, multiple witnesses said he made references to using a firearm against Montoya, according to court records. One witness said she heard Willy call Montoya after the morning argument and threaten to kill him if he returned to the house.

Later that day, Montoya did return to the area with a woman who stayed in Montoya’s truck, which was parked in the alley. One witness said Montoya went to a nearby house to see a friend while another witness said he returned to the initial house, according to court records.

Not long after Montoya’s return, a group of people, including Willy, came out of the initial house and threatened Montoya, according to court records.

The woman who was with Montoya in his truck at the time of the shooting told police that the situation was instigated by Willy and his friends. In a neighbor’s surveillance video, obtained by police, an exchange between the victim, Montoya, and Willy and his friend Sellers can be seen before two loud “bangs” are heard.

The first gunshot sound erupted while Montoya was near the passenger side door of his truck, according to court records. The second occurred after Montoya was seated in the front of the truck with the door shut.

Investigators wrote in court documents that Montoya did not appear to be an imminent or immediate threat to Willy or Sellers in the surveillance video.

After Willy was arrested, he told police he shot Montoya with a .22 caliber pistol and that the pistol was hidden underneath the floor of his bedroom.

Police were able to locate the gun where Willy described, according to court records.

According to police, Willy has a limited criminal history in Washington.

Willy was convicted of possession of stolen property and vehicle prowling in 2016. He has a pending case from January, with counts including possession of controlled substances and driving on a suspended license.

Willy is being held on $1 million bail.

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