Cannon guilty of attempted murder
Forest Grove man at center of notorious shootout gets 10 years
After 13 months in the Washington County Jail, Forest Grove resident and former Hillsboro police officer Tim Cannon has begun serving a 10-year sentence for attempted murder.
Cannon, 47, left the county jail Monday morning and entered the intake center at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, where he will remain for 30 to 45 days before his transfer to a prison elsewhere in Oregon.
Accused in the most notorious officer-involved shooting in county history, Cannon pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted aggravated murder last Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court. He admitted to trying to kill a trio of officers who responded to a 911 call from his home on Jan. 20, 2013.
The sudden resolution to the case put an end to speculation about what might have happened had it gone to trial in June after a pair of postponements.
Anytime you take a case to trial, theres a risk, said Cannons defense attorney, Ray Bassel, who acknowledged a jury conviction and a stiffer sentence would have been within the realm of possibility.
Cannon took the plea deal largely to spare his family members and fellow officers from the stress of a trial, said Bassel, who described his client as being very remorseful at last weeks sentencing hearing.
Mr. Cannon did not desire to put his wife and others through that, he said.
Whether the punishment fit the crime was hard for Bassel to gauge. This is a totally unique case, he said. There is no other case to compare it to.
Cannon, who will turn 48 on March 12, originally was accused of attempting to kill 11 officers and assaulting his wife inside the couples Forest Grove home after a domestic dispute spun out of control one evening last winter.
Lisa Cannon, a civilian employee of the Forest Grove Police Department, locked herself and the Cannons young daughter inside an upstairs bathroom and made the emergency call that brought officers from three agencies to the scene that night. Only one officer was injured in the melee, in which more than 100 shots were fired.
Cannon stood in shackles Feb. 6 in front of Presiding Judge Kirsten E. Thompson, who listened to Cannon apologize for his actions to his family and officers victimized in the case.
A case of this magnitude is always very complex, Thompson said Monday, declining to comment further.
In accepting the plea deal, Cannon acknowledged he tried to kill Stephen Slade of the Hillsboro Police Department, Austin Allen of the Washington County Sheriffs Office and Charles McCutchen of the Forest Grove Police Department. He also admitted to shooting and killing his familys cat during the 81-minute standoff inside his home near Forest Grove High School.
Court records showed that Cannon had been disciplined by his employer for absenteeism and alcohol abuse, and that he was on a last chance employment agreement with the Hillsboro department at the time of the shootout.
Cannon fired multiple weapons from the second floor of his darkened house and eventually surrendered to authorities, walking arm-in-arm down the staircase with his wife and child.
In addition to McCutchen, Slade and Allen, Washington County Chief Deputy District Attorney Roger Hanlons original indictment accused Cannon of trying to kill officers Gary Anderson, Jenifer Smith, Ryan Wolf and Matthew Jacobsen of the Forest Grove Police Department and Mark Trost, Micah Akin, Austin Allen, Justin Snyder and Robert Richards of the Washington County Sheriffs Office.
Richards hand was hit by shrapnel in the incident.
The plea deal was negotiated between Hanlon, who was prosecuting the case, and Bassel, of the Hillsboro law firm Bassel & Rawls.
Hanlon did not return calls or emails from the News-Times.
It was a sudden end to a case Capt. Mike Herb, spokesman for the Forest Grove Police Department, called a tough one.
Herb said it was hard to make sense of crimes that involved so many officers and the husband of one of our administrators. He indicated some relief that Lisa Cannon and her sworn colleagues would not have to endure the spectacle of a trial.
It brings closure, Herb said of Cannons sentence.Add a comment