Man accused in Bull Mountain murder denied bail
- Darryl Swan
- The Times - News
Mikkal Buxton is charged with 15 counts of aggravated murder in the killing of Alla Bogdanov
HILLSBORO - E-mails, murder weapons, bloody clothes and tracked cell phone use are part of the evidence package Washington County prosecutors presented at a bail hearing last week for Mikkal Kane Buxton, the Portland man accused in the brutal slaying last fall of Alla Bogdanov at her parent's Bull Mountain home.
Buxton is charged with 15 counts of aggravated murder in the Bogdanov killing. He is also facing a host of lesser offenses, including arson, abuse of a corpse and multiple sex crimes. If convicted, Buxton could face the death penalty.
Buxton attended a massage school with Bogdanov, 21, near Washington Square in Tigard.
Circuit Judge Gayle Nachtigal denied Buxton's release. Buxton, who turned 31 on Tuesday, is currently lodged in the Washington County Jail awaiting a trial planned for February.
Bracken McKey, a senior deputy district attorney in Washington County, is the lead prosecutor on the case.
When Buxton left his southeast Portland home for a planned noon meeting with Bogdanov on Nov. 14, he took his massage table, a serrated knife, masking tape, Velcro restraints, a mason jar full of bleach and a heavy flashlight that he allegedly used to restrain and murder Bogdanov, McKey said.
'The defendant left his home shortly after five o'clock in the morning with all the tools necessary to murder Alla Bogdanov,' McKey said at the close of arguments.
McKey and Chris Quinn, co-counsel for the prosecution, are arguing that Buxton set out to kill Bogdanov and then, to conceal the crime, burned her inside the Bull Mountain home where she was staying.
One of the key pieces of the prosecution's evidence presented at the hearing involves an e-mail Buxton is believed to have sent to his wife, Stephanie, shortly after Bogdanov was killed.
In the e-mail, Buxton tells his wife that he 'murdered' Bogdanov, a distinction prosecutors are likely to zero in on over the course of the trial, which will likely last six weeks.
Defense attorneys for Buxton are expected to challenge the e-mail as evidence in the pending trial, arguing that it was a privileged communication between Buxton and his wife.
'The way I read the evidence code is that there was a presumption that it was intended to be a privileged communication,' said defense attorney James Glover.
Glover also said there was a mishandling by the Reno, Nev., police department of Buxton's Miranda rights when he was picked up in that city the day following the discovery of Bogdanov's death.
Other evidence includes a pair of khaki pants and a shirt recovered from the crime scene belonging to Buxton that tested positive as a DNA match to Bogdanov's blood. Also found was a serrated knife smelling of bleach that a follow-up forensic analysis revealed to contain trace levels of Bogdanov's blood at the hilt.
After leaving the Bogdanov home, Buxton shortly after 1 p.m. traveled through the Tualatin area, according to a trace of Buxton's cell phone using receiving towers as markers. He then passed through Lake Oswego, calling a friend in route to ask to borrow a car, according to evidence provided by Det. Kevin Dresser of the Tigard Police Department.
Buxton withdrew a total of $500 in cash and stopped at the REI store at Clackamas Town Center, where he bought clothing and sunglasses, before heading south through Sisters to Reno, where he was finally caught. He had camping equipment in the car when apprehended.
There is a one in 1 billion chance the DNA evidence taken from Buxton's southeast Portland home belongs to someone other than Bogdanov, McKey said at the hearing.