The Blue Mountain eagle. (John Day, Or.) 1972-current, January 24, 2018, Image 1

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Blue Mountain
Grant County’s newspaper since 1868
W edNesday , J aNuary 24, 2018
• N o . 4
• 20 P ages
• $1.00
Bradley David Moles
of first-
By Sean Hart
Blue Mountain Eagle
A jury convicted Bradley
David Moles of one count
of first-degree sexual abuse
Jan. 17.
Moles, 31, of John Day
was remanded into the cus-
tody of Grant County Cor-
rections until a sentencing
hearing at 10 a.m. Jan. 31 in
Grant County Circuit Court,
according to a statement
from the Grant County Dis-
trict Attorney’s Office.
The 12-person jury de-
liberated for about 14 hours
before returning the verdict
at about 9 p.m. Jan. 17. The
jury considered five charges
involving a single alleged
victim younger than 14 be-
tween February and April
2016, according to the court
documents. The jury found
Moles guilty of first-degree
sexual abuse, and not guilty
of charges of first-degree
rape, first-degree unlawful
sexual penetration, sec-
ond-degree sodomy and in-
abuse, a class B felony, car-
ries a mandatory minimum
sentence of 75 months in
prison under Oregon’s Mea-
sure 11.
“Trying this case was
a big job for a county as
small as ours,” lead prose-
cutor Mara Houck, the dep-
uty district attorney, said in
a statement. “There really
aren’t any truly happy out-
comes in cases like this, but
we have to focus on keeping
our Grant County kids safe
and healthy. And we appre-
ciate the thoughtful public
service by the jurors, on
what was not an easy case to
listen to.”
The trial began Jan. 8. It
was the second trial, after a
jury failed to reach a verdict
in the first trial that began
Sept. 11. Moles pleaded
not guilty to all the charges
April 27, 2016.
Eagle photos/Richard Hanners
Humbolt Elementary
School will get a new
steel roof as part of a
seismic upgrade project
this summer.
New roof, shear walls planned for Humbolt Elementary
By Richard Hanners
Blue Mountain Eagle
new roof is one of the big benefits that
will come out of a seismic update proj-
ect at Humbolt Elementary School.
The Grant County School District
lined up $942,300 in funding from
Oregon’s Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program
to pay for the work at the school this year. An-
other $1.23 million from the same program will
be used to address structural issues at the Grant
Union Junior-Senior High School gym next
year, Superintendent Curt Shelley said.
“The funding has to be used by fall 2019,”
he said.
The school district was well aware of the age
and condition of its buildings before architects
from Design West conducted a facilities analysis
in 2014, Shelley said. When he learned about
the state’s seismic grant program, Shelley
saw an opportunity to upgrade the district’s
See UPGRADE, Page A10
Grant County School District
Superintendent Curt Shelley at his
office in John Day Jan. 22.
Elliott pleads not guilty to manslaughter
Motion to suppress police interrogation filed
By Richard Hanners
Motion to suppress
Blue Mountain Eagle
Grant County Circuit Court Judge
William D. Cramer Jr. reluctantly ac-
cepted a not guilty plea from Thomas
Joseph Elliott during a hearing Jan. 18.
Elliott’s attorney also filed a motion to
suppress portions of a police interroga-
tion that took place after Elliott’s arrest.
Elliott, 55, John Day, appeared in
court wearing a jail uniform. He faces
one count of first-degree manslaughter
with a firearm and one count of unlaw-
ful use of a weapon for the shooting
death of Todd Alan Berry near Dog
Creek Road and Marysville Road near
John Day on Aug. 24.
According to a seven-page motion
filed by defense attorney Matthew
Baughman of Bend, Grant County
Sheriff’s Office Deputy Daniel Komn-
ing responded to the scene about 8:11
p.m. and saw Berry lying on his back
in the roadway. Komning also saw
Mary Elliott, Thomas Elliott and an-
other woman at the scene. The woman
left before being identified.
Komning observed signs that El-
liott was intoxicated, including slow
and thick speech and the odor of
alcohol on Elliott’s breath, Baugh-
man’s motion states. Elliott also
admitted to consuming five or six
Thomas Joseph Elliott
drinks, the motion states.
Komning handcuffed Elliott and
told him he was not under arrest but
being detained, Baughman’s motion
states. Elliott was then transferred to
the hospital in former John Day Po-
lice Officer Mike Durr’s patrol car,
the motion states.
When hospital staff requested that
Elliott’s shirt be removed, Durr told
Elliott that he would remove the hand-
cuffs if Elliott promised to be “cool,”
Baughman’s motion states. The shirt
was collected as evidence.
“After the interrogation had pro-
ceeded for some time, Mr. Elliott
stated to law enforcement, ‘OK, I’m
not talking no more,’ and then raised
his left hand with his palm facing
out in what appeared to be a stop
motion,” Baughman’s motion states.
“Shortly thereafter and after contin-
ued interrogation, Officer Durr ac-
knowledged Mr. Elliott’s invocation.
After acknowledging this invocation,
See ELLIOTT, Page A10
Idea floated for joint county dispatch
Blue Mountain Eagle
each city and county is required by law to
be covered by a dispatch center.
Grant County Judge Scott Myers said
he, John Day City Manager Nick Green and
John Day chief dispatcher Valerie Maynard
traveled to Burns for the meeting. Seneca
Public Works Director Josh Walker told the
Eagle he also attended the meeting.
Officials from Grant County presented
the idea of a joint Grant County and Har-
ney County 911 dispatch center during a
meeting in Burns Jan. 11.
Nothing was decided at the meeting,
but the idea is one of several options
available as the city of John Day plans to
close its dispatch center by 2019 because
state funding does not cover the cost of
operation. The city dispatch center cur-
rently covers all of Grant County, and
According to Harney County Sheriff
Dave Ward, this was a regularly sched-
uled, quarterly 911 meeting for Harney
County’s user agencies and officials, in-
cluding representatives from the cities of
Burns and Hines and from federal and
tribal agencies.
“Representatives of your dispatch
wanted to meet and discuss the position
your dispatch center is in and discuss
Grant and Harney
county representatives
meet in Burns
By Richard Hanners
John Day City Manager
Nick Green
Two counties meet
ideas on how to provide the best services
to your community,” Ward told the Eagle
in an email. “Whether that consists of
pooling resources, finding a way to stay
local, or closing the doors and going with
an outside service.”
Ward, who also serves as Harney
County’s 911 supervisor, said it was a
great meeting and he was sad to learn
about the position the John Day 911 dis-
patch center was in.
“I believe that having a local dispatch
center provides a much better service to
your community members in their time of
need,” he said.
Harney County Judge Pete Runnels said
he and other members of the Harney Coun-
ty Court were not able to attend the meeting.
See 911, Page A10