A message from Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton in response to COVID-19 delivered on March 20, 2020. 

***Content updated 3/23/20***

On March 23, 2020, Governor Kate Brown issued an executive order calling on Oregonians to stay home to save lives. This office understands there is a lot of uncertainity surrounding COVID-19 and how it impacts courthouse operations. 

Our staff created this COVID-19 Resource Guide which is also available in Spanish to help address common questions and concerns. 

***Content updated 3/19/20***

Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton spoke on Oregon Public Broadcasting's "Think Out Loud" program this afternoon about the steps this office has taken to best protect the health of our community in response to COVID-19.

DA Barton has pushed for an urgent response to to this situation. He remains focused on conducting essential court business in compliance with statutory and constitutional requirements, while also protecting public health.

If you missed the discussion, you can listen to the segment here.

***Content updated 3/17/20***

On March 16, 2020, Chief Justice Martha Walters of the Oregon Supreme Court issued a directive to all courts across the state in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The directive institutes Level Three restrictions on court operations. This directive means many non-essential court functions in Washington County will be postponed for the time being.

District Attorney Kevin Barton and senior staff members have been actively monitoring this evolving situation. They have been working with our public safety partners including the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Parole and Probation Department, Health and Human Services, the Washington County Circuit Court and the Oregon Supreme Court.

In accordance with the Chief Justice’s statewide directive and our goal to protect the health of the public and our staff, DA Barton has issued new guidelines for our office limiting the number of employees physically in the building at the same time. We believe these steps will allow us to continue to serve the residents of Washington County while also protecting the health of our employees, their families and the community. Please see below for additional information regarding our COVID-19 response.

***End of Update***

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office is providing the following information regarding operational changes in light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The mission of the Washington County District Attorney is to seek justice and protect our community.  As part of that mission, the health and safety of all members of our community is a priority.  We are working to balance the needs of public health and public safety.

We are evaluating our response to COVID-19 on a daily basis as new information and recommendations from public health experts become available.  Members of the public who seek more information about COVID-19 should check the following websites: United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), and the Washington County Health Department

In accordance with the guidance from these experts, we strongly urge all members of the public to stay home if you are feeling sick, if you have been exposed to COVID-19, or if you are in a high-risk category.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q:        Who decides whether court appearances and trials are canceled or postponed?  Will trials and appearances continue as normal?

A:        Court appearances and trials are generally set and controlled by the local circuit court, which receives guidance of the Oregon Judicial Department (OJD).  Click here for a link to the Washington County Circuit Court website or call 503-846-8888.  Click here for a link to the Oregon Judicial Department’s Find a Case website.  Please note that changes may occur quickly and the OJD website may not update immediately. 

Q:       Will the Washington County DA’s Office close as many other businesses are choosing to do?

A:        As long as the courts remain open for service, so too must the DA’s Office.  Oregon law has strict timelines that require certain hearings and appearances to occur if a person has been arrested or charged with a crime.  We are working with our partners in the courts, law enforcement, and the criminal defense bar to find ways to prioritize public health while also complying with Oregon law.

Q:       I feel sick or I have been exposed to COVID-19.  Should I come to the courthouse?

A:        No.  Do not come to the courthouse or the DA’s Office if you feel sick or have been exposed to COVID-19.  Contact your healthcare provider for guidance.

Q:       I am a witness or a victim on a case and I have been subpoenaed to appear in court.  Do I need to appear?

A:        It depends.  We are working to postpone certain criminal cases and appearances.  If you feel sick or have been exposed to COVID-19, do not come to the courthouse.  Please immediately call the phone number on your subpoena and inform our staff of your situation.  If you do not feel sick but are still concerned about coming to court, please call the phone number on your subpoena.  We will work with you to identify the best course of action.  We may be able to arrange for video or telephone testimony in some situations.

Q:       I am a juror or a grand juror and I have been summoned to appear in court.  Do I need to appear?

A:        The Washington County Circuit Court controls whether a juror needs to appear.  Click here for a link to the Court’s website for guidance.  If you have already been selected as a grand juror and have concerns or questions about appearing for grand jury duty, please contact our office at 503-846-8671.  In order for our criminal justice system to continue to function, we need a certain number of jurors and grand jurors to appear.

Q:       I am a defendant in a criminal case.  Do I need to show up for my court appearance?

A:        If you are a defendant in a criminal case and have a question about whether you should appear for court, contact your attorney for guidance about your particular situation.

Q:        What should I do if I have a meeting scheduled at the Washington County DA’s Office?

A:        We are working to postpone non-essential meetings.  We are also working to arrange for telephone and videoconferencing options.  If you have a meeting at the DA’s Office, please contact the person you are scheduled to meet to determine whether your meeting will occur.  Our main line is 503-846-8671.

Q:        I need to obtain discovery on a criminal case.  What should I do?

A:        Our discovery practice has not changed.  In many instances, we can provide discovery electronically.  If you need a paper copy of your discovery or if the discovery item cannot be provided electronically, you may still obtain discovery from our front desk.  If you have questions, you may call our main line at 503-846-8671.

Q:       I need to obtain a restraining order, can I still do that?

A:       The Washington County Circuity Court is accepting applications for protection orders at this time.

Stalking Petitions are being handled Monday, Wednesday, Friday and applications must be filed by 11 a.m. to be heard at 1 p.m.

FAPAs, EPPDAPAs, SAPOs, and ERPOs are being accepted each day with a cutoff of 11 a.m. for filing petition and being seen by the Judge at 1 p.m. 

Forms are available at the Civil and Domestic Relations Filing Counter. The Family Law Assistance Office is closed at this time.

Q:       I have a question about coming to court that was not answered here.  Who can I talk to?

A:        Click here for a link to Washington County Circuit Court website with phone numbers.  You may also contact the Washington County DA’s Office by emailing DAOffice@co.washington.or.us or calling 503-846-8671.

 

Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
971-708-8219

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On March 10, 2020, Talita Weltzien pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and driving under the influence of intoxicants. Judge Oscar Garcia then sentenced Ms. Weltzien to 110 months in prison. Deputy District Attorney Will Stabler prosecuted the case against the defendant.

Ms. Weltzien spent the day of July 24, 2019 with friends at a popular swimming area near Tillamook, Oregon. Witnesses reported the defendant was drinking heavily and using marijuana throughout the day. Arrangements were made to ensure the defendant would not be driving when the group returned home. However, she ended up driving a vehicle despite the objections of her friends. The victim was a passenger in that vehicle.

Friends again attempted to stop Ms. Weltzien from driving that day. When she drove off, they tried to catch up to the defendant. They reported the defendant was driving recklessly and were unable to track her down as she drove at speeds approaching 80 miles per hour.

As the defendant drove eastbound along Highway 6 towards Banks, Oregon, several witnesses called 911 to report her erratic driving. She then approached a construction zone in which traffic was reduced to one lane of travel. That closure caused a backup of multiple cars and was located on a straight section of the highway with clear visibility. A large semi-truck was located at the end of the line of vehicles.

The defendant then crashed into the back of the semi-truck. Oregon State Police crash reconstruction experts later determined the defendant was driving at 106 miles per hour just five seconds before the crash. Additionally, investigators could not find any skid marks at the scene, indicating the defendant made no attempt to stop before the collision. Investigators did determine that in the seconds before the crash the defendant abruptly turned the steering wheel to the left, which caused the passenger side of the car to collide with the back of the semi-truck. The victim was seated in the front passenger seat of the vehicle, an area that was destroyed in the crash. That turn also caused the defendant’s vehicle to hit a second vehicle.

The defendant was uninjured and was able to get herself out of the vehicle. Law enforcement arrived a short time later and noted several signs of impairment. The defendant also admitted to drinking alcohol throughout the day. The defendant was taken to an area hospital where blood samples were taken. Those samples showed a BAC of 0.24%.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office would like to acknowledge the investigative efforts of Oregon State Police including Senior Trooper Billy Bush.

Ms. Weltzien will be transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections to begin serving her sentence.

Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
971-708-8219

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On March 5, 2020, Judge Ted Sims sentenced Fidencio Diaz-Eguiza to 70 months in prison following his convictions by a jury on charges of second-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon. Senior Deputy District Attorney John Gerhard prosecuted the case against Mr. Diaz-Eguiza.

On February 10, 2019, the defendant was at his home in Hillsboro, Oregon. He was watching television along with the victim, in the family’s living room. He then stepped out of the room briefly. When he returned, he walked towards the victim with one arm concealed behind his back. The defendant then pointed a semi-automatic handgun at the victim and fired one round. The bullet hit her in the neck area. Before shooting the victim, the defendant said something to the effect of, “I told you when I was ready to leave, you would come with me.”

A separate family member then tackled the defendant to the ground and disarmed him. The defendant repeated his statement to the victim once again.

Hillsboro Police responded to the scene and discovered one additional round remaining in the weapon. After an extensive search, they located the defendant hiding in the garage.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office would like to acknowledge Detective Anthony Johnson and members of the Hillsboro Police Department for securing the scene following the shooting, for locating the suspect and for their investigative work on this case.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office believes that domestic violence offenders must be held accountable for their actions. If you feel that you may be a victim of physical, emotional, verbal or sexual abuse, please call the Family Justice Center of Washington County at 503-469-8620. You can also contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

Mr. Diaz-Eguiza will be transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections to begin serving his sentence. He will be subject to three years of post-prison supervision upon his release.

Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
971-708-8219

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On February 25, 2020, Aubri Rita Jenkins was convicted of unlawful use of a weapon, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, recklessly endangering another person, reckless driving and two counts of failure to preform duties of a driver in a bench trial. Judge Janelle Wipper then sentenced the defendant to 18 months in prison for her crimes. Deputy District Attorney Sara Loebner prosecuted the case against Ms. Jenkins.

On December 29, 2019, Oregon State Police Trooper Daniel Meyer was dispatched to a business in Banks, Oregon on a welfare check after a concerned citizen reported a woman, later identified as the defendant, was unconscious in the driver’s seat of a vehicle.

As Trooper Meyer approached the vehicle, Ms. Jenkins started the car. Trooper Meyer ordered her to remain at the scene. Instead, she put her vehicle into reverse and accelerated into the Trooper’s marked vehicle. Trooper Meyer then opened the driver’s side door and attempted to apprehend the defendant. She continued to resist and reversed quickly backwards with the Trooper still partially inside the vehicle. He was then thrown into nearby bushes and nearly hit with the open door as the defendant left the scene. As she drove off, she hit the trooper’s vehicle again and struck another vehicle as well.

The defendant then sped off. Trooper Meyer followed her vehicle as it reached speeds approaching 90 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone. He then terminated the pursuit due to safety concerns.

The defendant eventually turned herself in to authorities, leading to her conviction.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office would like to acknowledge the work of Trooper Meyer and Oregon State Police. This office also thanks the Washington County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance on this case.

In addition to her sentence, Judge Wipper also ordered the defendant undergo two years of post-prison supervision upon her release.

Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
971-708-8219

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On January 3, 2020, Paul Douglas Burdick pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor counts of third-degree sex abuse. On February 20, 2020, Judge Andrew Erwin sentenced the defendant to six months in the Washington County Jail along with five years of formal probation with sex offender treatment. Senior Deputy District Attorney Andy Pulver prosecuted the case against Mr. Burdick.

The defendant was employed as a driving instructor through Portland Community College. In 2016, two teenage girls reported to their parents that the defendant touched them inappropriately during driver’s education classes. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office investigated the allegations but the evidence available in 2016 was not sufficient to proceed with criminal charges at that time.

In September of 2019, another driving student came forward with similar allegations of misconduct committed by the defendant during driving lessons. Detectives with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office began investigating once again and obtained a warrant giving them access to a list of the defendant’s prior students. Investigators then contacted the students to inquire if they had anything concerning to report. More than a dozen students responded, all with similar allegations of inappropriate contact.

These new allegations allowed this office to move forward with formal charges against the defendant, ultimately leading to his conviction on the above charges.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office would like to acknowledge the victims for coming forward. This office also commends the Washington County Sheriff’s Office for its work on this case.

Media contact information
Stephen M Mayer
Public Information Officer
971-708-8219

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On February 13, 2020, a Washington County jury convicted Joel Beltran-Casillas of first-degree rape, second-degree sexual abuse and third-degree sexual abuse. Senior Deputy District Attorney Allison Brown prosecuted the defendant in Judge Janelle Wipper’s courtroom.

In September of 2018, the victim sent a text message to 911 operators to report a sexual assault perpetrated by the defendant. Forest Grove Police officers responded to the scene. The victim was taken to Randall Children’s Hospital for medical treatment. Detectives began investigating and the child was seen at CARES NW for a forensic interview. Evidence was also submitted to the Oregon State Police Forensic Lab, which ultimately corroborated the child’s disclosure with the aid of DNA evidence.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office would like to acknowledge the work of the Forest Grove Police Department, Randall Children’s Hospital, CARES Northwest and the Oregon State Police Forensic Lab. This office also commends the victim for reporting the abuse.

A sentencing hearing for Mr. Beltran-Casillas is set for March 31, 2020 in Judge Wipper’s courtroom.

Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
971-708-8219

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A message from Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton in response to COVID-19 delivered on March 20, 2020. 
HILLSBORO, Ore.- On March 10, 2020, Talita Weltzien pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and driving under the influence of intoxicants. Judge Oscar Garcia then sentenced Ms. Weltzien to 110...
HILLSBORO, Ore.- On March 5, 2020, Judge Ted Sims sentenced Fidencio Diaz-Eguiza to 70 months in prison following his convictions by a jury on charges of second-degree assault and unlawful use of a...
HILLSBORO, Ore.- On February 25, 2020, Aubri Rita Jenkins was convicted of unlawful use of a weapon, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, recklessly endangering another person, reckless...
HILLSBORO, Ore.- On January 3, 2020, Paul Douglas Burdick pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor counts of third-degree sex abuse. On February 20, 2020, Judge Andrew Erwin sentenced the defendant to six...
HILLSBORO, Ore.- On February 13, 2020, a Washington County jury convicted Joel Beltran-Casillas of first-degree rape, second-degree sexual abuse and third-degree sexual abuse. Senior Deputy District...
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