The News-Review

Back to: Opinion
November 13, 2013
Follow Opinion

Two more arrested in Tri City slaying; 5 in custody

Two more men were arrested Wednesday in the death of a Tri City man, who investigators say was slain in his home while being robbed of his medical marijuana.

Lawrence Jace Harper, 22, of Canyonville and David Lee Habblett, 25, of Myrtle Creek were arrested in the Riddle area by the Douglas County Major Crimes Team, according to the sheriff’s office.

Three other men already have been charged with murdering William Joe Bruton, 57. Bruton was found dead Oct. 20 in his home at 139 Ulam Lane.

Sheriff’s office spokesman Dwes Hutson said today detectives are continuing to investigate and that he couldn’t provide any more information about Harper and Habblett’s arrests.

The other suspects are Buford Thomas Harper, 27; William “Billy” Christopher Aguayo, 21, and Jarrad M. Ramsey, 21. All three are Myrtle Creek residents. Buford Harper is Lawrence Harper’s older brother, according to the sheriff’s office.

Habblett and Lawrence Harper were booked into the Douglas County Jail on suspicion of criminally negligent homicide, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and conspiracy to commit a Class A felony.

According to an affidavit filed by investigators in Douglas County Circuit Court, a break in the case came Oct. 31 when Buford Harper, already in custody for an unrelated probation violation, asked to speak to detectives.

Harper told detectives he and four other men went to Bruton’s home with plans to tie him up and take his marijuana.

Harper said Bruton resisted, so he put him in a choke hold, according to the affidavit. Harper told detectives that when he realized Bruton was not breathing, he attempted CPR.

The day after interviewing Harper, detectives interviewed and arrested Aguayo and Ramsey.

Aguayo told detectives that four of the men, including himself, went inside Bruton’s home wearing ski masks and gloves. Bruton was sleeping on a couch, and Harper started beating him, Aguayo told detectives.

Aguayo said that when Harper realized Bruton wasn’t breathing, he slapped his face, hit him in the back and pushed on his stomach, according to the affidavit.

Ramsey told detectives he drove the men to the home and waited in the vehicle while they went inside, according to the affidavit.

Buford Harper, Aguayo and Ramsey have been charged with murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and conspiracy to commit a Class A felony.

The original version of this story was posted Wednesday and appears below.

Two more men were arrested today in the homicide of a Tri City man who was found dead in his home Oct. 20.

Lawrence Jace Harper, 22, of Canyonville and David Lee Habblett, 25, of Myrtle Creek were arrested by the Douglas County Major Crimes Team in connection with the death of William Joe Bruton, 57. Three other men already have been charged with murder.

Harper is the younger brother of Buford Thomas Harper, 27, of Myrtle Creek, who was the first suspect arrested. William “Billy” Christopher Aguayo, 21, and Jarrad M. Ramsey, 21, both of Myrtle Creek were arrested the day after detectives interview Buford Harper about Bruton’s death.

Lawrence Harper and Habblett were arrested in the Riddle area without incident, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

According to an affidavit filed by investigators in Douglas County Circuit Court, Bruton was slain in his home in the 100 block of Ulam Lane while men robbed him of his medical marijuana plants.

A break in the case came Oct. 31 when Buford Harper, already in custody for an unrelated probation violation, asked to speak to detectives, according to the affidavit.

Harper told detectives he and four other men went to Bruton’s home with plans to tie him up and take his marijuana.

Harper said Bruton resisted, so he put him in a choke hold, according to the afffidavit. Harper told detectives that when he realized Bruton was not breathing, he attempted CPR.

The day after interviewing Harper, detectives interviewed and arrested Aguayo and Ramsey.

Aguayo told detectives that four of the men, including himself, went inside Bruton’s home wearing ski masks and gloves. Bruton was sleeping on a couch, and Harper started beating him, Aguayo told detectives.

Aguayo said that when Harper realized Bruton wasn’t breathing, he slapped his face, hit him in the back and pushed on his stomach, according to the affidavit.

Ramsey told detectives he drove the men to the home and waited in the vehicle while they went inside, according to the affidavit.

Habblett was booked today into the Douglas County Jail on suspicion of criminally negligent homicide, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and conspiracy to commit a Class A felony.

The charges faced by Lawrence Harper were not immediately available.

Buford Harper, Aguayo and Ramsey have been charged with murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and conspiracy to commit a Class A felony.


Explore Related Articles

The News-Review Updated Nov 14, 2013 12:45PM Published Nov 18, 2013 12:21PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.