AP NEWS

Murder trial begins for felon accused of gunning down man in North Spokane

May 8, 2019

An altercation over a girl in 2008 apparently stewed for nine years before a man shot and killed a Spokane man in 2017, a prosecutor said in court Monday.

While a neighbor caught the action just prior to the shooting on a video camera, and a teenage girl later reported hearing yelling before gunshots, nobody discovered the body of 31-year-old Brandon M. Bushy until 7 a.m., which was about six hours after he was fatally shot on a residential sidewalk in North Spokane.

The details came out during the opening statements Monday in the first-degree murder trial for Darrell T. Tucker II, 33, a convicted felon who is accused of killing Bushy by shooting him twice on a snowy sidewalk about a block northeast of NorthTown Mall.

“At first, the case was somewhat of a mystery,” Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Kyle Treece told the jury. “But detective work … led to Darrell Tucker.”

Deputy Public Defender Colin Charbonneau didn’t dispute much of the state’s case, except that he told the jury that Tucker had loaned his Subaru Legacy to a drug-dealing associate who is now fingering Tucker for the killing.

That associate, Christopher A. Burdick, 33, displayed a gun at a party where it accidentally fired. Burdick later sold the gun that was the same caliber used in Bushy’s killing for half a gram of heroin and $40.

“Mr. Tucker never acknowledged shooting anyone,” Charbonneau said. “What happened to Mr. Bushy was tragic, but Mr. Tucker is not at fault.”

Tucker and Bushy had known each others since both were young, Treece said. They were friendly but not close friends. Bushy was known for having gatherings at his home that Tucker sometimes attended.

But that changed in 2008 when Tucker and Bushy got into an altercation over a mutual acquaintance. Attorneys were haggling before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese about how much detail about that altercation that they could present to the jury.

But according to court records, the bad blood between the two men stemmed from allegations that Tucker had raped a 14-year-old girl in 2008 who was a close friend of Bushy’s.

There was “an altercation between (Bushy) and Darrell Tucker that caused a rift between them,” Treece said.

Investigators believe Tucker found Bushy walking on East Crown early that morning and shot him twice. One of those bullets from a .380 caliber pistol penetrated both of Bushy’s lungs, his heart and aorta before exiting the body. The bullet was found inside Bushy’s jacket.

“That’s the kill shot,” Treece said. “He would have been dead within seconds.”

By the time Bushy was found some six hours later, on the residential sidewalk, his body was partially frozen.

Investigators initially had no suspects but they soon found the neighbor’s video. They then worked to identify possible names of owners of white Subaru Legacy cars.

One of the names they came up with was Darrell Tucker. Later in January, Spokane Police found Tucker’s Subaru and pulled it over after a short pursuit. Inside was Burdick.

“This is where the case broke,” Treece said.

Burdick told investigators that Tucker called him early on Jan. 24 in a panic and that he needed a ride.

“Mr. Tucker was throwing up and he was agitated,” Treece said. “He made a number of statements … that he shot someone and that he needed to lie low.”

Tucker, according to Treece, also told Heather McDaniel, 28, to go retrieve his gun from behind a dumpster at a nearby apartment complex. McDaniel found it the next day.

But Charbonneau said his client loaned Burdick the white Subaru prior to the shooting.

“Mr. Burdick gives a false statement to law enforcement. He had cleaned the car. Mr. Burdick’s and Miss McDaniel’s items were still inside the vehicle,” he said. “You will hear that Mr. Tucker did not own a gun at that time.”

On Feb. 8, 2017, Spokane Police arrested both Burdick and McDaniel and charged them with rendering criminal assistance.

Tucker’s trial is scheduled to continue into next week.