BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County District Attorney has decided not to pursue criminal charges against a Bend man who shot and killed his landlord a little more than a week ago. D.A. John Hummel's office released the following statement regarding the case against Daniel Norquist:
Today, Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel filed a motion with the Circuit Court requesting the dismissal of the case charging Daniel Norquist with the murder of Andrew Cordes.
In the early morning hours of July 25, 2015, in Norquist’s house, Norquist shot Cordes four times, causing his death. Cordes was Norquist’s landlord and long-time friend. Norquist claimed he shot Cordes because he was scared of Cordes. Both were intoxicated. Bend Police Department detectives conducted an extensive investigation, and in the afternoon of July 25th, arrested Norquist.
On July 28th Deschutes County Deputy District Attorneys Drew Moore and Matt Nelson began presenting evidence to a grand jury. Prior to the completion of the presentation to the grand jury, Moore, Nelson, and District Attorney John Hummel’s view of this case changed. Additional evidence pointed to Norquist’s innocence. Norquist was then asked to submit to a polygraph test and he agreed. The results of this test supported Norquist’s claim of self-defense and was consistent with the other evidence analyzed by the State. Consequently, Hummel withdrew the case from the grand jury and filed a motion to dismiss the case.
“It is never too late to ensure justice is served” said Hummel. Hummel went on to say: “Based on the facts that were known on the day of the shooting, the arrest of Mr. Norquist was appropriate. And at the time we began presenting the case to the grand jury, I believed a crime was committed. As new facts were uncovered, Mr. Norquist’s claim that he acted in self-defense was bolstered.”
Hummel praised the work of Bend Police detectives: “Starting shortly after midnight on July 25th up until today, Bend Police detectives worked tirelessly to gather evidence to determine the truth. Myself and deputy district attorneys in the District Attorney’s office worked with them every step of the way. I was impressed with the professionalism, dedication and competence of every officer who worked on this case. Bend residents are well served by their police department.”
“This case is an example of the system working” said Hummel. “Police investigate and arrest based on a lower legal standard than is required for a criminal conviction. When I became convinced the evidence was insufficient to overcome Mr. Norquist’s claim of self-defense, I did not hesitate to dismiss this case. And I did not consider ‘passing the buck’ by having the grand jury vote on whether to charge Mr. Norquist. I only ask grand juries to charge someone with a crime when I believe the evidence is sufficient to support a charge. In this case, it was not.”
Hummel concluded by extending sympathies to the family of Andrew Cordes: “Everyone involved in this investigation extends our sympathies to the family of Andrew Cordes. Andrew was 30 years old, with hopes and dreams for a wonderful life. He was loved and will be missed.”