Granite murder suspect had been accused of assault

By Chris Collins October 18, 2013 10:15 am

Officials declined to prosecute Dillan Easley, 14, in cases in Lane and Douglas counties


By Chris Collins

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The 14-year-old Baker County boy charged with fatally shooting his foster father and another man at a hunting cabin near Granite Oct. 3 had been involved with juvenile authorities in Lane and Douglas counties before moving to Baker County.

Dillan Dakota Willford Easley had no juvenile court convictions, however, according to information released by Aric Fromdahl, Douglas County Juvenile Department director.

Allegations of second-degree assault, physical harassment and separate allegations of criminal mischief had been made against Easley in 2012. In each case the state declined to prosecute.

Easley, who accidentally shot himself in the leg the same night he is accused of killing his foster father, Michael Piete, 43, and Piete’s uncle, Kenneth C. Gilliland, 64, was taken to St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Boise for treatment and later released.

He is being held at the 32-bed juvenile portion of the Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Facility (NORCOR) at The Dalles. Easley’s next court appearance is scheduled at 2 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 31, in Grant County Circuit Court at Canyon City.

Grant County District Attorney Ryan Joslin has charged Easley with two counts of aggravated murder in the shooting deaths of Piete and Gilliland. The two men, along with Easley, lived on Dry Creek Road off Highway 30 southeast of Baker City. 

Others at the cabin when the shootings happened were Bob Gilliland, Kenneth’s brother, of Tidewater, and family friend Dennis Glerup of Baker City.

Easley had been placed in foster care with Piete and his wife, Carlotta, by Douglas County.

Easley’s parents are Stephanie Steinhoff of Reedsport and J.D.Wilford Easley of Myrtle Point.

The Pietes had received special training to qualify them as “therapeutic” or “treatment” foster parents, Fromdahl said.

That training is designed to help foster parents respond to children’s emotional and behavioral problems.

The information released by Fromdahl comes from a public document that is contained in a statewide data base and titled “youth information docket.” 

The document’s “referrals and allegations history”  states that Easley was referred to the Douglas County Juvenile Department on March 19, 2012, on two allegations of second-degree criminal mischief. Easley, who was born on June 1, 1999, was 12 at the time.

The Douglas County District Attorney’s office declined to file a juvenile petition and declined to prosecute on July 30, 2012, according to the document.

Second-degree criminal mischief is a Class A misdemeanor and involves property damage of $500 or more.

Fromdahl, who declined to release specific details of Easley’s case, citing juvenile court confidentiality laws, said there could be many reasons why the state did not pursue prosecution after looking at the “totality of the circumstances.”

Speaking in generalities, he said the victim might choose not to pursue a complaint because the young person was in a treatment program where he or she might have become understandably frustrated and lashed out, causing property damage.

Other entries on Easley’s referrals and allegations history include three counts of second-degree assault, a Class B felony, and four counts of physical harassment, a Class B misdemeanor. Those allegations stem from incidents that were reported to Lane County Youth Services on April 3, 2012. The Lane County District Attorney’s Office declined to pursue the allegations on June 19, 2012.

Again, speaking in generalities, Fromdahl said the assault and harassment charges might, for example, stem from an incident at a treatment center where the staff is trained to expect assaultive behavior. Again, after examining all aspects of the situation, the state might decide not to prosecute the allegations.

Another incident, referred to the Lane County Youth Services program on June 11, 2012, accused Easley of third-degree criminal mischief, a Class C misdemeanor which alleges that a person “tampers or interferes with property of another.”

The Lane County District Attorney’s Office also declined to file a complaint or to prosecute on July 23, 2012.

Both the Lane County District Attorney’s Office and the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the specifics of Easley’s case history.