Wash. lawmakers eye limits on coroner’s inquests

  • Fri Jan 13th, 2012 1:54pm
  • News

Associated Press

OLYMPIA — The Legislature is looking to change state law after a coroner’s inquest that led to arrests in the 1998 death of a former trooper.

A proposal that lawmakers plan to start examining next week would seek more input from a judge or prosecutor before an arrest warrant is issued.

An inquest jury in Chehalis last year concluded that the 1998 death of Ronda Reynolds was a homicide, not a suicide as initially believed. The jury then determined that her husband and stepson were responsible for her death.

State law currently says that a coroner “shall” issue an arrest warrant if an inquest jury identifies people responsible for a death. Ron and Jonathan Reynolds were arrested but later released because prosecutors say there isn’t evidence to support criminal charges.