Flurry of motions come just before jury selection is due to begin
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – On the eve of a closely watched murder trial, the attorney for defendant Ian Cranston filed a motion to allow evidence claiming that the victim, Barry Washington Jr., made earlier gang-related references, while Washington’s mother said it was illegally obtained from her late son’s cellphone.
Washington goes on trial this week on second-degree murder, manslaughter and other charges in the Sept. 19, 2021 shooting death of Washington in downtown Bend. The trial is expected to last eight to 12 days. Cranston has claimed he acted in self defense after he was assaulted by Washington.
Defense attorney Kevin Sali’s 13-page trial memorandum filed Monday asks the judge to exclude some potential prosecution testimony as irrelevant, such as a police comparison to other previous downtown incidents (none of them fatal), and argues that Washington should not be referred to as a “victim” during the trial.
Sali also wrote that “the defense has discovered social media postings as well as a series of communications on Washington’s phone indicating gang affiliation,” consistent with hand signals and references reportedly made during the downtown altercation.
The attorney for Washington’s mother, La’Wanda Roberson, filed an eight-page motion in response later Monday, seeking a protective order to not allow use of evidence they claim was unlawfully seized, saying it was outside the scope of the search warrant for the phone.
Meanwhile, Deschutes County Circuit Judge Beth Bagley on Friday rejected defense attorney’s efforts to suppress from trial some of the statements Cranston made to officers after being detained by police, before and after he was read his Miranda rights.
She wrote that Cranston’s statements “were volunteered, and not in response to, or the product of interrogation.” When an officer asked if he had any medical issues, for example, she said those “are proper questions for routine custody/booking and public safety.”
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