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

Legal Matters

Quiroz formally charged 

A mechanic at a Lyons auto shop has been formally charged after being arrested earlier this month for allegedly defrauding a customer.

Godofredo “Lee” Quiroz, 59, was charged May 9 in Linn County Circuit Court with aggravated first-degree theft and second-degree forgery, for which the penalty is  up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

He is scheduled to be arraigned May 29 before Judge Michael Wynhausen.

Quiroz, of Canyon Auto Service, was arrested May 2 for alleged crimes occurring at the shop since August of 2023. According to authorities, Quiroz allegedly billed a Central Point woman regularly for work on a hotrod when the vehicle was not at the shop, her losses totaling more than $10,000.

Quiroz has faced similar allegations of fraud in civil court, where since 2009 he has been subject to more than $190,000 in judgments in six customer suits. He was sued again March 2 in Linn County for $10,000 over a shoddy engine rebuild. This case is scheduled for a mediation hearing May 20.

Release decision pending in murder case

A Mill City man accused of murdering his roommate remains in custody after a release hearing earlier this month. The judge has taken the matter under advisement.

Benjamin Lyle Harris, 50, remained in the Linn County Jail without bail as of press deadline. In the March 20 fatal shooting of Brian Daniel Rendon, 52, of Mill City, Harris is charged with second-degree murder and faces the possibility of life in prison.

A hearing was held May 9 before Judge Rachel Kittson-MaQatish during which Harris attorney Bryan Orrio argued his client should be released pending the outcome of the case. Prosecutors claim Harris “intentionally” killed Rendon under “extreme emotional disturbance,” while Orrio argued there was more evidence of self-defense than of murder. 

Kittson-MaQatish said she would consider the strength of the evidence and issue a ruling at a later date. 

Harris is due back in court June 21 for a status check hearing.

Judge allows evidence in DUII injury case

A Linn County Circuit Court judge has allowed the use of blood tests and a police statement as evidence in a DUII injury case from 2023 as the matter proceeds to trial.

On May 9, Judge Rachel Kittson-MaQatish denied a motion by Daron Alexandra Andall-McKinzie, 37, of Stayton, to block hospital records and her police interview related to the collision that occurred near Scio.

She is charged with DUII, third-degree assault and three counts of reckless endangerment. The case is scheduled for trial July 10. If convicted, Andall-McKinzie faces up to 10 years in prison.

According to court records, Andall-McKinzie was traveling in an SUV June 10, 2023, on Highway 226 east of Scio with her 9-year-old daughter in the back seat. She allegedly entered the oncoming lane and struck an SUV occupied by a 54-year-old male driver and his 16-year-old son.

The male driver suffered a broken femur and Andall-McKinzie suffered a broken femur and pelvis. The children of both drivers were uninjured. Andall-McKinzie was hospitalized and a blood test allegedly revealed a BAC of 0.11, three points over the legal limit.

In a motion filed March 13, defense attorney Tyler Reid said the blood sample was collected without consent and without a clear chain of custody. Reid also moved to exclude statements by Andall-McKinzie to troopers while hospitalized as she was under the influence of narcotic painkillers at the time.

Prosecutors opposed the motion March 29 and argued the blood test was conducted before Andall-McKinzie was suspected of a crime and evidentiary procedures were not required. They also said Andall-McKinzie consented to be interviewed by police and exhibited signs of clear-mindedness.

A hearing was held May 7 to argue the matter, after which Kittson-MaQatish denied Reid’s motion.

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