Also charged with abuse of a corpse, vehicle theft
(Update: Arrest made in homicide case)
SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) – A 22-year-old Redmond man who asked a Sisters-area property owner to call for paramedics Friday afternoon was arrested on second-degree murder and other charges in the killing earlier this week of a 55-year-old Cloverdale woman on her property, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said.
Deputies were dispatched shortly before 3:30 p.m. Friday to the area of Jordan Road and Highway 20, east of Sisters, after a caller advised he had a man on his property requesting paramedics, Sergeant Jayson Janes said.
Deputies arrived and contacted the man, identified as Alexander Mark Smith, Janes said in a news release late Friday night.
“During the contact with Smith, deputies located evidence linking him to the death of Tina Klein-Lewis,” whose body was found on her Cloverdale Road property late Tuesday night, the sergeant said.
Smith was arrested without incident, Janes said, and was to be lodged at the county jail in Bend on second-degree charges of murder, abuse of a corpse, burglary and trespass, along with unauthorized entry into and use of a motor vehicle.
The sergeant said any further information will be released by the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office; NewsChannel 21 has reached out to DA John Hummel.
A check of Oregon court records finds only one charge against Smith, who pleaded no contest in Benton County in June of 2018 to buying or possessing an alcoholic beverage under the age of 21 on the OSU campus. He was ordered to attend and complete an alcohol education program, and after doing so, the charge was dismissed “with prejudice,” records show.
The sheriff’s office earlier Friday identified the woman as Tina Lynn Klein-Lewis and said she lived at the property where she was found, but withheld further details as the investigation continues.
Here’s the full statement issued earlier by Janes:
“The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is still actively investigating this case. Our detective division continues to work with the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office, Medical Examiner, and the Oregon State Police crime lab to investigate the circumstances surrounding this death.
“There is a large amount of evidence that still needs to be processed and analyzed in order to get the most accurate account of what took place. We understand the need for information. Our goal is to to conduct the most complete and thorough investigation possible. Further information will be released when it will not affect the investigation,” Janes said.
The sheriff’s office received a report around 10:40 p.m. Tuesday of a deceased woman on a property in the 60000 block of Cloverdale Road, just off U.S. Highway 20 and close to the area’s fire station, Janes said.
Deputies responded and notified detectives, who responded to the scene. Janes said the county medical examiner, the District Attorney’s Office and the Oregon State Police crime lab have been involved in the investigation.
“At this time, the cause of death is unknown,” Janes said in a brief news release. “Detectives and the medical examiner are working to determine the cause of death.”
Search and Rescue teams were found combing the property on Thursday for any evidence related to the investigation. Sgt. Janes tells NewsChannel 21 that an autopsy is planned, but there’s no telling how long the investigation will take.
A neighbor told NewsChannel 21 off-camera he’s frustrated, because nearby residents don’t know what’s going on — worried for his family’s safety, if the death is ruled suspicious. Janes says they don’t want to give people the wrong idea, or a false impression about what happened.
“We have to protect the integrity of the investigation and we have to be able to get accurate information to let the family know,” he said. “Once we do have good information to tell those people, then we can — but right now, we just can’t.”
“It is still early on in the investigation,” he added, “and further information will be released at a later time.”
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