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Grand jury will review police shooting

A Jackson County grand jury Thursday will review an investigation into a March 6 police shooting in which two Idaho fugitives were wounded in north Medford, according to Jackson County District Attorney Beth Heckert.

Oregon State Police finished its investigation into the shooting and was sending its findings to the district attorney's office, Lt. Mike Budreau of the Medford Police Department said Tuesday.

The shooting involved a pair of Medford police officers, an agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and an agent from the Oregon Department of Justice.

The four fired more than 30 rounds at Wayne Eugene Pearson, 29, and Shavon Ruth Willard, 32, on Hilton Road near Poplar Avenue after Pearson allegedly rammed an occupied police vehicle.

The grand jury will determine whether police's use of force was justified.

Heckert said she expects the grand jury to release its findings before the end of the day today.

Medford police will then conduct an internal investigation of the incident, Budreau said, to determine whether department polices were followed.

Pearson and Willard were arraigned Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Pearson was charged with two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of attempted first-degree assault and single counts of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, being a felon in possession of a firearm, first-degree criminal mischief and two counts of failure to perform the duties of a driver to injured persons, court records show.

Willard was arraigned on charges of possession of methamphetamine and unauthorized use of a vehicle, records show.

The firearms charge represents the first time a weapon was linked to Pearson or Willard.

Jackson County Circuit Judge Timothy Barnack set an April 7 preliminary hearing.

The pair remain in the Jackson County Jail. Willard is being held on $280,000 bail, most of it stemming from a fugitive warrant out of Idaho, jail records indicate. Pearson remained held on a no-bail Idaho fugitive warrant, according to jail records.

The pair had been on the lam from Idaho authorities since Feb. 27, when they reportedly stole a truck and rammed a sheriff's vehicle in eastern Idaho, police said.

Reach reporter Sam Wheeler 541-776-4471 or by email at samuelcwheeler@gmail.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/swhlr.