IN DEPTH COVERAGE: Court Documents Reveal Details About Fernan L - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

IN DEPTH COVERAGE: Court Documents Reveal Details About Fernan Lake Murder Investigation

Posted: Updated:
All Three Suspects: Jeffery Sankey, Peter O'Brien, and Judy Diamond were arrested for the murder of Mark Broadwater All Three Suspects: Jeffery Sankey, Peter O'Brien, and Judy Diamond were arrested for the murder of Mark Broadwater
SPOKANE, Wash. -

On Thursday, May 29, three people arrested and charged for First-Degree-Murder in the death of 32 year-old Mark Broadwater made their first court appearances: 47 year-old Jeffery B. Sankey, 40 year-old Judy L. Diamond, and 44 year-old Peter E. Obrien.

Court documents show that Mark Broadwater was reported missing by his mother, Cynthia Broadwater, in April of 2013. At that time she reported he was heavily involved in the use of both heroin and methamphetamine and associated with dangerous people. Cynthia said that in the past year or so she's paid cash for motels so that her son could have a safe place to stay.

During the first part of April 2013, she drove him to an apartment near 6th and Adams. She told detectives he was visiting a man named Jeff Sankey. Cynthia says while Mark went into the apartment, another vehicle arrived and four white men got out of it, one of them was carrying a baseball bat. A few moments later, Cynthia said Mark returned to the car, implying these four men who were tasked with protecting Sankey’s apartment had chased him off.

On April 23, 2013, Cynthia received a call from her son, who was staying at a friend's home. Mark asked if she would meet him at noon the next day for lunch and she agreed. It was the last time she ever spoke to her son. Five days later, on April 28, she filed a missing persons report.

During the investigation into Mark's disappearance police received information that Mark was known in the drug community to be a thief. Several people came forward to say that he'd stolen drugs from them, and may possibly have stolen from Jeff Sankey.

In January 2014, a woman came forward to say that she believed that Jeff Sankey and another man, named "Hooch", are the ones who killed Mark Broadwater. Court documents say this woman told police they "beat Mark and put duct tape over his mouth... Mark vomited and may have choked on his own vomit." She went on to say she was told that "if anyone informed law enforcement about what happened they would end up 'like Mark.'"

Detectives continued their investigation, and in March of 2014, a confidential informant contacted them. This person told detectives that on the night in question, Mark was in Jeff Sankey's apartment. The informant said also in the apartment was a woman named Judy and a man named "Hooch."

 The informant says Mark owed Hooch and Sankey drug money and so the two of them put him in a chair, then beat him to death with brass knuckles and a bat. Jeff, Judy and Hooch then borrowed a neighbor's truck to take the body to an unknown location and throw the body into "the river". Which river they were talking about was not specified.

Later in March, the detectives visited Sankey's apartment, but he was no longer living there. Still, while there they found a dark stain on the door molding and collected a swab of it because they thought it may be blood. In May, detectives were able to find the neighbor whose truck was borrowed. That neighbor positively ID'd pictures of Jeff Sankey and Judy Diamond, then detectives showed him a picture of Peter O'Brien and the neighbor said he knew O'Brien as "Hooch". This neighbor went on to describe the beating death of Mark Broadwater, saying Sankey and O'Brien doled out the beating and Judy Diamond encouraged them to keep it up.

On May 15, detectives arrested Peter O'Brien on an unrelated charge and he was taken to a detectives' office where they asked him about the beating death of Mark Broadwater. O'Brien told detectives that when he got to the Sankey's apartment that night in April he heard Sankey accuse Broadwater of stealing money and drugs from him. O'Brien said he then stepped forward and demanded Broadwater empty his pockets. In Broadwater's pockets they found money. O'Brien then says he punched Broadwater in the face. After that, he says Sankey took over, kicking, punching and duct taping Broadwater. O'Brien told detectives he left the apartment but got a call later that night from Sankey who said that Broadwater was still lying on the floor and he needed help getting rid of his body.

O'Brien said he, Sankey, and 'the Maintenance Man, drove Broadwater's body to an area north of Coeur d'Alene where they drove by a lake, up a windy paved road and into a mountainous area. Near the top of the mountain, they removed Broadwater's body, dumped it, and drove back to Spokane.

On May 16, 2014, O'Brien actually escorted detectives to a wooded area and pointed out the spot he thought the body could most likely be found. Detectives found a body two days later and a week after that it was positively identified as Mark Broadwater's body. Detectives found the maintenance man that week as well, who adamantly denied having helped moved any body anywhere. He said his truck was taken without his knowledge, and remembered it being parked in a different location with less gas. Detectives did not arrest him, and at this point there are no plans to arrest him.

Detectives say there is ample evidence to show that Peter O'Brien and Jeff Sankey murdered Mark Broadwater. Judy Diamond is listed as an accomplice because detectives believe she encouraged Sankey and O'Brien, verbally assaulted Broadwater, and pointed a firearm or replica of a firearm at Broadwater while he was being beaten to death.

On Thursday, May 29, Sankey, O'Brien, and Diamond were each ordered held in jail in lieu of $2 million bond.

Next month they’ll be in court again for arraignments.

  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • BREAKING: One person dead after hit & run in Spokane Valley

    BREAKING: One person dead after hit & run in Spokane Valley

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:03 AM EDT2014-09-02 10:03:43 GMT
    One person is dead after a hit and run near I-90 Park Rd. in Spokane Valley. It happened around 1:30 am.
    One person is dead after a hit and run near I-90 Park Rd. in Spokane Valley. It happened around 1:30 am.
  • Police search for armed robbery suspect

    Police search for armed robbery suspect

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 3:23 AM EDT2014-09-02 07:23:19 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A man walked into a Zip Trip gas station brandishing a hand gun and stole cash Monday night, according to Spokane Police.The robbery happened at about 10:30 p.m. at the Zip Trip on East Illinois Avenue, just north of where Perry Street intersects with Illinois. Spokane Police say the man walked in and showed employees the handgun. 
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A man walked into a Zip Trip gas station brandishing a hand gun and stole cash Monday night, according to Spokane Police.The robbery happened at about 10:30 p.m. at the Zip Trip on East Illinois Avenue, just north of where Perry Street intersects with Illinois. Spokane Police say the man walked in and showed employees the handgun. 
  • Wildfire Victim Searches For Strength To Rebuild

    Wildfire Victim Searches For Strength To Rebuild

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:28 AM EDT2014-09-02 04:28:11 GMT
    ALTA LAKE, Wash. - "John Neuneker Sr. built almost everything on his property with his own two hands, including the home in which he and his wife Laurie raised their four children.“It was a family thing,” Neuneker told KHQ. “Not just my wife. My kids, all of us chipped in. We built the whole thing ourselves.” Their log cabin was one of many things Neuneker lost in the Carlton Complex Fire.
    ALTA LAKE, Wash. - "John Neuneker Sr. built almost everything on his property with his own two hands, including the home in which he and his wife Laurie raised their four children.“It was a family thing,” Neuneker told KHQ. “Not just my wife. My kids, all of us chipped in. We built the whole thing ourselves.” Their log cabin was one of many things Neuneker lost in the Carlton Complex Fire.
Powered by WorldNow

Sports

  • Sports
  • Community

  • Community
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Max Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.