HILLSBORO, Ore.- On July 15, 2020, Judge Andrew Erwin found Gregory Dennis Hall guilty except for insanity on one count of murder with a firearm. On July 29, 2020, Judge Erwin ordered the defendant to serve the rest of his life at the Oregon State Hospital, subject to the supervision of the Psychiatric Security Review Board. Senior Deputy District Attorney John Gerhard and Deputy District Attorney Dustin Staten prosecuted the case against Mr. Hall.

On April 6, 2018, the defendant’s elderly father called 911 to report that his son shot him inside a residence on SW Hoodview Place in Beaverton, Oregon. Officers with the Beaverton Police Department responded and ordered the defendant to come out of the home. The defendant then exited the home and was apprehended by responding officers.

Beaverton Police then entered the residence and found the defendant’s father lying on the kitchen floor. He was suffering from several gunshot wounds. Police rendered aid and called for an ambulance. Unfortunately, the victim died as a result of his wounds before medics could reach the hospital.

Beaverton Police detectives gathered overwhelming evidence of the defendant’s guilt, including a written confession. Mr. Hall told detectives he was involved in an argument with his father which led to the shooting. It was evident that the defendant suffered from a chronic mental illness, but he told psychologists with the Oregon State Hospital that he killed his father out of anger.

It was undisputed that Mr. Hall killed his father, and the trial consisted of an inquiry into his mental state at the time of the killing. While doctors with the Oregon State Hospital determined that the defendant did not meet the criteria for a guilty except for insanity finding, ultimately Judge Erwin agreed with the defense psychologist that due, in large part, to a lack of adequate medication, the defendant was indeed guilty except for insanity.

This office wishes to acknowledge the work of Beaverton Police on this case, including Detectives Chad Opitz and Madalyn Brown.

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

HILLSBORO, Ore.- Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton recently submitted the following opinion piece which was published by the Pamplin Media Group:

It is impossible to work within our American criminal justice system and witness the events over the past several months without asking whether there is a better way of doing things.

The disparities that we see throughout society in areas such as education, housing and healthcare are even more apparent when viewed through the lens of our criminal justice system.

As a prosecutor who has seen the impact of crime on perhaps thousands of victims over the years, I value fundamental principles such as accountability, rule of law, and personal responsibility. Yet as a father, husband and member of our community, I believe that seeking social justice is a priority, fighting racism and bias is an obligation, and recognizing
that Black lives do matter is a necessity. 

How do we address the intersection of criminal justice and social justice so that we can ensure our system is truly fair, truly just, and truly equitable for everyone?

There are many who have proposed ideas to help move in this direction. Some are sensible and deserve immediate support, such as reducing barriers to firing bad police officers, requiring body worn cameras, or preventing excessive use of force. Others are unreasonable and detached from reality, such as abolishing police altogether, eliminating all
misdemeanor crimes or emptying our prisons. 

Ultimately, our elected representatives bear the responsibility for sorting through these proposals and determining the path forward. As a district attorney, although I can and do provide input, my obligation is not to make the law, but to enforce it.

Nevertheless, as I watch our society grapple with these issues, and as I support sensible criminal justice reforms, I also know something more drastic is required in order to accomplish transformational change. 

Our criminal justice system is often asked to do too much too late. As the "catch-all" for all of society's woes and problems, our system responds when all else has failed and there are no other options. It is asked to do too much, because it was never designed to be the solution to mental health, substance use disorders and trauma. It is asked to intervene too late, because by the time a crime is committed and a victim is harmed, the root causes of that crime may have occurred long ago. 

Before a person with mental illness uses a weapon to harm innocent victims, could treatment have helped? Before a person with a substance use disorder robs to fund an addiction, could medication assisted therapy have helped? Before a young parent who was abused as a child neglects their own child, could an intervention have helped? 

While the prosecution of those who choose to commit crimes is appropriate, I believe the answer to those questions is often "yes," and our obligation to act is clear.

Our society must recognize a truth that numerous scientific studies have established, and countless medical professionals already know — children who experience abuse, neglect and other forms of trauma are more likely to suffer from challenges such as mental illness, substance use disorders and even physical health consequences as adults. Known as Adverse Childhood Experiences or "ACEs," these factors harm children throughout our community and are exacerbated by disparities related to education, housing and healthcare. 

A recent study published in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics demonstrates that while ACEs are common across all sociodemographic categories, children who are certain minorities, poor, or identify as gay/lesbian or bisexual are disproportionately impacted. The obvious conclusion is that if we act to reduce disparities for our children now, we can rely less on our criminal justice system to respond later. 

We recognize this necessity in Washington County. For the past year, a task force of leaders has worked to strengthen our proactive response to ACEs. Our aspiration is to co-locate our recently established Family Justice Center with CARES Northwest, Oregon's oldest and largest child advocacy center, into a single location in Washington County. This comprehensive facility would demonstrate a commitment to equity and justice while ensuring every family in our community, regardless of sociodemographic status, has access to a trauma-informed response when abuse, neglect or other trauma occurs. 

Let me be clear, this effort is not a panacea to solve all problems. Indeed, it must occur alongside other important initiatives to combat racism and bias. Nevertheless, I believe if we hope to accomplish a transformational change so that we are better equipped to achieve the fair, just and equitable society that we desire, we must do more to address childhood trauma now.
 

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

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On July 2, 2020, a Washington County jury found Zachery Thomas Sanders guilty of first-degree robbery, second-degree robbery, second-degree theft, menacing, fourth-degree assault, strangulation and unlawful use of a weapon. On July 7, 2020, Judge Ted Sims sentenced the defendant to 90 months in prison. Senior Deputy District Attorney Jeffery MacLean prosecuted the case against Mr. Sanders.

On February 16, 2020, the victim arranged to meet with the defendant to sell a pair of shoes to a third party in Forest Grove, Oregon. After driving the victim to a nearby location to sell the shoes, the victim got back into the car with the defendant and two other men. Mr. Sanders then grabbed the victim’s backpack in an attempt to steal it. A struggle ensued and Mr. Sanders then assaulted and choked the victim. During the commission of the robbery, the victim was also threatened with a firearm.

The victim surrendered the backpack and left the car. He then called 911 and Forest Grove Police responded to the call. The victim gave a detailed description of Mr. Sanders and the car they were driving in. Police were able to locate the vehicle and those involved in the robbery a short time later. Police also found the stolen backpack and a handgun that was later determined to be stolen.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office acknowledges the work of Forest Grove Police on this case.

In addition to his prison sentence, Judge Sims also ordered Mr. Sanders to undergo three years of post-prison supervision upon his release. Judge Sims also barred the defendant from having any contact with the victim.

Mr. Sanders will be transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections to begin serving his sentence.  

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

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On June 22, 2020, a jury found Benito Juarez-Hernandez guilty of two counts of using a child in display of sexually explicit conduct, nine counts of first-degree sexual abuse, four counts of first-degree sodomy and one count of first-degree unlawful sexual penetration. On June 29, 2020, Judge Ted Sims sentenced the defendant to 975 months in prison. Deputy District Attorney Chris Lewman prosecuted the case against the Mr. Juarez-Hernandez.

The defendant is a convicted sex offender and was sent to prison in 2014 for sexually abusing a minor. During his prison stay, two additional victims came forward to disclose they were also abused by Mr. Juarez-Hernandez. Once these new allegations surfaced, a fourth victim also reported abuse perpetrated by the defendant.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office investigated these allegations. Detective Mark Povolny also investigated crimes committed by the defendant’s brother. Cupertino Juarez-Hernandez was sentenced to 55 years in prison for his crimes earlier this year.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office acknowledges the courage of the victims in coming forward. This office also thanks Detective Povolny and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Hillsboro Police Department, CARES Northwest and the Oregon Department of Human Services for their work on this case.

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

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On June 18, 2020, Marco Antonio Xiap-Jelkes Junior pleaded guilty to first-degree forcible rape, first-degree forcible sodomy, second-degree rape and second-degree sexual abuse. Judge Rebecca Guptill then sentenced the defendant to 200 months in prison. Deputy District Attorney Marie Atwood prosecuted the case against the defendant.

Hillsboro Police were contacted by the mother of one of three total victims to report her child and a friend were both raped by the defendant. The attack took place in Hillsboro, Oregon in April of 2018 but didn’t immediately come to light. The defendant was 19 years old at the time and the two victims were underage.

In 2019, investigators also learned of a third victim who reported she was also raped by the defendant. He met her on social media and convinced her to meet him at a public park in Hillsboro, Oregon where the attack took place.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office acknowledges the work of investigators with the Hillsboro Police Department. This office also thanks CARES Northwest for their work on this case.

In addition to his prison sentence, Judge Guptill ordered the defendant to register as a sex offender and barred him from having any contact with his victims or their families upon his release.

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

HILLSBORO, Ore.- The Washington County District Attorney’s Office is honoring World Elder Abuse Month as our office also seeks to raise awareness to crimes impacting seniors in our community.

Our dedicated team of prosecutors handles crimes committed against vulnerable adults. This team is focused on holding those who commit these crimes accountable. These crimes include theft, physical and sexual abuse, neglect and abuses of fiduciary duty and power of attorney to victims aged 65 and older.

Perpetrators

Data shows those committing these crimes are most often known to the victim. They are often either a family member or a caregiver. The Department of Justice has also found that the amount of monetary loses were greater when the victim knew the suspect. From 2013-2017, that average loss was $50,200 in cases reported across the country, according to the DOJ.

Warning Signs

Our team also conducts outreach and training opportunities to educate community members and public safety partners about the warning signs to watch for when it comes to spotting elder abuse. Those red flags include:

  • Any suspicious or unexplained injury
  • Isolation of the elder from family or friends
  • Elders who become extremely withdrawn, non-communicative or non-responsive
  • Change in behavior or mood
  • Sudden changes in financial situations
  • Request to sign power of attorney forms

Additionally, Washington County Vulnerable Adult Multidisciplinary Team meets regularly with public safety and community partners from across the area to coordinate efforts to protect vulnerable populations. Senior Deputy District Attorney Allison Brown chairs this group.

“We have a team of dedicated professionals here in Washington County that is committed to protecting elders and adults with disabilities.  The team works collaboratively to ensure vulnerable adults are safe and to hold these offenders accountable,” SDDA Brown said.

This month, the team is also taking part in online training hosted by the Oregon Department of Justice’s elder abuse division. The training will be focused primarily on the investigation and prosecution of financial crimes committed against vulnerable adults, which is one of the most common types of abuse in this population. The team is looking forward to increasing their skills to best serve elders and vulnerable adults in Washington County. 

Resources:

If you suspect elder abuse, report it to law enforcement immediately. You can also contact Washington County Adult Protective Services for additional information or call the Elder Safe program at 503-846-6048.

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

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