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MailTribune.com
  • Officers were justified in shooting Idaho fugitives, grand jury decides

  • A Jackson County grand jury deliberated less than five minutes today before deciding that four officers were justified in shooting and wounding two fugitives from Idaho on March 6 in Medford.
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  • A Jackson County grand jury deliberated less than five minutes today before deciding that four officers were justified in shooting and wounding two fugitives from Idaho on March 6 in Medford.
    The four officers involved in the shooting were identified by the District Attorney's Office as Randy Jewell and Jason Wileman of Medford police; Mike Wells, a special agent with the Department of Justice; and Kenny Cooper of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
    The four fired at least 39 rounds at Wayne Eugene Pearson, 29, and Shavon Ruth Willard, 32, on Hilton Road near Poplar Avenue after Pearson allegedly rammed an occupied police vehicle, according to District Attorney Beth Heckert.
    Willard was hit twice in the chest, once in the arm, once in the leg, and a fragment struck her right eye, Heckert said. Pearson was grazed in the head, she said.
    The grand jury also returned indictments against Pearson and Willard. Pearson faces 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.
    Willard was indicted on charges of possession of methamphetamine and unauthorized use of a vehicle, records show.
    A release by the District Attorney's Office said a 9 mm handgun was found in the truck Pearson was driving after the incident. The gun had one round in the chamber and three rounds in the magazine, the release said.
    The grand jury heard a full day of testimony from four officers directly involved in the shooting, other officers on scene, three civilians who observed or heard the incident, a criminalist, a use of force expert and other officers involved in the investigation. They also repeatedly watched video recorded by Medford police cars during the incident, officials said.
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