Woman Reportedly Shot By Parolee Sues Oregon Youth Authority For Carelessness

Woman Reportedly Shot: A lady who was reportedly shot by a juvenile on parole has filed a lawsuit against the state’s juvenile detention system. Amaretta A. Rice, 22, claims that in July 2020, Gerardo Trujillo-Torres, 18, was given parole by the Oregon Youth Authority and three of its workers, despite Trujillo-Torres’ history of aggressive and disruptive behavior both in detention and outside of it.

Woman Reportedly Shot By Parolee Sues Oregon Youth Authority For Carelessness

In 2021, while riding as a passenger, Rice was seriously injured in an automobile accident in Marion County. Joshua Steward, 24, who was sitting in the driver’s seat, was shot and died.

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Trujillo-Torres, then 16 years old, was the first juvenile prosecuted following major reforms in how Oregon prosecutes minors suspected of severe crimes. Cases involving minors aged 15 to 17 are still heard in Juvenile Court until a judge makes a discretionary decision to move them to the adult system.

This week, Rice filed a lawsuit in Marion County Circuit Court against three individuals: RenΓ©e Hernandez, a juvenile probation and parole officer; Michael Runyon, a supervisor with the Oregon Youth Authority; and Daniel Berger, the superintendent of MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility, a secure facility for male juvenile offenders. As of Tuesday, a representative for the Oregon Youth Authority had declined to comment on the case.

Woman Reportedly Shot By Parolee Sues Oregon Youth Authority For Carelessness
Woman Reportedly Shot By Parolee Sues Oregon Youth Authority For Carelessness

Criminal proceedings against Trujillo Torres have been filed in Marion County Circuit Court. It’s not only second-degree murder with a firearm that he’s charged with; he’s also accused of attempted murder and assault in relation to the killing of Rice.

Rice claims the state and the three workers acted negligently by granting Trujillo-Torres parole while knowing he had previously violated the terms of his release. She is requesting compensatory damages of up to $17.5 million.

It is alleged in the lawsuit that Hernandez did nothing when she found out a month later that Trujillo-Torres had opened fire on pedestrians while driving through Keizer. It also claims that the youngster’s parole officer, Hernandez, was aware that the teen was neither attending school nor working in the autumn of 2020.

The complaint claims that Trujillo-Torres was enlisted by a rival gang to carry out the murder of Steward in retaliation for Steward’s perceived treachery in the narcotics trade. According to the evidence presented in court, Trujillo-Torres shot and killed Steward and wounded Rice on January 16, 2021. In this case, it is claimed that Rice was shot in the head.

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According to the lawsuit, Rice sustained a skull fracture and ongoing ailments include discomfort, migraines, and ringing in her ears. Her back, ribs, and ankles were all severely injured as well.

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