TOP STORY

Charges to be Filed in Crash

3-28 PICOAKRIDGE, Ore. — Oregon State Police say on March 28 at 10:26 a.m., troopers responded to a two-vehicle fatal crash on Highway 58 near milepost 45 east of Oakridge. The investigation revealed a gold 1999 Honda Accord traveling westbound crossed over into the eastbound lane, colliding with a white 2014 Honda Accord. The gold Honda went down an embankment.

The white 2014 Honda Accord was driven by 73-year-old Charles Kuykendall, accompanied by 74-year-old passenger Patricia Kuykendall, both from Gig Harbor, Washington. Mrs. Kuykendall was pronounced dead at the scene. Mr. Kuykendall was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

The gold 1999 Honda Accord was driven by 36-year-old Billyroy Durham, accompanied by 38-year-old Tuesday Durham from Phoenix, Arizona. They were both taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

One lane of Highway 58 was closed for about 2 hours.

As a result of the investigation, Mr. Durham is expected to be charged with Manslaughter in the First Degree, Assault in the Second Degree, Assault in the Third Degree, Reckless Driving, and DUII- Controlled Substances.

Robbery Suspect Arrested

3-27 BANK ROBBERY SUSPECTROSEBURG, Ore. — On March 27, the Roseburg Police Department investigated a bank robbery at the downtown U.S. Bank. Follow-up investigation uncovered links between the robbery and a motor vehicle theft reported in Coos County the same day.

Police say 48-year-old Arthur Benito Calderon was later named as a suspect. They say on the evening of March 27, Calderon and the stolen vehicle from Coos County were located at a motel in Grants Pass.

After a brief standoff with Grants Pass police officers and the use of a Grants Pass K-9, Calderon was taken in to custody.

He’s facing charges relating to the motor vehicle theft, and pending charges in Douglas County related to the robbery at U.S. Bank.

Corvallis Fugitive Found in Texas

CORVALLIS, Ore. — A wanted Corvallis man is now behind bars in Benton County for a child sex crime after he was found in Texas.

The court put out a warrant for 23-year-old Robert Lawrence Berno in November after a two-year police investigation. On Friday, Lawrence Berno appeared before a judge through a web-camera from the Benton County Jail to be arraigned.

The Benton County District Attorney’s Office is not releasing very much information about his case, but so far can say that the suspect had a child engage in sexual activity sometime between Dec. 2012 – Feb. 2014.

Benton County prosecutor Amie Matusko says Lawrence Berno committed the crime of using a child in display of sexually explicit conduct.

“What the charge indicates is that here in Benton County, he did unlawfully and knowingly employ, authorize, permit, compel, or induce a child — so cause a child — to participate or engage in sexually explicit conduct,” she said Friday after Lawrence Berno’s arraignment.

At this time, the District Attorney’s office is not calling the case a child pornography case.

“He did that for himself to observe, or record, or photograph, or have a motion picture or video taken.”

Matusko says at this time, she is unable to say if Lawrence Berno made a recording.

According to court records, the Houston Police Department in Texas found him and extradited him back to Oregon.

“Oregon takes crimes against children very seriously,” Matusko said. “And most of those kinds of crimes depend on the age of the child. And if the child is under a certain
age, many of those crimes are Class A felonies, which means they have minimum sentences really starting at about five years.”

Lawrence Berno is pleading not guilty to his charge, but if he is convicted, the Measure 11 crime has a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years and 10 months.

Man Arrested Following Police Standoff

STANDOFFSPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Springfield Police took a man into custody Thursday morning, following a short standoff.

The incident happened around 11 a.m. at the Lindsay Apartments near 5th and Q Streets.

Police say the situation began as a domestic dispute.  Springfield investigators are expected to release more information later Thursday afternoon.

Stay with KEZI 9 News as we follow this developing story.

Truck Veers Off Beltline Into Yard

EUGENE, Ore. — For the second morning in a row, an alleged drunk driver lost control of his vehicle and crashed into private property.

The latest incident happened on the Beltline, when a Chevy Pickup swerved into the median and then ricocheted into a backyard in the 500 block of Ruby Ave.

This happened around midnight in the westbound lanes between River Road and Northwest Expressway.

The driver told police he had a “coughing fit,” but investigators say he smelled of alcohol.

He was given a field sobriety check and then arrested for DUII.

He refused medical treatment on the scene, and there were no passengers.

Police say the homeowners were not in the house at the time.

DA: Attempted Rapist Enters 7 Homes

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Corvallis residents are sharing their frightening stories of finding a sexual assault suspect inside their homes.

Ronald Vaughan, 22, of Corvallis, is being held on a $1 million bail at the Benton County Jail. Corvallis Police say he sexually assaulted a woman in her shower on Wednesday in the 600 block of NW 23rd Street in Corvallis. Court documents say Vaughan entered a total of seven homes with the intention of finding someone to rape. Records state that he entered four dorm rooms at Cauthorn Hall on Oregon State University’s campus, as well as three townhouses on NW 23rd Street on Wednesday. The District Attorney’s Office says he also tried entering a fourth townhouse but was unsuccessful.

Two of the three residences on NW 23rd Street that Vaughan allegedly entered have male tenants. The tenants say they feel violated that someone would enter their homes.

“He pretty much hit every single house on the block, attempting to see if they were open,” said Matthew Ruetman, whose townhouse was allegedly entered by Vaughan.

“He came in and opened the door,” said Ruetman’s roomate Tyler Kluempke. “Everyone except one of our roommates was sleeping. And he was watching TV up on our couch, which is right up on the second floor.”

Kluempke says the suspect waited for about 20 seconds until he heard a male voice upstairs.

“He said: ‘Wrong house,’ then left really quickly,” Kluempke said. “And he left the door open. Our door was wide open until police came. They saw the door open and thought that maybe he was hiding inside our house so they came and searched for him.”

Police did not find anyone hiding in the house. Instead, police say Vaughan dropped his cell phone while he was undressing at the scene of the sexual assault, which helped investigators later track him down.

“The guy pretended that he was in the wrong house,” Ruetman said. “Which is actually something that happens quite often on this block because the door numbers are pretty poorly lit.”

Neighbors say the townhouses are so similar, that it is not unusual for visitors to enter the wrong home.

“It’s usually no big deal,” said Brett Kious, who lives in another townhouse the suspect entered, according to police. “They just apologize and move on. But this guy was definitely weird because he didn’t say anything, sprinted away; left our door wide open.”

Kious says he was in his bedroom on the first floor when he heard someone entering his townhouse around 2 a.m. on Wednesday.

“I heard someone coming in, then I heard my roomate upstairs yelling something. I just thought someone went into the wrong house.”

Kious says the suspect never went upstairs to the main floor, but his roomate peered down over the steps and saw the suspect sprint out the door.

“I felt like something wasn’t quite right,” Kious said. “It was creepy.”

Police say eventually, Vaughan found an unlocked townhouse with a female victim: a woman investigators say Vaughan does not know. Police say she was taking a shower, Vaughan got undressed, got in the shower with her, and sexually assaulted her.

“It’s certainly a violation,” Ruetman said. “And the fact that he was out there allegedly looking to rape somebody – I mean I have a sister – and so I find that very concerning.”

Vaughan was arraigned in court on Thursday. He is pleading not guilty to eleven charges, including one count of unlawful sexual penetration in the first degree and one count of attempted rape in the first degree. He is set to be back in court next week.

Boarder Hit by Car Takes First Steps

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — The family of a skateboarder hit by a car this week in Springfield is now talking about the ordeal.

The family says it’s been a tough few days but Cody Nute did take his first steps Thursday.

After undergoing brain surgery Cody’s family says he has a long road to recovery but it could’ve been a lot worse.

Police lights lined the block of 15th and Q Street just moments after a car hit Dwayne Nute’s son.

“It was just an emotional disaster really,” said Dwayne Nute.

Dwayne says his 17-year-old son Cody was skateboarding when he was hit by a car Tuesday night.

This is one of several pedestrian versus car accidents in the past few weeks, raising concerns over pedestrian safety and the rules of the road.

Springfield Police say a call came in of two 17-year-olds hit at the corner of 15th and Q Street and that they were not on the sidewalk.

Now Cody is confined to a hospital bed — with a broken back, pelvis, leg and multiple other injuries.

“I was like standing at his bed just waiting for him to wake up, just holding his hand waiting for him to wake up,” said Kari Nute, Cody’s sister.

“He has short term memory loss. Every time he wakes up we have to remind him what happened. That’s kind of a bummer it’s like watching him get hit all over again,” said Dwayne Nute.

While Cody remains in the intensive care unit — his dad says he is able to speak and he took his first steps Thursday.

“For him to want to do it and get up and actually do it on his own you know it’s got to be a positive note,” said Dwayne.

But it’s still a long road to recovery for Cody and the Nute family.

Springfield Police say the driver is not facing any charges at this point but the investigation is ongoing.

Two Dead in Lowell Car Wreck

Fatal Crash

Fatal Crash

Lowell, Ore. – Two people are dead after a single vehicle crash on Pengra Road outside of Lowell, according to the Lane County Sheriff’s Office. A third person was flown by helicopter to a Springfield hospital with life threatening injuries.

The crash happened just before 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Deputies confirmed the car was headed westbound when it crossed the centerline and crashed into some trees. All three victims were ejected from the vehicle.

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police are investigating.

Police Restrain Teen on Drugs

Police-LightsEUGENE, Ore. — Eugene Police are warning about the dangers of drugs, after police had to restrain a teen who they say was acting strangely.

Officers were dispatched to disorderly juveniles in the 2900 block of Summit Terrace Drive around 5:08 a.m. Sunday. Dispatch advised the officers that two teen males had taken an unknown drug at another location and when they arrived at the residence of the caller, they were acting strangely and violently. One had run outside the residence in his underwear.

An arriving officer located the teen, who ran from the officer. The officer was able to catch him, but the teen started to fight. The teen was erratic and had unusual strength.

A sergeant and another officer found the teen and officer at the corner of Warrant and Summit Sky. It took numerous officers to hold him down. Officers called for medics, who took the teen to the hospital.

The other involved teen had been restrained by an adult at the home of the call. He also had violent and erratic behavior and was also taken to the hospital.

No criminal actions are being taken against either juvenile.

Oakleigh Meadow Project Delayed

EUGENE, Ore. — A Eugene co-housing community’s plans are being pushed back by the Oregon Court of Appeals.

The project manager for Oakleigh Meadow says the Oregon Court of Appeals pushed their case back to the Lane Use Board of Appeals, delaying any groundbreaking on the project by about six months.

Each month the co-housing project invites people to meet with project organizers and tour the property where they’re hoping to build the co-housing community.

Their plans include 28 units. So far, they have 21 homes reserved.

Residents would have their own home and there would also be a common house that the group would share.

Organizers say even though there’s a delay, they’re still hopeful the project will be built.

“We feel like we’re just taking the scenic route and so again we feel even more sort of committed, you know, to seeing the project through. But, at this point it’s probably going to delay us about six to eight months.

He says he expects the court case will get pushed back to the city of Eugene.

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