From The Blue Mountain Eagle
CANYON CITY – Dillan Dakota Easley, 15, will spend up to age 25 in custody for killing his foster father and another man in 2013.
Circuit Judge J. Burdette Pratt issued that ruling this afternoon after defense attorneys and state prosecutors reached a resolution in the case.
Easley had been accused of the juvenile equivalent of murder in the shootings on the night of Oct. 2, 2013, in a remote hunting cabin near Granite, in northeastern Grant County.
Police called to the scene found Michael Piete, 43, and his uncle, Kenneth Gilliland, 64, both of Baker City, dead at the scene.
Facing a revised petition today, Easley admitted to two lesser allegations of first-degree manslaughter. The charges are felonies that, for an adult, would bring a maximum of 20 years.
The law for juveniles also provides for up to 20 years, but custody also is limited to age 25, which means Easley in effect faces 10 more years of confinement.
The state sought to get the case moved to adult court earlier this year, but the defense prevailed in keeping it as a juvenile matter. Officials said going to trial on the murder counts in the juvenile system could not have produced a longer sentence.
Relatives of the victim issued statements to the court, expressing dismay at the outcome. They felt the proceedings had focused more on Easley’s needs and the concerns about the cost of a trial, rather than the crimes.
Easley, who was 14 at the time, has been at the Northern Oregon Regional Corrections juvenile holding facility since the crimes. The judge ordered him to the custody of the Oregon Youth Authority, and he is expected to be transferred to MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn.