Motion: Cranston killed Washington out of ‘anger, hate’ – not self defense

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Deschutes County prosecutors say Ian Cranston should stay in jail until his murder trial because he made a “cold, calculated decision” to kill Barry Washington Jr. after a fight last summer and wasn’t acting in self-defense, according to court documents filed last week.

In the 20-page opposition to pre-trial release, Deputy District Attorney Michael Swart said there was “no evidence that Cranston was gravely injured or about to be killed at the hands of Washington.”

And instead of distancing himself after a scuffle between the two men, Cranston spent 26 seconds deciding whether to fire his handgun.

“During this time, he made a cold, calculated decision to kill an unarmed man who posed no imminent threat of death or serious physical injury to Cranston,” the motion said. “His belief in imminent harm was categorically unreasonable.”

Cranston, 27, of Redmond, is accused of shooting and killing Washington, 22, on the sidewalk at NW Oregon Ave. and NW Wall St. after an argument early on Sept. 19th last year. 

He’s being held at the Deschutes County Jail, but a judge could decide on Monday whether to release him on bail until his trial later this year. 

In December, Cranston’s attorney Kevin Sali filed a motion asking that his client be released on bail ahead of trial because evidence – including security camera footage – showed he acted in self-defense after Cranston was attacked. 

Cranston has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter, first-degree assault, and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon.

Sali’s 11-page motion provided new details from the night of the shooting based on videos and firsthand accounts – details the defense said weren’t disputed by prosecutors.

But in the motion, Swart disputed many of the details Sali presented, calling Cranston’s deadly force “shockingly disproportionate. He was the victim of a misdemeanor assault. An assault that had subsided.”

According to the motion, Cranston, his fiancee Allison Butler and friend Tyler Smith went to The Capitol in downtown Bend around 11:15 p.m. on Sept. 18th. Smith and Butler knew Cranston was armed with a handgun. 

At the bar, Washington and Butler “had a friendly encounter that ended with them hugging each other,” according to the documents.

Outside the bar, just after midnight, Washington was walking west on Oregon Avenue when he brushed into Smith and saw Butler. 

The court documents say Washington started talking to Butler and said “hey you’re good looking.”

Butler told the grand jury Cranston did not like it when Washington came up to her outside and said words to the effect of “she’s already taken, move along, mind your business,” according to the motion. 

Washington kept making statements toward Butler and Cranston told him to “fuck off,” and keep walking, the documents show. Cranston then told Washington to “get the fuck out of here,” which Butler said made her a little nervous because “Ian doesn’t back down, that he’s defensive over me and he’s not the kind of guy to be pushed around,” the motion said she told the grand jury. 

More words were exchanged and things escalated quickly, the motion said. 

At 12:08, Washington punched Cranston once and then a second time. Washington then backed away, after Cranston stumbled backward.

It is unclear from the video if Defendant fell down, but in any event, Defendant immediately recovered to his feet and within five seconds Defendant was on his feet and produced his handgun from his waist, holding it at his side in his right hand as he walked towards Washington,” the motion said. 

At the same time, Smith came at Washington while Butler got between the two, the motion said. 

Cranston then pointed his gun at Washington, but it is unclear if Washington saw the gun pointed at him,” Swart said. 

“Of note, Butler is in between Washington and Cranston when the gun is raised. Any argument by defense that Washington did in fact see the gun being pointed at him is pure speculation as is the defense argument that Washington “was completely undeterred by the sight of Cranston’s handgun,'” Swart said. 

▶️ Barry Washington remembered during downtown Bend vigil

The motion says the group continues to argue and Smith and Butler say Washington then started flashing gang signs, which prosecutors dispute. 

Just one minute later, surveillance video shows Washington moving to the side of the street away from Butler with Washington, “arguably leaving the fight.”

“It was at this point the argument further unraveled caused by Butler, who had her cell phone out filming Washington and walking towards him and stating “Say hello, say hello” in what can only be described as a provocative manner,” according to the motion. “Further provoked, Washington stepped towards Butler and pushed Butler’s phone away. At this time, Defendant was standing behind Butler still holding his handgun at his side. Smith intervened and called Washington a “dick-licker” and as Smith and Washington were struggling and tussling, Cranston then took his fatal steps at 12:09:22 am.”

As Washington and Smith were tussling, Cranston “took a small step forward, positioning himself between Smith and Butler, and pivoted his right foot forward into a shooting stance,” the motion said. “He then pointed and fired his handgun into Barry Washington’s torso, ultimately killing Washington.”

Swart said the evidence will show Cranston wasn’t acting in self-defense, but was “settling the score for being punched earlier in the face.

“As such, the proof is evident and that presumption is strong that Cranston was motivated not by self-defense but by anger, hate, and frustration with the victim’s behavior. Under such circumstances, it seems difficult to assert that the proof is not evident or that the presumption strong that defendant is guilty of intentional murder.”

You can read the full motion below: 

CRANSTON OPPOSITION MOTION

 

 

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