Murder charge dropped in Westport death

The investigation is continuing and new charges may be issued.

The second-degree murder charge filed following a death in Westport last week was dropped by the state on Friday based on further evidence.

Steven D. Bunch, 58, was released pending further investigation, announced Undersheriff Brad Johansson of the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office in a news release. The investigation into the domestic violence assault and death of a 35-year-old man in Westport, at the Hammond RV Park on Oct. 24, will continue, the news release said.

“On 10-27-22 an autopsy was conducted on the victim to determine cause of death,” Johansson said. “Although there was clear evidence of an assault on the victim, the pathologist found evidence of a medical event that is believed to have occurred during the time of the altercation and assault.”

The nature of the medical event and the victim’s name have not yet been released.

Detectives are waiting for the official report containing the cause and manner of death from the Grays Harbor County Coroner’s Office following the autopsy on Oct. 27, according to the news release, following which the investigators will determine if further criminal charges are warranted.

Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or