Death Penalty Sought For Deer Park Murder

SPOKANE — For the first time in nearly a decade, Spokane County prosecutors have announced they will seek the death penalty against a murder suspect.

On Thursday prosecutors filed their intent to seek the death penalty against murder suspect Christopher Devlin for a fatal shooting in Deer Park. The last time prosecutors considered the death penalty was against Spokane Serial Killer Robert Yates.

Devlin, 55, is suspected of shooting the man who was supposed to testify against him in a burglary case. Last spring Christopher Devlin was on trial for breaking into a man’s home and assaulting him. The victim, Daniel Heily, was supposed to take the stand May 14th but never showed up.

Detectives say that’s because the night before Devlin shot Heily, the key witness in his case, and left his in his pickup truck. Investigators suspected Devlin’s involvement even before Heily was found.

“They went down and located the principal players in the trial, started doing investigations and interviews and based on those investigations and interviews were able to develop probable accuse to arrest the two subjects,” Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said.

Back in court on Thursday, Devlin wasted no time in letting Judge Ellen Clark know he felt abandoned by his public defender and was tired of waiting for his trial.

“I want to go on the record saying I no longer want this man as my attorney, he’s not effective counsel,” Devlin said. “He’s against me, he’s talked to my family to tell them to talk against me, he wants me to go against my own will , my own better judgment on things, and I want to keep my speedy trial date.”

The public defender wanted Devlin to waive his right to a speedy trial to prepare a report on why Devlin should not face the death penalty however Devlin insisted on going to trial on September 8th.

Judge Clark told Devlin there’s no way a defense attorney would be ready for a death penalty case by then and pushed back his trial till next March.