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News Releases
DA Mike Schmidt releases weekly cases impacted by public defense crisis - 02/16/24

February 16, 2024

PORTLAND, Oregon – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt released a list of cases impacted by the public defense crisis. The list includes felony cases dismissed by the JC3 court as a result of the crisis. 

In November, DA Mike Schmidt called the public defense crisis– defined by a lack of public defenders to provide counsel to defendants– an urgent threat to public safety. Individuals charged with a crime have a constitutional right to defense counsel. Victims have a right to justice. Absent counsel, criminal prosecutions cannot lawfully move forward, and throughout the counsel shortage, cases issued by the office have been routinely dismissed over prosecutors’ objections.

DA Schmidt also declared that MCDA would publish cases dismissed due to the crisis each week to increase transparency and advance the public’s understanding of the scope of the crisis. Here is a breakdown of the types of felonies getting dismissed.

There were 4 cases dismissed by the court as a result of the public defense crisis between 2/9/24 and 2/15/24:

23-CR-22427

23-CR-46037

21-CR-13502

23-CR-35645

Frank Berte Sentenced to 72 Months in Prison for Burglary, Other Charges - 02/14/24

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt today announced that a Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge sentenced Frank Berte, 40, to 72 months in prison after he pled guilty to multiple charges from incidents that took place between 2021 and 2023.

Deputy District Attorney Eric Pickard represented the State in Berte’s cases. Sentencing took place in front of Judge Celia Howes on multiple dates, with final sentencing on February 12. The total sentence is the result of a negotiated plea agreement with the defendant and his counsel to resolve several property crime cases.

As part of the agreement, Berte pled guilty and was sentenced as follows:

  • 20 months for one count of Criminal Mischief in the First Degree (21CR43120)
  • 20 months consecutive for one count of Burglary in the First Degree (22CR08402)
  • 32 months consecutive for one count of Burglary in the Second Degree (23CR57059)  
  • Additional convictions included Burglary in the First Degree (22CR53500), Burglary in the Second Degree (23CR57059), and Delivery of a Controlled Substance - Fentanyl (23CR18002). These convictions resulted in concurrent prison sentences.

Additionally, Berte will serve three years of post-prison supervision.

Berte is currently in the custody of the Oregon Department of Corrections where he will serve his sentence.  

The DA’s Office thanks the PPB detectives and officers who assisted with these cases.   

###

DA Mike Schmidt Supports Legislation to Increase Protections for Victims of 'Intimate Image' Crimes - 02/13/24

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt is voicing his support for legislation that will increase protections for crime victims. Today, the DA’s Policy Director, Aaron Knott, provided testimony to the Oregon House Committee on Judiciary in support of House Bill 4146. 

HB 4146 relates to the crime of unlawful dissemination of an intimate image, which was enacted in 2015 in response to the practice commonly known as “revenge porn.” The current law includes a requirement that the person in an intimate image be “identifiable” in the image itself. This is prone to error, ignores reliable contextual evidence, and is deeply traumatizing. 

The bill would remove the requirement that a victim be identifiable within an image, and instead give prosecutors the ability to introduce collateral evidence of identity beyond what is contained in the photo itself.

DA Mike Schmidt said, “No one should be put through the traumatizing process of litigating whether their identity can be discerned through intimate images. Crime victims deserve better, and HB 4146 represents a simple solution to avoiding this unnecessary trauma.”   

Policy Director Knott added, “This is a small change that will make an enormous difference in the lives of crime victims who see intimate images of themselves distributed without their consent, but who may nevertheless be denied justice – or forced into a deeply traumatizing legal process to determine whether their body is reasonably identifiable.” 

The DA’s Office is urging the legislature’s passage of HB 4146.

More information about HB 4146 can be found on the Oregon Legislature’s website.

###

DA Mike Schmidt releases weekly cases impacted by public defense crisis - 02/09/24

February 9, 2024

PORTLAND, Oregon – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt released a list of cases impacted by the public defense crisis. The list includes felony cases dismissed by the JC3 court as a result of the crisis. 

In November, DA Mike Schmidt called the public defense crisis– defined by a lack of public defenders to provide counsel to defendants– an urgent threat to public safety. Individuals charged with a crime have a constitutional right to defense counsel. Victims have a right to justice. Absent counsel, criminal prosecutions cannot lawfully move forward, and throughout the counsel shortage, cases issued by the office have been routinely dismissed over prosecutors’ objections.

DA Schmidt also declared that MCDA would publish cases dismissed due to the crisis each week to increase transparency and advance the public’s understanding of the scope of the crisis. Here is a breakdown of the types of felonies getting dismissed.

There were 5 cases dismissed by the court as a result of the public defense crisis between 2/2/24 and 2/8/24:

23-CR-43842

23-CR-43842

23-CR-43834

23-CR-44675

21-CR-60187


 

#MCDA#

 

UPDATE: Daniel Warren Enters Plea on Assault & Bias Crime Charges - 02/09/24

UPDATE:

Today, Daniel Thomas Warren, 40, entered a plea on two charges relating to the assault of the owner of LoRell’s Chick Shack in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood in June 2023. Warren pled guilty to one count of Assault in the Third Degree and pled no contest to one count of Bias Crime in the First Degree. Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Christopher Marshall accepted the plea.

Deputy District Attorney Kristen Kyle-Castelli is the prosecutor assigned to this case. Sentencing is currently scheduled for February 21 in front of Judge Marshall.

#MCDA#

 

*Original Message (7/17/2023)*
 

DA Mike Schmidt Announces Grand Jury Indictment of Daniel Warren on Assault & Bias Crime Charges

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt today announced that a grand jury indicted Daniel Thomas Warren, 40, on two charges relating to the recent assault of the owner of LoRell’s Chicken Shack in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood:

  1. Assault in the Second Degree
  2. Bias Crime in the First Degree

On June 15, Portland Police officers were dispatched to the area of SE 52nd Avenue and SE Foster on reports of an assault, but both parties had left the scene. Officers were able to obtain witness statements, video footage, and the location of the victim. A detective interviewed the victim, who explained that Warren hit the victim from behind, causing the victim to fall forward, at which time Warren continued punching him while stating racial slurs. 

Portland Police released an image of Warren in an attempt to locate and arrest him. On July 2, two East Precinct officers were on a call assisting Portland Fire & Rescue with traffic control in the 12300 block of Southeast Division Street when they spotted Warren walking. They stopped and arrested him, and he was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center. 

Upon review of the evidence provided by law enforcement, prosecutors presented the case to the Grand Jury, which returned a true bill of indictment on July 10.

Due to the violent nature of these crimes and the risk that Warren poses to public safety, prosecutors filed a motion seeking preventive detention (a means of denying any form of release during pendency of the case). Warren waived the preventative detention hearing at this time and remains in custody.  

Deputy District Attorney Kristen Kyle-Castelli is the prosecutor assigned to this case. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office thanks the Portland Police Bureau for their assistance in this case.

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

###

UPDATE: Jonathan Hanna Sentenced to 45 Months in Prison for Auto Theft - 02/07/24

UPDATE:

Today, Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Rima Ghandour sentenced Jonathan Hanna to 45 months in prison. Hanna was a person of interest for the Auto Theft Task Force, led by Deputy DA Cody Linderholm.

As part of a plea agreement negotiated with the defendant and his counsel to resolve this case and a previous case (22CR46484), Hanna was sentenced today to eight charges:

  • Two counts of Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle
  • One count of Identity Theft
  • One count of Computer Crime
  • One count of Felony Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Police Officer
  • Three counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person

In addition to the 45-month prison sentence, Hanna’s driver’s license will be revoked for three years following his release.

#MCDA#
 

*Original Release 8/28/2023*

Grand Jury Indicts Person of Interest from Auto Theft Task Force Investigation

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt today announced that a grand jury indicted Johnathan William Hanna, 35, on 20 charges:

  • One count of Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle
  • One count of Possession of a Stolen Vehicle
  • One count of Unlawful Entry Into a Motor Vehicle
  • Six counts of Identity Theft
  • One Count of Computer Crime
  • One Count of Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card
  • One count of Felony Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Police Officer
  • One count of Misdemeanor Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Police Officer
  • Six counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person
  • One count of Reckless Driving

On August 17, Gresham Police Department officers took a stolen vehicle report from a victim, who also provided video evidence of the theft. The next day, Portland Police Bureau officers on patrol in Southeast Portland came across a stolen vehicle parked outside an apartment building with a driver inside. The officers approached the vehicle on foot and, in response, the driver began to flee the scene. Despite the officers placing spike strips that deflated both passenger tires, the driver fled the scene in the vehicle, eluding at a high rate of speed and driving recklessly. The driving behavior was all caught on PPB air support video, which showed that the driver abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot. Officers were able to locate and arrest the driver, who was identified as Jonathan Hanna. Officers located five pieces of identification belonging to the owner of the stolen vehicle – the victim who originally reported the car stolen to GPD. Further investigation revealed that Hanna used one of the victim’s credit cards to make a purchase shortly after the theft of the vehicle.

Upon review of the evidence provided by law enforcement, the Auto Theft Task Force Lead Deputy District Attorney, Cody Linderholm, presented the case to the Grand Jury, which returned a true bill of indictment on August 24. 

Hanna is well known to local law enforcement as a prolific car thief. He previously was convicted of Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle and served 30 months in custody. He also has two pending cases in Multnomah County and one in Washington County. The Auto Theft Task Force had identified Hanna as a person of interest, and the DA’s Office will seek prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.

The DA’s Office thanks the Portland Police Bureau and the Gresham Police Department for their assistance so far in this case.

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

###

Multi-Jurisdictional Auto Theft and Organized Retail Theft Task Forces Making Positive Impacts - 02/05/24

At a media briefing today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt and local leaders provided updates on the Auto Theft and Organized Retail Theft Task Forces, highlighting that the dedicated resources and collaboration are yielding positive public safety results. DA Schmidt was joined by Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson, Portland Police Chief Bob Day, Multnomah County Sheriff Nicole Morrisey O’Donnell, Gresham Police Chief Travis Gullberg, and Portland Metro Chamber President & CEO Andrew Hoan.

“Both the Auto Theft and Retail Theft Task Forces are taking a collaborative, holistic approach and focusing on prolific offenders,” said DA Schmidt. “These are offenders who are on a trajectory of continuously committing crimes, and we’re interrupting that behavior, putting them out of business and preventing crime. All of the Task Forces’ successes are possible through having dedicated resources and working in partnership. I am extremely grateful to the city and county for the investments they’ve made in this work and for strong partnerships with Portland Police, Gresham Police, the Sheriff’s Office, State Police, and the business community.” 

Among the accomplishments shared today are the following:

Auto Theft

  • Case issuance rates for auto theft are at 83% – an all-time high.
  • The Task Force has indicted 15 high-profile cases, encompassing 139 charges. 
  • Reported auto theft in Portland decreased 26% in 2023 compared to 2022.
  • 92% of vehicles stolen in Portland in 2023 have been recovered.

Retail Theft

  • Case issuance rates for theft are at 77% - a seven-year high.
  • The Task Force has trained over 375 retail employees.
  • The Task Force has indicted 10 high-profile cases, representing $164,143 in retail theft and $125,038 in organized retail theft.
  • 2023 retail theft missions led by PPB have resulted in more than: 300 arrests, 144 felony charges, and 238 misdemeanor charges. 

The Task Forces are funded through investments from both Multnomah County and the City of Portland. The funds created five dedicated positions (two deputy district attorneys, two investigators, and one legal assistant) within the DA’s office to lead the task forces.

Multnomah County’s investments in these Auto and Retail Theft Task Forces are about taking immediate, collaborative action to make our communities safer. To reduce the human toll on families and the economic toll on small business owners – and the ripple effects this can have on our neighborhoods,” said Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson. “These coordinated efforts have proven that strong partnerships can pay off and is exactly what we need to see now and into the future.”

Portland Police Chief Bob Day said, “PPB was honored to stand with our local partners today to discuss ongoing efforts to combat stolen vehicles and retail theft. We have made great strides but will continue to work collaboratively with each other and the community to address and reduce these crimes.”

Sheriff Nicole Morrisey O’Donnell shared that the agency performed 60 public safety missions in 2023 – some focusing specifically on auto theft and retail theft, and others focusing on gun violence, street racing, transit safety, human trafficking, and traffic safety.

“While focused police missions are not new, the level of collaboration and cohesiveness between neighboring law enforcement agencies is worth noting,” said Sheriff Morrisey O’Donnell. “Central to the success of these missions is the support and integration of deputy district attorneys. These prosecutors have helped deputies build stronger cases by writing more descriptive police reports and ensuring all investigative steps are complete before submitting reports to the DA’s Office. These factors help a prosecutor complete the next steps in the criminal justice system, to hold people accountable for criminal activity.”

Gresham Police Chief Travis Gullberg shared that the agency has participated in 13 stolen vehicle missions since July 2022 and five retail theft missions since 2023. He noted that auto theft was down five percent in Gresham in 2023. 

“Through joint law enforcement missions, agencies are better equipped to share data and crime analysis to identify key patterns and trends our region is experiencing,” Chief Gullberg said. “But most importantly, shared resources act as a force multiplier, amplifying our collective efforts. 2023 marked the beginning of a positive trend in decreasing much of the crime that has plagued our communities, and we look forward to seeing this work continue.”

Portland Metro Chamber President and CEO Andrew Hoan said, “We want to thank DA Schmidt and his team for their ongoing commitment to reducing auto and retail theft in Portland and the county. Although the task forces have only been in operation for seven months, their work is already making a difference. We are grateful to our partners at the city and county for the investment, and those in law enforcement who are part of this public-private partnership to address crime in our city.”

Photos from today’s briefing are available online. The Multnomah County DA’s Office will provide ongoing updates about the work of the task forces.

###

DA Mike Schmidt releases weekly cases impacted by public defense crisis - 02/02/24

February 2, 2024

PORTLAND, Oregon – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt released a list of cases impacted by the public defense crisis. The list includes felony cases dismissed by the JC3 court as a result of the crisis. 

In November, DA Mike Schmidt called the public defense crisis– defined by a lack of public defenders to provide counsel to defendants– an urgent threat to public safety. Individuals charged with a crime have a constitutional right to defense counsel. Victims have a right to justice. Absent counsel, criminal prosecutions cannot lawfully move forward, and throughout the counsel shortage, cases issued by the office have been routinely dismissed over prosecutors’ objections.

DA Schmidt also declared that MCDA would publish cases dismissed due to the crisis each week to increase transparency and advance the public’s understanding of the scope of the crisis. Here is a breakdown of the types of felonies getting dismissed.

There were 2 cases dismissed by the court as a result of the public defense crisis between 1/29/24 and 2/1/24:

TR-IR-48987

22-CR-37874


 

#MCDA#

Grand Jury Indicts Hugo Gomez-Soto for Criminally Negligent Homicide Related to Dealing Fentanyl - 02/02/24

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt today announced that a grand jury indicted Hugo Gomez-Soto, 48, on ten charges relating to the unlawful delivery of fentanyl and the subsequent death of a 29-year-old man to whom Gomez-Soto had sold fentanyl:

  • One count of Criminally Negligent Homicide
  • Four counts of Delivery of a Controlled Substance within 1,000 Feet of a School
  • One count of Delivery of a Controlled Substance (Commercial Drug Offense)
  • Three counts of Delivery of a Controlled Substance 
  • One count of Delivery of a Controlled Substance (Substantial Quantity)

On December 30, 2023, the 29-year-old male victim was found unconscious by a family member inside his residence. After the family member administered multiple doses of Narcan and performed life-saving measures, and after AMR administered multiple doses of Narcan and performed life-saving measures, the victim was transported to OHSU where he was later pronounced deceased. Medical staff indicated that fentanyl was found in his system, and pills and powder containing fentanyl were found on his person. Police officers determined, through review of cell phone records, that the victim was purchasing fentanyl from a presumed dealer whose phone number was matched to Hugo Gomez-Soto.

Investigators from the Portland Police Bureau’s Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit posed as the victim and arranged to meet Gomez-Soto, via text message using the victim’s phone, to purchase pills and powdered fentanyl. Gomez-Soto agreed to the deal, and it was clear that he was familiar with the victim’s phone number and knew the address of where to meet to deliver the drugs. Officers met Gomez-Soto at the location and found him with 20 pills and two 1-gram baggies on his person, which presumptively tested positive for fentanyl and were similar to the pills and powder found on the victim’s person.

After Gomez-Soto was mirandized, he admitted to selling fentanyl to the victim and stated they would meet near the victim’s house for their transactions. He stated he is the only person that uses the phone and phone number that was used to arrange the deal. He further stated that he knows fentanyl is dangerous and causes people to die. 

Upon review of the evidence provided by law enforcement, Senior Deputy DA Ujifusa presented the case to the Grand Jury, which returned a true bill of indictment on February 1.  

Due to the seriousness of these crimes and the risk that Gomez-Soto poses to public safety, Senior DDA Ujifusa filed a motion seeking preventive detention (a means of denying any form of release during pendency of the case for those who pose a risk to public safety). At a hearing on February 1, Judge Chanpone Sinlapasai found in favor of the state and ordered Gomez-Soto to be preventatively detained. 

A charging instrument is only an accusation of a crime. Gomez-Soto is innocent unless and until proven guilty.

###

MEDIA ADVISORY: DA Mike Schmidt to Hold Press Conference on Auto Theft and Organized Retail Theft - 02/02/24

*For planning purposes only*


The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office will hold a press conference on Monday, February 5 at 2:30 p.m. to provide updates on the Auto Theft and Organized Retail Theft Task Forces.

DA Mike Schmidt will be joined by Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson, Portland Police Chief Bob Day, Multnomah County Sheriff Nicole Morrisey O’Donnell, Gresham Police Chief Travis Gullberg, and Portland Metro Chamber President Andrew Hoan. 

To attend, members of the media must RSVP to media@mcda.us by 11 a.m., February 5. The location will be provided to those who RSVP.

###
 

Zachary Chronister Sentenced to 150 Months in Prison for 2022 Attempted Murder of a Portland Police Officer - 02/01/24

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt today announced that a Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge sentenced Zachary Michael Chronister, 29, to 150 months in prison for a 2022 incident in which he shot at a Portland Police Bureau officer while eluding. 

Incident

On February 17, 2022, officers with the Portland Police Focused Intervention Team were patrolling near Northeast Sandy Boulevard and I-205 when they saw a driver committing several traffic violations, including dangerous lane changes and failing to stop at stop signs. When the officers initiated a traffic stop, the driver of the vehicle increased speed in an attempt to elude. Anticipating that the driver may try to get onto westbound I-84 from Sandy, a PPB officer deployed spike strips at the on-ramp. As the driver neared the spike strip, the front seat passenger of the car, later identified as Zachary Chronister, rolled down his window, leaned out, and fired three shots at the officer; the officer was not hit. A PPB Air Support Unit caught the shooting on video using infrared technology.

Officers pursued the vehicle from a distance as it drove with multiple flat tires on northbound I-5 into Washington. At the request of PPB, Clark County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) and the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) joined to assist. The vehicle crashed near Northeast St. Johns Road and Northeast 68th Street in Vancouver, and the three occupants ran away on foot. Two were immediately detained, one was captured after a K9 track, and three firearms were found in the car. The driver accepted a non-cooperating plea deal and the back seat passenger accepted a cooperating plea deal; he then testified at trial consistent with the above facts.

Trial & Sentencing

Senior Deputy District Attorney Shawn Overstreet represented the state at trial, which took place in front of Judge Melvin Oden-Orr from October 23 to 25, 2023. The 12-person jury delivered a verdict on October 25, 2023, finding Chronister guilty of three charges:

  • Attempted Murder in the Second Degree with a Firearm
  • Unlawful Use of a Weapon with a Firearm
  • Felon in Possession of a Firearm with a Firearm

Judge Oden-Orr imposed the 150-month prison sentence today. Chronister is currently in custody in Multnomah County and will be transported to the Oregon Department of Corrections to serve his sentence.

The DA’s Office would like to thank the officers and detectives from PPB, CCSO, and VPD for their work on this case. 

###

UPDATE: Brianna Workman Found Guilty Except for Insanity, Sentenced to PSRB for 10 Years - 01/31/24

UPDATE:

Today Brianna Lace Workman, 33, was found to be guilty except for insanity on all five previously indicted charges for the December 2022 incident where she pushed a child onto the MAX train tracks at the Gateway Transit Center. Those charges are: one count of Attempted Assault in the First Degree, one count of Assault in the Third Degree, one count of Interfering with Public Transportation, one count of Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree, and one count of Recklessly Endangering Another Person.  

As a result, Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Nan Waller ordered Workman to be placed under the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board (PSRB) for care, custody, and treatment for a maximum of 10 years. She will be transported to the custody of the Oregon State Hospital under the jurisdiction of the PSRB. 

Multnomah County Deputy District Attorneys Sean Hughey and Julian Samuels prosecuted this case. Prosecutors thank the MCSO Transit Deputies who worked on this case. They also recognize the victim and her family in this case, who were present at today’s sentencing, and look forward to their continued healing.  

###

 

*Original Message 12/29/2022*

DA Mike Schmidt announces Brianna Workman, 32, arraigned for pushing child onto MAX train tracks 

PORTLAND, Oregon – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced that Brianna Lace Workman, 32, was arraigned on Attempted Assault in the First Degree, Assault in the Third Degree, Interfering with Public Transportation, Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree and Recklessly Endangering Another Person. 

The charges stem from an incident on the evening of Wednesday, December 28, at the Gateway Transit Center MAX platform in Northeast Portland. A mother and child were waiting for a MAX train when Workman allegedly shoved the child, aged three, off of the platform and onto the MAX train tracks without provocation. The child landed face-first onto the metal rail and rocks before being quickly rescued from the train tracks. The child reported a severe headache and had a small red mark on their forehead after the incident. The incident was captured on TriMet video surveillance. 

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office has filed charges, including an offense for which Oregon law permits pretrial detention, and is requesting that Workman remain in custody and be held without bail. 

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

#MCDA#

Attached Media Files: Workman Incident
UPDATE: Keffer White Found Guilty Except for Insanity, Sentenced to PSRB for Life - 01/26/24

UPDATE:

Today Keffer White was found to be guilty except for insanity on all three indicted charges for the June 2022 killing of Donald Pierce, 82, and the assault of Edward Lichenstein (who was 88 at the time) in downtown Portland: one count of Murder in the Second Degree, one count of Attempted Murder in the First Degree, and one count of Assault in the Second degree. 

As a result, Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Souede sentenced White to a lifetime commitment to the Psychiatric Security Review Board (PSRB). Per the court judgment, White is affected by a qualifying mental disorder, presents a substantial danger to others that requires commitment to the Oregon State Hospital (OSH), and is not a proper subject for conditional release. He will be transported to OSH under the jurisdiction of the PSRB.

Multnomah County Senior Deputy District Attorney Nicole Hermann prosecuted this case. The DA’s Office thanks the PPB officers and detectives who worked on this case, as well as the victim advocates who supported the victims and their families.

#MCDA#

 

*Original Message (7/14/2022)*

DA Mike Schmidt announces murder charge for Keffer White

PORTLAND, Oregon – Today Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced that Keffer James White, 29, was indicted by a Multnomah County grand jury for Murder in the Second Degree, Attempted Murder in the First Degree, and Assault in the Second Degree. 

The charges stem from an alleged attack on June 25. One of the two victims of the attack, Donald Pierce, 82, subsequently died as a result of his injuries. See previously released information here. 

Witnesses reported that White stated he was going to kill the victims during the attack. White is currently in custody without bail.  

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

#MCDA#


 

DA Mike Schmidt releases weekly cases impacted by public defense crisis - 01/26/24

January 26, 2023

PORTLAND, Oregon – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt released a list of cases impacted by the public defense crisis. The list includes felony cases dismissed by the JC3 court as a result of the crisis. 

In November, DA Mike Schmidt called the public defense crisis– defined by a lack of public defenders to provide counsel to defendants– an urgent threat to public safety. Individuals charged with a crime have a constitutional right to defense counsel. Victims have a right to justice. Absent counsel, criminal prosecutions cannot lawfully move forward, and throughout the counsel shortage, cases issued by the office have been routinely dismissed over prosecutors’ objections.

DA Schmidt also declared that MCDA would publish cases dismissed due to the crisis each week to increase transparency and advance the public’s understanding of the scope of the crisis. Here is a breakdown of the types of felonies getting dismissed.

There were 10 cases dismissed by the court as a result of the public defense crisis between 1/11/23 and 1/25/23:

22-CR-39797

22-CR-52559

23-CR-50348

23-CR-49112

23-CR-49671

22-CR-52641

23-CR-50320

20-CR-30281

22-CR-20258

04-06-33053

 


 

#MCDA#


 

Jamias Hart-Rasberry Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison for 2018 Fatal Shooting - 01/23/24

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt today announced that a Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge sentenced Jamias Leondre Hart-Rasberry, 35, to 18 years in prison for the 2018 fatal shooting of Andre D. Pennington, 47.  

Incident

On August 20, 2018, at 7:57 p.m., Portland Police officers responded to the M. James Gleason Memorial Boat Ramp, located at 4325 Northeast Marine Drive, on the report of a shooting. Officers and emergency medical personnel located a victim suffering from an injury believed to be caused by gunfire. The victim, later identified as Andre Pennington, was transported to the hospital, where he later died. The Medical Examiner determined Pennington died as a result of a gunshot injury. 

Based on information learned during the investigation, detectives identified probable cause to arrest Jamias Hart-Rasberry in connection with Pennington's murder. On September 1, 2018, at 12:55 a.m., Portland Police Bureau Gang Enforcement Team officers arrested Hart-Rasberry near Southwest Harvey Milk Street and Southwest 4th Avenue and took him into custody.

Plea & Sentencing

Deputy District Attorney Brian Davidson represented the state in this case, which resulted in a negotiated plea agreement with the defendant and his counsel. In advance of the plea, prosecutors shared the proposed resolution with the victim’s family, who agreed with its terms. Hart-Rasberry pled guilty on December 13, 2023, to one count of Manslaughter in the First Degree. Judge Kelly Skye accepted the plea and imposed the 18-year prison sentence today. 

Hart-Rasberry is currently in custody in Multnomah County and will be transported to the Oregon Department of Corrections to serve his sentence. 

The DA’s Office thanks the PPB detectives and officers who assisted with this case. DA’s Office staff also acknowledge the victim’s family and hope that today’s sentencing brings some closure that will allow the healing process to continue.

###