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Old June 26, 2008, 10:09 PM   #1
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Court Documents Released for Sutherlin, OR Shooting: More Details Emerge

Reporters have gained access to court documents related to the home invasion shooting that took place in Sutherlin, OR, on June 19th at 3am in the morning.

Playboy Penguin's earlier questioning of the timing of the phone calls was validated by this updated and clarified info. ( Good call Playboy, I must confess that you had excellent insight here on this point. ) For these documents have revealed that the wife and her daughter had initially fled the house WITHOUT a phone. They went and got the husband, who was a mile away at Vera's Tavern, where he had been drinking. They then all proceeded to go back home, WITHOUT ALERTING THE AUTHORITIES.

Once they got back home, both the husband and wife re-entered the dwelling. The husband got a high powered hunting rifle, while the wife retrieved a phone. She immediately dialed 911, while he confronted the stranger that was sleeping on their living room couch.

So the timing of the first police call was when the couple got back to their home. And the police took 7 minutes to respond from that time.

The homeowner, Keith Cramer, told police that night that the intruder, Michael Smith, beat him when he confronted him. And that he fired his deer rifle in an act of self-defense. Police have not been able to find any other weapon involved in this incident. All indications so far are that Michael Smith was unarmed.

Documents show that police said that they found Michael Smith's body "lying on his side with his feet propped up on the couch, facing the center of the living room". Does this sound suspicious or unusual to you??

Cramer’s attorney, Danny Lang, told reporters that Smith had made “sudden aggressive movements” toward his client before the shooting and that Cramer thus feared for his own safety and his family’s safety, and was thus justified to use lethal force. However, this statement seems to be in conflict with his own client's statement made the night of the shooting to the police, claiming that he had actually been assaulted.

Meanwhile, more details have emerged about the dead man: Michael Smith. It turns out that he worked as a cook in Alaska, and has left behind both a widow and two young children, who are now fatherless. He was on leave from work to care for his mother, who lives in Sutherlin and is terminally ill, and slowly dying. Tonight's TV news report quoted friends saying that Smith had become very depressed and despondent over watching his mother slowly going downhill over the past few weeks, and had begun to start drinking heavily.

Police have confirmed that Smith had no criminal record.

Ironically, he was drinking at the same bar that Kramer was also drinking at. Police theorize that he may have been so extremely drunk that he may have mistaken the Kramer home for his mother's home, which is nearby.

I've got to think that even if Kramer can beat criminal charges in this matter, that Smith's widow might very well file a wrongful death civil lawsuit against him.

This story just becomes more sad and tragic the more one learns about it.

The DA has indicated that a Grand Jury will review the matter, and decide if criminal charges are warranted or not.

Here are links to some updated news reports about this:

Here is a photo of the dead man, Michael Smith:

LanceOregon is offline  
Old July 14, 2008, 12:57 AM   #2
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Ever notice how often booze or drugs are involved whe there is a questionable altercation?
You cannot arm slaves and expect them to remain slaves, nor can you disarm a free people and expect them to remain free.
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