Wednesday, April 13, 2011/lk
The Hood River County courtroom of Judge Paul Crowley was filled Monday morning with visitors awaiting the arraignment of murder suspect Dane Kay Donaghy.
Donaghy, 20, was arrested Friday in connection with the death of Oscar Jose Solorio in Parkdale.
Donaghy, appearing by live-feed video from the NORCOR holding facility in The Dalles, was read the felony murder charge against him in the death of Solorio, 31, of Hood River. Donaghy responded with "yes" when asked if he understood the charges.
The charge carries a penalty with a minimum of 25 years incarceration and a maximum of life in prison.
Crowley proceeded to instruct Donaghy on his rights related to representation and trial, to which Donaghy also indicated understanding.
Donaghy, currently assigned public defender Cami White, from the Metropolitan Public Defender's office in Portland, has yet to indicate if he will seek private representation.
The next court date for Donaghy was set for May 3 at 10:30 a.m., and will address representation and future procedural dates.
White, present via teleconference call, directed Donaghy not to make any statements and indicated that she would be in contact with him soon.
Bail for Donaghy was set at $50,000 cash by Crowley, who indicated that the case may be adjudicated by either himself or Judge Donald Hull.
According to longtime friend Michelle Wortman, Donaghy is a graduate of Hood River Valley High School.
It did not appear that Solorio, the victim, was represented by any family or friends in the courtroom during this initial proceeding.
Kate Stebbins, deputy district attorney from the Hood River District Attorney's office, conducted the arraignment on behalf of District Attorney John Sewell, who will be prosecuting the case. Sewell was out of town at the time of the arraignment.
According to the Hood River County Sheriff report, on April 8, just after 3 p.m., deputies arrived at 6170 Billings Road in Parkdale, on a report of a shooting.
Personnel from the sheriff's office and Oregon State Police arrived at the location and found Solorio lying on the ground, unresponsive. Solorio was pronounced dead on the scene by emergency medical personnel a short time later.
Donaghy was arrested at the residence. Deputies, in conjunction with the Hood River County District Attorney's Office, are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding Solorio's death.
An autopsy at the Oregon State Medical Examiner's office was scheduled for Monday, April 11; results are pending.
Following the short proceeding, Donaghy's mother, grandmother, friends and family gathered in the hallway outside the courtroom.
A woman who acknowledged to bystanders that she was Donaghy's mother spoke out in the public hallway of the court building on behalf of Donaghy indicating she believed he acted in self-defense.
"They were friends - I cared about as much for Oscar as I do for my son," she said.
The group began discussing details of the situation amongst themselves when Donaghy's mother approached Sheriff Joe Wampler to ask why no one had returned her calls to the sheriff's office hotline.
Wampler ushered the group into the adjoining vacant courtroom to address the question.
Once inside, Wampler attempted to respond to family and friends' concerns about upcoming proceedings and the charges against Donaghy.
Wampler encouraged each person with additional information on the case to contact Detective Gerry Tiffany for a private interview.
While the group was gathered, a few individuals began sharing details about the victim.
Carrie Rasmussen, of the district attorney's office, stepped in to direct the group to an appropriate format with which to express their concerns or information stating, "This is a long process that is slow-moving. All criminal cases take a long time. It will take months and months for the collection of information."
While some family pressed for details on evidence against Donaghy, Rasmussen said, in a definitive statement, "There are currently no more answers to your questions. This case is still under investigation."
As the group began to leave the impromptu meeting, Donaghy's grandmother, Christina Pryse, offered the following statement, "Under these very dire circumstances I can't say enough good about the local police and sheriff departments. They have been so courteous and kind to all of us."