A Bend man who pleaded no contest Monday to one of the charges in a fatal shooting last summer at Mayfield Pond has been sentenced to 18 months in prison, court records show.
Neil Martell, 53, of Bend was shot and killed June 30, 2022, on Bureau of Land Management land, east of Bend.
Jesse Aaron Ray, 39, was charged with first-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and negligently wounding another. He initially pleaded not guilty to all charges in January, but pleaded no contest to criminally negligent homicide in February following a settlement conference. The other charges were dismissed as part of the plea deal.
A no contest plea means the defendant doesn’t admit guilt, but is not fighting the allegation.
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A few weeks after the shooting, DCSO said its detectives found evidence linking Ray to the shooting. They also learned Ray was living out of his car in the area of Stevens Road and NE 27th Street in Bend. Ray was taken into custody in July and was cited and released on charges of negligent wounding of another and unlawful use of a weapon.
Last month, DCSO said its detectives had been working for months to once again locate and arrest Ray. After a grand jury handed down an indictment, a nationwide felony warrant was issued.
DCSO said Ray was found in the State of Tabasco, Mexico, in November and transported by U.S. Marshals to the Los Angeles County Jail. He was extradited to Deschutes County on Dec. 21.