Deadline approaching for Shea’s reponse to lawsuit
SPOKANE, Wash. — The clock is ticking for state Representative Matt Shea to respond to a lawsuit that claims Shea slandered a Spokane Sheriff’s deputy.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday afternoon. Within 20 days after he is served with the lawsuit, Shea, who is also an attorney, needs to defend himself in writing or lose this case by default.
However, the deputy might have a harder time winning his defamation lawsuit than you might think.
Matt Shea doesn’t trust the mainstream media to accurately report on his agenda. Now, it’s Shea who is accused of misrepresenting the facts.
“It’s time for Matt Shea to be held accountable for his lies,” said Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.
In this lawsuit, Shea is accused of linking a sheriff’s deputy to Roy Murry, the man who murdered Terry Canfield and his family in 2015.
Shea made his comments last August on his Patriot radio podcast.
When they ran the firearm that Roy Murry had, the firearm came back to the Deputy Travis Pendell
Shea infers the gun used in the killings came from Deputy Travis Pendell. However, that weapon has never been found.
Pendell took possession of three of Murry’s guns while Murry was under court order not to possess firearms. But the pistol returned to Murry wasn’t the same caliber used in the murders.
Attorney Doug Siddoway says if testimony shows Shea was wrong about his facts, the deputy could collect damages.
“Obviously, the purpose of the law is to protect somebody from false and malicious statements that are harmful to their reputation and their status in the community,” said Doug Siddoway, Attorney.
In his lawsuit, Deputy Pendell claims both Shea and Scott Mcclay made statements that were not true and spoke or wrote them anyway.
If the plaintiff were a public figure, then he would have to prove the statements made by the representative not only false but were made with malice or reckless disregard for the truth.
And if the deputy wanted to prove malice, one of his first witnesses would be Ozzie Knezovich who says Shea’s comments were made to discredit him and his department.
Scott McClay of the Rattlesnakes Motorcycle Club is the co-defendant in this lawsuit.
He says he’s excited about the suit because it shows there was a “cover-up” regarding the Canfield murders.
Representative Shea has not returned our phone call but will have to appear in court for a June 2 status conference hearing.
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