Valley officers shoot, kill Bend man after 2 armed robberies, high-speed chase

A Bend man suspected of two armed robberies and leading authorities on a high-speed chase over Santiam Pass Tuesday night was shot and killed by officers near Gates, according to the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.

The shooting happened around 11:45 p.m. on Highway 22 outside of Gates.

A deputy with the Linn County Sheriff’s Office and three Oregon State Police troopers involved in the shooting were not injured.

The wild night for authorities started in Bend around 10:15 when police responded to armed robberies at Dutch Bros. on SE 3rd street and at Domino’s on SE Yew Avenue.

Bend Police Lt. Juli McConkey said the suspect, later identified as 27-year-old Brad Masters, walked up to the Dutch Bros drive-thru window, showed a gun and demanded money before running away.

Masters then went into the Domino’s, showed the gun, demanded money and stole a car from an employee.

A Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office deputy was on the Bend Parkway nearby and saw the stolen car driving south and speeding.

The deputy tried to stop the car but lost it in the area of Romaine Village.

Mugshot from July 2020

As a perimeter was being set up in the area, another deputy watching Highway 20 just west of Tumalo spotted the stolen car pass by him going between 90 and 100 mph, McConkey said.

The deputy was able to catch up to the car and tried to pull it over, but Masters kept going west on Highway 20 where the deputy stopped the chase as he got close to Sisters.

A Black Butte Police Officer east of Sisters set up spike strips, but Masters was able to drive around them.

Once the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Deputy was west of Sisters, he resumed the chase until he reached the county line.

McConkey said the deputy was alone at the time so he decided to end the pursuit.

A short time later, deputies from Linn County and Oregon State Troopers spotted Masters on Highway 22.

Oregon State Police Troopers and a Linn County deputy took over the pursuit until the car was finally stopped with spike strips near Gates.

Once stopped, Masters got out of the car, a confrontation ensued, and three troopers and a Linn County deputy fired shots, according to Lt. Treven Upkes with the Salem Police Department

The involved law enforcement officers are Oregon State Police Troopers Caleb Yoder, Michael Iacob, and Joseph Sousa, who have been with the Oregon State Police five years and 10 months, four years and 11 months, and three years and 10 months respectively.

The Linn County Deputy Sheriff involved was Brandon Rathelegurche, who has been with Linn County Sheriff’s Office for two years and 10 months.

Each officer has been placed on administrative leave per their respective agency’s policies.

The shooting happened in Marion County and the Salem Police Department is conducting the investigation.

The Bend Police continue to work with the various agencies on the investigation.

Masters has a lengthy criminal record dating back at least to 2010 for various crimes including computer crimes, theft, identity theft, forgery, speeding, and criminal mischief.

Bend man shot near Drake Park charged with burglary, robbery

A man shot and injured at a home near Drake Park last month was arrested Thursday on burglary and robbery charges.

Officers were called to a reported shooting at a home in the 600 block of Riverfront Street on the afternoon of November 19th.

Bend Police Lt. Adam Juhnke said investigators determined 27-year-old Jordan Thorn had gone to the home of 28-year-old Marshall Rogers for an unknown reason.

Police still have not disclosed the relationship between the two men.

After a brief contact between the two men, police say Rogers shot Thorn at the front door of the home.

After being shot, Thorn drove from the scene but stopped within a block where citizens and responding officers helped him, Juhnke said.

Thorn was found on Riverside Blvd., where he received medical attention for a gunshot wound to his lower abdomen and left arm.

Rogers remained on scene and cooperated with investigators. He has not been charged.

After executing a search warrant, conducting interviews, and examining the evidence, investigators determined Thorn is suspected of committing burglary and robbery against Rogers and another person in the home, Juhnke said.

Thorn was contacted at a local business Thursday and charged with first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, and unlawful use of a weapon.

Thorn is still recovering from his injuries and was not taken to jail, Juhnke said.


Bend man sentenced for breaking baby’s bones

A former hospital worker was sentenced this week to three years probation after pleading guilty to abusing his infant son.

Charles P. Medley was arrested on child abuse charges in April after his 15-month-old son arrived at St. Charles with injuries that included skull and leg fractures and a brain bleed.

He said during sentencing he was stressed by the COVID-19 pandemic when hurt his son.

Medley was initially charged with first-degree aggravated assault, two counts of third-degree assault and three counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment.

He pleaded guilty this week to three counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment.

His probation includes conditions that he attend parenting and aggression control classes. Violating the conditions could result in a four-year prison sentence.

Medley had no prior criminal record, which attorneys said factored into the sentencing recommendation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

2 indicted in separate Bend child abuse cases; suspected of injuring infants

Two Bend residents have been indicted on separate child abuse charges, suspected of causing injuries to their infant children.

In March, Bend Police officers and detectives were called to a local pediatrics office regarding injuries – including a broken bone – to a 9-month-old girl.

Lt. Adam Juhnke said the injuries were classified as “non-accidental trauma” by medical staff and reported to law enforcement.

After a lengthy investigation, which included a search of the family’s home on NE Watt Way in Bend, detectives determined the father, Nicholas Jeremy Flores, caused the injuries, Juhnke said.

The investigation was conducted in collaboration with The Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office, community partners in the medical field, The Kids Center and the Department of Human Services.

On Nov. 3, a Deschutes County Grand Jury indicted Flores on one count of first-degree criminal mistreatment and one count of third-degree assault.

In a separate case, 33-year-old Kristine Anne Bellinger of Bend was indicted on Oct. 30th on the same charges for allegedly injuring her 6-month-old son, police said.

On April 24th last year Bend Police officers and investigators were called to St. Charles regarding injuries to a 6-month-old infant which included suspicious fractures.

The injuries were classified as non-accidental trauma and required to be reported to law enforcement, Juhnke said.

After a lengthy investigation, including serving search warrants at Bellinger’s home and vehicle on NE Forum Drive, it was determined that Bellinger caused the injuries to her son, Juhnke said.

“The Bend Police Department conducted a top-notch investigation and were aided as always by our dedicated partners at the Kids Center and DHS,” said Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel. “Investigating and prosecuting crimes against children will always be the top priority of my office; it’s comforting to know that the Bend Police Department is staffed with officers who care as much as I do about holding accountable people who abuse kids.”


OHA reports a record 24 new COVID deaths; state adds 1,233 cases

COVID-19 has claimed 24 more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 936, the Oregon Health Authority reported Tuesday.

It’s the highest single-day death total since the pandemic began.

The “grim milestone is another reminder of the severity and spread of the disease and the importance for all Oregonians wear masks, keep physical distance and to keep gatherings small,” the OHA said in a release.

Oregon Health Authority reported 1,233 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 76,654.

The new cases are in the following counties: Baker (3), Benton (19), Clackamas (148), Clatsop (7), Columbia (6), Coos (14), Crook (4), Curry (6), Deschutes (60), Douglas (8), Grant (3), Harney (2), Hood River (12), Jackson (72), Jefferson (19), Josephine (11), Klamath (37), Lake (5), Lane (75), Lincoln (21), Linn (27), Malheur (11), Marion (146), Morrow (5), Multnomah (270), Polk (24), Tillamook (6), Umatilla (23), Union (9), Wasco (6), Washington (158), Wheeler (2), and Yamhill (14).

Deschutes County has reported 2,480 cases and 15 deaths; 923 patients have recovered as of Monday, the latest data available.

Crook County has reported 237 cases and six deaths.

Jefferson County has reported 862 cases and 11 deaths.

According to the OHA, 95% of the new and presumptive cases reported are later confirmed COVID positive.

St. Charles on Monday reported 24 current COVID patients. Four patients are in the ICU and one is on a ventilator.

The hospital system has 30 ICU beds; 24 in Bend and six in Redmond.

Deschutes Co. COVID-19 page/data.

Daily COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped slightly

The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients across Oregon dropped to 577, seven fewer than yesterday.

There are 111 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds. That is six fewer than yesterday.

2nd Bend man involved in 2019 courthouse bomb threat hoax sentenced to federal prison

A Bend man was sentenced to federal prison Tuesday for his role in a bomb threat hoax at the Deschutes County Courthouse last year.

Kellie Kent Cameron, 32, was sentenced to 21 months and three years’ supervised release for crafting the hoax bomb and phoning in the threat to blow up the building, said US Attorney Billy J. Williams.

As part of his sentence, Cameron was also ordered to pay $43,620.18 in restitution to the Deschutes County Circuit Court, Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office, First Interstate Bank in Bend, and Bend Fire & Rescue.

“Constructing a hoax bomb and threatening to blow up a courthouse to interfere with a judicial proceeding, is beyond reprehensible” Williams said in a statement. “Courthouses are the very symbol of justice, safety and fairness in a functioning society, and this unconscionable act not only caused fear, panic and disruption in this community, it jeopardized their sense of safety.”

In September, 24-year-old Jonathan Tyler Allen was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for his role in the hoax.

“Hoax devices cause real-world damage. They cost money for first responders and businesses, and they create fear for those who live and work in the area,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “The device that Cameron built – and the 911 calls he made – did both. If you become aware of a potential threat, we encourage you to contact the FBI or local law enforcement right away,”

According to court documents, on or about July 28 to July 29, 2019, Cameron and Allen conspired with one another to shut down the courthouse by planting a fake bomb and calling in a bomb threat.

Around the same time, Cameron constructed a realistic-looking fake bomb using batteries, wiring, a circuit board, and a fuel filter, among other materials, Williams said.

On July 29, 2019, the pair drove to the courthouse and placed the hoax device on a ramp near the building.

Around 7:18 a.m. the same day, Cameron, who was with Allen, used a cell phone to call 911.

He told the operator, “I just want to let you know that there are two bombs, one’s in the courthouse and good luck finding the other one,” Williams said.

Less than an hour later, Cameron called 911 and repeated his threat using more urgent and profanity-laden language.

The threat shut down and forced the evacuation of the Deschutes County Courthouse, the Deschutes County District Attorney’s office, a bank, and other nearby businesses while first responders rushed to the scene and investigated the threat.

When the device was discovered, a bomb squad, used disabling techniques to prevent an explosion. The device was later dismantled and found to be a hoax.

Allen later threw one of the phones used into a canal to avoid being caught, Williams said.

On August 7, 2019, Cameron and Allen were charged with conspiring to make a threat to damage property and conveying false information and hoaxes.

Cameron pleaded guilty in federal court on August 21 to using a telephone to make a threat to damage a building by means of an explosive.

Deschutes Co. DA: No mask-related charges following ‘We Will Not Comply’ rally

Deschutes County DA John Hummel announced Tuesday he won’t file any charges against a group of non-mask-wearers involved in a “We Will Not Comply” rally last month.

More than 100 people gathered in downtown Bend Nov. 21 to protest the governor’s mask mandate and two-week freeze that closed some Oregon businesses and reduced capacity at others while asking families to limit gathering sizes for Thanksgiving in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Hummel said four people called the police to report the group, saying they weren’t wearing masks, apparently in violation of the governor’s order.

Tommy Szymanski, the event organizer, told police he thought the mask mandate was unconstitutional and said it was an individual choice whether to wear the mask, Hummel said.

Police didn’t issue any citations at the event but did refer the matter to Hummel’s office.

Hummel said the event organizer was incorrect in saying the mask mandate was unconstitutional.

But enforcing the mandate when a group “gathers to exercise a constitutional right (in this case, to assemble to redress their government), it would create a conflict between the lawful mask law and the constitutional right that is being exercised.”

“As long as people who gather to exercise a constitutional right are not violent or destructive when doing so, I generally defer to protecting their constitutional rights over the enforcement of any statutory violations they may commit while exercising their rights,” he said in a statement. “My philosophy is content-neutral, meaning, it applies to people who gather for “liberal” causes and to people who gather for “conservative” causes.”

Hummel’s statement concludes by encouraging everyone to wear masks and keep your distance from others “so we can save lives, save businesses and save parent’s sanity by getting kids back to school.”

▶️ Hundreds of surgeries delayed as COVID hospitalizations spike at St. Charles


COVID-19 cases keep rising in Deschutes County and St. Charles hospital in Bend has limited beds.

“We are filling up and we are in the process of reducing surgeries in an effort to create capacity to take care of patients that are sick,” said St. Charles Chief Physician Executive, Dr. Jeff Absalon.

There are 29 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19. 

It’s the highest number they’ve had so far, roughly twice as many as the previous week.

“We’ve seen the numbers in our area increase significantly in the last several weeks,” Absalon said. “It takes a few weeks after we see the community numbers go up for us to see the numbers go up in the hospital and that is exactly what has happened here.”

Deschutes County last week reported 459 new COVID cases – nearly 200 more than the week before.

Lisa Goodman, a spokeswoman for St. Charles said 20 of the hospital’s 30 ICU beds were full.

And across the region’s four hospital campuses, 82% of the beds were occupied as of Monday.

Hundreds of elective surgeries are being delayed, that’s 25 to 40% of all surgeries performed at the hospital.

“Elective surgeries include things such as heart surgery, including such things as cancer surgery. So there are a lot of very important surgeries included in that bucket,” Absalon said.

He adds, everyone is feeling the pressure and stress on the health system at this time.

“We just don’t know if this is the peak or not,” he said. “What we do know is, the measures that have been used previously are effective. If people wear a mask, if they keep their physical distance, if they stay home when they are ill if they wash their hands. We know we can bend the curve and that is exactly what needs to happen.”

Absalon also added, there is a risk the hospital reaches capacity, given the variety of other patients typically admitted this time of year.

▶️ Local resorts deal with cancelations, amenity restrictions amid new statewide shutdown


It is going to be a quiet holiday at area resorts.

Local resorts are adjusting services and amenities to comply with the two-week freeze to slow the coronavirus pandemic,  just in time for what should’ve been a busy holiday period.

Visitors will be cooking their own meals or ordering takeout. Many of the amenities that attract people to resorts such as pools and skating rinks are closed for two weeks.

And Mt. Bachelor won’t be open for skiers and snowboarders until Dec. 7th.

“People are coming to rent a home or stay at the lodge. All coming with expectations of celebration, going to brunch, having access to our facilities. Obviously, the governor’s orders change all that,” said Tom O’Shea, Sunriver Resort Managing Director. “People can still visit. We are open. We are a safe place to stay. On the restaurant side, it’s a pretty significant impact. We have to cancel all those reservations.”

Several resorts we checked with today, including Pronghorn, Seventh Mountain and Sunriver are planning take-out service only at their restaurants and closing amenities on the freeze list.

Others are still finalizing plans, making a big impact on workers and their paychecks.

“It will be a significant impact on employees. We are a seasonal facility as are most resorts,” O’Shea said. “To lose work a few days before Thanksgiving and just a month before Christmas, it’s a big challenge for them.”

O’Shea says reservations are down for this Thanksgiving compared to previous years, but last-second bookings are possible.

“Everything is so last minute now. We have people calling us on the same day to come and stay with us,” he said. “That was unheard of before. Used to be people making reservations six weeks and two months out. Now people are waiting to see what restrictions are in place, what can you offer, so it’s really a day-to-day situation.”

Job losses are anticipated during the freeze, especially in the food services industry.

The Oregon Employment Department plans to release predictions of the potential impact later this week.

▶️ City of Bend exploring Juniper Ridge as transitional homeless camp site


The City of Bend owns 1,500 acres of land in the northern part of Bend off of Cooley Road.

At Wednesday’s city council meeting, officials proposed turning six of those acres into a temporary transitional shelter site, where homeless individuals and families could safely camp this winter.

“We expect that we’ll be able provide some medical services,” Carolyn Eagan, economic development director for the City of Bend, said. “We expect we’ll be able to provide some other services and hoping that that will help our community will get through the winter, along with the warming shelter and along with some other sites across town.”

The proposed plan would be implemented in three phases. Phase one would create a transitional shelter site where people could set up RVs and tents.

Phase two would come next year and create a more established campground.

Phase three would construct longer-term housing.

“We asked council to agree to a model that said in the very near term, between now and the spring, we’re going to put a couple sites in place for transitional shelters,” Eagan said. “Next summer, we’re going to look to build a campsite.”

City Council gave officials permission to more forward and explore the feasibility of the plan.

Councilors also supported the idea of creating an emergency homelessness task force, which would help the city and its partner agencies collaborate on the site’s design.

The changing weather is a motivator to get the project started.

“We would love to see this temporarily transitional shelter site come online before the worst of the winter,” Eagan said.

Eagan said they will explore the idea and have more information on whether the idea will actually happen within the next few weeks.