A grand jury has indicted Ian Cranston on second-degree murder charges in the shooting death of Barry Washington, Jr., the Deschutes County District Attorney announced late Thursday.
Cranston was immediately arrested at his home Thursday and taken to the Deschutes County Jail where he’ll be held without bail until his first court appearance at 1:30 on Friday.
District Attorney John Hummel announced six total charges against Cranston – second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter, first-degree assault and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon.
The DA held a news conference in downtown Bend near where Washington was shot after a scuffle outside a nightclub on Sept. 19th.
“There is a reckoning with race that needs to happen in Central Oregon, and it needs to happen now.”
– Deschutes Co. DA John Hummel
After the shooting, Cranston was arrested on second-degree manslaughter charges but was released after posting bail.
Hummel said he notified Washington’s mother of the grand jury’s decision earlier Thursday night to which she replied, “Thank God.”
Since the shooting, several vigils have been held remembering Washington, who moved to Central Oregon just a few months ago from the Bay Area.
In his news conference, Hummel talked about the outpouring of anger over the shooting of a Black man by a white man in Bend – and the fact the suspect was freed hours after the incident.
“Our country has a disgraceful history of denigrating, prosecuting, and lynching black men for talking to white women. Over the last week, hundreds of people called and emailed me to remind me of this history; I responded to every one of you,” Hummel said. “In many of these calls and emails you referenced Emmett Till; the 14-year old boy who was kidnapped, beaten, mutilated, shot in the head, and dumped in a river, all for allegedly whistling at a white woman. If that was not bad enough, his killers were found not-guilty at trial.”
Hummel’s statement continued:
“I went to college in Virginia in the 80’s and law school in Arkansas in the 90’s. Racism was alive and well in the South back then. But racism didn’t only happen back then, and down there. It happens right here and right now.
“I started my legal career in 1995 as a public defender, representing farm workers from Mexico who lived and worked in Prineville and Madras. My farm worker clients were the hardest working people I ever met, yet they were treated as if they were lazy, drunk, and stupid.
“And what happened in the 90’s in Prineville and Madras is happening today in Deschutes County.
“Many of you who called and emailed me these last two weeks are black: You described how uncomfortable you are walking the streets in Bend. Most chilling were your accounts of how the killing of Barry Washington impacted your children.
“Thank you for taking the difficult step of reliving your pain by telling me stories I needed to hear.
“There is a reckoning with race that needs to happen in Central Oregon, and it needs to happen now.
“At the same time, as much as it’s my job to protect and advance the rights of Barry and his family, I have the duty to protect the rights of the accused. Ian Cranston is innocent of the crimes he’s charged with, and he will remain innocent, unless and until the State proves his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
“By ensuring Mr. Cranston’s rights are protected, when we obtain a conviction, which I’m confident we will, the conviction will hold up during the appeals process, thereby sparing Barry’s family the pain of a second trial.
“To the hundreds of people who have been advocating on behalf of Barry and his family: thank you. Keep it up. I see you and I respect you. Our community needs you.
Know this: Justice will be done in this case.”