1st Oregon News Minute from the AP

Date: 02/21/2013 03:59 AM

OR–1st NewsMinute/384
Here is the latest Oregon news from The Associated Press


ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) – Southern Oregon authorities say a 22-year-old man has been arrested after Facebook threats about shooting people in Myrtle Creek and the area schools. The Douglas County sheriff’s office says Wesley William Snyder was accused yesterday of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. They say he struggled with officers briefly at his home. The South Umpqua School District locked down its schools for a time. Authorities described the threats as “general” and “of a serious nature.”

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) – A Southern Oregon man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing of a man scheduled to testify in a check fraud case. The Grants Pass Daily Courier says 31-year-old Laurence W. King was sentenced yesterday after pleading guilty to murder. He could be eligible for release in 30 years. King admitted shooting 29-year-old Daniel A. Baker at a gas station in Grants Pass last February. Police say they believe King had hard feelings against Baker because of the fraud case.

ST. HELENS, Ore. (AP) – A psychiatrist who evaluated a man charged with fatally shooting the Rainier, Ore., police chief says Daniel Butts “communicated very well” with staff at the Oregon State Hospital. Dr. Stephanie Lopez evaluated Butts for three weeks at the state mental hospital. She testified yesterday at a competency hearing in St. Helens that the 23-year-old man didn’t show the typical signs of mental health problems. Lawyers for Butts say the Kalama, Wash., man doesn’t communicate and can’t assist in his defense as they prepare for trial in the 2011 killing of Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter. The hearing resumes today.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Police say the federal fugitive shot and killed by officers outside a Portland hospital Sunday was holding a black telephone receiver handle he’d stolen from the hospital and broken. Sgt. Pete Simpson says 50-year-old Merle Hatch used the eight-inch piece of plastic to simulate a handgun, and he used it to twice threaten security at Portland Adventist Medical Center. In a video of the shooting released Wednesday, Hatch can be heard yelling at the responding officers to come after him. After getting no response, Hatch ran toward the officers, ignored commands to stop and died in the ensuing gunfire.


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