PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Outrage over an unprovoked attack in downtown Portland is growing now that one of the victims has died.
Eighty-two-year-old Donald Pierce passed away in the hospital after he was beaten at a bus stop late last month. He was with another man, also in his 80s, who is now home from the hospital.
“I am heartbroken and angered to learn about the passing of Donald Pierce, who was the victim of an unprovoked attack late last month. The suspect remains in custody, and while I hope justice will be served, no punishment is sufficient for such a horrific crime,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said. “This violence is unacceptable in our community. I extend my deepest sympathies to Mr. Pierce’s loved ones during this time.”
The alleged attacker, 29-year-old Keffer White, has a criminal history. A Multnomah County judge issued a warrant for White’s arrest two days before the deadly attack after he failed to appear in court multiple times for car theft in January.
According to records over several years, White has failed to appear in court 10 times. He also has 22 parole violations and three convictions for violent crimes, which he has served time for.
The Multnomah County Department of Justice says his failures to appear in court are not black and white, and that there are several reasons a judge may not issue a warrant immediately for being a no-show.
According to the DOJ and Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, judges have to follow specific guidelines for when to hold someone in jail before their trial — and it has to be for a violent crime.
They say in this last case with White, the car theft crime of theft did not fit the bill.
However, the DOJ stressed that they did not release him to the streets and that they instead transferred him to Washington County because they had hold on him.
Washington County Corrections confirmed Multnomah County transferred White into their custody because White violated his parole for a prior conviction of strangulation domestic violence and assault of a police officer. They issued a sanction against him.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said the county took him into custody on May 26th and released him on June 1, 2022.
A grand jury in Multnomah County already indicted White for assault in the 1st and 2nd degree and attempted murder. However, now that Donald Pierce has died from his injuries, new charges are pending.
Another grand jury is meeting regarding those additional charges right now. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s office is expected to release those new charges by the end of the week.