Three locals tied to thwarted AR-10 attack in Yreka
Three Southern Oregon residents and a California woman are in jail for allegedly planning an attack with a semiautomatic rifle Wednesday morning in Yreka, California, that was thwarted by a police officer getting coffee.
At about 8:15 a.m., witnesses reported seeing a masked man in camouflage, whom police identified as 32-year-old William Francis Moore of Medford, reaching for an AR-10 military rifle near a Starbucks near the south Yreka exit off Interstate 5.
“There was a pretty heinous act that was going to happen,” said Yreka police Chief Brian Bowles.
A Mount Shasta police officer who was getting coffee intervened when he saw the masked man kneeling down near a fence with another man and pulling out the rifle.
Bowles said the officer, who was in Yreka to testify in a court case, didn't have to draw his gun before taking the two men into custody and seizing the weapon.
“It happened without incident,” Bowles said. "We had a lot of luck on our side."
The man with Moore was identified by police as 39-year-old Harley David Fredericks of Gold Hill.
Bowles said Yreka police are still piecing together the suspects' roles in the alleged murder plot, but so far believe Moore, Fredericks and two others, Breana Leigh Franklin, 38, of Granite Bay, California, and Tasha Michelle Clinger, 26, of Medford, were targeting an individual from Southern Oregon who was nearby at the time.
Police found methamphetamine and heroin, along with AR-10 ammunition and magazines inside a vehicle used by the four suspects.
“We stopped a serious incident from occurring in a highly traversed area in Yreka,” Bowles said. “This is a pretty big deal.”
The investigation is not complete, and Bowles asked people in Southern Oregon who may have interacted with the suspects Monday or Tuesday to contact the Yreka police department at 530-841-2300.
Bowles said Franklin initially provided a false identity to police, but a fingerprint match determined her true name.
All four suspects face felony murder conspiracy charges. Moore also faces an attempted murder charge, and Franklin faces a felony charge of false impersonation and a misdemeanor charge of providing false information to police. The four are being held without bail, according to Siskiyou County jail records.
Charges for drug possession, weapons and wearing a mask while committing a crime are still pending in the case, according to Bowles.
Jackson County Circuit Court records show three of the four people arrested have pending felony charges and prior convictions.
Moore has open felony cases charging him with possessing methadone in June and possessing methamphetamine in 2014. He has entered not guilty pleas on those charges, records show.
Franklin pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft in 2014. She was sentenced to probation and ordered to repay more than $24,000 to a tax service and insurance company. She was also convicted of felony third-degree assault in 1998, court records show.
Fredericks' record in Jackson County shows numerous felony convictions dating back to 1996, most recently for felony robbery in 2014, when he struggled with staff at Sportsman's Warehouse in Medford after they caught him trying to steal a $95 flashlight.
— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.