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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Charges dropped against man accused of beating homeless man to death at intermodal center

Dec. 14, 2021 Updated Tue., Dec. 14, 2021 at 9:43 p.m.

The Spokane Intermodal Center.  (Tyler Tjomsland/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
The Spokane Intermodal Center. (Tyler Tjomsland/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

Prosecutors dropped the murder charge against the man accused earlier this year of beating a homeless person to death in downtown Spokane after they couldn’t locate a key witness.

Justin Combs, 34, was found bloodied in front of the Intermodal Center in June. He later died from his injuries.

In July, police arrested Samual Tesch-Villa, 19, on suspicion of the homicide. He was charged with first-degree murder not long after.

The attack was caught on surveillance video, according to court documents.

Earlier this month, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kelly Fitzgerald asked that the charge be dismissed because the state was unable to locate an essential witness.

Fitzgerald said her office plans to continue trying to locate the witness but couldn’t hold Tesch-Villa in good faith.

Fitzgerald did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

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