2 charged with harboring Deputy DeRosier’s killer


Savannah Jo Eastman, Ricky Roberts face felony charges

Savannah Eastman, the girlfriend of Michael Veatch who was killed by St. Helens officers following a shooting and police chase, Oct. 10, 2019. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Two more people were charged with felonies related to the April 2019 killing of Cowlitz County Deputy Justin DeRosier.

One of those people, Savannah Jo Eastman, was the girlfriend of Michael Veatch, who died in a shootout with police along Hwy 30 near St. Helens in October. Veatch was previously connected to the DeRosier shooting.

Ricky Roberts is the other person charged. Both Roberts and Eastman are accused of rendering criminal assistance after Deputy DeRosier was shot to death by Brian Butts.

Cowlitz County Deputy Justin DeRosier in an undated photo

In a court document obtained by KOIN 6 News, Cowlitz County Prosecuting Attorney Ryan Jurvakainen said Roberts and Eastman both knew Butts was wanted for murder and concealed him as law enforcement agencies looked for him.

Both were charged October 10. Eastman was ordered to appear in court November 15. She was arraigned on November 25 and will be back in court on December 9.

Eastman and Veatch

During the search for Butts, Michael Veatch and his brother Matthew were taken into custody, one directly related to the case and the other on unrelated warrants.

Michael Veatch in an undated photo provided October 10, 2019 (Savannah Eastman)

On April 13, Cowlitz County Deputy Justin DeRosier pulled Michael over on a traffic stop shortly before DeRosier was shot to death by Brian Butts. Court documents obtained by KOIN 6 News showed Michael called Brian to tip him off DeRosier was headed his way.

Butts died from multiple gunshots wounds after two veterans of the Kelso Police Department confronted him on Sunday, April 14.

Brian Butts is the brother of Daniel Butts, who killed Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter in 2011.

Highway 30 in Deer Island was closed in both directions due to police activity, some 12 miles down the road from where an earlier shooting took place at a St. Helens Chevron, Oct. 9, 2019. (KOIN)

The day after Veatch was killed along Hwy 30 in October, Eastman told KOIN 6 News Michael did not tip off Brian. “He’s been so torn about that, too, because he thought they didn’t want to believe him because of his past.”

Michael was “confused. He didn’t understand why the guy (Brian) did what he did,” she said. “Anytime I tried to bring it up or talk about it, he would just shrug it off and say that. He said he doesn’t want to have to think about it.”

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.

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