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Roseburg man held on $1.5 million bail following officer-involved shooting

Details are latest

to come to light following officer-involved shooting

{child_byline}DONOVAN BRINK

The News-Review


A Roseburg man is being held on $1.5 million bail after allegedly attempting to burn his parents’ house down.

John Paul Kliestik, 39, was arraigned in Douglas County Circuit Court Monday and formally charged on a number of charges after reportedly attempting to set his parents’ home ablaze in an alcohol-fueled rage, court documents state.

Kliestik faces five counts of attempting to commit any degree of murder or aggravated murder, five counts of attempting to commit a Class A felony, two counts of first-degree arson, two counts of recklessly endangering another person, two counts of menacing and one count each of second-degree assault and assault on a public safety officer.

Roseburg police were called to a home at 1361 SE Magnolia St. to a report of a man attempting to set the home on fire with his parents trapped inside.

Police reportedly arrived to see that debris had been set on fire atop a five-gallon propane tank within the home. While one officer attempted to enter the home through the front door, two others attempted to enter through an alternative entrance, a court document stated.

When the first officer breached the front door, he could see debris burning on top of the propane tank. As the two officers entered through the secondary entrance, they encountered Kliestik at the top of a staircase.

Kliestik reportedly threw a television down the stairs, striking one of the officers. The other officer, Cpl. Pat Moore, fired at Kliestik to alleviate the threat. Kliestik was struck in his right leg, and another officer applied a tourniquet to slow the bleeding once he had been handcuffed.

According to a statement from Kliestik’s father, Kliestik had been drinking throughout the day and “became violent, as is common.” Kliestik’s parents left the home, considering a motel room for their safety but decided against it, concerned about what Kliestik might do to their home or himself.

The father called Kliestik and “made a deal with John that they would lock themselves in their room and John could stay in the rest of the residence,” the court document stated. Once in their room, the father barricaded the door to prevent Kliestik from entering, and when he tried, the barricade held firm. It was then that Kliestik reportedly began lighting fires inside the home.

Roseburg Police Department Chief Gary Klopfenstein confirmed Wednesday morning that Cpl. Moore has been placed on administrative leave, as is standard procedure with any officer-involved shooting.



Cow Creek development of own police force adds support to county and tribal lands

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has long provided dedicated deputies to provide law enforcement assistance on lands held by the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians.

This past April, the Cow Creek Tribal Police was officially formed, strengthening that partnership on tribal lands throughout southern Douglas County.

“We started this process 2, 2 1/2 years ago, and it officially started with hiring our chief,” said Dirk Doyle, an attorney representing the tribe.

That chief is Brett Johnson, who retired in 2019 after rising to the rank of deputy chief of the Medford Police Department.

“I was a consultant,” Johnson said of his role in assisting the establishment of the tribal police force. “We started reaching out to our tribal leadership, local businesses, local (law enforcement) partners as well as tribal police departments around the state.

“Jurisdictions are different. Relationships are different. Partnerships are different,” he said.

The Cow Creek tribe had an upper hand when it came to developing its police department, as much infrastructure was already in place through contracts with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. Those contracts have provided for assistance from the sheriff’s office when necessary, including two county patrol deputies, jail space and records keeping.

The tribe formed a Tribal Law Enforcement Commission, which is chaired by Doug Ladd, who retired after 25 years with the Oregon State Police.

There are currently two officers on the tribal police force. Travis Dahl, recently retired from the Roseburg Police Department and Gregg Kennerly, a former Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputy, are the two patrol officers on the tribal force. Both are fully certified through Oregon’s Department of Public Safety Standards and Training.

While their primary focus will be on response to issues on public lands, the Cow Creek police have already been helpful to local law enforcement agencies in other matters.

“We are excited for the Cow Creek Tribal Police and we look forward to continuing our collaborative relationship,” Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said Tuesday. “This partnership is not only beneficial for the sheriff’s office, the tribe, their casino, tribal housing and other properties, but to all residents and visitors of Douglas County.”

As a sovereign government, tribes across the country are able to develop their own criminal code, which applies only to members of a federally recognized tribe when on tribal land or property. Non-tribal members who violate laws on tribal land can be subject to state and federal laws, as applicable, and can be detained by tribal police

All tribal police are trained and certified by DPSST and work with federal law enforcement so that arrests of non-tribal members on tribal land would be handled initially by tribal police but then the jurisdiction would transfer to the U.S. Attorney or FBI.

As state-certified officers, the tribal police officers have the same authority as municipal law enforcement, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers in Oregon, which means tribal police can respond to, and support, local law enforcement response to public safety issues, from state laws to federal.

However, all calls for activity on tribal lands will be the responsibility of the tribal police department, not the local law enforcement or sheriff, which was the case prior to the tribal police department.

While the Cow Creek tribe has no plans for its own jail — they will continue to contract with the county — it is planning to add four or five additional officers as the process moves forward. It also is looking into developing an Explorer program for younger tribal members to grow their interest in law enforcement.

While their focus is primarily on tribal properties, the Cow Creek Tribal Police can be utilized in areas where their response might be faster county or municipal law enforcement and have already assisted in a number of cases through southern Douglas County.

Former Douglas County resident Patrick Starnes makes another run for governor — this time as a Democrat

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Patrick Starnes may have changed parties, but his positions on the issues remain consistent.

Starnes told The News-Review Tuesday that campaign finance reform remains a signature issue for him.

Starnes ran for governor on the Independent Party ticket in 2018 and made campaign finance reform the centerpiece of his campaign. He continued to fight for those reforms after that race was over.

In his 2022 campaign, he has pledged to accept no more than $1,000 per year from any individual donor and said he will not seek corporate or political action committee money.

He acknowledges that he’s going up against some powerhouse fundraisers like Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, who he will face in the primary.

To date, Starnes has raised $2,246 in campaign contributions this year to Kotek’s $23,800, and Kotek started the year with more than $91,000.

Nonetheless, Starnes believes he can win without the big donors.

“When you get $30,000 from Nike, they don’t go door to door for you. They don’t do any phoning for you, and so our grassroots effort will have a lot more boots on the ground and more ears to the phone,” he said.

Starnes pushed for passage of Measure 107 in 2020, which made limits on campaign contributions and spending constitutional.

And he was pleased and a little surprised when a whopping 78% of Oregon voters voted “yes.”

He’s disappointed, however, in what he said is the Legislature’s failure to enact any limits now that it’s explicitly constitutional for them to do so.

“There were a lot of lame excuses,” he said.

Starnes said it seems to him that the legislative leadership already had Kotek in mind as a candidate for governor for 2022, and it just wasn’t a priority for her to set finance limits before her run.

“That’s why we have to run, to bring it back to the table during the campaign as a primary issue, because the Oregonians spoke clearly to me. I heard them and some people didn’t hear them,” he said.

Starnes is a cabinetmaker who currently lives in Brownsville in Linn County, but he was a household name in Douglas County long before he ran for governor.

He is a former secretary of the Douglas County Democratic Party and a former Douglas Education Service District board member. He was narrowly defeated in a Roseburg City Council race in 2002, ran unsuccessfully for Douglas County commissioner in 2008, and ran unsuccessfully as an independent for state House District 7 in 2014.

During the District 7 race, Starnes pitched the idea of financing Oregon Health Plan coverage for all Oregonians through a junk food tax. It’s an idea he still supports.

Starnes said 40% of the money going into school districts is leaving the classroom due to Public Employee Retirement System debt and private health insurance costs.

Creating a self-supporting “OHP for all” system would free up money for teacher’s assistants in schools, raising graduation rates, he said.

He also said it would save private companies millions and allow for the creation of a second program, which he calls “PERS for all,” or the Oregon Universal Retirement System. This would be funded by a 6% payroll payment from employers and 6% from employees, just as PERS is funded but would apply to everyone.

Starnes supports Gov. Kate Brown’s mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying people have to remember that those masks protect children under 12 who can’t be vaccinated and cancer patients with weakened immune systems.

“It’s not about you and your freedom. It’s about them and their vulnerability,” Starnes said.

It’s an issue that’s become personal for Starnes, since his wife Mary Oleri recently recovered from throat cancer.

Starnes said he left the Democratic Party after President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he said hurt American workers.

He said he rejoined the Democrats this year because he was encouraged by President Joe Biden’s decision to block completion of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Starnes describes himself as an environmentalist but said he understands timber issues and wants to work in a bipartisan way to address challenges like wildfires that all Oregonians care about.

“As a builder, I feel like I could build a good bipartisan table where we could come together,” he said.

“I always feel like we have a lot more in common than what divides us. We all love our families, we all love Oregon, we all love our freedoms, and we want our communities to be better and better,” he said.