PORTLAND, Oregon — A grand jury has refused to indict an Eastern Oregon man in a killing that investigators concluded was likely self-defense during a robbery attempt, prosecutors said Wednesday.
The case involves Timothy Allen Kelly, 22, of Irrigon, who called a narcotics officer to surrender six days after 25-year-old Daniel Leonard Dechand of Hermiston died on Feb. 4 of gunshot wounds.
The grand jury heard the case on Tuesday, Umatilla County District Attorney Daniel Primus said.
Kelly gave the self-defense account in a tearful interview as detectives took him from Columbia Gorge to Eastern Oregon.
Dechand was a friend who tried to rob him, Kelly said, adding that he warned Dechand that he was armed then fired when Dechand claimed to have a weapon and reached under a car seat as if to grab it.
Investigators didn't find a weapon under the seat but noted the car had traveled several miles before officers took control of it.
The prosecutor said 51-year-old David Wayne Newton of Hermiston witnessed the shooting, and there was substantial evidence to support the self-defense account.
The robbery attempt involved a backpack, but it was unclear exactly what property might have been inside that Dechand wanted.
Newton took Dechand to the hospital, where he died.
Kelly later led police to a rock pile where he had hidden the gun, Primus said.
Kelly had faced a murder charge but was being released without any pending criminal counts or proceedings. He could not be reached for comment. A phone number listed under his name was disconnected.