Two of three teenagers who were accused of taking part in the killing of a 65-year-old man as he was collecting cans along a North Portland street — then stealing his car — have been sentenced to up to 20 years of incarceration. Under Oregon’s juvenile sentencing laws, however, Eugene Woodruff and Richard Rand IV
Two of three teenagers who were accused of taking part in the killing of a 65-year-old man as he was collecting cans along a North Portland street — then stealing his car — have been sentenced to up to 20 years of incarceration.
Under Oregon’s juvenile sentencing laws, however, Eugene Woodruff and Richard Rand IV must be released from custody by their 25th birthdays at the latest. They will serve their sentences at a juvenile correctional facility.
Woodruff was 14 years old and Rand was 15 when they and another teen, 15-year-old Aaron Criswell, allegedly walked up to Ricky Malone Sr. and demanded he relinquish his car, according to a probable cause affidavit. When Malone wouldn’t, Criswelll allegedly shot him in the chest with a 12-gauge shotgun, according to accounts given by Criswell and Woodruff to the police and outlined in the affidavit.
Woodruff was sentenced in July and Rand in September as juveniles in Multnomah County Circuit Court. Criswell’s case is still pending.
The shooting occurred at about 4 a.m. on Oct. 14, 2019, near North Mohawk Avenue and Columbia Boulevard. Malone had been out collecting refundable cans and bottles.
The three teens then took Malone’s Toyota Avalon and police began receiving calls that the car had been involved in some hit-and-runs, according to investigators. The teens stopped at a Taco Bell about three and a half hours into the joyride, before abandoning the car, the affidavit states.
Investigators say before encountering Malone, the teens, one of them wearing a clown mask, had burglarized a home at gunpoint but ran away when the person who lived there yelled at them.
Friday, Ricky Malone Sr.’s brother, Robert Malone, told The Oregonian/OregonLive that his family is disappointed that Oregon’s juvenile sentencing laws wouldn’t allow Woodruff and Rand to be incarcerated past their 25th birthdays.
“They could get paroled in a year or two years,” Robert Malone said. “That’s the way the system is now. Our prayers are maybe they’ll get rehabilitated and maybe they’ll come out on the other side better people.”
Under past and current juvenile laws, Woodruff had to be charged and tried as a juvenile because he was 14 at the time of the crimes. Measure 11 had called for Rand and Criswell, who were both 15 at the time, to be tried as adults. That meant that they could have been sentenced in the adult system and imprisoned well past their 25th birthdays.
But starting Jan. 1, the new law created by Senate Bill 1008 meant that Rand and Criswell had to be prosecuted as juveniles unless a judge agreed to move them to adult court. So far the case of Criswell, the only remaining defendant, remains in juvenile court.
All three defendants had been charged with murder, robbery and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
During their juvenile hearings, Woodruff admitted to first-degree manslaughter and first-degree robbery. Rand admitted to second-degree manslaughter and first-degree robbery.
Robert Malone said he and his family will visit the site of the shooting next Wednesday, the one-year mark of his brother’s death. He said his family has suffered enormous pain.
“It’s almost like ripping a Band-Aid off a wound,” he said. “We’ve been to court eight or nine times and every time it’s the same feeling we have. That hasn’t gone away. We will always watch a movie or smell something cooking that reminds us of our brother.”
— Aimee Green; firstname.lastname@example.org; @o_aimee