Oregon Dept. of Corrections
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News Releases
David L. Letcher
David L. Letcher
Deer Ridge Correctional Institution reports in-custody death (Photo) - 07/07/20

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, David L. Letcher, died the morning of July 7, 2020. Letcher was incarcerated at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution (DRCI) in Madras. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified, and the medical examiner will determine cause of death.

Letcher entered DOC custody on September 3, 2014, from Multnomah County with an earliest release date of April 21, 2021. Letcher was 60 years old. Next of kin has been notified.  

DOC takes all in-custody deaths seriously. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 14,500 individuals who are incarcerated in 14 institutions across the state. While crime information is public record, DOC elects to disclose only upon request out of respect for any family or victims.

Deer Ridge Correctional Institution (DRCI) is located four miles east of Madras in central Oregon. DRCI is a multi-custody prison that currently houses 947 minimum-custody incarcerated adults. DRCI provides a range of correctional programs and services including education and trades programs, mental health treatment, cognitive and parenting programs, and institution work crews. Construction began in October 2005 with the first minimum-security adults in custody (AICs) arriving in September 2007. DRCI is the largest minimum-custody facility in the state and Oregon’s fourteenth prison.

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Attached Media Files: David L. Letcher
Brandon Sykes
Brandon Sykes
Adult in Custody walks away from South Fork Forest Camp (Photo) - 06/22/20

An adult in custody walked away Monday, June 22, 2020, from South Fork Forest Camp (SFFC) in Tillamook. Brandon Sykes walked away from a work crew near the summit of Highway 6 at approximately 11:35 a.m.

Brandon J. Sykes, 35, is a white male, 5 ft. 9 in., weighing 195 lbs. with green eyes and brown hair. Sykes was last seen wearing blue jeans with the word "inmate" stenciled on the knee in orange, a blue T-shirt, sweatshirt, and coat similarly stenciled.

Sykes entered DOC custody on June 13, 2016, on several counts of assault and kidnapping out of Columbia County. His earliest release date was October 18, 2021.

The Oregon Department of Corrections Fugitive Apprehension Unit and the Oregon State Police are investigating. Anyone with information regarding her whereabouts should contact the Oregon State Police at 1-800-452-7888, the non-emergency number of their local police department, or the Oregon Department of Corrections Fugitive Apprehension Unit at 503-569-0734.

SFFC is minimum-security work camp that houses approximately 200 adults in custody who are within four years of release. Part of SFFC's mission is to supply a ready work force to combat forest or wild fires throughout the state. Crews provide critical support for statewide fire operations, recreation, and reforestation; as well as provide support for special projects such as sign making, metal fabrication, and tool or equipment repair. SFFC was established in 1951 and is a satellite facility to CRCI and managed jointly with the Oregon Department of Forestry. It is located approximately 28 miles east of Tillamook, just off of Highway 6 along the Wilson River in the Tillamook Forest.

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Attached Media Files: Brandon Sykes
Gerald B. Newman
Gerald B. Newman
Snake River Correctional Institution reports in-custody death (Photo) - 06/21/20

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, Gerald B. Newman, died the morning of June 21, 2020. Newman was incarcerated at Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI) in Ontario. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified and the medical examiner will determine cause of death.

Newman entered DOC custody on November 8, 2019, from Clackamas County with an earliest release date of October 30, 2026. Newman was 61 years old. Next of kin has been notified.  

DOC takes all in-custody deaths seriously. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 14,500 individuals who are incarcerated in 14 institutions across the state. While crime information is public record, DOC elects to disclose only upon request out of respect for any family or victims.

SRCI is a multi-custody prison in Ontario that houses approximately 3,000 adults in custody. SRCI has multiple special housing units including disciplinary segregation, intensive management, infirmary (with hospice) with 24-hour nursing care, and an administrative segregation unit. SRCI participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises including a contact center, laundry, and sign shop. SRCI specializes in incentive housing, specialized housing, individuals with mental health/medical vulnerabilities, education and trades programs, cognitive and parenting programs, and institution work programs. SRCI opened in 1991 and is the largest correctional institution in the state.

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Attached Media Files: Gerald B. Newman
Byron M. McArthur
Byron M. McArthur
Snake River Correctional Institution reports in-custody death (Photo) - 06/15/20

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, Byron M. McArthur, died the morning of June 14, 2020. McArthur was incarcerated at Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI) in Ontario and passed away in the infirmary while on hospice. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified. 

McArthur entered DOC custody on October 14, 2014, from Lane County with an earliest release date of December 14, 2027. McArthur was 68 years old. Next of kin has been notified.  

DOC takes all in-custody deaths seriously. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 14,500 individuals who are incarcerated in 14 institutions across the state. While crime information is public record, DOC elects to disclose only upon request out of respect for any family or victims.

SRCI is a multi-custody prison in Ontario that houses approximately 3,000 adults in custody. SRCI has multiple special housing units including disciplinary segregation, intensive management, infirmary (with hospice) with 24-hour nursing care, and an administrative segregation unit. SRCI participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises including a contact center, laundry, and sign shop. SRCI specializes in incentive housing, specialized housing, individuals with mental health/medical vulnerabilities, education and trades programs, cognitive and parenting programs, and institution work programs. SRCI opened in 1991 and is the largest correctional institution in the state.

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Attached Media Files: Byron M. McArthur