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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Spokane medical examiner rules ‘homicide’ seven years after Kettle Falls man’s death

July 19, 2022 Updated Tue., July 19, 2022 at 8:21 p.m.

The death of John Sevy has been ruled a homicide. He died after an apparent assault outside his home in Kettle Falls.  (Courtesy KHQ)
The death of John Sevy has been ruled a homicide. He died after an apparent assault outside his home in Kettle Falls. (Courtesy KHQ)

After seven years, Margie Sevy Urhausen finally feels like she’s making progress toward justice.

The Spokane Medical Examiner’s Office recently determined her father’s death was a homicide after law enforcement discovered new details.

John Sevy was 76 when he succumbed to fatal injuries he sustained on July 10, 2015, at the home he shared in Kettle Falls with his wife and daughter.

According to Urhausen, Sevy came back inside their home just before midnight, speechless and with a bloody head. Her father was likely concussed and unable to say anything except “yes” and “no,” she said.

Initially, Urhasen was told that her father had likely fallen and hit his head.

But Urhausen asked him if he fell before they went to the hospital and he replied “no,” she said.

Sevy was transported from Stevens County to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center via helicopter where he died 13 days later.

Sevy died as a result of a brain hemorrhage and brain contusions due to blunt impact to the head. He also had cracked ribs and a broken clavicle, Urhausen said.

“You don’t get that from a fall,” Urhausen said.

When Urhausen returned home after taking her father to the hospital, she discovered some of his things scattered around the driveway and trails of blood from the front door to the driveway, she said.

Nurses and law enforcement told Urhausen that her father showed signs of being beaten, she said. Urhausen believes that her father was attacked outside of their home, which ultimately led to his death.

The Stevens County Sheriff’s Office took the case from the Kettle Falls Police Department 10 days after the incident. In those 10 days, neighbors had come by to help clean up around the home. Sevy’s clothes from that night were also washed.

“We didn’t have any clear-cut evidence,” Stevens County Sheriff Brad Manke said.

Now investigators say they’re “pretty sure” they know what happened, after interviewing multiple people familiar with burglaries around the area that summer. Still, a suspect hasn’t been determined.

Sevy had warned his family and neighbors on July 9 that he had seen suspicious vehicles near some homes that were under construction, Urhausen recalled. He insisted that the neighbors make sure to shut their garage doors at night to prevent any potential burglaries, she said.

But that night, Sevy’s own garage door was left open. Some of his tools were also stolen that night, she said.

Urhausen said she is grateful for the work of Stevens County Sheriff’s Office investigators, but she has worried over the last seven years that the suspicious circumstances around her father’s death might be forgotten, in large part because the death had not been ruled a homicide.

“There’s no such thing as closure, but there is justice,” Urhausen said on Monday. “Whatever happens now, somebody has to fight for him.”

Urhausen described her father as introverted and a hard worker who wasn’t one to back down from confrontation.

“He was a good family man and a very good dad,” she said.

The anniversary of his death is July 23.

“We agreed collectively as a family that we choose forgiveness – if nothing else to honor my dad, because that’s what he would expect of us,” Urhausen said. “We still deserve justice. But the people involved (in his death) need to know that they’re going to be met with love, even though they don’t deserve it.”

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