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Uncle arrested in nephew's killing

A Trail man has been charged in the shooting death last summer of his nephew on family-owned property outside Trail.

Tommy Ray Ormsby, 48, was arraigned Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court on several charges stemming from an altercation Aug. 24, 2020, that culminated with the death of 25-year-old Steven Garrett Sutton in the 3300 block of Highway 227.

Sutton had been visiting his father — Ormsby’s brother-in-law — on the shared family property north of Trail, according to Jackson County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mike Moran. Ormsby lived in a house on the property shared between his family, including the victim’s grandmother and parents. Sutton’s father had a trailer on the land.

During the visit, Sutton and Ormsby “got into a dispute over something,” Moran said, leading up to the shooting, reported at 4:46 p.m.

An unidentified caller on the property reportedly told 911 dispatchers that they heard yelling followed by gunshots, according to an earlier news report. A second 911 caller attempted CPR with instructions from a dispatcher, but Sutton was pronounced dead at the scene.

The reason it took so long to make an arrest in the homicide, Moran said, was because investigators were waiting for the results of unspecified evidence sent off to an Oregon State Police crime lab.

Based on results from the analysis that arrived last week, a grand jury indicted Ormsby Friday on charges of second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

The grand jury heard from 11 witnesses, including four Jackson County sheriff’s deputies, a Medford police detective, five crime lab analysts with lab reports and Sutton’s father, according to an indictment filed Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court by District Attorney Beth Heckert, who is prosecuting the case.

At the Tuesday arraignment, Jackson County Circuit Court Judge David Orr set bail at $1 million and ordered no contact with the victims.

Ormsby was being held Wednesday in the Jackson County Jail. Under Oregon law, defendants charged with first- or second-degree murder are not allowed release from jail “when the proof is evident or the presumption strong that the person is guilty.”

Ormsby’s next court appearance is a bail hearing set for Jan. 27, court records show.

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

Tommy Ray Ormsby is charged in the shooting death of his 25-year-old nephew on shared family property in Trail. Jackson County Jail booking photo.
Ormsby