Lack of evidence results in no criminal charges filed for assault of Dr. Warner

Lack of evidence results in no criminal charges filed for assault of Dr. Warner »Play Video
Doctor David Warner was assaulted at the Adams Mall in Pullman.
PULLMAN, WA - The Whitman county prosecutor has announced no criminal charges will be filed in relation to the assault of a Washington State University instructor that occurred last March.

We're at the Adams Mall in Pullman, where Doctor David Warner was allegedly assaulted on March 30th, 2013. Recently, the Whitman County Prosecuting Attorney's Office announced that no criminal charges will be filed in the case.

"It was a careful decision," said Whitman County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Bill Druffel. "I think that there was a lot of evidence, there was hundreds of pages of investigation, hours of interviews, a couple dozen eyewitness testimonies."

Weeks after Warner was hospitalized for his injuries, Pullman Police arrested Madeline Fouts, Joshua Nantz, John Cabanos-Soriano, and Robert Bean for various charges associated with the alleged assault. Warner's friend, Lawrence McDonald was also arrested for his involvement in the altercation.

Whitman County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Bill Druffel said the evidence from the investigation was challenging because surveillance camera footage often didn't match up with eyewitness testimonies.

"So you had to take all of that together, and make a determination as to what you can use in the case, and ultimately were unable to find enough to prosecute," said Druffel.

Druffel said it's clear that an altercation occurred, and that Warner was trying to stop it. However, it's not clear what caused Warner's head injury. One of the suspects was accused of possibly kicking Warner in the head.

"Mr. Bean didn't assault anybody," said Robert Bean's Defense Attorney Steve Martonick. "He didn't have anything to do with Mr Warner's assault. He certainly did not kick him, and there's no evidence that shows that he might have kicked him."

Bean's Defense Attorney Steve Martonick said he's pleased with the decision not to press charges.

"No crime occurred," said Martonick.

Druffel explained that they'd need to prove the suspects were not acting in self-defense in order to convict them of assault, and they don't have the evidence to do so.

"It's sometimes referred to as an affirmative defense," said Druffel. "Where, 'Yes, I did assault you, but I had a good, lawful reason to do that.' And that was a part of our decision in this case."

Now even though Warner's injuries were very serious and life-altering, Druffel said no jury would conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that a criminal assault occurred.

Warner's friends and family members still post updates on the "Rally for David Warner" Facebook page. If you'd like to check it out, look for the link on klewtv.com