07-03-2020  4:18 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Police Union Contract Extended, Bargaining to Continue

Negotiations will resume in January 2021.

Inslee Heckled Off Stage During Tri-Cities Appearance

Speaking outdoors in Eastern Washington, the governor was repeatedly interrupted by hecklers as he urged residents to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Portland Police Declare Riot, Use Tear Gas

Several arrests were made as protests continued into early Wednesday morning.

Oregon Legislature Passes Police Reform Package Amid ‘Rushed’ Criticism

Six new bills declare an emergency in police protocol and are immediately effective. 

NEWS BRIEFS

Trump Blows His Twitter Dog Whistle on America’s Fair Housing Policies in the Suburbs

The president could be Tweeting on unemployment or COVID-19 infections but instead pushes housing discrimination ...

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Awards Historic $100,000 Founders' Centennial Scholarship

Zeta celebrates 100 years with largest single recipient scholarship awarded by a historically Black Greek-lettered sorority or...

Nominations Being Accepted for the Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award

Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1994 to honor Multnomah County residents who have contributed outstanding...

Shatter, LLC Launches to Elevate Diverse Voices in Progressive Politics

A collaboration of leading female political strategists aims to fill a void in the world of political consulting ...

New Director Takes Helm at Oregon Black Pioneers

In its 27-year history, the organization has never had an executive director, and has expressed confidence and optimism in Zachary A....

Oregon thought it had controlled COVID-19, then came surge

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — It was early June when the mayor of Newport a small city perched on Oregon's coast, received a phone call that he had been dreading.It was the county commissioner — two workers at a local seafood plant had coronavirus and others were being tested. “When he...

Surge in state COVID-19 cases driven by eastern Washington

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Cirio Hernandez Hernandez was thinning apple trees on a June morning in Yakima, grabbing a fistful of tiny apples and knocking off all but one that was left to grow to a marketable size.It wasn't the Yakima Valley's hot temperatures, or the strenuous work, that was...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

Banana Republic or Constitutional Democracy? The US Military May Decide

Will the military, when and if the chips are down, acts in accord with the Constitution and not out of loyalty to its commander-in-chief? ...

To Save Black Lives, and the Soul of Our Nation, Congress Must Act Boldly

For too long, Black people in America have been burdened with the unjust responsibility of keeping ourselves safe from police. ...

Racial Inequalities - Black America Has Solutions; White America Won't Approve Them

The problem is we have to secure approval of the solutions from the people who deny the problem's existence while reaping the benefits from it. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Religious leaders to invoke Frederick Douglass on July 4th

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — About 150 preachers, rabbis and imams are promising to invoke Black abolitionist Frederick Douglass on July 4th as they call for the U.S. to tackle racism and poverty.The religious leaders are scheduled this weekend to frame their sermons around “What to the...

Paint schemes go political as NASCAR season heats up

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Many a fan is quick to insist they do not like politics in their sports — no kneeling, no raised fists, no T-shirt messages. Just the game or event, please and thank you.That has not been the case of late as the nation goes through a reckoning on race and racism...

Redskins to have 'thorough review' of name amid race debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Redskins began a “thorough review” of their name Friday, a significant step toward moving on from what experts and advocates call a “dictionary-defined racial slur.”Even though owner Dan Snyder had shown no willingness to change...

ENTERTAINMENT

Hugh Downs, genial presence on TV news and game shows, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Hugh Downs, the genial, versatile broadcaster who became one of television’s most familiar and welcome faces with more than 15,000 hours on news, game and talk shows, has died at age 99.Downs died of natural causes at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Wednesday, said...

Review: A master class by Catherine Deneuve in 'The Truth'

Family may be the great subject of Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, but he doesn't draw straightforward portraits. In Kore-eda's hands, family is more malleable. He tends to shift roles around like he's rearranging furniture, subtly remaking familiar dynamics until he has, without you knowing...

Union tells actors not to work on pandemic film 'Songbird'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The union that represents film actors told its members Thursday not to work on the upcoming pandemic thriller “Songbird,” saying the filmmakers have not been up-front about safety measures and had not signed the proper agreements for the movie that is among...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Discourse over national anthem looms for NBA, other leagues

Rick Carlisle isn't sure what to expect from players during the national anthem when the NBA season resumes in...

Reps: Singers Kacey Musgraves, Ruston Kelly file for divorce

NEW YORK (AP) — Grammy-winning singer Kacey Musgraves and her musician-husband, Ruston Kelly, have filed...

Cop who stopped Elijah McClain fired over response to photos

AURORA, Colo. (AP) — One of the white officers who stopped Elijah McClain was fired over photos showing...

US victims of FARC rebels win claim to Venezuelan's fortune

MIAMI (AP) — Three American defense contractors held for five years by leftist rebels in Colombia moved...

French government ministers investigated over virus crisis

PARIS (AP) — A special French court ordered an investigation Friday of three current or former government...

Russian Orthodox Church defrocks coronavirus-denying monk

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Orthodox Church on Friday defrocked a coronavirus-denying monk who has defied...

McMenamins
Meghan Barr and Thomas J. Sheeran the Associated Press

CLEVELAND (AP) -- An Ohio sex offender was convicted Friday of killing all 11 women whose remains were found in his home and buried in his backyard, bringing closure to a case that horrified the city of Cleveland.

Anthony Sowell, 51, was convicted of aggravated murder, kidnapping, tampering with evidence and abuse of a human corpse in the 11 deaths. He now faces the death penalty.

"We do deserve this justice," said Denise Hunter, whose sister, Amelda, was found buried in Sowell's back yard in plastic garbage bags. "I'm so glad that finally, on July the 21st, that all of our families can rest assured - and all of our loved ones can rest assured - that peace has come to our families."

Most of the victims' families slipped out a side entrance of the courtroom, preferring to avoid making any comment about the verdict. When Sowell was convicted of murdering Tonia Carmichael, who was strangled with an electrical charger, Carmichael's mother and daughter clung to each other and wept as they rocked back and forth in the front row.

The jury deliberated for just over 15 hours before announcing the verdicts.

Sowell, dressed in a gray polo shirt and dark slacks, closed his lips tightly, looked straight ahead and barely moved as the first aggravated murder verdict was read. Deputies immediately cuffed his hands in front of him. After standing through the verdicts covering one victim, Sowell sat down, his chest heaving as he pushed himself back in the chair.

Most jurors avoided looking at Sowell, and instead watched the judge read the verdicts. Two jurors wiped away tears and a few swiveled in their chairs to look at sobbing relatives of victims.

When the jury left the room, Sowell raised his clasped, cuffed hands high in the air.

None of the attorneys commented afterward because a gag order remains in place until after Sowell is sentenced.

The jury sat through weeks of disturbing and emotional testimony as the prosecution made its case against Sowell. They saw photographs of the victims' blackened, skeletal corpses lying on autopsy tables and listened to police describe how their bodies had been left to rot in Sowell's home and backyard.

"Some of it was very gross and, you know, devastating to hear," Hunter said. "But I already accepted peace when we found out about the murders. Some of it I didn't want to know, but peace was already settled in my heart."

The women began disappearing in 2007, and prosecutors say Sowell lured them to his home with the promise of alcohol or drugs. Police discovered the first two bodies and a freshly dug grave in late 2009 after officers went to investigate a woman's report that she had been raped there.

Many of the women found in Sowell's home had been missing for weeks or months, and some had criminal records. They were disposed of in garbage bags and plastic sheets, then dumped in various parts of the house and yard. Most were strangled with household objects and had traces of cocaine or depressants in their systems. One woman's skull was found in a bucket in the basement.

All of the victims were black, as is Sowell. He was acquitted of only one count in the 83-count indictment: a charge of aggravated robbery connected to one of the women he was convicted of attacking.

Sowell was also convicted of rape, attempted murder, kidnapping and felonious assault in attacks on two other women who survived. He was convicted of attempted murder, attempted rape, kidnapping and felonious assault in an attack on a third woman who also survived.

During the trial, several women gave grueling testimony of alleged attacks by Sowell, telling the court how they had managed to escape. One woman, who said she was brutally raped by Sowell, testified that she had seen a headless body in his home.

Prosecutors also showed an eight-hour taped interrogation of Sowell after he was first arrested.

During the interrogation, Sowell let out a cry of anguish and buried his head in his hands as two detectives pressed him to explain how the bodies ended up in his house in a drug-ridden neighborhood on the east side of town.

"It had to be me," Sowell said in the video, rubbing his head with his hands. "I can't describe nobody. I cannot do it. I don't know. But I'm trying to."

Sowell told detectives during the interrogation that he heard a voice that told him not to go into a third-floor bedroom where two bodies were found. He also told them about "blackouts" and "nightmares" in which he would hurt women with his hands. He told detectives that he began losing control of his anger about the time the victims started disappearing.

When one detective described a body that was found in his basement, Sowell became visibly upset again in the video.

"I guess I did that, too," he said. "'Cause nobody else could've did it."

The defense declined to call any witnesses. The strategy left unanswered a central question in the case: how could anyone live in a house with rotting bodies?

In his closing statement, defense attorney John Parker questioned the credibility of several witnesses, noting that some had struggled with drug addiction and mental health issues, and criticized police officers for failing to properly investigate when the victims' families tried to report them missing. He asked jurors whether the prosecution proved who actually killed the women - at one point suggesting that more than one person may have dragged the bodies around the house.

One woman's body, found in the basement under a mound of dirt, was nude and gagged at the mouth with her shirt tied behind her head. Most were bound at the wrists or ankles with shoelaces, cable wire and rope.

When the bodies were found, police concluded that a nearby sausage shop wasn't the source of a lingering stench as many neighbors believed. The family-owned business had spent $20,000 on plumbing fixtures, sewer lines and grease traps to get rid of the odor.

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

burgerville allies
The Skanner Photo Archives