Ore. Corrections Officer Slain Helping Motorist

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — A prison guard driving to work in Eastern Oregon has been killed after stopping to help a man stranded by a car crash.

Authorities said Monday they have a suspect in jail.

Police told the East Oregonian newspaper (http://bit.ly/v3b0WC) that Buddy Ray Herron, 42, a guard at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution, died at a hospital in Pendleton late Monday after calling 911 to report he had been stabbed and his pickup stolen after he stopped to help someone at the site of a car crash outside Pendleton.

The newspaper reported that police in Stanfield, Ore., arrested Joshua Charles Weeks, 22, of Multnomah County early Tuesday after a chase in Herron's pickup truck.

Weeks was jailed by state police on one count of murder, and will be arraigned on Wednesday, Umatilla County District Attorney Dan Primus said. The case will go to the grand jury.

Primus said no firearms were involved, but he declined to discuss other details of the case, saying it remained under investigation.

Herron, of the Umatilla County community of Helix, was married with four children, and had worked at the medium-security Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution for four years, Oregon Department of Corrections spokeswoman Jennifer Black said.

"He will be missed at the OCI," she said. "It's a small community. I know they are all upset and thinking of his wife and kids."

Weeks' Facebook page shows him holding a rifle with other armed men. He describes himself as someone who has battled methamphetamine addiction, spent time in jail, and fathered a 2-year-old girl, declaring he loved her even though he could not be with her. He wrote that he worked as a stacker at a Portland lumber mill.

Weeks had been convicted of forgery in Umatilla County, Primus said.

The East Oregonian reported that state police found the car Weeks was driving when Herron stopped to help had been stolen in the Portland area and may have been involved in a burglary on the outskirts of Pendleton shortly before the attack.

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Information from: East Oregonian, http://www.eastoregonian.info

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