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Ex-Hillsboro cop guilty of attempted murder

After 13 months in the Washington County Jail, Forest Grove resident and former Hillsboro police officer Tim Cannon has begun serving a 10-year sentence for attempted murder. by: HILLSBORO TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Tim Cannon, shown here at his arraignment in Washington County Circuit Court in January 2013, will spend a decade in prison for trying to kill fellow police officers during a 2013 standoff in Forest Grove.

Cannon, 47, left the county jail Monday morning and entered the intake center at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, where he will remain for 30 to 45 days before his transfer to a prison elsewhere in Oregon.

Accused in the most notorious officer-involved shooting in county history, Cannon pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted aggravated murder last Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court. He admitted to trying to kill a trio of officers who responded to a 911 call from his home on Jan. 20, 2013.

The sudden resolution to the case put an end to speculation about what might have happened had it gone to trial in June after a pair of postponements.

“Anytime you take a case to trial, there’s a risk,” said Cannon’s defense attorney, Ray Bassel, who acknowledged a jury conviction — and a stiffer sentence — would have been “within the realm of possibility.”

Cannon took the plea deal largely to spare his family members and fellow officers from the stress of a trial, said Bassel, who described his client as being “very remorseful” at last week’s sentencing hearing.

“Mr. Cannon did not desire to put his wife and others through that,” he said.

Whether the punishment fit the crime was hard for Bassel to gauge. “This is a totally unique case,” he said. “There is no other case to compare it to.”

Cannon, who will turn 48 March 12, originally was accused of attempting to kill 11 officers and assaulting his wife inside the couple’s Forest Grove home after a domestic dispute spun out of control one evening last winter.

Lisa Cannon, a civilian employee of the Forest Grove Police Department, locked herself and the Cannons’ young daughter inside an upstairs bathroom and made the emergency call that brought officers from three agencies to the scene that night. Only one officer was injured in the melee, in which more than 100 shots were fired.

Cannon stood in shackles Feb. 6 in front of Presiding Judge Kirsten E. Thompson, who listened to Cannon apologize for his actions to his family and officers victimized in the case.

“A case of this magnitude is always very complex,” Thompson said Monday, declining to comment further.

In accepting the plea deal, Cannon acknowledged he tried to kill Stephen Slade of the Hillsboro Police Department, Austin Allen of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Charles McCutchen of the Forest Grove Police Department. He also admitted to shooting and killing his family’s cat during the 81-minute standoff inside his home near Forest Grove High School.

Court records showed that Cannon had been disciplined by his employer for absenteeism and alcohol abuse, and that he was on a “last chance” employment agreement with the Hillsboro department at the time of the shootout.

Cannon fired multiple weapons from the second floor of his darkened house before eventually surrendering to authorities, walking arm-in-arm down the staircase with his wife and child.

In addition to McCutchen, Slade and Allen, Washington County Chief Deputy District Attorney Roger Hanlon’s original indictment accused Cannon of trying to kill officers Gary Anderson, Jenifer Smith, Ryan Wolf and Matthew Jacobsen of the Forest Grove Police Department and Mark Trost, Micah Akin, Austin Allen, Justin Snyder and Robert Richards of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Richards’ hand was hit by shrapnel in the incident.

The plea deal was negotiated between Hanlon, who was prosecuting the case, and Bassel, of the Hillsboro law firm Bassel & Rawls. Hanlon did not return calls or emails from the Hillsboro Tribune.

The agreement brought a sudden end to a case Lt. Mike Rouches, spokesman for the Hillsboro Police Department, called “a tough one.”

Rouches said few officers at his agency had expressed opinions about Cannon’s guilty plea — but if they did, reactions to the news likely would focus on the length of their former colleague’s sentence.

“Nobody’s talking about it,” Rouches said. “How do you quantify what an appropriate amount of time is for that?”



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