Marion Co. Dist. Attorney's Office
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News Releases
Daniel Thompson pleads guilty to Manslaughter and DUII - 02/10/17

On February 8, 2017, Daniel James Thompson, 42, appeared before the Honorable Courtland Geyer and pled guilty to multiple crimes that occurred between November 2015 and April 2016.

Thompson pled guilty to Manslaughter in the First Degree and Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, which resulted in the death of 73 year old Salem resident Michael Tuel on April 19, 2016.

At approximately 7:00 am on April 19, 2016, Thompson was seen driving erratically and appeared to be falling asleep at the wheel. He ended up parking at WalMart and going into the store. At approximately 8:30 am Thompson was driving again when he crossed over the centerline in the 6400 block of Sunnyside Road SE in Salem, and crashed head-on into 73 year old Michael Tuel's vehicle. Both Mr. Tuel and Thompson were trapped in their vehicles and had to be extricated by the fire department. Mr. Tuel was transported to the hospital, where he later died from his injuries. After a complete investigation by the Salem Police Department, Thompson was found to be driving under the influence of Suboxone, a schedule III controlled substance.

Thompson pled guilty to Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver which occurred on November 6, 2015, when Thompson crashed into a power pole and left the scene, and also pled guilty to Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants which occurred on March 21, 2016, when Thompson was reported to be driving poorly by two different complainants and found to be driving under the influence of Xanax, morphine (a metabolite of heroin), and Flexeril,

Between August 28, 2015 and April 19, 2016, Thompson overdosed on heroin three times which resulted in him being transported to the hospital each time. During this time period, Thompson had been involved in four crashes on different dates, the final one being when Thompson was driving while under the influence of intoxicants on April 19, 2016, which killed Michael Tuel.

Thompson was sentenced to 120 months in the Department of Corrections for Manslaughter in the First Degree, which is the mandatory minimum sentence. He was also sentenced to 60 days in the Marion County Jail on each remaining count, with all sentences ordered to run concurrent

Officer cleared, suspect indicted - 01/24/17

Today, a Marion County Grand Jury found that Salem Police Corporal Jacob Pratt was justified in using deadly physical force against Casey Duane Howe during their encounter on January 13, 2017.

On that day, Corporal Pratt was responding to a 911 call involving a wanted person who was possibly armed. Corporal Pratt contacted Casey Howe at approximately 7:30pm outside 2625 Liberty Street NE, Salem, Marion County, Oregon. Casey Howe possessed a knife and a confrontation with Corporal Pratt occurred. Corporal Pratt fired his handgun at Casey Howe. A knife was recovered at the scene. Corporal Pratt was not injured, and Casey Howe was brought to OHSU where he remains in stable condition.

Under ORS 161.239, a police officer is justified in using deadly physical force when (among others): (1) the officer reasonably believes that the use of deadly physical force is necessary to defend the peace officer or another person from the use or threatened use of deadly physical force; or, (2) the officer's life or personal safety is endangered in the particular circumstances involved. In reaching today's decision, the Grand Jury applied the legal principles above and concluded that the actions of Corporal Pratt were justified.

Additionally, the same Grand Jury indicted Casey Howe with Attempted Aggravated Murder, Attempted Assault in the First Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine, Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon, and Menacing. Today's indictment supersedes any charges previously filed.

The Oregon State Police led the investigation at the direction of the Marion County District Attorney's Office. The Grand Jury reviewed diagrams, photographs, physical evidence and heard testimony from numerous witnesses, including law enforcement, civilian witnesses, and associates of Casey Howe. Presentation of the evidence lasted for approximately 7 hours, and the Grand Jury declined to review any additional evidence.

Corporal Pratt has been with the Salem Police Department for 10 years.

Casey Howe's next appearance is 8:30 a.m. on February 1, 2017, at the Marion County Jail Annex at 4000 Aumsville Highway, Salem, Marion County Oregon. His attorney in Manuel Perez. He is currently under custodial arrest, without bail.

This case is a pending criminal prosecution against Casey Howe. Therefore, the Marion County District Attorney's Office will not release any additional information at this time.

Any questions can be directed to Marion County Deputy District Attorney Brendan Murphy. and (503) 588-5222