Kamawal's death not being investigated as a hate crime, Sheriff's Office says.

KamawalMany questions remain about what happened at a Metzger home on Wednesday that left one man dead and another facing murder charges, but a few details are slowly beginning to take shape.

According to Sgt. Bob Ray with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Michael Troxell was arraigned on Thursday on murder charges after he allegedly killed Abdul Jamil Kamawal, 68, of Portland at a home in the 7500 block of Southwest Cedarcrest Street.

Ray said that Troxell was an acquaintance, and had been hired by Kamawal’s family to do some maintenance work on a home the family was building on the property.

Troxell’s job was to do some “exterior maintenance” on the home, Ray said.

Kamawal is a native Afghani who moved to the US more than two decades ago and gained citizenship. Ray said that authorities are not considering this to be a hate crime.

“There is no indication that leads us to believe this was racially motivated,” Ray said.

TroxellNo motive has been released.

This isn’t the first time that Washington County authorities have been called to the home on Cedarcrest Street.

In 2010, a Hillsboro contractor was arrested after he tried to burn down another home on the property.

The contractor, William Bunch, was in arbitration with the homeowners after complaints were made that work wasn’t done properly.

Bunch sneaked onto the property late at night in an attempt to set a fire in the still-under-construction home, but was spotted by family members.

Bunch was sentenced to a year in prisonfor the crime in 2012.

Kamawal’s death occurred in an adjoining home on the property, Ray said.

Friends remember Kamawal

Former employees of Kamawal have come out to show their support for his family, in the wake of his death.

Andrew Singleakis, the director about the Washington County Department of Land Use & Transportation, released a statement on Thursday, saying that Kamawal was a great employee when he worked as a survey technician for the department several years ago.

“Though he retired more than 10 years ago, he is remembered with affection by many,” Singleakis said in a release to the media. “Several people have recalled the pride Jamil took in becoming an American citizen. “

Kamawal worked for the department for 22 years before he retired in 2007.

“Jamil was an outstanding member of both his American and Afghanistan communities, a wonderful family man, and a fantastic member of the LUT community,” Singleakis said.

Outside of work, Kamawal was active in Portland’s Afghan and Muslim communities. He often went back to Afghanistan help rebuild his home village of Kama, in the Nangarhar Province, which was hit hard during the war.

He founded two nonprofit organizations, the Afghan Aid Association and the Kama Relief Corp.

“Both organizations are dedicated to rebuilding lives and communities in Afghanistan,” Singleakis said.

By Geoff Pursinger
Assistant Editor, The Times
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