Murder suspect being moved from Oregon State Hospital to new facility, neighbors concerned

Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 4:33 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - A man accused of killing three people in Lane County in 2015 is being moved from the Oregon State Hospital to a behavioral health facility in Woodburn, a decision that caught the City of Woodburn and its residents off-guard.

Police initially arrested the man in question, Michael Bryant, in 2015, after a rampage in Lane County during which police said he killed his father, badly injured his mother, and killed two other people by running them over with his car.

A judge sent Bryant to the state hospital in 2016, after doctors found him unfit to assist in his own defense.

The City of Woodburn found out last Friday that Bryant would be transferred to an adult behavioral health facility in Woodburn in the next two weeks, after a ruling by the state’s Psychiatric Security Review Board.

“Because local governments are charged with providing public safety, the PSRB process needs to be more inclusive and take into consideration our ability to manage the community risks associated with their decision making, which did not happen in this instance,” said City Administrator Scott Derickson.

Woodburn Police Chief Martin Pilcher said his department is familiar with the facility Bryant will be transferred to, and that Bryant would not be allowed unescorted passes into the community.

Jo Ann Miller, the prosecutor assigned to Bryant’s case in Lane County, opposed his transfer.

“We absolutely consider Mr. Bryant a threat to the community because we don’t know that he’ll be able to navigate his schizophrenia sufficiently,” said Miller. “I don’t share the confidence expressed by the PSRB.

Miller said the Woodburn facility was described as a “recovery house,” and a “secure facility” during the hearing before the review board, and that there could be fewer restrictions on Bryant’s movements over time.