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MailTribune.com
  • Wounded fugitive moves to jail cell

    Idaho pair shot by police after allegedly ramming cruiser near Best Buy
  • One of two Idaho fugitives shot by police after he tried to ram an officer's car last week has been moved from a hospital bed to a jail cell.
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  • One of two Idaho fugitives shot by police after he tried to ram an officer's car last week has been moved from a hospital bed to a jail cell.
    Wayne Eugene Pearson, 29, was released from Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center on Friday after being treated for gunshot injuries. He was being held Monday in the Jackson County Jail without bail on warrants from Bonneville, Jefferson and Bannock counties in Idaho.
    Pearson's passenger, 31-year-old Shavon Ruth Willard, remained in the hospital, but police and hospital officials declined to disclose her condition, saying only that she was "stable."
    Pearson and Willard had been on the lam from Idaho authorities since Feb. 27, when they reportedly stole a truck and rammed a sheriff's vehicle there. Pearson had warrants for burglary, grand theft and felony elude charges, along with a failure to appear warrant. Willard was wanted on a probation violation warrant.
    Oregon authorities spotted the pair in Douglas County on Wednesday, March 5, driving a white Dodge pickup. An Oregon Department of Justice agent spotted the truck the next day, parked at the Biddle Road Motel 6. Before backup officers arrived, the pair drove away, apparently attempting to elude police in pursuit before they drove onto Hilton Road near Highway 62. They then turned onto Northcrest Circle, a cul-de-sac near Best Buy. When Pearson turned the vehicle around after apparently realizing he was trapped, he allegedly slammed the truck into a police car, and officers opened fire.
    The truck punched through a fence and came to a stop in a yard before Pearson got out of the pickup and collapsed. Two police officers sustained minor injuries when the truck slammed into their car.
    The case is still under investigation, leaving police and the Jackson County District Attorney's Office tight-lipped about particulars, including names of the officers involved in the shooting. More local charges are expected for Pearson and Willard in addition to those on their warrants, but investigators said they wouldn't have a clear idea of what the charges would be until the initial investigation has concluded.
    Jackson County District Attorney Beth Heckert said Monday police agencies involved in the shooting — Medford police, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and the state Justice Department — had not concluded interviews with the officers. When those interviews are done, she said, the DA will submit the case to the grand jury. Until then, the two Medford police officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave.
    Medford police Chief Tim George said interviews with the two city officers are supposed to occur this week, but added he couldn't anticipate when the investigation would conclude and be presented to the grand jury.
    "There's a lot of crime scene work to be done on those vehicles," George said. "There's a lot of work to be done that's putting this whole thing together. We're still in the thick of things."
    Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at rpfeil@mailtribune.com.
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