Dan Rayfield likely to be Oregon’s next House speaker

SALEM, Ore. — State Rep. Dan Rayfield is poised to be the next Oregon House Speaker after being officially nominated by Democratic representatives for the post.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that Rayfield, of Corvallis, prevailed Sunday in a contested race to replace longtime speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland. Kotek said she would be stepping down to focus on her race for governor.

Rayfield won out against state Rep. Janelle Bynum, of Happy Valley, who had hoped to become the first Black speaker of the House in state history.

“I’m deeply honored that my caucus has entrusted me with this nomination,” Rayfield said in a statement. “I recognize this comes with tremendous responsibility at a pivotal moment for families across our state.”

Pierce County deputy fatally shoots person

PUYALLUP — Authorities say a Pierce County Sheriff’s deputy fatally shot a person during a traffic stop.

The deputy had pulled over a person near Puyallup about 10 p.m. Sunday. KOMO reported the deputy told dispatch the person had a gun and one minute later, radioed shots were fired.

Deputies sped to the scene and tried to save a person who was in the back of the vehicle. The person was declared deceased.

Two others in the vehicle, including the driver, were not injured. The deputy was also not injured.

The Pierce County Force Investigation Team, along with other agencies, were called to help the independent investigation. The deputy who fired the shot has been placed on administrative leave.

Brothers shot and killed in Three Forks; suspect charged

BOZEMAN, Mont. — Gallatin County officials continue to investigate after two brothers were shot to death in the small town of Three Forks, northwest of Bozeman, over the weekend.

Sheriff Dan Springer identified the victims of the early Saturday shooting as Chase Estabrook, 32, of Butte and Brendan Estabrook, 31, of Three Forks. Their bodies were being taken to the state crime lab in Missoula for autopsy, he said Sunday.

A 24-year-old suspect is charged with two counts of deliberate homicide and the gun has been located, Springer said. Charging documents won’t be available until today when the courts open after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, officials said.

The shooting was reported at about 3:30 a.m. Saturday and officers arrived about 20 minutes later to find the two men deceased, Springer said.

The victims and the suspected shooter had been involved in an altercation at a residence that spilled out into the street, where the shooting happened, he said.

Hit-and-run driver strikes two 12-year-old girls, killing one

MIDLAND, Wash. — A hit-and-run driver struck two 12-year-old girls who were apparently walking to the store in the town of Midland, killing one and critically injuring the other, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said.

The collision happened at about 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the town south of Tacoma.

The girls were walking against traffic like they were supposed to be, Sgt. Darren Moss, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, told The Seattle Times.

The truck went off the road and into a ditch, but Moss said wasn’t immediately clear if that happened before or after the girls were hit.

Officers found the truck later Saturday and say they were working to identify the driver.

Kalispell man convicted of homicide in death of wife in 2020

KALISPELL, Mont. — A Kalispell man has been convicted of deliberate homicide in the December 2020 death of his wife.

A Flathead County jury deliberated for five hours Friday before finding Bradley Jay Hillious, 35, guilty in the death of Amanda Hillious, 33, the Flathead Beacon reported.

District Court Judge Robert Allison scheduled sentencing for March 8.

Hillious told investigators his wife had fallen down the stairs on Dec. 15, 2020, but prosecutors provided evidence that indicated she had been strangled. She died on Dec. 19 of blunt force trauma injuries associated with neck compression, an autopsy found.

Amanda’s son from a previous relationship, now 12, testified at trial that “Brad killed my mom.” He told jurors he heard Bradley Hillious and his mother arguing before he saw him dragging and hitting her.

The couple’s now 6-year-old son testified that he heard his mother tell his father to “stop.”

Prosecutors also showed that Hillious had a history of domestic violence against his wife, who had sought restraining orders against him and his father Scott Hillious.

The defense argued that emergency responders provided “negligent” and delayed medical care to Amanda Hillious and investigators focused too quickly on Bradley Hillious without considering his father as a suspect.

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