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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

61-year-old man accused of delivering drugs to retired Spokane firefighter who overdosed on them

Randy S. Brown, 61, was arrested Thursday in Spokane on suspicion of controlled substance homicide and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.  (Courtesy of Spokane County Sheriff's Office)

A 61-year-old man is accused of delivering fentanyl and methamphetamine to a 67-year-old retired Spokane firefighter who overdosed and died on the drugs last fall, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

The U.S. Marshals Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force located Randy S. Brown on Thursday near Mission Avenue and Greene Street in Spokane. He was arrested on suspicion of controlled substance homicide and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

The charges stem from the discovery of a dead man at a residence on Ruby Road, south of Hastings Road and not far from Mead High School on Oct. 14, deputies said. The dead man was later identified as David Batty.

Batty’s son told deputies he found Batty dead inside Batty’s camp trailer, documents say.

At the Spokane Fire Department, Batty earned the rank of lieutenant and the nickname, “The Batman,” according to his obituary.

Batty had a history of impaired driving, including a 1993 conviction of vehicular homicide for an alcohol-related crash that killed one person, according to previous Spokesman-Review reporting.

In 2007, Batty was involved in a crash that killed three people. At the time, he was taking pain medications for a back injury, but a report concluded he showed no signs of impairment at the time of the wreck, and the Spokane County prosecutor declined to pursue charges.

According to the release, deputies found several blue pills with “M” stamped on them next to Batty on Oct. 14, 2023. Deputies believed they were counterfeit fentanyl pills, commonly referred to as “mexis” or “blues” on the street, and illegally sold by drug dealers. The Washington state Crime Laboratory tested the pills and confirmed they contained fentanyl.

The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the victim died from the toxic effects of fentanyl, methamphetamine and alcohol, according to the release.

Detectives found a Facebook messenger chat between Batty and Brown in which they discussed Brown delivering “the little blue things” to help Batty with pain, according to documents. In the chat, Brown warned Batty about the dangers of taking “the little blue things,” but Batty pleaded with Brown to get some of them for him.

Batty told Brown in the Facebook chat he was “hurting” and Brown agreed to bring Batty four things, which detectives believed meant blue fentanyl pills, court records show.

Detectives found many Facebook chat and text messages between Brown and other people arranging drug deals for fentanyl, meth and heroin late last year and early this year, documents say. Verizon phone records showed Brown’s phone connected to a cell tower near Batty’s home the night before Batty was found dead.

Brown’s Washington criminal history includes three prior arrests and convictions for possession of meth, according to court records.

Brown told detectives he and Batty were friends who previously lived together. He said he visited Batty regularly and knew Batty had pain and motion issues with his hands and back.

Brown told detectives he visited Batty the night before his death. He said he’s sold fentanyl pills to other people but he’s never sold drugs to Batty, Brown said in documents.

Brown made his first appearance Friday in Spokane County Superior Court and is scheduled for an arraignment July 9. He was in the Spokane County Jail on Friday night in lieu of a $100,000 bond.