• More arrests could come in murder of Pierce County deputy

    By: Deborah Horne

    Updated:

    TACOMA, Wash. - Police tell us there could be more arrests, as they go after anyone with any connection to Deputy Daniel McCartney's death.

    As we dug deeper we learned Pierce County's top lawyer plans to take an aggressive stance on prosecuting those involved.

    Turns out that is what the law allows.

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    It's called the rule of felony murder. Forty-six states have it including Washington state.

    What it means is that anyone who is involved in the crime that led to the murder can and likely will be prosecuted.

    It has already happened. 

    Frank William Pawul, 32, was taken into custody in the murder of Deputy McCartney.  But hours later, detectives arrested the woman they say drove Pawul and his alleged accomplice to the Frederickson home to burglarize it.

    "Do you have to pull the trigger to be accused of murder?" Seattle defense attorney James Egan was asked.

    "The answer," he said, "is no."

    Egan says a murder charge isn't limited to the actual shooter.

    "If you're engaging in reckless conduct that has the substantial likelihood of leading to somebody's death," Egan said, "then you've pretty much opened the door to liability."

    He says that includes any accomplice no matter the role in the initial crime.

    "If you're foolish enough, Deborah Horne, to be the getaway driver and you tell your friends who are going to rob the bank, not to shoot anybody, it doesn't matter," he said. "Because if they do shoot somebody then you should have seen that might have occurred."

    Something similar happened in Skyway back in 2009. The niece of cop killer Maurice Clemmons came home to a mess. Her uncle was still on the run. And police were looking everywhere for him.

    And, they were serving search warrants on family members.

    "Are the police doing something more, different than they would if it were Debbie Horne being killed?" former King County Sheriff John Urquhart was asked.

    "You know, I really don't think so," said Urquhart.

    He was asked if officers do more to solve a crime when the victim is one of their own.

    "I think the intensity is different," he said. "I guess that's the main difference. The intensity, the publicity. So it appears like the police are doing more. I gotta tell you, anytime there is a homicide, anytime there is death, you know, our people are so dedicated. And they do everything they can to bring some sort of justice not only to the family but to the victim."

    The public has witnessed that intensity in cases not involving law enforcement, too, like the mass shooting at Cascade Mall in Burlington in 2016. Agencies across north Puget Sound hunted down the suspect. 

    It may be known soon if anyone else will face a murder charge in the death of McCartney.

     

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