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Thursday, March 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Fight that left man with fatal head wounds followed night of bar-hopping in Spokane Valley

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 8, 2020

A fight that left a man with fatal head injuries started after the suspect opposed the idea of driving the victim home after a night of bar-hopping in Spokane Valley, according to court records.

Daniel G. Jarman, 40, and Joseph R. W. Riley, 38, had been friendly with each other while hanging out with several women on the night of Dec. 28. But as the night wound to a close at about 2 a.m., the two men began arguing and stepped outside of an SUV in the parking lot of Ichabod’s East, a bar at 12116 E. Sprague Ave.

That, according to records filed in Spokane County Superior Court, was when Riley punched Jarman in the face, knocking him to the ground.

One of the women, who was inside the parked SUV, told sheriff’s deputies she watched the incident through the rear window and Jarman was immediately “knocked out cold” when his head hit the pavement, according to court records.

Riley punched Jarman in the face “at least a dozen more times” after that, and Jarman didn’t have a chance to defend himself, said the woman, a bartender at a Spokane Valley restaurant who first met both men earlier that night.

She called 911 as Riley allegedly ran from the scene, and deputies arrived to find Jarman bleeding profusely from the head, according to court records.

Jarman was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, where a portion of his skull was removed to relieve pressure on his brain. He was in the hospital for five days before he died Friday evening.

The county medical examiner’s office on Tuesday said Jarman died of a subdural hemorrhage – bleeding around the brain – with a skull fracture and brain contusions as contributing factors. The medical examiner’s office deemed his death a homicide.

The afternoon following the fight, the bartender looked up Riley’s Facebook page, confirmed he worked as a tattoo artist in the Spokane Valley Mall and passed along that information to Crime Check.

Detective Marc Melville arrested Riley at his home Thursday afternoon on suspicion of first-degree assault. Riley remained in jail Tuesday evening with bond set at $150,000.

In court records, Melville wrote that surveillance footage from Ichabod’s East appeared to confirm the sequence of events that two of the women described.

Detectives have continued investigating the incident since Jarman died. In a news release Monday, the sheriff’s office said detectives want to speak with anyone who witnessed the fight, the events leading up to it or “what may have been said about it in the following days.”

Anyone with information can call Melville at (509) 477-3325.

Jarman and Riley had not met before that night, according to court records. The group got together when Jarman and a friend struck up a conversation with the bartender and several of her friends at a restaurant near the Spokane Valley Mall.

The group visited two other bars in the area – Sullivan Scoreboard and The Black Diamond – before going to Ichabod’s East, where one of the women recognized Riley and he joined the group. Then they went to the bartender’s house, where Jarman, heavily intoxicated, nearly “passed out” on the couch, according to court records.

By then, the group included only Riley, Jarman and two of the women. They got into one woman’s SUV to take Jarman back to his car at Ichabod’s East, and then the women suggested driving Jarman to his home.

According to court records, Riley said they should leave Jarman at the bar instead, and the argument ensued.

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