Prosecutors allege three young people who bludgeoned a father to death had plans to kill another father.
The Jackson County District Attorney's Office announced Thursday afternoon that a grand jury indicted Ellen Rose Friar, 15, Gavin Curtis MacFarlane, 19, and Russell Pierce Jones II, 22, in the death of Ellen Friar's father, Medford resident Aaron Neil Friar. They are also accused of planning to kill Russell Pierce Jones I.
The three defendants are being held without bail, the DA's Office said.
They allegedly bludgeoned Aaron Friar, 50, to death while he was sleeping in bed early Monday morning, stole his vehicle and other property, then dumped his body over an embankment along East Antelope Road east of Medford. He died of blunt head trauma, according to Medford police.
The defendants have been charged with felony murder for allegedly causing the death of Aaron Friar while engaged in or fleeing from first-degree robbery. They are also charged with murder for allegedly causing his death, plus criminal conspiracy to commit murder, first-degree robbery and tampering with physical evidence for allegedly concealing or removing Aaron Friar's body, according to court documents.
The three are also charged with a second count of criminal conspiracy to commit murder for allegedly agreeing to cause the death of Russell Jones I, according to the DA's Office and court documents.
The DA's Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the alleged plan to kill the second father.
MacFarlane, who police said was Ellen Friar's boyfriend, faces an additional charge of third-degree rape for allegedly engaging in sexual intercourse with Ellen Friar, a child under age 16, according to court documents.
Detectives said the sexual relationship had caused friction between Aaron Friar and his daughter and MacFarlane.
The grand jury heard testimony from six witnesses, including representatives of the Medford Police Department and Jackson County Sheriff's Office, the DA's Office said.
The testimony of the witnesses took approximately one hour, with the grand jury deliberating for about seven minutes before announcing the indictment had been issued, the DA's Office said.
In 2015, Russell Pierce II pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual abuse involving a child under age 16 in Yamhill County. He was sentenced to probation and community service, court records show.
According to their Facebook pages, Ellen Friar goes to South Medford High School and plays in a school band. MacFarlane also went to South Medford High School until this year. He had started classes at Rogue Community College this fall. Medford School District officials declined to comment on those involved.
MacFarlane is also a member of Circle Youth Ministries on Facebook and appeared in pictures of the Junior High-College Ministry at Joy Church Medford.
Jones’ Facebook account shows he went to Crater High School in Central Point and is “self-employed.”
— Reach staff reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or email@example.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.