Charges not filed against suspects of Warner assault

From staff reports

Charges will not be filed against the five suspects arrested for various charges in connection with the March 30 assault on WSU instructor David Warner, according to a press release issued Friday by Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins.

The announcement came nearly seven weeks after the Pullman Police Department began its investigation of the incident, which left Warner unconscious and allegedly beaten outside a bar on Adams Mall.

The suspects arrested were Madeline A. Fouts, 22, of Pullman; Joshua W. Nantz, 23, of Pullman; John “Matt” Cabanos-Soriano, 23, of Everett, Wash.; and Robert D. Bean, 23, of Mukilteo, Wash.

Additionally, a friend of Warner who was involved in the altercation, Lawrence J. McDonald, 31, of Pullman, was arrested on suspicion of attempted assault against Bean.

Police investigators interviewed suspects and numerous witnesses, reviewed surveillance video of Adams Mall and video from the responding officers’ body-worn cameras, and served search warrants for suspects’ cell phone records.

Warner was unable to provide specific details of the incident that resulted in his injuries.

Jenkins said Whitman County Prosecuting Attorney Denis Tracy derived enough evidence from the investigation to establish probable cause but not enough to pursue criminal prosecution.

“To obtain a criminal conviction, the prosecuting attorney must meet a much higher standard of proving that a particular person has committed an offense beyond reasonable doubt,” Jenkins said. “In this case, the prosecuting attorney did not believe he could meet that high burden of proof.”

JAN. 19, 2014 CORRECTION: Charges against the five suspects were not filed and dropped. They were never filed.