As we’ve reported, one of the problems of dealing with the riots in Portland is the failure of the District Attorney to prosecute the cases. People are just released immediately and then not even charged for the most part when they are arrested. The majority of cases have just been dismissed.
Now that’s a problem for stopping the violence of the riots because people just get out and go right back to the riots, knowing there have been no consequences.
But it’s also a problem because it leaves them free to commit other crimes and it’s pretty clear that a lot of these people have issues.
The feds have deputized the Oregon State Police, so that may be helpful in being able to provide some more options for federal prosecution if the rioters attack OSP members.
But unfortunately one release in June allegedly led to a tragedy.
Police have charged Phillip Lawrence Nelson in the double stabbing murder of Cassy Leaton, 22, and Najaf “Nate” Hobbs, 39 in Northeast Portland in June.
BREAKING: 38 year old Phillip Lawrence Nelson booked into jail on 2 charges of murder. Court records show he is charged in the deaths of Cassy Leaton and Najaf “Nate” Hobbs. Records show his address is in the area of the double stabbing. #liveonk2 pic.twitter.com/7FYvqbtLEf
— jeff kirsch (@jakatkatu) June 19, 2020
The week before, Nelson was arrested at a protest on charges of interfering with an officer. The charges were then dismissed the next day.
A week later came the stabbing. Nelson told the police he had been homeless living in Portland for two months before the crime. According to a roommate of the two people killed Nelson had rented them a unit in a fourplex and then they found out that he was just squatting in the building. That led to an ongoing dispute that may have factored into the alleged murder.
On the afternoon they were murdered, surveillance video captured Hobbs and Leaton going into the basement of the building, where the water control is located, according to court records. The pair came back upstairs, but then went back just a minute later. Shortly after that, surveillance video captured Leaton running out of the basement, stumbling and shouting for help before falling down. Bystanders rushed to her aid, but she did not survive.
Both Leaton and Hobbs had been stabbed numerous times, according to the medical examiner. A police officer said he found Hobbs’ body on the stairs, with a trail of blood leading to the basement. The officer also allegedly found a long-bladed knife and “significant amount of blood” inside the basement.
Video allegedly caught Nelson leaving the building shortly thereafter.