Grand jury clears roommate in Portland shooting

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -– A 37-year-old man who spent the last 2 weeks in custody was released from jail following a grand jury’s decision not to charge him with any criminal wrongdoing related to a shooting earlier this month.

James Reed Dean was arrested on February 14 on the 6700 block of SE Pardee Street. KOIN 6 News learned it was Dean who called 911 to report the incident.

He was taken into custody without incident and cooperated with police.

A 28-year-old victim was shot twice during the incident, according to police. The men rented separate rooms in the house, but were reportedly involved in some disputes.

On February 16, Dean was charged with 1 count of attempted murder.

The case went before a Multnomah County grand jury.

On Monday, Multnomah County Judge Gregory F. Silver signed an order allowing Dean to be released from custody after the grand jury issued a “not true bill.”

Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney David Hannon, who handled the case, confirmed the grand jury’s decision, but declined to elaborate on how it was reached.

Dean’s criminal defense attorney Casey Kovacic said, under Oregon law, a person is justified in using “deadly force” against another person in a few very narrow circumstances, like “when they are the victim of a burglary or an attempted burglary.”

“In this case, Mr. Dean was living in a house with several other renters,” Kovacic said.

Each rented room was “self-contained and equipped with deadbolt locks.”

A few hours prior to the incident, Dean awoke to Slade Hart Wilson standing in the middle of his room “staring at him,” according to Kovacic.

Dean reportedly ordered Wilson out and there was a short scuffle in the hallway. Dean claimed he closed his door and dead bolted the lock.

“A couple hours later, Mr. Dean awoke to the sound of someone kicking at his door,” Kovacic said. “He grabbed a pistol, which he lawfully owned, and held it by his side, as the kicks continued. After a few seconds the door came crashing down, and Mr. Wilson charged at Mr. Dean.”

“It was at this point that Mr. Dean fired two shots in self-defense,” Kovacic said.

Kovacic described the shooting incident as “a scary situation” for his client.

“He is relieved that a grand jury heard the evidence with an open mind, recognized what actually took place, and voted for a no-true bill,” Kovacic said.

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