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Two found guilty for 2020 murder near Butte Falls

Sentencing is scheduled for Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court
justice lawyer / judge gavel working with legal documents in a court room

Two men were found guilty Thursday of a murder that occurred in January 2020 near Butte Falls.

A Jackson County jury found Joshua Wayne Bull, 34, and Theodore Stacey Johnson, 35, guilty of second-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree robbery in the killing of Cody Joseph Baize, 28.

Jurors began deliberating Wednesday afternoon and returned to the courtroom with guilty verdicts Thursday morning.

Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Laura Cromwell asked people seated in the gallery to remain calm and quiet before she began accepting the jury’s verdicts.

Cromwell stressed that jury service isn’t easy — especially when jurors have been required to make difficult decisions.

After reading each verdict, Cromwell asked the jurors to make note of their decisions regarding each count. She also read each of those individual decisions and thanked the jurors for their efforts and released them from service.

Jury selection occurred April 11. The final witness appeared Wednesday. Both defendants were tried at the same time, and each had his own attorney.

Baize was found dead Jan. 10, 2020, off of Cobleigh Road near Butte Falls by a passerby. Police said Baize had been pistol-whipped, shot and run over by his own vehicle, which the suspects abandoned in Central Point.

Their motive for killing Baize might have been drug-related. An eyewitness speculated that Baize was killed because he took back his car after loaning it to Bull. The defendants had filled the car with about $6,000 worth of drugs to transport to California for sale, according to court testimony.

Bull and Johnson took Baize from a location in Grants Pass after Bull texted Baize to bring the car to him in 10 minutes. Baize was driven in his own car to the site near Butte Falls and murdered.

Sentencing of Bull and Johnson is scheduled for Monday morning in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Zachary Light, Johnson’s defense attorney, said his client wanted to be sentenced quickly.

Some of Baize’s loved ones traveled a long distance to be at the trial. Cromwell said they could participate by telephone if they couldn’t stay for the next phase of the trial.

Bull and Johnson are held in the Jackson County Jail without bail.