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Update: Carlton Man Pleads Guilty Related to October 2008 Quadruple Fatal Crash east of Pendleton
07/02/2009
Dean Gushwa
Umatilla County District Attorney
(541) 278-6270

JOHN COLE CARLGREN, age 47, from Carlton, Oregon pleaded guilty Thursday morning to charges arising from the October 2008 vehicular homicide east of Pendleton on Interstate 84 that claimed the lives of Jessie Cline, William Nephi Johnson, Michelle Marie Sawyer, and Fred Angel Young Jr.  The trial, which had been set to begin next Monday, was cancelled, and sentencing was set for Friday, July 24, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. in Courtroom One of the Umatilla County Circuit Court in Pendleton.  The District Attorney's Office did not negotiate a plea bargain with the defendant, and the sentence will be open to argument.
    
The defendant pleaded guilty to four counts of Manslaughter in the First Degree and one count of misdemeanor Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII).  Manslaughter in the First Degree is a crime listed in Ballot Measure 11 and carries a minimum mandatory sentence of ten years in prison with no possibility of early release.  Misdemeanor DUII carries a maximum possible sentence of one year in jail.

The defendant also admitted to five enhancement facts.  Specifically, the defendant admitted to persistent involvement in similar offenses unrelated to the current crimes; that the offense involved multiple victims or incidents; that the degree of harm or loss attributed to the crimes was significantly greater that typical for such an offense; that prior criminal justice system sanctions have not deterred the defendant; and, that the defendant has demonstrated disregard for laws and rules.  The existence of enhancement facts allows for the possibility of an increased sentence.

The case was investigated by the Oregon State Police with assistance from the Umatilla Tribal Police Department, Umatilla County Sheriff's Office, Oregon State Police Forensic Laboratory, Oregon Department of Justice, and Umatilla County District Attorney's Office.