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Grand jury returns not true bill in fatal officer involved shooting - 06/19/18

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced a grand jury returned a not true bill on June 18, 2018 following the use of force by two Gresham Police officers that resulted in the death of Dmitri Bullard.

The grand jury’s not true bill means they have determined no criminal prosecution is warranted and that Gresham Police Officer Joshua Price and Officer Brendon Hayes were legally justified in using deadly force against Bullard.

According to previously released information from the Gresham Police Department, on May 17, 2018, at approximately 11:50 p.m., officers were dispatched to conduct an area check following the report of a male prowling vehicles in southeast Gresham.

Officers located a vehicle minutes later near Southwest Butler Road and Southeast Regner Road. There, officers attempted to stop the vehicle. The driver, later identified as Bullard, immediately fled westbound on Southwest Butler Road. Officers did not pursue the vehicle, based on department protocol and concerns for public safety.

A short time later, police located the vehicle driving normally on Southwest Butler Road near Southeast 190th Drive.

Officers attempted to stop the vehicle for a second time, but Bullard fled from police. He drove northbound on Southeast 190th Drive. Officers again did not pursue. Minutes later officers found the vehicle crashed on Southwest Pleasant View Drive. Police estimate prior to the crash, Bullard’s vehicle was traveling approximately 114 miles per hour.

Officers attempted to contact Bullard who exited the vehicle with a hatchet and charged them. Officers Price and Hayes fired their duty weapons at Bullard, who died at the scene.

In accordance to the District Attorney’s Office policy and procedures set forth in Senate Bill 505, a request will be made to Multnomah County Presiding Judge Stephen K. Bushong to have the grand jury proceedings transcribed and then subsequently released to the public.

No additional comments will be made at this time.

#MCDA#

Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director

Phone: 503.988.6567

Email: rent.Weisberg@mcda.us">Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

Attached Media Files: PR-18-53-Dmitri_Bullard.pdf
Man pleads guilty to careless driving following deadly crash - 06/18/18

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced the negotiated settlement in a case involving Ryan Michael Gawick, 34, who had been charged in connection with the September 25, 2017 vehicular death of Rekey Frank Agee.

Upon initial review of this case, a Multnomah County grand jury indicted Gawick with one count of criminally negligent homicide. Under Oregon law, criminal negligence means that a person fails to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that the failure to be aware of it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in this case, Mr. Agee was walking to work while wearing a reflective safety vest when he was struck by the defendant’s vehicle. Gawick was also on his way to work when the crash occurred at approximately 6:15 a.m. on Monday September 25, 2017 at the intersection of North Columbia Boulevard and North Interstate Place. Police determined Gawick failed to stop at a red light as he drove westbound on North Columbia Boulevard when he struck Mr. Agee who was in the crosswalk as he walked northbound across North Columbia Boulevard. 

“After completing the investigation in this case, which included additional investigation beyond what was initially learned at the time of the crash that resulted in the loss of Mr. Agee, the State has concluded that there are potential legal impediments to proceeding to trial on the charge of criminally negligent homicide,” said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Elisabeth Waner, who prosecuted this case. “Of particular interest to the State were the cellphone data records belonging to the defendant at the time of the crash. The records we received were inconclusive as to whether or not Mr. Gawick was actively manipulating his phone at the time of the crash. In order to proceed with a charge of criminally negligent homicide, the law requires the State have evidence to show the defendant should have been aware of a problem with his driving, such as swerving, inattention or near a collision before the ultimate crash. At trial, the State would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Gawick had prior knowledge that he was driving in a way that would have resulted in the death of Mr. Agee.”

The investigation also determined that at the time of the crash, the defendant was not violating the speed limit.

“What is clear in this case, no matter the cause, Mr. Gawick’s inattentiveness behind the wheel resulted in the tragic loss of life of a husband and father,” Waner said. “The death of Mr. Agee will be deeply felt by many for several years to come. This was a senseless death that easily could have been avoided had Mr. Gawick adhered to the duties each and every one of us has when we get behind the wheel of a vehicle.”

As a result of those facts, the defendant appeared before Judge Michael A. Greenlick on June 18, 2018 and pleaded guilty to one count of careless driving, which contributed to the death of a vulnerable road user. The defendant received a sentence of one year probation. He was ordered to perform the maximum of 200 hours of community service, which must focus on driver improvement and public education on traffic safety. Additionally, the defendant will have to complete a traffic safety course. As part of his sentence, the defendant’s driver’s license was suspended. A fine of $12,500 was imposed. If the defendant completes his community service, the Court will waive the fine within one year. The charge of criminally negligent homicide was dismissed. 

#MCDA#

Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director

Phone: 503.988.6567

Email: rent.Weisberg@mcda.us">Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

Attached Media Files: PR-18-52-Ryan_Gawick.pdf
Grand jury re-indictment filed against Vasile Manta - 06/15/18

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced a grand jury returned a re-indictment for the alleged criminal conduct of Vasile Manta that occurred April 30, 2018 and May 14, 2018. The grand jury also determined a Multnomah County Sheriff’s deputy was legally justified using deadly physical force against Manta on May 14. 

The defendant appeared before Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Melvin Oden-Orr on June 14, 2018 and was arraigned on an indictment associated with criminal conducted alleged to have occurred on April 30. 

Pertaining to that case, the grand jury indicted the defendant with one count each of attempted aggravated murder with a firearm, attempted assault in the first degree with a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon with a firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm with a firearm enhancement, criminal mischief in the first degree, reckless driving, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle, and theft in the first degree. Additionally, Manta is charged with two counts each of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer. The defendant is also charged with four counts of theft in the second degree and eight counts of identity theft. 

According to previously released information from the Gresham Police Department, the investigation began at approximately 10:40 p.m. on April 30, 2018 when Gresham Police Officer Joshua Price located an occupied stolen minivan in a parking lot near Southwest Highland Drive and Southwest 11th Street. The defendant rammed the officer’s patrol vehicle and fled westbound on West Powell Boulevard. Near the 17800 block of West Powell, the minivan got stuck on a median resulting in the defendant fleeing on foot while armed with a firearm. 

It is alleged in the indictment the defendant did unlawfully and intentionally attempt to cause the death of Officer Price. Furthermore, it is alleged the defendant, a convicted felon, was unlawfully in possession of a firearm when he tried to shoot Officer Price with a deadly weapon. 

On June 14, 2018, the grand jury determined the use of deadly physical force against Manta on May 14, 2018 by Multnomah County Sheriff Deputy Matthew Ferguson was justified under the criminal law. 

Additionally, the grand jury has charged Manta with one count each of felony fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, criminal mischief in the first degree, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle, escape in the second degree, unlawful delivery of methamphetamine, unlawful possession of methamphetamine, unlawful delivery of heroin, unlawful possession of heroin, and four counts of recklessly endangering another person. All of these crimes are alleged to have occurred on May 14, 2018. 

According to previously released information from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, on May 14th, 2018, at approximately 1:50 p.m. deputies assigned to the Special Investigations Unit observed Manta parked in a restaurant parking lot at Southeast 100th Avenue and Southeast Washington Street in Portland. In the process of contacting the defendant, he placed his vehicle in reverse and rammed a separate deputy’s vehicle. Deputy Ferguson fired his weapon striking Manta.

The defendant’s arraignment on the re-indictment, which is filed under case number 18CR31965, is scheduled for Monday June 18, 2018 at the Multnomah County Justice Center. 

Newly adopted Senate Bill 505 provides grand jury proceedings be recorded. Senate Bill 505 also provides because of the ongoing nature of the criminal case against the defendant, only the parties to the criminal case are permitted to access the grand jury recordings. As such, this office will have no additional comment on the case. 

#MCDA#

Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director 
Phone: 503.988.6567
Email: rent.Weisberg@mcda.us ">Click here
 

Attached Media Files: PR-18-51-Vasile_Manta-GJ.pdf
Man receives 120 day jail sentence for sexually abusing woman studying at library - 06/13/18

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that Kevin Taylor, 55, received a 120 day jail sentence after being convicted of one count of sexual abuse in the third degree following an incident at the Cascade Campus of Portland Community College (PCC).

During the trial, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office presented evidence that showed on November 1, 2016, a woman reported that she was inside the PCC library when an unknown man sat next to her. The man leaned back in his chair, spread his legs wide and then scooted closer to the woman. He extended his leg under the victim’s chair. This caused his leg to touch hers. The woman proceeded to move away from the defendant.

“Evidence at trial showed that the defendant, Mr. Taylor, then moved closer to the woman and touched her left thigh on top of her clothing,” said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Ryan Solomon, who prosecuted the case. “The defendant then moved his hand to cover an intimate part of her lower body. The woman, understandably distressed, stood up, quickly shut her books and told the defendant to leave her alone.”

During the investigation, officials from PCC and the Portland Police Bureau worked closely to identify the suspect.

“The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office would like to commend the work of the Public Safety officers at Portland Community College and Portland Police Bureau Detective Michael Bledsoe who handled this investigation. Detective Bledsoe was able to obtain a search warrant for the cell phone tower history of the defendant’s cell phone activity. The evidence from that data, which was presented at trial, showed the defendant’s cell phone as being in close proximity to the PCC library at the time of the offense and then leave the area shortly thereafter.”

Derrick Foxworth, Director of Public Safety at Portland Community College, said Taylor was not a PCC student.

“When we learned of this incident, PCC Public Safety reviewed surveillance video that showed Mr. Taylor went to the second floor of the Cascade Campus library and attempted to stretch out and inappropriately touch a female, but was unsuccessful,” Foxworth said. “Our video then shows him going to the first floor where he engaged in similar behavior and was in the area when a female student reported she was inappropriately touched. That student then notified our office.”

“This successful conviction highlights the good work done by Public Safety personnel in responding to reported incidents on campus, properly preserving evidence and maintaining good working relationships with local law enforcement and the District Attorney’s office,” Foxworth said. “This case also demonstrated the important coordination between Public Safety and the Office of Equity & Inclusion and the Dean of Student Development Office at Cascade Campus.”

Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Souede presided over the defendant’s trial and sentencing.

As part of the sentence imposed by Judge Souede, the defendant will be on five years of formal probation. Taylor must turn himself into the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office no later than August 1, 2018 to start his jail sentence. The defendant will have to serve 90 days of the 120 day jail sentence up front. If the defendant does not complete the 160 hours of court-imposed community service by June 13, 2020, he will be ordered to serve the remaining 30 days of his jail sentence. The defendant was also ordered not to have any contact with the victim. He will not be allowed to enter any PCC building or be on any PCC campus during the time of his probation. Taylor will have to register as a sex offender and participate in a mental health evaluation and treatment, if recommended by his probation officer. Additionally, the court ordered that the defendant undergo a psychosexual evaluation and receive any treatment if warranted.

 

#MCDA#

Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director

Phone: 503.988.6567

Email: rent.Weisberg@mcda.us">Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

Attached Media Files: PR-18-48-Kevin_Taylor.pdf
Grand Jury transcript released in Elifritz death investigation - 06/11/18

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that a transcript of the grand jury proceedings in the death investigation of John A. Elifritz was posted on the Multnomah County District Attorney’s website

Five Portland Police Bureau officers and one Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office deputy directed deadly force at Mr. Elifritz on April 7, 2018. 

The grand jury proceedings were recorded in accordance with ORS 132.260. 

Upon return of a “not true bill” (see press release) in this matter by the grand jury, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office filed a motion with the presiding court to create and disclose a transcript of the recorded proceedings. 

Due to the size of the transcript, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office has uploaded each volume separately.

 

#MCDA#

Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director

Phone: 503.988.6567

Email: rent.Weisberg@mcda.us">Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

Christopher_Moss_Jr._Photo_-_4.jpg
Christopher_Moss_Jr._Photo_-_4.jpg
Jamaine Oliver Jr. sentenced to 150 months in prison following manslaughter conviction (Photo) - 06/08/18

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced a 150 month prison sentence for Jamaine Oliver Jr., 19, following his conviction of one count of manslaughter in the first degree with a firearm.

On October 27, 2016, at approximately 10:12 p.m., Gresham Police officers responded to reports of a shooting at Northeast 162nd Avenue and Northeast Glisan Street. Upon arrival, they located Christopher Moss Jr. suffering from critical injuries. Moss died as a result of a gunshot wound.

During the investigation, detectives assigned to the Gresham Police Department and East Multnomah County Major Crimes Team developed information that showed Oliver was the shooter. Police then took Oliver into custody shortly after the incident

On May 22, 2018, the defendant appeared before Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Eric J. Bergstrom and pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter in the first degree with a firearm. Oliver was formally sentenced on June 8, 2018.

“After carefully reviewing all of the evidence in this case, we judiciously negotiated the resolution of this matter to ensure Jamaine Oliver Jr. was held accountable for his actions on October 27, 2016,” said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney David Hannon, who prosecuted the case. “The District Attorney’s Office would like to thank the witnesses who came forward and spoke with police the night Mr. Moss was killed. These witnesses were vital in getting this case prosecuted. We would also like to highlight the work of Gresham Police Detective Brandon Crate and Detective Aaron Turnage along with other investigators from the East Multnomah County Major Crimes Team all of whom worked diligently to track down leads, which ultimately resulted in discovery of the firearm used in this case.”

During the sentencing hearing, Christopher Moss Sr., the victim’s father, told the court his family feels empty without Christopher. The family also spoke about their willingness to forgive Oliver.

“My prayers are that you don’t have to ever go through what we’re going through,” Moss Sr. said. “I hope you find a way forward. You didn’t have to pull the trigger that night. You didn’t have to shoot my son. In my heart, I want to forgive you. It’s the only way I will be at peace, but I will never forget.”

Upon his release from prison, Oliver will be on 36 months of post-prison supervision.

#MCDA#

Brent Weisberg
Communications Director
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office
503.988.6567
Email: rent.Weisberg@mcda.us">Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

Father convicted of murder by abuse in daughter's death - 06/05/18

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that Darian Lee McWoods, 25, was convicted on all counts in connection with the December 17, 2013 death of the his daughter, Kamaya Flores.

Opening statements on this case were presented on May 16, 2018. The jury started deliberations on the afternoon of June 4, 2018. The verdict was read June 5, 2018. 

According to evidence presented during trial, Flores, 15 months of age, died of homicidal violence. Additional evidence presented during trial showed that Flores was in the care of her father, the defendant, at the time of her death. An autopsy performed by the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Flores’ cause of death was methadone toxicity. A trace amount of methamphetamine was also detected in Flores’ blood.  The autopsy also revealed additional physical findings that were consistent with compression asphyxia. 

A child abuse doctor testified during the trial that Flores’ injuries, which included a combination of unilateral broken ribs, petechial hemorrhages across the eyes and mouth, and facial bruising were indications of physical child abuse. 

McWoods was indicted on December 9, 2016 and charged with two counts of murder by abuse, three counts of manslaughter in the first degree, and one count each of criminally negligent homicide, criminal mistreatment in the first degree and tampering with a witness. 

The jury was unanimous in convicting McWoods on all the homicide allegations and charges associated with Flores’ injuries.

The grand jury also indicted Diamond McWoods, the defendant’s sister, on charges of perjury, tampering with a witness and false swearing related to her prior grand jury testimony regarding the death of Kamaya Flores. 

On May 14, 2018, Diamond McWoods pleaded guilty and was convicted of perjury and false swearing. Her sentencing occurred that same day. 

This case was prosecuted by Senior Deputy District Attorney Amity Girt and Deputy District Attorney Amanda Nadell. The lead investigator on the case was Portland Police Bureau Detective Michele Michaels. 

Sentencing is scheduled for July 18, 2018 at 9 a.m. before Judge Christopher J. Marshall. 

Members of the media are encouraged to utilize the Oregon eCourt Case Information (OECI) system using case number 16CR78185 for confirm the time and date of the scheduling as all dates are subject to change. 

No additional statements will be made prior to the sentencing hearing. 

#MCDA#

Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director 
Phone: 503.988.6567
Email: Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us 


 

Attached Media Files: PR-18-39-Darian_McWoods.pdf
Statement from Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill on the vehicular incident in Southwest Portland - 05/25/18

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office is working with our law enforcement partners in response to the tragic events on the campus of Portland State University this morning.

District Attorney Rod Underhill has sent Chief Deputy District Attorney Chuck Sparks along with several Deputy District Attorneys and a team from our Victim Advocate Unit to assist in the investigation and to offer assistance and resources to those affected.  

The MCDA Victim Assistance Program facilitates the Multnomah County Victim Assistance Mass Casualty Committee, which is made up of federal, state, and local system-based advocates, local non-profits and law enforcement.

Due to the ongoing nature of this investigation, no additional details can be provided at this time. 

#MCDA#

Brent Weisberg
Communications Director 
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office
503.988.6567
Email: Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

 

Suspect indicted in connection with 2017 homicide in southeast Portland - 05/23/18

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that a Multnomah County grand jury has returned a three-count indictment against John Allen Hughes, 51, in connection with the November 10, 2017 homicide of Robert Kaiser. 

The indictment, which was filed on May 22, 2018, alleges one count each of murder with a firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm with a firearm enhancement, and unlawful use of a weapon with a firearm enhancement. 

The defendant is now the second person criminally charged in connection with Mr. Kaiser’s death. The other defendant, Shawn Kevin McGinnis, 55, remains in custody at the Multnomah County Detention Center. 

This investigation started on Friday November 10, 2017, at approximately 11:07 p.m., when the Portland Police Bureau was dispatched to a residence in the 8100 block of Southeast Glenwood Street on the report of gunfire that occurred approximately 15 minutes prior to the 9-1-1 call. 

Officers arrived in the area and located Kaiser deceased near a residence. Homicide detectives with the Portland Police Bureau, and a representative from the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office responded to the scene and began an investigation into Kaiser's death. The Oregon State Medical Examiner determined that Kaiser died of homicidal violence as a result of a gunshot. 

Due to the on-going criminal investigation, additional details cannot be provided at this time. 

On May 23, 2018, Hughes appeared before Judge Donald R. Letourneau for his arraignment. The defendant’s next court date is scheduled for July 3, 2018. 

Mr. McGinnis’ next court date is set for April 29, 2019. He was previously arraigned on November 29, 2017. 


 


#MCDA#

Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director 
Phone: 503.988.6567
Email: Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us 
 

Attached Media Files: PR-18-37-John_Allen_Hughes.pdf