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

Court docs: Spokane Valley attempted murder suspect shot man at car wash over yellow Beetle

Sept. 7, 2021 Updated Wed., Sept. 8, 2021 at 2:36 p.m.

Sabrina Heaton is pictured.   (Spokane County Sheriff's Office)
Sabrina Heaton is pictured.  (Spokane County Sheriff's Office)

A yellow Volkswagen Beetle was at the center of a shooting in Spokane Valley last month that left one man with life-threatening injuries , according to court documents.

Sabrina Heaton, 31, made her first court appearance Tuesday after her arrest over the weekend on suspicion of attempted murder.

On May 6, Robby Heaton reported two of his cars had been stolen, including a yellow Volkswagen Beetle. He believed Sabrina Heaton, his ex-wife, had taken the car, and he warned police she was armed with a pistol, according to court documents.

A few months later, on Aug. 26, Joseph Carson, 45, was washing the yellow Beetle he borrowed from Sabrina Heaton in the parking lot of Clean-A-Auto at 4208 N. Best Road, he told police in court documents.

Sabrina Heaton arrived in a black VW Beetle at about 6:40 p.m. demanding the car, he said. Carson was quick to oblige and said he would grab his stuff from the car and take his keys off the key ring, he told police.

But Heaton threatened to shoot Carson, saying “I swear to God, I’ll kill you! I need the car now!” according to court documents.

Carson’s girlfriend told police Heaton went to the black Beetle, got a stun gun and threatened to use it on Carson . A few moments later, she returned to the black Beetle and grabbed a pistol, the girlfriend told police.

Heaton held the gun at the back of Carson’s neck and said “I’m going to kill you (expletive),” before Carson tried to overpower her, the girlfriend told police.

During the tussle, Heaton shot Carson in the stomach, according to court documents.

A bystander called 911 and police arrived a short time later, but Heaton had already fled in the black Beetle.

Carson was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, where he underwent surgery, according to court documents. He was still hospitalized but in stable condition as of last week, according to police.

Police quickly identified Sabrina Heaton as the suspect in the shooting and arrested her Saturday without incident. She was booked in to Spokane County Jail, where she remains on a $1 million bond.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of the story incorrectly indicated which Heaton allegedly lent Carson the yellow beetle. Sabrina Heaton allegedly lent the vehicle. 

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