Garage doors

Spokane medical examiner declares ‘homicide’ seven years after Kettle Falls man’s death

After seven years, Margie Sevy Urhausen finally feels like she is making progress towards justice.

The Spokane Medical Examiner’s Office recently determined her father’s death to be a homicide after law enforcement uncovered new details.

John Sevy was 76 years old when he succumbed to fatal injuries he sustained on July 10, 2015, at the home he shared in Kettle Falls with his wife and daughter.

According to Urhausen, Sevy returned home just before midnight, speechless and with a bloody head. Her father was probably concussed and unable to say anything but “yes” and “no”, she said.

Initially, Urhasen learned that his father had probably fallen and hit his head.

But Urhausen asked him if he had fallen before going to the hospital and he said “no”, she said.

Sevy was airlifted from Stevens County to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center by helicopter where he died 13 days later.

Sevy died from a brain hemorrhage and brain contusions from a blunt impact to the head. He also had cracked ribs and a broken collarbone, Urhausen said.

“You don’t get that from a fall,” Urhausen said.

When Urhausen returned home from taking her father to the hospital, she found some of his belongings strewn across the driveway and streaks of blood from the front door to the driveway, she said. .

Nurses and law enforcement told Urhausen her father showed signs of being beaten, she said. Urhausen believes his father was attacked outside their home, which ultimately led to his death.

The Stevens County Sheriff’s Office took the matter to the Kettle Falls Police Department 10 days after the incident. During those 10 days, neighbors had come to help clean up around the house. Sevy’s clothes from that night were also washed.

“We had no clear evidence,” Stevens County Sheriff Brad Manke said.

Now investigators say they are “pretty sure” they know what happened, after interviewing several people familiar with burglaries in the area that summer. Still, a suspect has not been determined.

Sevy had notified his family and neighbors on July 9 that he had seen suspicious vehicles near some houses under construction, Urhausen recalled. He insisted that neighbors make sure to close their garage doors at night to avoid any potential break-ins, she said.

But that night, Sevy’s garage door had been left open. Some of her tools were also stolen that night, she said.

Urhausen said she was grateful for the work of Stevens County Sheriff’s Office investigators, but she feared over the past seven years that the suspicious circumstances surrounding her father’s death would be forgotten, in large part because the death had not been ruled a homicide.

“There is no closure, but there is justice,” Urhausen said Monday. “Whatever happens now, someone has to fight for him.”

Urhausen described his father as introverted and a hard worker who was not one to back down from confrontation.

“He was a good family man and a very good father,” she said.

The anniversary of his death is July 23.

“We collectively agreed as a family that we would choose forgiveness — at least to honor my father, because that’s what he would expect of us,” Urhausen said. “We always deserve justice. But those involved (in his death) need to know that they are going to be greeted with love, even if they don’t deserve it.