Gayton charged with gross misdemeanor in Cheney, felony charges not pursued in Spokane

Cheney prosecutor files charges one year after Gayton’s arrest


By Jane Martin, Editor-in-Chief

Charges were filed against Chandler Gayton, a former football player at EWU, on May 2, according to Cheney Prosecutor Julie McKay.

McKay said that the charges she filed are for two counts of fourth degree assault and one count of unlawful display of a weapon. She added that fourth degree assault “creates or intends to create fear of bodily harm,” and that this would fall into the category of a gross misdemeanor.

The Spokane County prosecutor’s office dropped Gayton’s case last year before it went to court, despite a recommendation from Cheney Police to pursue felony second-degree assault charges. Gayton was arrested for allegedly displaying a gun near police officers in downtown Cheney on May 11, 2012, according to police records.

In an interview this February, Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney Steven Tucker said that he made the final decision to decline the referral of the second degree assault charge after he and his colleagues closely reviewed the arresting officers’ reports as well as the surveillance footage of the incident.

“We didn’t feel that an assault occurred,” said Tucker. “[Gayton] never actually pointed the gun at the officers.”

Jeffery Robinson, Gayton’s defending attorney, said that he would be asking for a quick trial. Robinson also said that he would be filing a motion in response to two of the three charges against his client. However, at press time, the Cheney Municipal Clerk’s Office had not yet received any motions from Robinson.

Robinson said that he was disappointed upon receiving notification of the charges filed against Gayton. “I don’t think it’s fair,” he said. “Did he make mistakes in his actions that night? Yes, but that is not the question. The question is ‘Is he a criminal?’”

Gayton’s preliminary hearing is set for June 7, 2013 at the Cheney Municipal Court, according to court records.