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Criado hearing on plea set for Sept. 22

A Medford man accused of killing his wife and four children was arraigned in Jackson County Circuit Court Friday morning and will enter a plea in September.

Jordan Adam Criado, 51, has been charged with 24 counts of aggravated murder and four counts each of murder, first-degree manslaughter and first-degree arson.

Appearing via video screen in Judge Lorenzo Mejia's courtroom with Bend attorney Duane McCabe at his side and Redmond attorney Geoffrey Gokey in the courtroom, Criado didn't speak after shuffling in to be seated before the camera.

With a copy of the 36-count indictment in hand, Gokey waived the reading aloud of all the charges. He then asked for 30 days to enter a plea, and a plea hearing was set for 11 a.m. Sept. 22.

Criado is accused of killing his 30-year-old wife, Tabasha Paige-Criado, and children Elijah, 7, Isaac, 6, Andrew, 5, and Aurora, 2, then lighting their Medford home on fire on July 18.

Paige-Criado died of stab wounds to the neck and abdomen, autopsy results showed. Andrew and Isaac died of stab wounds to the neck and probable carbon monoxide poisoning from the arson fire. Elijah and Aurora probably died from carbon monoxide poisoning, which will be determined through pending toxicology tests.

The numerous charges address the five victims and the different legal theories related to their deaths, prosecutors have explained.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Beth Heckert said the state crime lab is still evaluating evidence, a process she expects to be lengthy.

"It's a complex case," she said. "It's going to take awhile to review the evidence."

She said the delay the defense team asked for and received was fairly standard. She expects them to enter a not-guilty plea, also standard at this stage of an aggravated-murder case in which the defendant could face the death penalty.

Criado's defense team handles primarily death-penalty cases, Gokey said, commending the work of his co-counsel McCabe.

"He's the best in the state," Gokey said, as they left the courthouse and headed toward the Jackson County Jail.

Reach reporter Anita Burke at 541-776-4485, or email aburke@mailtribune.com.

Criado hearing on plea set for Sept. 22