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Cesar Yovanni Alvarez-Alcazar Found Guilty in Murder Case (Photo) - 04/23/24

HILLSBORO, Ore- On April 23, 2024, a Washington County jury found Cesar Yovanni Alvarez-Alcazar, age 20, guilty of Murder in the Second Degree and Unlawful Use of a Weapon. The defendant pled no contest to Unlawful Possession of a Firearm prior to the trial. Judge Theodore Sims then sentenced the defendant to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years. Senior Deputy District Attorney John Gerhard and Deputy District Attorney Dustin Staten prosecuted this case. 

On February 6, 2022, the defendant attended a house party in Cornelius, Oregon. He was heavily intoxicated and got into a verbal argument with multiple partygoers including the victim, Jose Angel Rodriguez-Sanchez, age 20 at the time. The defendant shot the victim several times and also fired a shot at another partygoer. The victim died from his injuries, and the defendant fled the scene before law enforcement arrived. 

Investigators quickly identified the defendant as their suspect. He was arrested by officers from the Salem Police Department during a traffic stop seven months later. Police found a loaded handgun hidden under the defendant’s driver’s seat along with 400 rounds of ammunition and body armor. 

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office commends the investigative work on this case by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the deputies serving the City of Cornelius. This office also thanks the Salem Police Department for their work in apprehending the defendant. 

Mr. Alvarez-Alcazar will be transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections to begin serving his sentence. 

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Massage Therapist Sentenced to 60 Months in Prison (Photo) - 04/16/24

HILLSBORO, Ore- On April 11, 2024, Benjamin Lance Bowers, age 39, pleaded guilty to two counts of Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree, Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree, and Attempted Sexual Abuse in the First Degree. He was sentenced to 60 months in prison. Deputy District Attorney Matt Wise prosecuted this case. 

The defendant was a licensed massage therapist when he sexually assaulted two female patients and an 11-year-old girl in separate incidents. The first victim was assaulted while receiving a massage from Mr. Bowers at a Hillsboro business in 2021. The second incident occurred in 2022 when the defendant was working at a different massage studio in Beaverton. The child, who was known to the defendant, was assaulted around this time as well.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office commends the work of Hillsboro and Beaverton police on these cases and acknowledges the bravery shown throughout this process by the victims. 

In addition to his prison sentence, Mr. Bowers was ordered to register as a sex offender and to undergo treatment. He is also barred from practicing as a licensed massage therapist in the future. 

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Brett Church Michie Sentenced to 300 Months in Prison (Photo) - 04/16/24

HILLSBORO, Ore- On April 12, 2024, Brett Church Michie, age 47, pleaded guilty to three counts of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, Sodomy in the First Degree, and Using a Child in Display of Sexually Explicit Conduct. He was then sentenced to 300 months in prison under Jessica’s Law. Deputy District Attorney Matt Wise prosecuted the case against the defendant. 

In January of 2023, a social media company reported the defendant was downloading and sharing Child Sexual Abuse Materials over the internet. Members of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program contacted the Beaverton Police Department to alert them to the defendant’s actions. Investigators confronted the defendant who admitted to trading Child Sexual Abuse Materials with others on the internet. He consented to a search of his phone which uncovered hundreds of disturbing images involving the abuse of children. Investigators also found images of the defendant sexually abusing a young child. The defendant shared those materials with others on the internet. The defendant was arrested and made a failed attempt to kill himself while in custody. 

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office commends the investigative work of the Beaverton Police Department on this case. 

Mr. Michie will be transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections to begin serving his sentence. 

Washington County District Attorney's Office Highlights Success of Rapid Fitness to Proceed Program - 04/15/24

HILLSBORO, Ore- In 2020, the Washington County District Attorney’s Office helped launch the Rapid Fitness to Proceed program which is designed to increase the efficiency of the fitness to proceed process. Since its inception, the program has reduced the pre-trial jail time for defendants with mental health disorders which has saved millions in taxpayer dollars. This office is pleased to report the program was successful again in 2023. 

In 2023, there were 100 successful fitness determinations. The median time to make those determinations was just 17 days, down from 91 days under the state’s system. On average, this increased efficiency helped save 74 days of jail time served per defendant, leading to a total approximate savings of more than $1,932,214.00 to the taxpayer.

“I’m proud to see that once again our Washington County Rapid Fitness to Proceed program has produced amazing results,” said Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton. “This collaborative program ensures people receive mental health evaluations sooner while saving money and resources for our community. This program should be a model for the entire state.” 

Under Oregon law, when the court has reason to doubt a defendant’s fitness to proceed by reason of incapacity due to a qualifying mental disorder, the court may order an examination to determine whether the defendant is unable to understand the nature of the proceedings, assist and cooperate with their attorney, or participate in the defense. Commonly referred to as an “Aid and Assist,” “Fitness to Proceed” or a competency evaluation, this process can take months to complete, which creates costly delays and inefficiencies. Under the Rapid Fitness to Proceed program, the timeline has been reduced from months to weeks. This increased efficiency benefits all participants as defendants arrested for lower-level crimes will spend less time in jail pre-trial, thereby freeing up limited jail space for more dangerous offenders. It also increases the efficiency of the courts and provides cost savings for the entire public safety system in Washington County.

The Rapid Fitness to Proceed program accomplishes this increased efficiency by establishing partnerships with two private practices that specialize in forensic competency to stand trial evaluations, NW Forensic Institute and Lithia Forensics and Consulting. These certified forensic evaluators are trusted by the defense and the state. In fact, in some situations, these private evaluators also work on contract for the Oregon State Hospital to provide competency evaluations. Using this public-private partnership, expedited evaluations are typically produced within 12 days from the date the referral is accepted. 

“The massive success of the Rapid Fitness to Proceed program in Washington County has helped to move defendants through the court system more quickly, reducing jail time and helping to get them into much-needed treatment promptly,” said Washington County Circuit Court Presiding Judge Rebecca Guptill. “This is beneficial in multiple ways – it helps defendants to get treatment that they need rather than sit in jail, it frees up jail space for those who should really be in custody, it also frees up defense attorneys more quickly to represent other defendants who are in need of counsel, and it helps both defendants and victims to achieve resolution of their cases in a more timely fashion. As a result, the Rapid Fitness to Proceed program is a huge benefit to our court and our community.”

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is also a key partner in this effort. 

“The Rapid Fitness to Proceed program has proven beneficial to the Adults in Custody of the Washington County Jail,” Washington County Sheriff Caprice Massey said. “By expediting the process for these individuals to access therapeutic treatment settings, we have prevented unnecessary languishing in jail. This collaborative effort has produced healthier, Justice Involved Individuals who are ready for a successful transition into our community.” 

This program would also not be possible without the support of Washington County Behavioral Health.

“Because of this program’s effectiveness, many adults with the greatest behavioral needs are now able to get much-needed treatment at the State hospital more quickly,” said Robert Colpean, Aid and Assist program coordinator with Washington County Behavioral Health. “We attribute much of this program’s success to collaborative efforts among key partners who work to find solutions on both individual cases as well as on a systemwide level.”

To learn more about this program and to access a referral form needed to initiate an evaluation, visit our website.

Attached Media Files: Rapid_Fitness_to_Proceed.pdf
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Rose Sunrise Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Arson in Downtown Hillsboro (Photo) - 03/26/24

HILLSBORO, Ore- On March 12, 2024, Rose Sunrise pleaded guilty to Manslaughter in the First Degree, Arson in the First Degree, two counts of Criminal Mischief in the First Degree, Arson in the Second Degree, and Burglary in the Second Degree, stemming from a crime spree in downtown Hillsboro, Oregon. On March 26, 2024, Washington County Circuit Judge Janelle Wipper sentenced Sunrise, formerly known as Roel Leon, to 30 years in prison. Senior Deputy District Attorney Andrew Freeman and Deputy District Attorney David Pitcher prosecuted the case against the defendant. 

On December 4, 2021, the defendant broke into a business located in the Weil Arcade in downtown Hillsboro. The Weil Arcade was home to multiple small businesses serving the Hillsboro community. Once inside, the defendant stole several seemingly random items. A nearby surveillance camera captured footage of the defendant leaving the area with the stolen property. 

In the early morning hours of January 2, 2022, the defendant returned to the Weil Arcade, broke into a different business, and again stole miscellaneous property. However, this time the defendant set fire to the business before leaving. A security camera across the street captured the scene as the defendant watched the fire grow and recorded its progress on a phone. The defendant left shortly before a passing patrol officer spotted the flames and called for assistance.

The fire quickly spread throughout the complex and destroyed the Weil Arcade. Several businesses were destroyed and surrounding buildings in the downtown core were impacted. More importantly, the fire also took the life of Ronald Knapp, who investigators believe took shelter on the second floor of the Weil Arcade that night to escape the bitter cold. The next evening the defendant intentionally set two more fires in vehicles parked outside a nearby auto shop. Again, surveillance footage showed the defendant stoking the flames and then leaving before first responders arrived.

Officers with the Hillsboro Police Department immediately launched an investigation and quickly identified the defendant as the primary suspect. On January 5, 2022, they executed a search warrant on the defendant’s residence and found distinctive clothing and items matching those in videos of the suspect, as well as items stolen in the burglaries. After the arrest, the defendant admitted to burglarizing the Weil Arcade and setting the fires. 

These events significantly impacted many people in the Hillsboro community. The Washington County District Attorney’s Office would like to thank the numerous victims, especially the family of Mr. Knapp, for their grace and patience throughout the court process. We also thank the community for its support of the affected businesses following this devastating fire. We would also like to acknowledge the extensive investigative efforts of the Hillsboro Police Department, particularly those of Detectives Michelle Hahn and Megan Townsend, as well as the heroic work of the Hillsboro Fire Department and all of the other assisting fire agencies.

The defendant will be immediately transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections to begin serving this sentence. 

Attached Media Files: Rose_Sunrise.pdf , Rose_Sunrise.png