Jury reaches verdict in Thurman trial

UPDATE: Thurman has been found guilty of second degree manslaughter.

Thurman, who has been out of custody, will now be booked into jail as he awaits his sentencing date- which has been set for May 3. His appeal bond has been set at $50,000.

Thurman has a day to post the $50,000 bond. If he doesn’t, he’ll be booked into jail on Wednesday.

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The future of a Spokane Valley man at the center of a manslaughter case is now in the hands of a jury. They’ll decide whether Dwayne Thurman, 44, should be punished for shooting his wife while he says he was cleaning a pistol in 2016.

Thurman is a U.S. Army veteran and was serving as a reserve deputy for the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office when the deadly shooting happened at his home. He faces one count of first-degree manslaughter.

Thurman couldn’t hold back tears in court Monday as he recounted the moments leading up to the death of his wife Brenda. He testified that he was cleaning Brenda’s .380-caliber glock pistol and believed it was unloaded.

“As I’m pushing down on the knobs, the gun went off,” Thurman said.

His wife was sitting across the table from him when that happened. She was hit by a bullet in the chest and later died from that injury. Thurman said he doesn’t remember her sitting down across from him and he didn’t think there was a bullet in the gun.

” I’m going, baby, oh my God, baby. I didn’t know. I didn’t know,” Thurman said.

Thurman was the only witness called by the defense Monday morning before closing arguments. Attorney Carl Oreskovich was trying to prove the shooting was an accident. Thurman told jurors he thought he saw his wife clear the gun the day before the shooting happened when the couple went to a gun range together.

Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor John Love pressed Thurman on his knowledge, reminding jurors in closing arguments about the man’s extensive firearm training in the military and in law enforcement. Love claimed Thurman knew the risk when he pulled the gun’s trigger.

“When you disregard the fundamental principals of handling a firearm, this is what happens and this is what did happen and this is what Mr. Thurman did,” Love said.

Attorney Oreskovich said this was nothing but a tragic accident.

“He made an assumption that the gun was unloaded and it wasn’t. Based on all the things that I told you, it was a mistake of judgment. It was an accident,” Oreskovich said.

The jury was released for the night Monday. They’ll return to deliberation Tuesday morning. KXLY will continue to follow this developing story.