August 21, 2013
Note: Questions regarding the investigation should be directed to Deputy District Attorney Paige Clarkson
Photograph link valid at least 30 days - Source: Department of Corrections
On August 17, 2013, at approximately 10:00 a.m., correctional officers at the Oregon State Penitentiary discovered inmate JOSEPH AKINS, age 45, deceased in his C-Block cell. Detectives from the Oregon State Police (OSP) Criminal Investigations Division, along with the Marion County District Attorney's Office and Medical Examiner's Office, responded to investigate the death. The penitentiary initiated a modified lockdown while investigators sear ched the crime scene and interviewed potential witnesses.
As the investigation progressed, it was determined AKINS was the victim of homicide. AKINS next of kin were contacted and notified of his death. On August 18, an autopsy was conducted at the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office. The medical examiner determined that AKINS died of asphyxiation due to strangulation. The manner of death was homicide.
According to Marion County Deputy District Attorney Paige Clarkson, the suspect is identified as inmate CRAIG DENNIS BJORK, also known as CRAIG DENNIS JACKSON, age 53. BJORK and AKINS were celled together in C-Block. Criminal charges against BJORK will be determined by the District Attorney's office once the investigation is complete and the case is prepared for presentation to the grand jury.
Department of Corrections records show AKINS was convicted of one count of murder in Multnomah County in January 2008. His earliest release date was Dec. 15, 2022.
DOC records also show that BJORK entered the Oregon Department of Corrections on January 16, 2013.
The Marion County Homicide Assault Response Team (HART) was activated to assist in the investigation. Agencies assisting as part of the Major Crime Team included the Marion County Sheriff's Office, Keizer Police Department, Woodburn Police Department, Salem Police Department, members of the Oregon State Police Patrol Division and Forensic Services Division; the Marion County District Attorney's Office and the State Medical Examiner's Office. The Oregon Department of Corrections is assisting with the investigation as well. Detectives from the OSP Criminal Investigation Division in Salem are leading the investigation.
Future news releases regarding this investigation will be provided by the Marion County District Attorney's Office. Questions regarding the on-going investigation should be referred to Deputy DA Paige Clarkson.
Questions for Department of Corrections should be directed to Mike Yoder at (503) 562-0050 or Liz Craig at (971) 600-6131.
### www.oregon.gov/OSP ###