Local News

House party assault victim may not survive injuries

SPOKANE, Wash. - A 65-year-old neighbor who tried to break up an underage drinking party at his neighbor's house this last weekend is in extremely critical condition at Sacred Heart Medical Center where doctors fear he may succumb to his injuries.

Treven Lewis, the man who admits assaulting the victim, Frank Motta, at a North Spokane house party last weekend, made his first appearance in court Wednesday for the assault that happened Saturday night at a home in the 11800 block of North Bedivere Road in the Camelot neighborhood just off Highway 2.

Linda Gilman, a neighbor of the homeowner where the house party took place, said she received a note in her mailbox saying a birthday party was taking place on Saturday and to not call police if they made too much noise. But deputies - and Motta - did show up to break up the party.

House party assault victim

"Arrived on scene, large party, over 100 people at this function, there was a victim of assault that deputies located inside the residence, they realized the severity of the assault and immediately called medics," Spokane County Sheriff Deputy Craig Chamberlain said.

As the deputies were arriving someone else was arriving as well: Neighbor Frank Motta, who had been asked by the homeowner to look after her house while she was out of town. Motta met with deputies outside the home and said he was going inside to talk with the homeowner's son to ask him to break the party up.

Lewis, 18, confessed to assaulting Motta during a jailhouse interview Tuesday night, saying he hit him in his jaw, turned around and then quickly walked out of the house.

In court documents released Wednesday, however, several witnesses said that wasn't exactly the case.

One eyewitness who attended the party said he saw Motta, a neighbor of the homeowner, walk into the house and start "nudging people while telling them the party was over and to leave." Motta reportedly nudged Lewis' girlfriend, which prompted Lewis to push the man to the ground. When Motta got back up, Lewis confronted him by "getting into Motta's face" and then "suddenly hit Motta in the head with his fist."

Another witness said that he saw Motta go stiff and fall backwards onto the floor after Lewis hit him; the witness rushed over to check on him and saw a large amount of blood coming from Motta's right ear.

Eyewitnesses identified Lewis as the person who assaulted Motta through a photo lineup; those same witnesses added that they feared they would be harmed for their testimony and cooperation with law enforcement. Detective Greg Richmond with the Spokane Violent Crime Gang Enforcement Team, who was asked to detain Lewis, was aware of him through his known affiliation with a violent Spokane County gang.

Lewis, however, claimed he was just protecting his pregnant girlfriend.

"Some guy pushed my girl and I hit him," Lewis said during a jailhouse interview Tuesday evening. Lewis added he didn't know Motta before he assaulted him.

"I just socked him once really, just hit him and he fell," he said.

Lewis also admitted he had been at the party for about an hour, was drunk and has a bad temper.

"I don't got no regrets, I don't feel sorry. Some people can say I'm heartless but I'm not," he added.

A sheriff's deputy, who arrived at the home and spoke with Motta right before he entered the residence, said that he went into the home a few moments later and found Motta lying on the floor with blood coming out of his right ear and the back of his head.

Motta was transported to Sacred Heart Medical Center where his attending physician said he suffered a frontal lobe fracture as well as a fracture on the right temporal lobe of his skull. The fractures caused bleeding on his brain which required emergency surgery.

A Sacred Heart physician said that Motta is "unconscious, intubated and showing no response to stimulus." His condition is described as extremely critical and there is a potential Motta may never recover or may die from his injuries.

After he was taken into custody by Detective Richmond and other members of the Gang Enforcement Team, Lewis was interviewed by authorities and admitted he had pushed and hit a man at the underage house party. He was subsequently arrested and booked into the Spokane County Jail on a 1st Degree Assault charge.

With Motta in extremely critical condition and his recovery in doubt, there is a high likelihood the charges against Lewis will be amended as Motta's condition changes.

Rob Kauder | Internet Content Manager KXLY.com contributed to this report.