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Criado indicted in slayings of wife and 4 kids

GRANTS PASS — A grand jury has indicted a Southern Oregon man on aggravated murder and other charges in last month's slaying of his wife and four kids, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Jackson County Chief Deputy District Attorney Beth Heckert said the grand jury in Medford heard from 13 witnesses — police and fire investigators, a medical examiner and two friends of the wife — before handing up the indictments against Jordan Adam Criado, 51.

Criado is accused of stabbing his wife, Tabasha Paige-Criado, and two of their children before setting fire in four different places to their Medford house on July 18.

Heckert said prosecutors have not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty.

Criado was in a hospital three weeks before recovering enough from smoke inhalation to be arrested. He has yet to enter a plea to the charges and is being held without bail.

Defense attorney Geoffrey J. Gokey of Redmond did not immediately return a telephone call for comment.

Police have said Paige-Criado, 30, was out all night and met police, who took her home, after her husband reported her missing. A few hours later, the house was on fire and firefighters and medics were desperately trying to revive her, Criado, and the four children on the front lawn of the small single-story house. Only Criado survived.

Postings on Paige-Criado's Facebook page indicated she held her husband in contempt and she had told friends and family that she wanted a divorce.

Family members have said Paige-Criado met her husband at community college in Bakersfield, Calif., and married him despite knowing he had been convicted of molesting three girls in Sacramento County, Calif. Family members have said Criado moved his family to Oregon to get away from his wife's family, who disapproved of him.

The indictment lists 24 different counts of aggravated murder. Twenty of them are based on multiple victims. Four are based on victims under the age of 14 — Elijah, 7; Isaac, 6, Andrew, 5, and Aurora, 2.

Criado was also indicted on four counts of felony murder, related to four counts of arson, and four counts of manslaughter.

An autopsy listed the case of death for Paige-Criado as stab wounds to the neck and abdomen. The children all died of smoke inhalation, with stab wounds to the neck listed as an additional cause for Isaac and Andrew.

No date was set for arraignment.