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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Red Top Motel stabbing suspect found guilty of murder

Authorities investigate a shooting at the Red Top Motel in Spokane Valley in March 2022.  (Garrett Cabeza / The Spokesman-Review)

A Spokane jury convicted a 49-year-old man Wednesday of stabbing and killing a man at the Red Top Motel in June.

Michael Perry, of Spokane, killed John Trendowicz, who was staying at the motel. The 12-person jury found extenuating circumstances that showed Perry knew the victim was particularly vulnerable when killing him.

Trendowicz, 63, was found dead on June 10 in his motel room shower with the water running. He sustained multiple stab wounds to his torso, arms and neck.

On June 10, witnesses heard arguing coming from a room at the motel. After about 20 minutes, the arguing stopped and a man left. The man, who prosecutors claimed to be Perry, was captured on security footage leaving the motel holding a bike and a large bag containing a knife.

After no one checked out from the room, maintenance worker Terry Grimm went in and discovered Trendowicz’s body. Some jurors gasped when seeing the photos of his body – blood covered the bathroom, deep stab wounds were shown on his arms, and his pants were pulled down with his shirt halfway pulled up.

A 911 call played during trial depicted Grimm calling police, saying, “There’s blood all over the room. There’s blood everywhere.”

Grimm told the 911 dispatcher, “There’s a very good chance this is a crime scene … He’s gone. He’s gone.”

Employees at the Trent Resource and Assistance Center, which is 2 miles west of the motel, identified the suspect as Perry, who had a bed at the shelter. Police tracked down Perry a short time later on North Waterworks Street based on his description.

Perry’s sentencing is scheduled for December.