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DA sides with MPD in records request

Jackson County District Attorney Beth Heckert has confirmed Medford police detectives attended a party with Bourne Huddleston months before he killed his wife in 2012, but she ruled the department doesn't have to release details of its internal investigation, which found no wrongdoing.

The Mail Tribune filed a records request in July seeking information about claims made in Josh Moulin's $2 million lawsuit against the city of Central Point that said Medford Det. Brandon Bloomfield found pictures on Huddleston's computer of Huddleston partying with other Medford detectives.

Medford police Chief Randy Sparacino said an internal investigation on the claims yielded "no improprieties," but he declined to comment further.

After reviewing details of the internal Medford police investigation, Heckert sided last week with Medford police.

"The MPD employees were not on duty and were attending a party where numerous people were present," Heckert said, adding, "the fact that one person present committed a murder five months after the party does not make the material have a public interest."

Moulin, who formerly led the multi-agency Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force from Central Point's headquarters, was accused of computer crimes, but the charges were later dropped and deemed unfounded.

Moulin is now suing the city of Central Point alleging malicious prosecution. Though Medford police is not a party to the lawsuit, the claim that Moulin and Bloomfield saw "friends and close personal associates of Bloomfield's" socializing with Huddleston while investigating his computer April 30, 2012, spurred a closer look by Medford police officials.

Sparacino said the agency performed an internal investigation in October 2015, after a tort letter sent by Moulin's lawyers said it intended to mention the agency in the lawsuit, which was filed in May 2017.

“We found all of our officers involved acted appropriately,” Sparacino said. “No items were determined to be policy violations.”

In June, Moulin's lawyer Kris Winemiller declined to comment in detail about the claim that involved Medford police, other than that it appeared that Huddleston had "personal friends who were Medford detectives, including one who was very close to Brandon Bloomfield." 

The lawsuit claims that Bloomfield alerted one of the detectives pictured, and within days Bloomfield and former Medford police chief Tim George separately questioned Moulin's effectiveness in an ongoing Ashland murder investigation, the brutal decapitation slaying of David Grubbs.

According to the lawsuit, Bloomfield approached Central Point police Chief Kris Allison May 2, 2012, and claimed that Moulin was being "dishonest" when he told Ashland police a laptop related to the Grubbs investigation would have a 2-month turnaround time, the lawsuit says. 

The same day, Medford "suddenly" called for a meeting with Moulin, according to the lawsuit, in which George questioned Moulin whether he "had done everything possible to help APD in the Grubbs investigation."

Winemiller said the May 2, 2012, meeting was meant to ensure that the task force had done everything it could to satisfy Ashland police, which weeks prior had withdrawn from the multi-agency task force.

Sparacino said the claims that mention Medford in Moulin's lawsuit were determined to be "unfounded." 

Winemiller said Medford wasn't named in the suit because it didn't push to prosecute Moulin on the computer crime charges, which Circuit Court Judge Kelly Ravassipour dismissed "with prejudice" in 2015.

"The Medford officials didn't push for this prosecution to go forward. In fact, many in Medford were bothered by it," Winemiller said. 

The core of Moulin's lawsuit is that Allison "orchestrated a groundless criminal investigation against Moulin."

Details of the charges against Moulin have since been sealed in court records. Steve Kraemer, a lawyer representing Central Point, said the city can't comment on Moulin's allegations in the lawsuit beyond a denial.

— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.

DA sides with MPD in records request