Allyson Watterson’s boyfriend sentenced on unrelated charges

Crime

Garland gets 3 years for fraud, theft, unlawful use of truck

Benjamin Garland in his first Washington County court appearance on charges that include fraud and possession of stolen vehicle, December 26, 2019 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Benjamin Garland, who was the last person known to have seen his girlfriend Allyson Watterson in December 2019, was sentenced to prison on 3 completely unrelated charges.

Garland pleaded guilty to unauthoritzed use of a motor vehicle, credit card fraud and theft, the Washington County District Attorney’s Office said. The court also revoked his probation for unlawful use of a weapon, attempted coercion, assault and obliterating or changing the ID number on a gun.

He’ll spend 3 years in prison and another 2 years under supervision, the DA’s offices said.

The Allyson Watterson case

Allyson was last seen on Sunday morning, Dec. 22, 2019, just before noon by a homeowner who lives up in the general search area. “At that time, she was with Mr. Garland,” said Sheriff’s Detective Mark Povolny during the initial search. “Early on Monday morning, a different homeowner found Mr. Garland asleep in that homeowner’s truck. And if you fast forward to that Monday night, around 5:30 p.m. is when Mr. Garland’s father called in to report Allyson as missing.”

A new poster made by the family of Allyson Watterson to help in the search for the missing 20-year-old, January 3, 2020 (KOIN)

“That means that there is a delay of about 30 hours from the time that we last know Allyson was seen by that homeowner on Sunday around noon, until Mr. Garland’s family reported her as missing on Monday evening,” said Povolny. “That delay is concerning to us and we’re trying to put together what happened in that intervening time.”

When she was reported missing, deputies immediately went out to that area and started looking for her. That’s where Povolny said they found a truck, which they determined to be stolen, and a short while later, found Garland in the same area. He was arrested for unrelated theft and fraud charges, multiple unrelated warrants, and was also taken into custody “on some charges related to that stolen truck.”

Garland pleaded guilty to moving the truck.

About a week before, Garland used a cellphone that wasn’t his to pay for a rideshare charge. The owner got an alert about the charge, called the driver and Garland was arrested shortly after.

And in October, Garland spent about 3 hours filling his grocery cart with about $700 in food and items. He left without paying for any of it. He was later arrested by Hillsboro police.

At this time, Allyson Watterson remains missing.

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