Thursday, February 28, 2013
Three suspects in the home invasion and assault of a 79-year-old woman in Umapine have been identified, and could face charges of first-degree robbery, assault and burglary.
Matthew R. Herman, 20, and Caleb L. Scott, 21, have been arrested in connection with the assault of Joyce Key on Jan. 30 in her home in Umapine, northwest of Milton-Freewater.
Jacob White, 18, was identified by the Umatilla County Sherrif’s Office as the third suspect, but has not been arrested.
“We know where he is at,” Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan said. “We’ve spoken with him.”
Rowan indicated White appears to have had a minor role in the burglary and assault that left Key hospitalized.
Key was discovered by her son after the attack. She had suffered head wounds, according to police reports at the time. The incident sparked a community outcry, and launched neighborhood watch meetings and multiple meetings with law enforcement and local government officials.
According to Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan, evidence found at the scene of the assault led the Umatilla/Morrow Major Crimes Team to Oklahoma, where Herman had been arrested on unrelated drug charges.
According to Rowan, Herman is originally from the Milton-Freewater area.
Detectives interviewed Herman, who is in custody in Creek County Jail in Spulpa, Okla.
“It was through the discussion with Herman that (we) identified the other two individuals,” Rowan said. “We believe the motivation behind (the assault) was robbery.”
Scott was arrested in Washington with the help of the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office and Walla Walla Police Department. He is being held without bail at the Walla Walla County Jail.
“This was a great success for the Key family, the Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of Northeast Umatilla County,” Rowan said in a press release. “The detectives investigating this case have worked tirelessly to bring the case to this point. This was a great collaborative effort.”
The Umatilla County District Attorney’s Office will present the case to a grand jury in the near future, according to Rowan.
Rowan said Key is still being treated at a hospital in Post Falls, Idaho.