Court docs: Woman found dead in Spokane motel nearly decapitated

Rodeway Inn Death Investigation
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SPOKANE, Wash – A woman found dead in a north Spokane motel Friday was covered in blood and someone had made a “significant attempt” to remove her head, according to court documents filed in Spokane County District Court.

Two men were booked into the jail on second degree murder charges and are expected to face a judge Monday.

Police describe a grisly crime scene inside room 37 at the Rodeway Inn. They found blood outside the room and on the handle of the door. They also found a woman’s body face down and partially nude on the bed. Investigators describe bedding strewn about, a broken lamp and blood splattered up to 10-12 feet away.

The woman is identified in the court documents only as “Jane Doe.” Court documents indicate that they know who she is based on markings on her body, but that identity is not included in court documents.

The medical examiner’s report says the woman was stabbed multiple times in the chest and that she was nearly decapitated. According to court documents, “the means of the attack/murder of the victim were extremely severe.”

A housekeeper discovered the crime scene Friday morning. She told police that the day before, the men staying there had placed bloody towels outside the door.

According to investigators, a man rented a room at the motel for Anthony Fuerte. He said Fuerte and his friend “Speedy” were staying there.

Anthony Fuerte mugshot

Anthony Fuerte

During their investigation, police found blood stains on two fences nearby. They also found bloody handprints on a vehicle parked next door and more blood on vehicles at the Automax located just east of the motel.

Court documents say sheriff’s deputies arrested Fuerte at the Wake-up Call coffee shop the day before, not knowing about the incident at the motel. He’s booked into the jail on charges that include second-degree robbery and carjacking. He also has a community custody hold, indicating he may have violated parole in another case.

During their investigation, police detectives learned about Fuerte’s arrest on the other charges. Sheriff’s deputies told them they responded on Thursday to reports of a man trying to steal cars in the area. They found Fuerte, covered in blood with cuts on his hands.

Police then reviewed security cameras and saw a man identified as Lionel White leaving room 37 the day before the body was found. He was arrested Friday night on murder charges. At the time of his arrest, police say White, also identified as “Speedy” was carrying a pointed shaft, several inches long. He was also in possession of meth.

Lionel White

Lionel White

White waived his constitutional rights and agreed to speak to detectives. He told them that he was staying at the Rodeway Inn with Fuerte and that Fuerte’s “girl” joined them. He said he left the room when Fuerte and the woman were fighting, but said he did not hurt the woman and did not know that she was dead.

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