BEND, Ore. - (Update with Degraw sentencing)
A California man was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to reduced charges in the January abduction, assaults and threats to kill two Crooked River Ranch residents.
The victim's housemate received a 6 1/2-year term at her sentencing Tuesday, also in a plea deal to reduced charges.
Alisha Bryden, 36, of Crooked River Ranch and Jeremiah Degraw, 37, of Modesto, California were arrested in a guns-drawn traffic stop on O.B. Riley Road on Jan. 27, a day after the two-day, two-county ordeal began for the two victims, Kiteara Westover and Damian Patteeuw, both 23, who lived with Bryden at a home on Southwest Cinder Drive on the Jefferson County side of the large rural subdivision.
Authorities said the victims were in the bedroom they rent from Bryden on Jan. 26 when she and Degraw, whom they did not know, burst in uninvited, armed with handguns, and accused them of stealing from Bryden, authorities said.
The pair beat the victims with a leather sap, a weapon that’s a leather sleeve filled with lead pellets, then bound their hands and feet with plastic zip ties and further assaulted them before they were loaded into an SUV at gunpoint and threatened several times they would be killed. Bryden’s young daughter witnessed the events, said Deschutes County sheriff’s Lt. Chad Davis.
The couple was threatened with death and told to contact friends and relatives to wire-order money for the repayment. Degraw also used a folding knife to cut off portions of Westover’s hair, Davis said.
The suspects eventually drove the pair to Sisters and rented a room at the Sisters Motor Lodge, where the zip ties were removed from their feet, so they could walk into the room, but their hands stayed bound and they were threatened not to run or they would be further harmed.
The next morning, they began driving toward Eugene, but the kidnappers determined that without tire chains they would be unable to cross the pass. That afternoon, Westover and Patteeuw were released at the Sisters Mainline Station after the suspects were unable to extract money from them. Once in the store, Patteeuw called 911 to report the kidnapping.
An Oregon State Police trooper located the gold 2002 Ford Expedition on Highway 20 in Tumalo and, with sheriff’s deputies’ help, conducted a high-risk (guns-drawn) traffic stop on O.B. Riley Road, arresting Bryden and Degraw without incident. Bryden’s young daughter was placed in protective state custody.
Last Wednesday, Bryden signed a petition to plead guilty to four of the 26 counts against her: second-degree assault, first-degree attempted kidnapping and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon. Attorneys agreed to recommend to the judge a 6 ½-year prison sentence, with credit for time served and three years’ post-prison supervision.
The two victims did not attend Tuesday's sentencing, at which Circuit Judge Michael Adler called the crime a "heinous act," according to Deputy District Attorney Drew Moore.
Degraw signed a similar petition Friday, agreeing to plead guilty to the same four charges. The judge accepted the recommendation from prosecutors and defense lawyers of 91 months in prison (nearly 7.6 years), with three years post-prison supervision.
Moore said the differing sentences relate to Bryden's lack of a criminal history and Degraw's prior felony assault conviction.
Moore said Degraw apologized for his actions, while Adler noted the tragedy of the victims undergoing such an ordeal.