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BEND, OR -- A pre-trial hearing in the case against Edwin Lara continues today in Deschutes County Court. He's charged with four counts of aggravated murder in last summer's death of Kaylee Sawyer in Bend.

 

District Attorney John Hummel says this week's proceedings are centered on determining whether statements Lara made to law enforcement after his arrest in California are admissible at trial. "Mr. Lara made statements to the arresting officers and to other people and the court proceedings are to determine whether the jury in this trial is going to be able to hear what those statements were. The defense argues that many of those statements are inadmissible, and I'm arguing that all the statements are admissible. So, Judge Adler will have to make a ruling on that." He expects the judge won't rule on the defense motion until the fall. "Over Two days in September, we are going to present more witnesses and make our legal arguments at that point and then the judge will decide after that hearing in September. So there's still a few months until Judge Adler makes his decision."

 

Lara is also accused of kidnapping a Salem woman, car jacking, and shooting a man in a California hotel prior to his arrest a year ago. His trial isn't expected to take place until 2018. "There's three top-notch defense attorneys, and that's good," says Hummel. "I always like to have worthy adversaries to ensure that everyone's rights are protected. So, this is a case that is going to be aggressively litigated by the state; it's being aggressively litigated by the defense; people are coming to court prepared; they're making intelligent, reasoned arguments; we have a great judge in Judge Adler. So, it's an all-star team and it's a serious issue and the state is going to fight like caged dogs to prevail. And, I'm confident we will." Hummel plans to seek the death penalty.

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  • Purcell Bridge CLOSED through April 2020.
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