News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Legal Matters

Scio man charged for sexual, physical assaults

A Scio man arrested for the alleged sexual assault of a local woman is facing additional charges after allegedly attacking the woman’s brother after being bailed out of jail.

Kevin Lee Gretzon, 26, was initially arrested April 3 by the Linn County Sheriff’s Office following an incident that day in Scio.

According to court records, Gretzon allegedly forced sexual intercourse on a woman in an act of domestic violence. 

He was arraigned April 5 in Linn County Circuit Court on charges of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. He faces at least 100 months in prison if convicted of all charges.

Gretzon was released from the Linn County Jail April 8 on $50,000 bail. He and another man returned to a home Gretzon shared with the victim as she was removing her belongings with the help of her brother, according to a report from deputies.

The report said the victim’s brother recognized Gretzon and the other man and attempted to close the door to the residence when the man with Gretzon allegedly kicked the door open. The victim’s brother was allegedly struck by the other man and Gretzon, resulting in moderate injuries, before the brother was able to push them away and close the door.

The other man identified with Gretzon has yet to be charged in connection with the alleged assault.

Gretzon was arrested that day on new charges including first-degree burglary, third-degree assault and contempt of court. As of press time he remained in custody in lieu of $1.6 million bail.

Cases proceeding for arson, meth possession

Plea negotiations have started for two suspects allegedly found in possession of a large quantity of methamphetamine after lighting a stolen vehicle on fire at a rock quarry near Jordan.

Josie Doreen De La Cruz, 28, of Albany, and Robert James Branch, 30, of Keizer, have early resolution conferences on May 23 and 22, respectively, in Linn County Circuit Court.

Parties will discuss possible plea options to avoid going to trial. 

De La Cruz faces up to five years in jail on a charge of meth possession, and Branch faces up to 35 years in prison on charges of first-degree arson and meth possession and delivery.

They were arrested March 13 after Linn County Sheriff’s Office deputies received reports of a Volkswagen sedan on fire at a rock quarry off Camp Morrison Road, southeast of Jordan. 

Witnesses said multiple people were target shooting at the quarry and lit the car on fire before leaving, and had left behind an AK-47. 

Deputies later learned the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Corvallis.

While deputies investigated the scene, Branch and De La Cruz allegedly returned to retrieve the AK-47 and were taken into custody. They were allegedly found in possession of multiple firearms, 14 ounces of methamphetamine, fentanyl powder, prescription medications, drug sale paraphernalia and more than $2,000 in cash.

Branch and De La Cruz have since been released from the Linn County Jail after each posting 10 percent of $40,000 bail, Branch on March 15 and De La Cruz on March 19.

Local arrested for Salem vehicle shooting

A Mill City man is facing charges after an alleged shooting in Salem that damaged another man’s vehicle.

Michel O’Dale Bristow, 30, was charged April 11 in Marion County Circuit Court with unlawful use of a weapon and second-degree criminal mischief for an incident March 8.

According to court records, Bristow allegedly discharged a firearm at a vehicle on the 800 block of Edina Lane, in Salem, causing more than $500 in damage. No injuries were reported and there were no indications in court records Bristow attempted to harm individuals.

If convicted, Bristow faces up to five years in prison. He was released from the Marion County Jail April 11 on his own recognizance with orders to possess no weapons while the case is pending.

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