Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Hung jury in Farmington case


October 10, 2019

A superior court jury Oct. 1 reported they were unable to come up with a verdict after the two-day trial of Michael J. Keller, 44, Farmington. Keller was charged with second-degree assault. He was one of two defendants charged with assaulting Lawrence Clark at a shop in Farmington last Feb. 4.

Deputy Jim Pelissier in his arrest report said Keller and Brandon Reese encountered Clark at Grumpy's Tavern that night, but Clark left with the owner of the shop

Keller and Reese later showed up at the Farmington shop.

The report said a third man who was with Keller and Reese had issues with Clark because Clark was alleged to have had an affair with the man's wife. The third man was not involved in the subsequent alleged fight at the Farmington shop.

The report said Clark told deputies he had been sucker punched when he was downed in the shop.

Reese was also charged with assaulting Clark. He later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of third-degree assault and was sentenced to serve 90 days in jail.

Reese was also ordered to pay $17,692 in restitution to Clark who sustained extensive injuries as a result of the assault.

Keller was represented by Spokane Attorney Stephen Graham. Deputy Prosecutor Teresa Scholl represented the state.

Clark, Deputy Pelissier and Deputy Tyler Langerfeld were among witnesses called by the state. Keller testified in his own defense.


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