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District Attorney Mike Schmidt announces policy regarding protest-related cases - 08/11/20

(PORTLAND, Ore.) – Today, District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced a policy that will promote a safer community and that reduces the negative and lasting impacts a person can experience once involved in the criminal justice system following an arrest resulting from a peaceful protest or mass demonstration.

“In order to advance public safety, we must not only prevent crime, but we must also promote economic and housing stability, educational opportunities, strong family and community relationships, and the mental and physical health of all those in our community. If we leverage the full force of the criminal justice system on individuals who are peacefully protesting and demanding to be heard, we will cause irreparable harm to them individually and to our society. The prosecution of people exercising their rights to free speech and assembly in a non-violent manner takes away from the limited resources that we have to prosecute serious crimes and to assist crime victims,” said District Attorney Mike Schmidt.

Since late May, we have seen nightly demonstrations where people take to the streets to express their collective grief, anger and frustration over the senseless murder of George Floyd, and the countless other abuses People of Color have endured throughout history.

“As prosecutors, we acknowledge the depth of emotion that motivates these demonstrations and support those who are civically engaged through peaceful protesting. We will undermine public safety, not promote it, if we do not take action to bring about immediate change,” DA Schmidt said.

In summary, under the new policy:

  • The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office will presumptively decline to prosecute a case where the most serious offense is a city ordinance violation or where the crime(s) do not involve deliberate property damage, theft or the use or threat of force against another person.
    • Crimes in this category include:
      • Interfering with a peace officer or parole and probation officer (ORS 162.247)
      • Disorderly conduct in the second degree (ORS 166.025)
      • Criminal trespass in the first and second degree (ORS 164.245 & ORS 164.255)
      • Escape in the third degree (ORS 162.145)
      • Harassment  (ORS 166.065)
      • Riot (166.015) - Unless accompanied by a charge outside of this list.

Furthermore, the new policy will require that before issuing, any referred charge of “Resisting arrest” (ORS 162.315) or “Assaulting a public safety officer” (ORS 163.208) must be subjected to the highest level of scrutiny by the deputy district attorney reviewing the arrest. Consideration will be given to the chaos of a protesting environment, especially after tear gas or other less-lethal munitions have been deployed against community members en masse.

Finally, when a person is charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime that causes only financial harm during a protest, there will be a presumption that the individual will either be offered conditional dismissal after restitution is paid to the victim or when other amends to the community are made, such as restorative justice with the impacted victim.   

  • Crimes in this category include:
    • Criminal mischief in the second and third degree (ORS 164.345 & ORS 164.354)
      • When the value is under $1,000
    • Theft in the first, second and third degree (ORS 164.043, ORS 164.045 & ORS 164.055)
      • When the value is under $1,000 or when the theft is committed during a riot
    • Burglary in the second degree if combined with any criminal mischief or theft allegation.

All other offenses, including those that allege acts of intentional physical violence against community members and/or law enforcement – such as assaults and arson cases – will be handled according to general office policies.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office is neither condoning nor endorsing the conduct that led to the arrest or citation of a person. A prosecution decline decision does not change Oregon law.

In all cases where prosecution is declined or later dismissed by the court, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office will make available information on the procedure to set aside the arrest record and will support these motions in every way permissible under Oregon law.

In Multnomah County, a criminal case can only be initiated after law enforcement refers police reports to the district attorney’s office for prosecutorial review and consideration. The district attorney’s office will continue to review cases of alleged police violence and misconduct if those reports and associated evidence are submitted to the agency’s internal affairs or the City of Portland’s Independent Police Review Board.

A copy of the new policy implemented on today’s date can be obtained by clicking here.

###

 

Fatal hit and run crash results in grand jury indictment against Anatoliy Borovets - 07/28/20

July 28, 2020

Fatal hit and run crash results in grand jury indictment against Anatoliy Borovets

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announces the indictment of 25-year-old Anatoliy Borovets who is accused of operating a vehicle in a reckless manner that resulted in the death of Sergiy Volodimirovich Selivanov.

Borovets is charged with one count of manslaughter in the first degree, one count of felony failing to perform the duties of a driver (hit and run), one count of driving while suspended or revoked and one count of reckless driving.

Borovets is accused of losing control of his vehicle while driving at speeds estimated by law enforcement to be more than double the posted speed limit.

Law enforcement with the East Multnomah County Vehicular Crimes Team determined the speed of Borovets’ vehicle at the time of the crash to be at least 77 miles per hour, according to court documents.

The crash caused the vehicle Borovets was driving to roll multiple times before coming to rest against a building. The engine and transmission of the vehicle also separated from the body of the vehicle because of the high-speed impact.

When law enforcement arrived, they found the vehicle upside down and burning.

Witnesses reported the driver, determined to be Borovets, fled the scene. Investigators later learned that Borovets should not have been driving because his driving privileges were suspended.

Investigators located pieces of mail and other evidence associated with Borovets inside the vehicle, according to court documents. Borovets’ DNA was also found on the deployed steering wheel airbag, according to court documents.

Law enforcement attempted to immediately locate Borovets that night and spent the following days and weeks attempting to find him.

During the investigation, law enforcement located bank card transactions from two bars in Gresham in Borovets’ name from the crash date, according to court documents.

This case is being investigated by the Gresham Police Department, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and the Portland Police Bureau.

Like in all criminal and civil matters, electronic copies of court documents, which are not subject to a protective order, are available to the public through the Oregon eCourt Information (OECI) system.

No additional information can be released by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office at this time pursuant to the Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct.

A charging document is only an accusation of a crime. Borovets is innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

COVID-19 Notice

The health and well-being of all employees and community members we serve is a top priority for the Multnomah County District Attorney. Our office is working with the court, defense bar, local law enforcement and other system partners to carefully balance the needs of public health and public safety.

For information about the operational changes implemented by the District Attorney’s Office in response to the novel coronavirus, please click here.

 

#MCDA#


Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director | Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office

Phone: 503.988.6567 | Email: rent.Weisberg@mcda.us">Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

 

Attached Media Files: PR-20-132-Anatoliy_Borovets.pdf
Grand jury returns not true bill in murder investigation - 07/27/20

July 27, 2020

Grand jury returns not true bill in murder investigation

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that a grand jury returned a not true bill and determined the use of deadly physical force used by 52-year-old Stephen Bache to be a lawful act of self-defense under Oregon law.

Upon the grand jury’s decision on July 24, 2020, the district attorney’s office filed a motion with the court to have Bache released from custody.

This investigation started at approximately 3:45 p.m. on July 8, 2020 when law enforcement received information about a stabbing in the 1300 block of Southeast Water Avenue in Portland, Oregon.

Officers responded and located 32-year-old Cody Nicholas Vickers injured. Paramedics transported Vickers to the hospital where he died.

Like in all criminal and civil matters, electronic copies of court documents, which are not subject to a protective order, are available to the public through the Oregon eCourt Information (OECI) system.

No additional information can be released by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office at this time pursuant to the Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct.

COVID-19 Notice

The health and well-being of all employees and community members we serve is a top priority for the Multnomah County District Attorney. Our office is working with the court, defense bar, local law enforcement and other system partners to carefully balance the needs of public health and public safety.

For information about the operational changes implemented by the District Attorney’s Office in response to the coronavirus, please click here.

 

#MCDA#

Attached Media Files: PR-20-131-Stephen_Lloyd_Bache.pdf
Grand jury indicts triple murder suspect - 07/27/20

July 27, 2020

Grand jury indicts triple murder suspect

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that a grand jury indicted 58-year-old Brett Edward Pruett for intentionally murdering three people in northeast Portland.

Pruett is charged with 11 counts of murder in the first degree with a firearm, four counts of unlawful use of a weapon, two counts of burglary in the first degree with a firearm, two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and one count of assault in the second degree constituting domestic violence.

According to court documents, on July 17, 2020, Pruett intentionally killed Elmer Edwin Hughes III and Tashia Heather Cobb during the same criminal episode. 

Additionally, during the criminal episode described above, Pruett is accused of unlawfully entering and remaining inside a residence in the 2500 block of Northeast 122nd Avenue with a firearm where he killed Lawrence Wayne Murphy.

Furthermore, it is alleged that Pruett used a firearm in a manner to cause serious physical injury to either a family or household member the day prior to the triple homicide.

The assault victim does not wish to speak with media. The district attorney’s office is requesting that media refrain from contacting her.

The probable cause affidavit filed in this case remains under seal by court order.

A bail hearing date will be scheduled in the future.

Like in all criminal and civil matters, electronic copies of court documents, which are not subject to a protective order, are available to the public through the Oregon eCourt Information (OECI) system.

No additional information can be released by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office at this time pursuant to the Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct.

A charging document is only an accusation of a crime. Pruett is innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Strategic Prosecution and Services Unit, which reviews cases that stem from neighborhood-specific concerns, is litigating this case. The unit is primarily responsible for interfacing with the community over specific issues, and handles all types of cases across the criminal justice spectrum to include misdemeanors and homicides.

COVID-19 Notice

The health and well-being of all employees and community members we serve is a top priority for the Multnomah County District Attorney. Our office is working with the court, defense bar, local law enforcement and other system partners to carefully balance the needs of public health and public safety.

For information about the operational changes implemented by the District Attorney’s Office in response to the coronavirus, please click here.

 

#MCDA#


Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director | Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office

Phone: 503.988.6567 | Email: rent.Weisberg@mcda.us">Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

 

 

 

Attached Media Files: PR-20-130-Brett_Edward_Pruett.pdf
Woman sentenced to 120 months in prison for sexually exploiting a 14 year old girl - 07/23/20

July 23, 2020

Woman sentenced to 120 months in prison for sexually exploiting a 14 year old girl

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that 50-year-old Lorinda Marie Goodin received a 120 month prison sentence after pleading guilty to one count of compelling prostitution and one count of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct. 

“Lorinda Marie Goodin betrayed the victim in one of the most horrific ways imaginable by exploiting and selling her for sex to men willing to take advantage of a child. The victim’s unwavering strength and courage over a 12 year period inspires us and others to continue to advocate for crime victims of sexual assault and human trafficking,” said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Tara Gardner, who prosecuted this case.

Goodin is currently serving a 275 month prison sentence for committing two armed bank robberies in Multnomah County, two armed bank robberies in Lane County, and to possessing ammunition after having been previously convicted of eight bank robberies.

The prison sentence imposed in Multnomah County will run consecutive to the remaining time federally imposed.

In 2018, the Portland Police Bureau’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Workgroup learned about the abuse allegations and contacted the victim.

The investigation revealed that Goodin set up at least two arrangements so that men could sexually exploit the victim, a 14 year old child at the time.   

The district attorney’s office presented the court with the victim’s impact statement that read in part:

“Every day of my life has been affected by this woman. Relationships have been infected. I am proud and feel blessed to be here [and to be] given this opportunity to finally learn what justice feels like for the first time. I am ready to come to complete peace with this matter and let it rest eternally. …[The defendant] inflicted trauma, anguish, pain and suffering with a cruel and merciless demeanor.” 

The victim in this case does not want media contact. The district attorney’s office is requesting media refrain from contacting her.

Untested Sexual Assault Kit Elimination Project

In May 2020, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill released a report on his office’s “Untested Sexual Assault Kit Project.” Click here to read the report.

In 2015, DA Underhill, along with the Portland Police Bureau, Gresham Police Department, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Police Forensic Laboratory collaboratively initiated a project to process thousands of untested Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence (SAFE) kits in Multnomah, Marion and Lane counties.

DA Underhill and others quickly identified funding from the New York County District Attorney’s Office (DANY) and worked collectively with the Portland Police Bureau’s Sex Crimes Unit after the City of Portland received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Grant Program.

DANY awarded the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office a total of $1,995,453 in September 2015. Using those funds, a coordinated effort involving local law enforcement and the Oregon State Police was launched to send SAFE kits, dated 2014 or older from Multnomah, Lane and Marion counties, to a private lab in Utah for testing.

Under the DANY grant, nearly 3,000 sexual assault kits from around the state were tested.

In 2018, Oregon became one of the first five states in the country to clear its backlog of Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) kits.

In Oregon, Senate Bill 1571, known as "Melissa's Law," was the Oregon Legislature's response to ensuring all sexual assault kits, except for anonymous kits, are sent to the Oregon State Crime Laboratory for timely testing.

The Portland Police Bureau’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Workgroup, which was created in 2015, is comprised of victim-centered and trauma-informed members of the Portland Police Bureau and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.

Results from the kits continue to be investigated and survivors of sexual assaults are being notified. The Portland Police Bureau’s Sex Crimes Unit encourages those who have had a SAFE kit collected prior to 2015 to contact the oseproject@portlandoregon.gov">roseproject@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-0125.

 

COVID-19 Notice

The health and well-being of all employees and community members we serve is a top priority for the Multnomah County District Attorney. Our office is working with the court, defense bar, local law enforcement and other system partners to carefully balance the needs of public health and public safety.

For information about the operational changes implemented by the District Attorney’s Office in response to the coronavirus, please click here.

 

#MCDA#


Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director | Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office

Phone: 503.988.6567 | Email: rent.Weisberg@mcda.us">Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

 

Bias crimes case filed against man who threatened a group of teens - 07/21/20

July 21, 2020

Bias crimes case filed against man who threatened a group of teens

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announces 21-year-old John Yeargain is accused of threatening to cause serious physical injury to a group of teens because of his perception of the victims’ race or the color of their skin.

Yeargain is charged with seven counts of bias crime in the first degree, seven counts of unlawful use of a weapon and seven counts of menacing.

According to court documents:

This investigation started on July 20, 2020 when the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office responded to a disturbance in the 800 block of Northeast Harlow Road in Troutdale, Oregon.

During the investigation, deputies learned that a man, later identified as Yeargain, approached the group of seven teens and used racial hate speech to threaten them while in possession of a weapon described as either a hatchet, axe or machete.

The group consisted of Hispanic and African American individuals aged 14-19.

MCSO deputies learned that while the group swam in the Sandy River an unidentified woman approached and directed racial hate speech toward the group of teens. During the fight, the unidentified woman used a backpack to hit one of the teens. The investigating MCSO deputies observed fresh injuries on the victim consistent with someone being hit with a backpack.

The identity of the woman remains unknown at this time.

The victims reported that after the fight, Yeargain and a group of individuals re-approached the teens and that Yeargain used racial hate speech, threatened the group and did so using a weapon.

MCSO deputies contacted Yeargain who denied being involved in any disturbance. However, he confirmed seeing the fight between one of the teens and the unidentified woman. While speaking with the sheriff’s office, Yeargain used racial hate speech several times while describing the group.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office was an active participant of the Oregon Attorney General’s Hate Crimes Task Force and helped draft the language that was in Senate Bill 577. The law, which went into effect on July 15, 2019, renamed the crime of “intimidation” to “bias crime,” added gender identity to the list of protected categories and removed the requirement that two or more people commit the crime in order to make it a felony in certain circumstances.

All potential bias crime cases, whether they are a felony or misdemeanor, are reviewed by the Violent Crimes Unit within the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office. If a misdemeanor crime is issued, the felony-level attorney will retain the case.

If you are the victim of a bias crime assault or you are witnessing one, immediately call 9-1-1. If you are the victim of a bias crime and the suspect is no longer present or if you have information about a bias crime committed in the past, call the non-emergency line at 503-823-3333.

COVID-19 Notice

The health and well-being of all employees and community members we serve is a top priority for the Multnomah County District Attorney. Our office is working with the court, defense bar, local law enforcement and other system partners to carefully balance the needs of public health and public safety.

For information about the operational changes implemented by the District Attorney’s Office in response to the novel coronavirus, please click here.

 

#MCDA#


Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director | Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office

Phone: 503.988.6567 | Email: rent.Weisberg@mcda.us">Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

 

Attached Media Files: PR-20-128-John_Yeargain.pdf
Triple murder suspect arrested in Northeast Portland - 07/20/20

July 20, 2020

Triple murder suspect arrested in Northeast Portland

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announces the arrest of 58-year-old Brett Edward Pruett who is accused of killing three people on July 17, 2020 in the Russell neighborhood of northeast Portland.

Pruett is charged with three counts of murder in the first degree, three counts of unlawful use of a weapon, two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, one count of burglary in the first degree and one count of assault in the second degree with a firearm.

According to the charging instrument, Pruett intentionally caused the death of Elmer Edwin Hughes, Tashia Cobb and Lawrence Murphy during the same criminal episode.

It is alleged that Pruett, a convicted felon, used a firearm during the commission of these crimes.

Furthermore, the charging document alleges that on July 16, 2020, Pruett used a deadly and dangerous weapon to intentionally cause physical injury to an adult female prior to the triple homicide.

This investigation started on July 17, 2020 when law enforcement responded to an in-progress disturbance in the 2500 block of Northeast 122nd Avenue in Portland, Oregon. Upon arrival, law enforcement located the three deceased victims. 

Law enforcement located and arrested Pruett at approximately 1:30 p.m. on July 18, 2020.

The court, upon request from the state, sealed the probable cause affidavit filed in this case.

Like in all criminal and civil matters, electronic copies of court documents, which are not subject to a protective order, are available to the public through the Oregon eCourt Information (OECI) system.

No additional information can be released by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office at this time pursuant to the Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct.

A charging document is only an accusation of a crime. Pruett is innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

COVID-19 Notice

The health and well-being of all employees and community members we serve is a top priority for the Multnomah County District Attorney. Our office is working with the court, defense bar, local law enforcement and other system partners to carefully balance the needs of public health and public safety.

For information about the operational changes implemented by the District Attorney’s Office in response to the novel coronavirus, please click here.

 

#MCDA#


Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director | Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office

Phone: 503.988.6567 | Email: rent.Weisberg@mcda.us">Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us