Stabbing victim involved in '07 scandal with former GOP lawmaker

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police are investigating if a weekend fatal stabbing was self defense.

Officers found 25-year-old Robert Henry Fletcher bleeding in the street near Nelson and Wabash on Saturday night.  Police say he had been stabbed multiple times and was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later. 

Detectives are not releasing the identity of the other man involved.

Stabbing victim prior criminal history

Court records show Fletcher had a long criminal history. In 2007, he was involved in a case that gained nationwide attention.  Fletcher was charged with extortion and conspiracy for attempting to shake down former Washington State lawmaker Richard Curtis.  Curtis was a Republican in the Washington State House of Representatives from 2005 until 2007 when he resigned.  

Police reports say Curtis and 26-year-old Cody Castagna met at an adult bookstore and later had sex in Curtis' room at the Davenport Tower Hotel while he was visiting Spokane. After the October 2007 encounter, Castagna and Fletcher allegedly attempted to extort $1,000 from Curtis in exchange for not revealing Curtis' gay lifestyle.  Fletcher was involved in collecting the money. 

Castagna later plead guilty and was sentenced to 65 days in jail and given credit for 65 days already served. Prosecutors dropped extortion and conspiracy charges against Fletcher at the request of Curtis. 

In July 2009, Court records show Fletcher was sentenced to 43 months in prison for two counts of possession of stolen vehicle charges.  Fletcher's Facebook page includes a comment that says he was recently released from Walla Walla (Penitentiary) West Complex and was living a clean lifestyle.

Fletcher's younger sister, Lacey, said Tuesday evening that he was not just her big brother but also her best friend.

"He was a good person.  We loved him very much.  He had a huge heart.  When he was released from prison in June, he was starting his life over again.  He was getting his GED and was looking for a job," she said.

His family held a candlelight vigil for him at the scene of the stabbing Monday night.  Friends say he leaves two children behind. The family, meanwhile, is waiting for answers from the Spokane Police Department as to what happened last Saturday night that brought Fletcher's life to a violent end.

"Police aren't telling us why he was killed because the case is still being investigated.  He never did anything violent," Lacey Fletcher said.