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Man gets 35 years for toddler’s death, sodomy

A Central Point man will serve decades in prison and will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life after admitting to the homicide and abuse of his girlfriend’s toddler age child.

Russel Brian Darrell Larsen, 27, was sentenced to 35 years in the Oregon Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to charges of first-degree manslaughter and first-degree sodomy surrounding the 2019 death and sexual abuse of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter, according to a release issued by the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office.

The homicide and sexual abuse investigation began at 3:45 p.m. Aug. 5, 2019 with a 911 call for a child not conscious and not breathing at a home off South Shasta Avenue in Eagle Point.

Eagle Point police and Mercy Flights paramedics spent close to 45 minutes trying to resuscitate the child before rushing her to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center; however, the child never awoke and was pronounced deceased later that night.

Detectives and forensic investigators with the Major Assault and Death Investigation Unit found evidence of extensive injuries throughout the child’s body.

Forensic tests also revealed the presence of Larsen’s semen in the victim’s mouth.

The mother worked from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. the day of the child’s death. Aside from a half-hour lunch break about 9:45 a.m. that day, the child was under Larsen’s care.

At about 3:20 p.m., after the mother woke up from her own nap, Larsen alerted the mother that the child wasn’t breathing.

An autopsy from the Jackson County Medical Examiner's office determined that the child died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Larsen had lived with the child’s mother for approximately 10 days and had been dating the woman roughly three weeks.

When questioned by detectives, Larsen reportedly gave “multiple conflicting stories and timelines” about how the child was injured.

He initially told police that the victim had fallen and hit her head. Later, he told investigators that he’d tripped over the victim and fell on top of the child,

Prosecutors indicate he combined stories in a third interview with detectives.

“When confronted by detectives, Mr. Larsen again changed his story and told officers that after the child fell that morning and after he fell on her in the afternoon he then dropped the victim on her head while attempting to get her milk,” according to the District Attorney’s Office release.

In none of those circumstances did he tell the mother the child had been injured or call for help.

As terms of a negotiated plea agreement, charges of murder and first-degree criminal mistreatment were dismissed.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Terry Smith-Norton and Deputy District Attorney Zori Cook initially sought a murder charge for Larsen on allegations the victim’s death occurred while the sodomy crime was committed; however, Larsen never made any statements establishing that the sex crime occurred in conjunction with the assault and never made any statements indicating that the child’s death was intentional.

Judge Paul Moser sentenced Larsen to 25 years on the sodomy charge, followed by 10 years on the manslaughter charge, lifetime post-prison supervision and lifetime sex offender registration. Because the convictions are Measure 11 crimes, he won’t be eligible for earned time or early release.

Reach web editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTwebeditor.