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‘He was killed for nothing’: Victim’s sister believes fatal downtown stabbing was a case of mistaken identity as new details emerge

UPDATED: Fri., Nov. 20, 2020

Anthony Vornheder, 40, was killed in an Oct. 2 stabbing downtown. A witness said he was killed over a robbery she thought he'd committed a few days prior. Vornheder's sister said he was in jail for trespassing during the alleged robbery.  (Vornheder Family)
Anthony Vornheder, 40, was killed in an Oct. 2 stabbing downtown. A witness said he was killed over a robbery she thought he'd committed a few days prior. Vornheder's sister said he was in jail for trespassing during the alleged robbery. (Vornheder Family)

As new details emerge in the downtown stabbing death of Anthony Vornheder last month, his sister said she believes the killing may have been a case of mistaken identity.

“He was killed for nothing,” Angelique Vornheder said.

Court documents released after the arrest of a suspect earlier this week indicate an anonymous tipster told police he knew why Vornheder, 40, was stabbed multiple times Oct. 2.

A woman reportedly thought Vornheder looked like the man who had robbed her a few days prior. She told her friend, Garry “Clown Boy” Norman, who is accused of then killing Vornheder, the tipster told police.

But Vornheder’s sister said it was impossible Anthony was involved in the robbery. He was in jail at the time.

The Spokane County Jail confirmed Friday that Anthony Vornheder was released Sept. 30, though documents don’t specify when the robbery happened.

The anonymous tipster told police a homeless woman, Brittany Robinson, admitted to knowing about the homicide, according to the court documents.

When police interviewed Robinson, she reportedly told them she was on the corner of Martin Luther King Way and Division Street with Norman on Oct. 2 when she saw Vornheder. She pointed him out as the man who’d robbed her, according to court documents.

Norman, the documents say, approached Vornheder “without warning” and hit him multiple times, Robinson told police. Vornheder fled on Division.

Norman walked back to Robinson and she saw he was holding a folding knife, documents read. Norman admitted to Robinson he’d stabbed Vornheder about eight times, she told police.

Robinson said the next day she learned from a police officer who was canvassing downtown that Vornheder died. During her interview with police a month later, she said it was weighing on her but she was too scared to report what she knew, according to court documents.

Angelique Vornheder said Anthony Vornheder had only been out of jail three days when he was killed. After he was released Sept. 30, he spent time at her home that afternoon. His stay in jail had been at least two weeks, Angelique Vornheder said.

When police booked Anthony in jail on suspicion of trespassing weeks before his death, an officer brought Angelique Vornheder her brother’s possessions, she said.

The officer – a “really good cop,” Angelique Vornheder said – told her he found her brother trespassing, talking to himself, missing attire and looking unwell.

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