Two Forest Grove residents pleaded not guilty to murder charges Tuesday in connection to Friday night’s fatal shooting outside Shari’s Restaurant in Corvallis.
Michael A. Deyette II, 43, and Brooklyn Shepard, 35, entered the pleas during separate arraignments Tuesday afternoon in front of Judge Locke Williams in Benton County Circuit Court. Deyette was arrested Monday afternoon outside a house in Forest Grove on a Benton County warrant issued in connection with the killing of 29-year-old Jason Scott Williams of Corvallis.
Shepard, who was wounded in the shooting, was arrested Monday evening.
Deyette pleaded not guilty to murder, conspiracy to commit murder, first-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon against another, and second-degree criminal mischief. His security was set at $1 million. Court-appointed defense attorney Mike Flinn is representing Deyette II in the case. Chief Deputy District Attorney Ryan Joslin is representing the state in the case. Amie Matusko, assistant district attorney for Benton County, sat in for Joslin Tuesday.
Flinn did not request a release for Deyette Tuesday, but told Williams that he may request to file motions at a later time.
Shepard pleaded not guilty to murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Her security was set at $1 million. Court-appointed defense attorney John Rich and attorney Holly Allen are representing Shepard in the case. Matusko is representing the state.
Rich asked Judge Williams during the arraignment to release Shepard on her own recognizance, noting that she was shot in the incident, has four children and a mother in the area who was recently diagnosed with cancer. But Matusko argued against the release.
“The proof is evident,” Matusko said during the arraignment, adding that Shepard had a previous warrant for her arrest due to failure to appear. Court records regarding the previous case were not immediately available Tuesday afternoon.
Deyette II and Shepard remained in Benton County Jail Tuesday and are scheduled to appear in court Wednesday afternoon for bail review hearings.
“In murder cases, often there’s no bail and no release opportunity,” Joslin said Tuesday following the arraignments. “The court in these cases initially set security at $1 million and the state has a right to ask for no bail, which we have asked. The court has to make a finding that the proof is evident or the presumption of guilt is strong.”
Investigative reports, including the probable cause affidavits for both Deyette II and Shepard, have been sealed in the case. Joslin said the District Attorney’s office requested the documents be sealed to the public, citing an ongoing investigation.
“It’s fairly common in more serious cases where the facts continue to develop and unfold to seal those,” Joslin said Tuesday. “There’s still some continuing investigation; you don’t want to jeopardize that by making those facts public at this point.”
According to previous statements from the Corvallis Police Department, Shepard was arrested Monday evening on one count of murder on the theory that she may have aided and abetted in Williams’ killing.
“Shepard and Deyette are neighbors and are romantically involved,” the Police Department said on Monday.
In an earlier statement, the department said that Shepard and Williams were acquaintances and had been at the restaurant together before the shooting.
Williams was shot to death about 7:45 p.m. Friday in the parking lot of the restaurant at 1117 N.W. Ninth St.
Northwest Ninth Street was blocked off in front of the restaurant for most of the night as police interviewed witnesses and processed the crime scene while Williams’ body lay on the sidewalk, covered by a sheet.
Officers from multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Corvallis Police Department, Benton County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police, responded to the incident. Officers and at least one police dog searched the area Friday night.
Lt. Cord Wood, a spokesman for the Corvallis Police Department, said at the time there was no reason to believe there was an immediate threat to the public.
The Williams killing is the 14th homicide in Corvallis since 1990.
Before Friday’s incident, the most recent homicide in the city was the killing of Kimberly Hakes. Hakes, 42, was found dead on Feb. 15 at a camp for homeless people in Alan Berg Park, across the Willamette River from downtown. No arrest has been made in that case.