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Cannon may use intoxication defense

Accused ex-cop remains in jail awaiting spring trial for attempted murder


When ex-cop Tim Cannon goes on trial next spring after more than a year in custody, his attorney will likely say he was intoxicated and not in his right mind on Jan. 20, 2013, the night he exchanged gunfire with fellow law enforcement officers in his Forest Grove home.

Cannon, who is accused of multiple counts of aggravated attempted murder in the most notorious cop-on-cop shootout in recent history in Washington County, pleaded not guilty to all charges last February.

Ray Bassel of Hillsboro’s Bassel & Rawls law office filed motions in Washington County Circuit Court Oct. 11 stating he intends to rely on one of two defenses when proceedings begin in the Cannon case, likely in March 2014. One is “voluntary intoxication” and the other is “partial responsibility or diminished capacity.”

In an affidavit dated Sept. 4, Bassel shed light on the defense he’s planning for his client.

“This is a rather complex case,” wrote Bassel. “There are two separate issues being explored by the defense ... one has to do with the defendant’s mental state at the time of this alleged offense. I have several experts working on this matter.

“In addition, there are issues in terms of what actually occurred during the shootout. I have experts along with civilian witnesses that are working on this matter for us.”

Cannon will be prosecuted by Chief Deputy District Attorney Roger Hanlon during the upcoming trial, which has been reset several times. In September, Bassel asked for a trial date delay because he had not yet received reports from experts who had evaluated his client. A hearing for attorneys to reconvene and select trial dates is set for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19 in Washington County Circuit Court, 150 N. First Ave., Hillsboro.

A former Hillsboro Police Department officer, Cannon resigned his position Jan. 22, two days after he fired his weapon from the second floor of his home near Forest Grove High School.

Officers from three county agencies had responded to a 911 call from Cannon’s wife, Lisa Cannon, who had barricaded herself and the couple’s young daughter in an upstairs bathroom after a domestic disturbance spiraled out of control.

No one was killed in the 80-minute confrontation, but Cannon and another officer were injured that evening.

Besides the felony accusations of aggravated attempted murder, other charges against Cannon include 11 counts of unlawful use of a weapon, aggravated first-degree animal abuse, fourth-degree assault and harassment. Ten officers are named as victims in the case.

Personnel records related to Cannon show he struggled with alcohol use and absenteeism for years before the Hillsboro department placed him on a “last chance” employment status in 2012.




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