|
|
|
MailTribune.com
  • Fugitive sent back to Idaho to face crime- spree charges

    Willard was wounded by police gunfire on March 6
  • One of two people wounded by police gunfire after their vehicle rammed a law-enforcement car March 6 in Medford will be headed back to Idaho to face charges from the couple's alleged crime spree there.
    • email print
  • One of two people wounded by police gunfire after their vehicle rammed a law-enforcement car March 6 in Medford will be headed back to Idaho to face charges from the couple's alleged crime spree there.
    Shavon Ruth Willard, 32, pleaded no contest Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court to one count of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, with a charge of possession of methamphetamine dropped in her case.
    Jackson County Circuit Judge Lorenzo Mejia sentenced Willard, who has spent the past 51 days in the Jackson County Jail, to 18 months' probation and no extra jail time, opening the door for her extradition to Idaho.
    Willard has been held on a fugitive warrant out of Idaho since she and codefendant Wayne Eugene Pearson clashed violently with local and state law enforcement along Hilton Road near Poplar Avenue.
    Pearson was driving and Willard was a passenger in a stolen pickup that rammed a federal officer's vehicle, then sped toward other officers who were trying to capture the couple after a short, high-speed chase. Four officers opened fire, shooting at least 39 rounds.
    Willard suffered two gunshot wounds to her abdomen, one to her right forearm and one to her right eye. Pearson was grazed in the head.
    A Jackson County grand jury in April ruled the shootings were justified.
    Willard appeared in court by video from the jail. Her right eye was red and swollen but not patched as it was when she was transferred to jail after eight days in a Medford hospital, where she was treated for her injuries.
    She also sported a bandage over the bullet wound in her forearm.
    Pearson, 29, faces second-degree assault and nine other felony charges. He remains jailed in Medford with his trial scheduled for Sept. 9, court records show.
    Jackson County District Attorney Beth Heckert said Pearson faces more severe charges because he was the driver and the one committing the alleged assaults. Willard knew she was a passenger in a stolen car.
    "He's the driver, so he's obviously the one who did more of the criminal actions," Heckert said after Monday's hearing.
    "They're boyfriend/girlfriend," Heckert said. "I think they're both involved in the activities they were doing here and in Idaho."
    The couple are also accused of attempting to ram a police car in Idaho and other crimes before fleeing to Southern Oregon.
    Willard gave jail officials an address in Myrtle Creek near Roseburg, court records show.
    Heckert said Willard had family members in the Roseburg area and that investigators believe that is why they fled to Southern Oregon from Idaho.
    Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or email at mfreeman@mailtribune.com.
Reader Reaction
      • calendar