Suspect pleads ‘not guilty’ to trapper’s murder

2013-08-20T07:15:00Z Suspect pleads ‘not guilty’ to trapper’s murderBy Alex Paul, Albany Democrat-Herald Corvallis Gazette Times
August 20, 2013 7:15 am  • 

ALBANY — Travis Adam Powers, 23, entered a plea of not guilty to a charge of murder during a brief arraignment hearing Monday afternoon in Linn County Circuit Court Judge DeAnn Novotny’s courtroom.

Powers, of Windsor, Colo., will remain held without bail at the Linn County Jail, where he has been since Saturday, when he was transferred by private carrier from the Box Elder County Jail in Brigham City, Utah.

Powers and Daniel Lewis Armbrecht, 20, are charged with the July 29 slaying of 48-year-old Wayne Keith Klavano of Lebanon in the Soda Fork area near Cascadia.

Armbrecht remains jailed in Utah, but he is expected to be transferred to Linn County later this week, according to Linn County Undersheriff Bruce Riley. Powers and Armbrecht waived their extradition rights last week.

Prosecutor George Eder said that a grand jury will be convened in the matter, and he asked that the next court hearing be held in mid-September.

Judge Novotny scheduled an “early resolution conference with the understanding that it’s very early,” for 3:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16, with expectations that another hearing will be scheduled before Judge David Delsman, who has been assigned the case.

Outside the courtroom, Powers’ attorney, Nicolas Ortiz of Corvallis, called the Sept. 16 hearing a status check.

Klavano died of multiple shotgun wounds, reportedly after an argument at his camping site. Klavano was known as a “mountain man” who lived off the land, hunting and trapping most of the year. He is a 1984 graduate of Lebanon High School and also worked at an area mink ranch a couple of months each year.

His body was found by his parents, Keith and Sharon Klavano of Lebanon, after he failed to appear for a scheduled appointment on Tuesday, July 30.

Powers and Armbrecht reportedly visited Klavano’s camp the Sunday before. Court documents indicate Klavano’s nephew and children saw and talked to the two men after they left Klavano’s campsite.

The men returned to the camp on Monday, July 29, when the argument and shooting allegedly occurred. According to court documents filed by prosecutors, Powers told authorities that he shot Klavano in the head with a 12-gauge shotgun after Klavano got into a crouching position, as though he was going to attack Powers.

Powers said he then shot Klavano two more times after the man fell to the ground.

Klavano was known to carry a .44 magnum revolver on his hip.

Powers and Armbrecht allegedly tried to make the site look like a robbery scene by throwing spent shell casings into nearby bushes.

Powers and Armbrecht were arrested near Brigham City, Utah, after their SUV was stopped for having a headlight out. A highway patrolman found drugs in the vehicle as well as three firearms believed to be owned by Klavano, including a .22-caliber pistol, a .44 magnum revolver and a .300-caliber Winchester rifle.

The Democrat-Herald and Lebanon Express have asked for police records for both men, but the requests were denied. The two papers have since submitted an Oregon public records request to Linn County District Attorney Doug Marteeny.

Copyright 2015 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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