Prosecutors in the Corvallis restaurant murder case say the “evidence is strong,” but they’ll have to prove it before a judge decides whether to deny bail for one of the accused.
Forest Grove resident Michael A. Deyette II, 43, remains in the Benton County Jail on $1 million bail in connection with the Jan. 15 killing of Corvallis resident Jason Scott Williams outside the Shari's Restaurant on Ninth Street. Deyette and Brooklyn Shepard, 35, face a variety of charges, including murder, in the case. Prosecutors have filed a motion to eliminate the possibility of bail in Deyette’s case, but in a Thursday hearing, Judge Matthew Donohue postponed the bail review hearing until Tuesday.
Donohue said the Tuesday hearing won’t be “a full-blown trial” but added that prosecutors would need “to make a case that the evidence is clear and strong” before Donohue would rule on whether to deny bail for Deyette.
Ryan Joslin, chief assistant district attorney, told the judge that he “can and should” make a decision to eliminate bail because of “strong evidence” in the case. On Wednesday, during the initial bail review hearing, Joslin said the prosecution both had fingerprint evidence against Deyette and that the suspect was identified in the vicinity of the crime.
Court-appointed defense attorney Mike Flinn, who is representing Deyette, said during Thursday's hearing that he had a “limited ability to question the credibility of witnesses” with cross-examination.
“That goes a long way to determining whether the evidence is strong,” Flinn said in court via conference call.
Donohue agreed Thursday that the defense had a limited ability to cross-examine witnesses and the lead investigators, citing that as a primary reason to delay the bail review hearing until Tuesday. Donohue added that the bail review hearing would provide both an opportunity for the state to make its case on whether the evidence is admissible for trial and for the defense to offer cross-examination findings.