A hearing to determine if Franklin County Coroner Dan Blasdel should be removed from an upcoming inquest has been scheduled for May 27.
Blasdel has been planning a coroner’s inquest into the February 2015 death of Antonio Zambrano-Montes. It was supposed to begin May 23, but now will be delayed.
Zambrano-Montes, 35, was shot at 17 times by three Pasco officers while he was high on methamphetamine and throwing rocks at police and passing cars.
Officers Adam Wright and Adrian Alaniz, and former officer Ryan Flanagan, have been cleared of any wrongdoing by Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant.
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However, Blasdel wants to hold his own inquest to add transparency in the case that prompted months of protests in Pasco and outrage from as far away as Mexico.
Flanagan’s attorney, Scott Johnson, filed a motion last month asking for the coroner’s removal from the inquest, saying the judicial inquiry is indicative of Blasdel’s bias and undermines confidence in the justice system.
The motion will be heard by Judge George Fearing with the Washington state Court of Appeals.