2A • September 30, 2016 • Seaside Signal • seasidesignal.com Seaside toddler murder trial begins Roden’s death penalty trial could last up to two months By Kyle Spurr KOIN/SUBMITTED PHOTO Evangelina Wing in an un- dated photo. The 2-year-old died Dec. 20, 2014. EO Media Group Clatsop County’s irst death penalty trial in 15 years started this month in Circuit Court. Randy Lee Roden, 28, is on trial for allegedly murder- ing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter and abusing her two sons while they all lived to- gether in a Seaside apartment. The gruesome scene discov- ered in December 2014 is described as among the worst child-abuse cases in the coun- ty. The trial, in courtroom 300, which opened Sept. 20, continues to focus on jury se- lection. Prospective jurors are being screened in the court- room in groups of six until the 12-person jury is selected, with two to four alternates. The pool of available jurors will be asked about their at- titudes toward capital punish- ment and whether they think they can be impartial. Judge Paula Brownhill de- cided to have the jurors ques- tioned in groups, rather than individually, after her experi- ence presiding over the coun- JOSHUA BESSEX/EO MEDIA GROUP Defense lawyer Conor Huseby,right, speaks with Randy Ro- den during a hearing at the Clatsop County Courthouse. ty’s last death penalty case. In 2001, Anthony Scott Garner was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for fatally stabbing a woman on a motorboat in the Warrenton mooring basin and setting the boat on ire to cover up the crime. “We questioned jurors individually in 15-minute segments, and it took over a week to select 12 jurors,” Brownhill said. “In the Roden case, we will bring jurors into the courtroom in groups of six rather than one at a time.” Evidence The District Attorney’s Ofice believes it has enough physical evidence and ex- pert opinion to connect the crimes to Roden. The state will present evidence show- ing the 2-year-old, Evangelina Wing, and her brothers were tortured, burned, bitten and caged in the Seaside apart- ment their mother, Dorothy Wing, shared with Roden. Evangelina Wing appar- ently died of battered child syndrome with blunt force trauma to her head. Blood spatter was found in almost every corner of the apartment, staining holiday decorations and the wall behind a Christ- mas tree. Roden’s defense is that he did not commit the crimes. His lawyer, Conor Huseby, is adamant that someone else is to blame, possibly the chil- dren’s mother. Dorothy Wing, 26, pleaded guilty in January to irst-de- gree manslaughter and two counts of irst-degree criminal mistreatment. She was sen- tenced to more than 15 years in prison, contingent on her truthfully testifying at Ro- den’s trial. “Mr. Roden’s defense will be what it has always been; he simply did not commit the crimes the state has accused him of,” Husby wrote in a court document. Witnesses Roden’s trial could last up to two months. Trial days will be Tuesday through Friday, with occasional time off of those days if a session inishes early or the court has an emer- gency hearing in another case. Multiple witnesses for the prosecution and defense will testify. Many are traveling from Georgia, where Roden grew up. Witnesses for Roden in- clude his close friends, sister, half brother and sixth- and third-grade teachers. The de- fense also plans to call Janice Ophoven, a pediatric foren- sic pathologist, who claims the toddler likely died from complications of a lesh-eat- ing infection, rather than from blunt-force trauma. The prosecution will call two of Roden’s ex-girlfriends, who can detail a pattern of violence against women and children. One ex-girlfriend, who dated Roden from March to July 2014, will say he did not like children, he abused her children both physically and emotionally and her children were fearful of him. She will testify that Roden was very controlling with her and the children, threatened to move out and warned he would commit suicide in order to control her behavior, accord- ing to court documents. Roden is serving an eight- year prison sentence for vio- lating probation from a do- mestic violence conviction in 2013 involving his other ex-girlfriend. The woman is traveling from Tennessee to testify against Roden. “(She) is a past girlfriend and prior crime victim of Mr. Roden and has abundant information about his char- acter,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Ron Brown wrote in a court document. Gearhart police report August 2016 For the month of August 2016 in the Gearhart Police Depart- ment’s report to the City Council, there were no reported burglaries, auto thefts, acts of van- dalism, trespass, or vio- lation of liquor or weap- on laws. There were no reported assaults, sex offenses, harassments, menacing, or runaways. There were three traf- ic accidents and two reports of vehicular hit and runs. Twenty dis- turbances were reported and cleared, as well as four incidents involv- ing animals. The police conducted 309 security checks and rendered as- sistance 63 times. There were two reported thefts in the 2nd degree. Among the three trafic accidents, one human injury was reported and two reports of proper- ty damage. Two adults were taken into custody arrest. Fifty-six trafic and city violators were issued warnings. No deaths in the city of Gearhart were reported. SEASIDE POLICE LOG Sept. 11 8:40 a.m., 500 block Broadway: A missing person was reported. 3:23 p.m., Broadway and Edge- wood: An oicer attempted to maneuver back into position a moved sewer grate that appeared to have been moved by someone attempting to retrieve a lost object. The grate became wedged and is deemed a tripping hazard. Public works was notiied. 9:49 p.m., 200 block S. Roos- evelt: Caller reports a domestic situation in progress; the com- plainant left the scene before police arrived. 10:07 a.m., 2000 block North Fork: Complainant reports a person or persons in a red BMW parking near his home late at night and depositing their “fruits of love” on to the street. Police advise they will send extra patrols to the area. 7:15 p.m., Seaside Police Station: A person came in to register as a sex ofender. Sept. 13 12:45 a.m., 1100 block Broad- way: A Burglary II incident was reported. No further informa- tion was available. 12:50 a.m., 200 block S. Holla- day: Police receive information about a subject asleep in a damaged vehicle, parts of the vehicle being held together with tape. Subject told police it was old damage, but was ad- vised they would be contacted should a hit and run match be located. 3:13 p.m., Avenue S and storage area: Police are asked to assist with traic control at a power pole ire. 5:10 p.m., 1600 block S. Co- lumbia: A civil dispute among family members regarding the dispersal of belongings of a deceased family member resulted in police intervention. The parties involved were of- fered options how to solve their problem. 2:27 p.m., Highway 101: Police arrive on scene to assist Gear- hart police and Medix at the scene of a traic stop. 6:40 p.m., 800 block S. Roos- evelt: Police respond to a report of a woman described as being “very upset.” She told police she was trying to retrieve a lost item. Sept. 14 Sept. 15 1:05 a.m., 12th and Necani- cum: Police respond to a report of a man screaming. Police are unable to locate anyone screaming. 11:37 a.m., 1500 block N. Roosevelt: Police respond to a complaint about a vehicle that possibly stole mail from the Sea- side Signal newspaper oice. An oicer was in the area at the time of the call, but was unable to locate the described vehicle. 9:51 p.m., 200 block Broadway: Caller reports to police a man who has threatened to ight him and who has been calling him derogatory names. Oicer is unable to locate subject. Sept. 17 4:35 p.m., 300 block N. Co- lumbia: Caller reports seeing a woman in a dress who seemed like she could use assistance. Police locate subject and give her a courtesy ride to her hotel.