Two Burien Men Involved In Death Of Man Near Chelan

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MANSON, WA — No decision has yet been made on whether to recommend assault charges against two Burien men involved in a reported fistfight with a Manson man just prior to his being struck and killed by a passing pickup, Chelan County Sheriff Mike Harum said this morning.

And Chelan County prosecutors have also yet to file a vehicular homicide charge against the driver of the pickup that struck and killed 39-year-old John W. Jones early Saturday.

Chelan County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Doug Shae said this morning that prosecutors are waiting for a full report from the sheriff’s office and the results of blood alcohol tests before deciding what charges, if any, should be filed against the 41-year-old pickup driver suspected by the sheriff’s office of driving while drunk.

The man has been released from Chelan County Regional Justice Center, according to both Harum and the man’s former attorney, John Brangwin. Brangwin said in an e-mail Wednesday that he no longer represents the 41-year-old man because his office previously represented one of the witnesses in the case.

The identities of the Burien-based suspects have not yet been released.

Sheriff’s office investigators continue to seek witnesses to the series of events leading to Jones’s death. A dispute began when the longtime Manson resident struck a pedestrian while driving away from a Wapato Way bar, then was chased by two — or possibly three — motorcyclists, according to witnesses.

Jones then was involved in a rollover accident less than a half mile away in the 300 block of Boetzkes Avenue, and a physical confrontation followed with the motorcyclists.

While Harum previously said three men were involved in the confrontation with Jones, he said Thursday morning it was unclear if there were two or three men who confronted Jones. The sheriff’s office has only spoken with two men, Harum said.

“We’re going to be…contacting them again,” said Harum, adding he didn’t think the motorcyclists were given sobriety tests or had blood drawn at the scene, though they were at the same bar as Jones.

Harum said he expected a decision to be made on charges sometime next week.

“I think there are 10 or more witnesses now who had seen something there at the establishment downtown or at the scene,” Harum said.

Some witnesses have given conflicting statements, however. One witness not involved in the dispute described Jones as getting out of his SUV and walking when the fistfight began with the motorcyclists, while another account of the altercation describes Jones as lying in a ditch when confronted.

An autopsy revealed that Jones suffered multiple internal injuries after being struck by the passing pickup. Other questions were left unanswered, however.

“He could have also sustained some injuries in the collision he was in where he rolled over, and we suspect he could have sustained some injuries from an assault as well. But we’re not able to delineate where they all came from,” said Harum.

The driver of the pickup is also believed to have been drinking at the same bar as Jones and the motorcyclists, Harum said, but he added that the pickup driver was not involved in the dispute. The driver is reported to have attempted to flee the scene only to have been brought back by one of the motorcyclists involved in the dispute.

According to his conditions of release, the pickup driver is not allowed to operate a motor vehicle until further orders.

Call the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office at (509) 667-6851 if you have information.


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