Idaho man to stand trial in drowning case
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) - A northern Idaho magistrate judge has ruled there's enough evidence for a Post Falls man to stand trial on a second-degree murder charge over an 18-year-old's drowning death.
The Coeur d'Alene Press reports Magistrate Robert Burton bound Dylan P. Paschall over to district court Thursday after a hearing detailing the March 24, 2012, death of Luke Anana-Kuewa.
Prosecutors said Paschall and friends were drinking and smoking marijuana on the shore of Mill Pond when they were joined by Anana-Kuewa. Witnesses testified that Anana-Kuewa also drank and smoked pot, then started yelling and acting erratically.
Paschall, 20, told detectives with the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office in a number of interviews that he went into the frigid water multiple times to bring Anana-Kuewa back to shore.
Detective Darrell Oyler testified that Paschall under peer pressure punched Anana-Kuewa to stop his strange behavior and shut him up. Oyler also testified that Paschall was frustrated because Anana-Kuewa kept going back into the water.
Public defender Brad Chapman says Anana-Kuewa was alive when Paschall and his friends left that night.
"What behavior, judge, did Dylan engage in that caused Luke's death?" Chapman said. "Is it murder, judge, not to go back?"
Oyler testified that when Paschall and his friends left the Mill Pond area they could still hear Anana-Kuewa yelling. Some witnesses testified the yelling was for help.
Kootenai County Deputy Prosecutor David Robins contended that Paschall punched Anana-Kuewa, and that at least two others also either punched or choked him. Robins said they left without alerting authorities that Anana-Kuewa might be in trouble.
"Those are circumstances that would likely create death," Robins said. Otherwise, Anana-Kuewa "would have woken up with a hangover, not been found dead in 3 feet of water 9 feet from the shore."
A forensic pathologist, John Howard, testified that that an autopsy he performed found that Anana-Kuewa drowned. He also said Anana-Kuewa had cuts, scrapes and swelling on his face that were consistent with being punched, but weren't life-threatening.
Burton said it's a difficult case because there's no evidence anyone held Anana-Kuewa under water or stopped him from getting to shore.
Paschall is being held in the Kootenai County jail.
Information from: Coeur d'Alene Press