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News / Northwest

18-year-old man and his mother charged with killing 76-year-old man on South Hill last spring

By Garrett Cabeza, The Spokesman-Review
Published: February 28, 2024, 7:32am

SPOKANE — An 18-year-old and his mother were charged on suspicion of second-degree murder nearly nine months after the killing of a 76-year-old man on Spokane’s South Hill.

Caleb Hulings made his first appearance Tuesday in Spokane County Superior Court for his alleged connection to the fatal stabbing of Alvin Gallegos inside Gallegos’ apartment. Hulings, who has been in the Spokane County Jail for nearly a month, made his initial appearance Jan. 30 in District Court.

Hulings’ 42-year-old mother, Dané Hulings, has a warrant for her arrest.

Police were called about 4:20 p.m. April 26 to an apartment at 2629 E. 29th Ave. for a suspicious death complaint, according to court documents.

Alvin Gallegos’ death was initially thought to be a suicide or a medical event, but the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office found multiple stab wounds to Gallegos’ neck, collarbone and head, documents say. Gallegos was discovered in a recliner.

The medical examiner’s office ruled the death a homicide after more information was gathered.

Dané Hulings reported to police May 3 that her son, Caleb Hulings, killed a man named “Alfred,” who she said sexually assaulted her son when he was 16. She said the killing happened “last Tuesday,” or April 25, at the man’s apartment on the south side of Spokane, court records show.

She said she could not remember the address and was taken there by her son.

Gallegos was sentenced in 2011 to five years in prison for assaulting a woman on a downtown Spokane sidewalk. The victim told police Gallegos grabbed her buttocks and chest before punching her in the face, causing her lips to split open and breaking her tooth in half.

Gallegos was accused of molesting other people, but those victims were ruled out as suspects in his killing, police said in documents.

The night before Gallegos was found dead, Dané Hulings was arrested for stabbing Caleb Hulings with a knife inside a north Spokane apartment, according to court documents.

A witness told police the mother and son swung knives at each other. Caleb Hulings was taken to the hospital, and Dané Hulings was booked into the Spokane County Jail.

It appears the case was resolved after prosecutors declined to file charges, according to documents.

In police’s body camera footage from the domestic violence incident between the mother and son, Dané Hulings could be heard telling Caleb Hulings, “I’ve seen you murder people,” as police were entering the apartment, documents say.

Meanwhile, phone records indicated the last outgoing call from Gallegos’ phone was at about 2 p.m. April 25. The phone appeared to have left Gallegos’ apartment and was shut off or died around 4:55 p.m. that day.

Video surveillance from the area showed Dané and Caleb Hulings walking away from Gallegos’ apartment.

A Facebook messenger conversation in May between Dané Hulings and a man shows Dané Hulings asking the man for help. One message from Dané Hulings said, “I saw my son murder,” and then, “I was there.”

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She said in the conversation she was in Spokane and had no money with no place to go.

Police wrote in documents that DNA profiles of the Hulings’ were found at the crime scene.

On Tuesday, Spokane County Superior Court Commissioner Eugene Cruz lowered Caleb Hulings’ bond from $1 million to $250,000. The prosecution asked Cruz to maintain the $1 million bond while Hulings’ defense attorney asked for a $100,000 amount.

Caleb Hulings is scheduled for an arraignment March 12.