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Steven Crum (29) allegedly shot and killed a pregnant woman
Published: Jan 01, 2011 @ 12:53 AM
Steven Crum (29)
Oct 01, 2010
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The indictment of Steven Crum claims he not only killed Jessica Rae Killian but knew she was pregnant when he shot her dead.
The state has accused the 29-year-old Crum, a reserve deputy for the Morrow County Sheriff's Office, of shooting to death Jessica Rae Killian sometime between Oct. 1 and Oct. 4, the day workers found her body on a farm near Ione, where Crum lives.
The true bill from a Morrow County Grand Jury also accuses Crum of stealing at least $10,000 from the Pheasant Cafe & Lounge in Hermiston, the establishment where Killian was a daytime bartender.
The grand jury heard testimony from 13 witnesses, the document shows, including five police officers and Cheri McLeod, owner of the Pheasant Cafe & Lounge.
Friday morning via a video conference, the Oregon Department of Justice will arraign Crum on four felony counts stemming from Tuesday's indictment: murder of a pregnant woman, murder with a firearm, unlawful use of a firearm and first-degree aggravated theft.
A conviction for either murder charge would put Crum in state prison for the rest of his life.
Killian was a 30-year-old mother of one who lived in Hermiston and worked as a daytime bartender at the Pheasant Cafe & Lounge. Crum remains in the Umatilla County Jail in Pendleton without bail.
The DOJ is prosecuting the case at the request of Morrow County District Attorney Justin Nelson because of Crum's role as a reserve deputy.
Crum has been a reserve deputy since September 2008, and like all reservists, Sheriff Ken Matlack said, the background check on Crum was extensive.
"When you do a background on somebody, it's a review of their life," Matlack said. "There wasn't anything in his review that would have excluded him at the time."
Rather, Matlack said, Crum had indications of being a good applicant — he was a hard worker who had lived in Morrow County most of his life and had come from a good family.
There are rumors Crum may have accidently shot someone with a .22-caliber gun earlier in his life. Matlack didn't confirm or deny that but said it's hard for anyone over the course of a life to have a completely pristine history. And Crum's history, the sheriff said, didn't raise any red flags.
While Crum faces charges, the Killian family faces the grief of losing a daughter and sister. The family will hold a memorial service at 2 p.m. today at The Well Community Church in Portland. Devin Killian, one of Jessica Killian's four sisters, said in an e-mail that many people are coming from hundreds of miles away.
"We weren't going to have a service until we were flooded with mourners — calls, flowers and people that were in total shock and disbelief," Devin Killian said, "so we decided to give them a forum and ritual to say goodbye."
Killian's only child, an 8-year-old girl, won't be attending. Shawn Johnson, the girl's father, said she would be staying with him in Hawaii, and next summer he would bring her to the mainland to visit her mother's grave.
Devin Killian said although the family had wanted the girl to attend the service, staying with her father is what's best for her right now.
The family also won't have to worry about the costs of the service. Devin Killian said her sister's friends from high school, church and life paid for everything.
"She was loved," Devin Killian said. "She was needed and will be missed forever. We won't ever be OK."
Crum knew Killian was pregnant
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