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MailTribune.com
  • Idaho fugitives arraigned on local charges

    Two involved in last month's police chase and shooting accused of ramming cruiser
  • Two Idaho fugitives wounded by police in a hail of gunfire after allegedly using a stolen truck to ram an occupied Medford police cruiser were arraigned Monday on the first local charges in the case.
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  • Two Idaho fugitives wounded by police in a hail of gunfire after allegedly using a stolen truck to ram an occupied Medford police cruiser were arraigned Monday on the first local charges in the case.
    Wayne Eugene Pearson, 29, and Shavon Ruth Willard, 32, were arraigned in Jackson County Circuit Court on a suite of charges stemming from the March 6 encounter with Medford police, who fired more than 30 rounds at the suspects on Hilton Road near Poplar Avenue.
    Monday's arraignment, which was filed as a district attorney's information stating prosecutors' intent to seek an indictment, opens the door for a Jackson County grand jury to consider the case later this week, according to the Jackson County District Attorney's Office.
    The information charged Pearson with two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of attempted first-degree assault and single counts of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, being a felon in possession of a firearm, first-degree criminal mischief and two counts of failure to perform the duties of a driver to injured persons.
    The firearms charge represents the first time a weapon was linked to Pearson or Willard.
    Willard was arraigned on charges of possession of methamphetamine and unauthorized use of a vehicle.
    Jackson County Circuit Judge Timothy Barnack set an April 7 preliminary hearing.
    The pair remain held in the Jackson County Jail. Willard is being held on $280,000 bail, most of it stemming from a fugitive warrant out of Idaho, jail records indicate. Pearson remained held on a no-bail Idaho fugitive warrant, according to jail records.
    The pair had been on the lam from Idaho authorities since Feb. 27, when they reportedly stole a truck and rammed a sheriff's vehicle in eastern Idaho, police said.
    Oregon authorities reportedly spotted the pair on March 5 in Douglas County driving a white Dodge pickup. An Oregon Department of Justice agent spotted the truck the next day, parked at the Motel 6 on Biddle Road, police said. Before police backup arrived, the pair drove away, attempting to avoid following officers, police said.
    Pearson turned the truck off Hilton Road onto Northcrest Circle, a cul-de-sac near Best Buy, and allegedly slammed into a police vehicle when officers attempted to block him in the cul-de-sac, police said.
    That's when four officers opened fire on the vehicle, causing the pickup to crash through a fence and come to rest in a yard before Pearson got out of the truck and collapsed, witnesses said.
    At least 30 empty rifle and shotgun casings were scattered in the street at the scene of the incident, all of which were shot by police, witnesses said.
    Both suspects suffered gunshot wounds that required hospital treatment. Pearson was lodged in the jail March 7, while Willard was jailed March 15.
    Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or email at mfreeman@mailtribune.com.
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