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Third man may hold key to motive

PHOENIX — Investigators hope a third man involved in a fight at a convenience store that ended with a 23-year-old shot dead Friday in the middle of South Pacific Highway can help piece together what led to the slaying, authorities said.

Using surveillance video, Jackson County sheriff's investigators have identified the man who entered the 7-Eleven with murder defendant Bradley Robert Quillen and fled with him after Miguel Angel Delfin of Medford fell dead of a single gunshot wound.

Police want to interview the man to learn what connection, "if any," involved Quillen and Delfin, said sheriff's Sgt. Eric Fox.

"I think that third person will help answer some of those questions," said Fox, who declined to name the man. "It sounds like he was right there when it happened."

Quillen, 26, of Phoenix was arraigned Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court on murder and weapons charges. 

Quillen appeared during the brief arraignment via video conferencing before Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Lorenzo Mejia. The video camera used for the arraignment was set at the standard level for other defendants appearing in court that day, and the 6-foot-5 Quillen was so tall his eyes and forehead never appeared on camera.

Quillen remained in the Jackson County Jail without bail, and Mejia told him to apply for a court-appointed attorney. Quillen is due back in court April 11.

Fox said video from several surveillance cameras in the area of the 7-Eleven at 3960 S. Pacific Highway helped police identify Quillen as a suspect.

Investigators went to Quillen's residence in a trailer park across the street from the convenience store and encountered Quillen's wife, 18-year-old Gladis Diarte, Fox said.

Quillen was inside the trailer when police arrived. He stepped outside at officers' request and was taken into custody, Fox said. Diarte also was arrested at the scene. 

A search Saturday of the trailer yielded evidence, but Fox declined to reveal whether police seized a weapon or ammunition from the trailer.

Diarte was arraigned Monday on charges of interfering with a police officer and harassment.

When Mejia told Diarte not to have any contact with Quillen, Diarte blurted out, "He's my husband. How can I not?"

"This is a very serious matter," Mejia said. "I know you're only tangentially involved," but she risked being jailed for disobeying his order, he said.

The case was scheduled to go before a Jackson County grand jury Thursday, according to the Jackson County District Attorney's Office.

Along with the murder and weapons charges, Quillen was arraigned on a slew of warrants stemming from a felony attempt to elude police Sept. 19 in Eagle Point, court records show.

Quillen also has a criminal history that includes misdemeanor marijuana possession and several driving infractions, including driving while suspended. His most recent conviction came in May, when he pleaded guilty to a single count of unlawful possession of a weapon. He was on bench probation for that conviction when he was arrested Friday.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.

Bradley Quillen