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Teen leaves hospital, goes to jail

Boy, 17, charged with several felonies in an alleged home break-in during which he was shot by Medford police

A Medford teen shot by a police officer Dec. 26 was arrested Thursday morning and lodged in the Jackson County Jail on charges of burglary, assault and attempted murder.

Oregon State Police detectives arrested Justin Miles Pina, 17, when he was discharged from Rogue Valley Medical Center, where he had been treated since the shooting.

Medford officer John Torgerson shot Pina after responding to a 9-1-1 call from Helen Marie Brown, who lived next door to Pina in the 700 block of Gilman Road. At about 7:50 a.m. Dec. 26, she called for help because the teen had forced his way into her home. While she was on the phone with emergency dispatchers, he attacked her with a large kitchen knife.

Torgerson arrived to find Pina in Brown's side yard standing over her with a knife in his hand. He ordered Pina to drop the knife, but the boy refused and approached the officer, who shot him once, then used a stun gun to subdue the injured teen.

Police had gone to the Pina family home before the attack twice in the early morning hours because the teen was reportedly out of control, delusional and violent. Police reports indicate officers tried to find help for him, but ultimately decided he couldn't be arrested or hospitalized at that time.

— Justin's father, Dale Pina, has vowed to work to ensure resources are available to prevent similar situations from happening in the future.

Pina is set to be arraigned in Jackson County Circuit Court today on charges of first-degree assault, first-degree burglary, attempted murder and resisting arrest. First-degree assault and attempted murder each carry mandatory minimum sentences of seven and a half years under Measure 11, the state's tough-on-crime law.

Jackson County District Attorney Mark Huddleston expects to present the case to a grand jury next Thursday. The grand jury will consider the charges against Pina and rule whether Torgerson's actions were justified. Torgerson is on administrative leave.

Brown, who police said suffered head injuries and stab wounds, underwent surgery at Rogue Valley Medical Center and was hospitalized for several days. She has been discharged, said hospital officials, who couldn't provide her release date because of patient privacy rules.

Reach reporter Anita Burkeat 776-4485, or e-mail Teen leaves hospital, goes to jail"aburke@mailtribune.com.