Murder Charges - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

18-Year-Old Who Punched Man At Party Now Faces Murder Charges

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UPDATE: The Spokane County Prosecutor's Office has changed charges from Assault 1st Degree to Murder 2nd Degree against 18 year old Treven Lewis. Lewis will have an appearance in Superior Court for the new charge this week.
 
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SPOKANE, Wash. - Frank Motta, the 65 year old neighbor trying to break up an underage party in north Spokane over the weekend has died. 

The man accused of assaulting Motta, 18-year-old Treven Lewis, told KHQ in a jailhouse interview that Motta came running through the house telling everyone to get out. He said Motta then pushed his pregnant girlfriend. "If I take you as a threat then I'm going to take you out before you take me out, and that night he pushed my girl and that's when I took him as a threat," said Lewis.

Treven threw one punch, instantly knocking out Motta and putting him in the hospital.

Motta has been working as a patient advocate at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in Spokane for the last four months. Co-workers were shocked to hear the news.

"Obviously, we feel shock and disbelief and we are just were praying - immediately - hoping for the best outcomes," VA Medical Center Acting Associate Director Sunil Wadhwani said. "What has happened is unconscionable."

Even before he began working as a veterans advocate at the hospital, Motta spent much of his life serving others. He began volunteering at the VAMC back in 2009. His co-worker, Carla Lippert, said Motta's personality and generosity eventually earned him a part-time, then full-time position.

"He has a huge heart for the community," Lippert said. "He has had an impact on probably everyone in this hospital, the veterans that come in know him," she said.

"Frank does a very good job, he's an emphatic listener, he shows compassion, caring, respect for veterans," Wadhwani said.

Before working for the VAMC, Motta enjoyed a career in education, retiring as a high school principal.

Motta also served in the Air Force between 1964 and 1968, serving some time in Vietnam. The decorated veteran earned many awards during his service including the Presidential Unit Citation, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and a South East Asia Expeditionary Medal, among others.

Now co-workers at the VA  hope and pray their dear friend will recover from his injuries. 

"In this difficult hour we want to stand united for Frank and his family and let him know that we care," Wadhwani continued.

Lewis is in jail on a first-degree assault charge.

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