Troopers' suspicions pay off with arrest of homicide suspects

Oregon State Police trooper Nick Neville knew something was up when the disheveled man in the 2002 BMW 325 asked him for gas money.

He and fellow senior trooper Brandon Boice were fresh from a SWAT operation in Eugene Thursday morning when they stopped to gas up their Ford Expedition at a Pacific Pride station just north of Roseburg. Both men were in plainclothes. The Ford was unmarked.

As I walked by the BMW, the driver called me over and said, 'Hey, can I ask you something. I need a couple of bucks for gas,' Neville said.

You didn't need to be a trained professional to see that was kind of weird, he added.

Neville spoke briefly with the driver. No he would not bum him any money, Neville said.
— The passenger sat quietly staring ahead, not making eye contact. Had Neville been able to see inside the car he would have noticed the man's pants and shoes were soaked in blood.

As the trio drove away, Neville took down the BMW's license plate number. He ran it through dispatch. It came back a hit. The car was wanted by Seattle police in connection with the murder of 57-year-old David Koenigs, a former Indian tribal executive and head of a Catholic charity organization. Koenigs' body was found beaten and stabbed in his home by firefighters Wednesday. Apparently, the suspect tried to hide his crime by burning down Koenigs' house, according to a statement issued by the King County prosecutor's office.

Neville wanted a marked patrol car to aid in the stop, so he radioed senior trooper Joey Pollard, who had just left the gas station and was on his way back to OSP's Central Point office where all three troopers were based.

The troopers tailed the BMW a short distance before it pulled into a wrecking yard. More troopers arrived and the trio surrendered without incident. The passenger, Richard Dwayne Jones, 32, was later charged first-degree murder by Seattle police.

The other two arrested with Jones ' Douglas Art Freeman, 31, and Ashley Nichole Boggess, 21, both of Portland ' were charged with assisting Jones in the murder and helping him evade capture. Seattle police believe both were present during the murder.

During their brief exchange, Freeman had told Neville he was heading to Sacramento.

Anymore, especially as thin as we are on the interstate, you never know, they may have made it, Neville said.

During Neville's years as an OSP trooper he said he has seen some strange stuff. In 2004, he was shot in the neck by a suspect who had shortly before asked him directions near Valley of the Rogue State Park. Thursday's events were just another bizarre chapter in the life of an OSP trooper, he said.

To stop and ask cops for gas money, Neville said, laughing. Talk about a candidate for the world's dumbest criminals.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471, or e-mail Troopers? suspicions pay off with arrest of homicide suspects"