Ward Weaver's stepson prepares to go on trial for murder: 'No, I - KPTV - FOX 12


Ward Weaver's stepson prepares to go on trial for murder: 'No, I'm not guilty'

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Francis Weaver during a jailhouse interview with FOX 12's Jamie Wilson on Monday. Francis Weaver during a jailhouse interview with FOX 12's Jamie Wilson on Monday.
Jail booking photos of Francis Weaver over the years. Jail booking photos of Francis Weaver over the years.
Convicted killer Ward Weaver (KPTV file image) Convicted killer Ward Weaver (KPTV file image)

He's the stepson of notorious killer Ward Weaver and in one week, Francis Weaver will face a jury in his own murder case. But during an exclusive jailhouse interview with FOX 12 on Monday, Francis Weaver claimed he is innocent.
“No, I’m not guilty of murder. And I’m not guilty of robbery. I wasn’t involved. It was never supposed to be a robbery, no one was supposed to be armed. Nothing like that," he said. 
It’s been two years since Francis Weaver, 33, was arrested for murder in the death of Edward Spangler in Canby. Weaver admits that he and a couple other guys planned to fake a car break-in and steal Spangler’s suitcase full of marijuana. But something went wrong and Michael Orren shot Spangler.

Francis Weaver claims he was in his mother’s nearby home at the time. Orren confessed and made a plea deal, but Francis Weaver said prosecutors won’t let Orren testify on his behalf.
“In the confession, there’s exculpatory evidence that shows that I’m not guilty of what they’re accusing me of,” he said. "Yet the DA’s office has decided that they’re going to bend the rules and make it so he can’t testify at trial.”
But Francis Weaver wonders if any testimony would help him. Despite his request for a change of venue, his trial will be held in Clackamas County – the same place his stepfather Ward Weaver was convicted of raping and killing Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis in 2002.
“That was two little girls. My little sister’s best friends. It’s still fresh in my memory and it hits closer to home for me. But society as a whole, I feel that was a huge thing," Francis Weaver said Monday. 
Even 14 years later, he says the community is still grieving and placing blame.
“Not everybody knows, you know, that I cooperated with the FBI and helped lead to his arrest and eventual conviction," Francis Weaver said. 
Ward Weaver is serving a life sentence in prison. But Francis Weaver worries that people still want him to pay for his father’s sins.
“There’s still people who say, 'oh yeah, you’re a murderer and you helped your father.' Helped my father? These people don’t even know what they’re talking about. And what if one of those people, just one of those people are on my jury and they get the other jurors to think something like that," he said. 
The Clackamas County District Attorney is not releasing any information about Francis Weaver’s trial before it begins. Francis Weaver said he’s still thinking about whether or not he’ll take the stand in his own defense.

In February 2014, Maria Shaw, the mother of Francis Weaver and ex-wife of Ward Weaver, told FOX 12 her son was asleep at the time Spangler was killed.

"I will not let my kids do anything stupid especially murder because it's already been his father's blood. It's not even Francis' father," Shaw said. "They all know that. Come and give me a break. It's not going to stick."

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