Sixth suspect charged in violent Wimer pot robbery
One of the remaining suspects in a 2016 Wimer home-invasion robbery that left a licensed marijuana grower with lasting injuries is now behind bars in Jackson County.
Christopher Tyrone Osborne, 30, of Columbus, Georgia, made his initial appearance in Jackson County Circuit Court Thursday on a string of Measure 11 robbery and assault charges accusing him of being one of at least six men who wore Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles masks and stormed the home of legal marijuana grower James Bowman the night of Dec. 16, 2016. The masked men tied Bowman up and tortured him for hours, then left with a box truck filled with six-figures worth of marijuana.
Judge Lisa Greif ordered no early release for Osborne without posting 10 percent bond on bail set at $500,000 — and authorized a court-appointed defense lawyer to represent him on felony charges of first-, second-, and third-degree assault, first- and second-degree robbery and aggravated first-degree theft.
Osborne is the sixth of nine named individuals to be prosecuted in the theft of Bowman’s crop — conservatively valued by a judge at $105,000 earlier this year — an amount Bowman describes as “a fraction” of the lost marijuana’s true value.
Bowman says that the attack left him with lingering disabilities that made it impossible for him to work and forced him to sell his home and close up several businesses.
Southern Oregon ringleaders Frank William Foremski and Daniel Dougherty were each sentenced to probation on first-degree burglary charges for their roles planning the theft by posing as investors who toured Bowman’s farm before working with others from the Atlanta, Georgia, area that include convicted co-defendants Derrick Earl Shields, Edward A. Molet and Charles James Hatchet, who have been sentenced to prison.
In August, the five convicted co-defendants were ordered to repay restitution valued at more than $145,000 for the stolen 80 bins of marijuana and nearly $40,000 worth of damage to Bowman’s security system, phones and other items in his home.
In a letter filed Sept. 18 in Foremski’s case, Bowman expressed deep disappointment at the light sentences and undervalued damages.
“It isn’t fair that they could get away so lightly,” Foremski wrote.
In a Sept. 30 reply, Jackson County Circuit Judge Lorenzo Mejia said he knew Bowman was “badly victimized” and said he put thought into Bowman’s restitution figure with what little information he could.
“To be blunt, you and the State’s attorney did not do a very good job presenting your losses,” Mejia wrote. “The main problem was that you did not have solid information about the amount of marijuana stolen and its value. At best you testified about estimates.”
Records show Bowman’s $17 million civil lawsuit against Foremski and Dougherty is still pending, although a civil trial set for Jan. 14 was postponed earlier this month at Bowman’s request.
In a Dec. 6 filing in the civil suit, Bowman’s lawyer said his client’s injuries “may be even more significant than previously known,” listing dental work estimates around $50,000 and that Bowman’s eyesight is failing from the attack.
Suspects Dennis Reynolds, Leonta Flowers and Jody Deville Reynolds each have warrants for failing to appear in court on charges of first-degree assault, first- and second-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and aggravated first-degree theft in the burglary, but none have scheduled court appearances.
Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.