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Police officer wins praise

For murder suspect's arrest


When Madras police officer Ryan Grote responded to a report that a man wanted to turn himself in for a murder, he said he was just doing his job.

It was late in the evening of Aug. 31, and Joshua Leo Jokinen, 30, of Pendleton, had just called Frontier Regional 911 from the Circle K (formerly Tiger Mart) on U.S. Highway 97 in Madras to say that he had killed a woman in the Sisters area.

Grote was on duty and responded to the location, where he saw Jokinen sitting on the sidewalk drinking a beer. He made contact with Jokinen, who wasn't sure where the murder had taken place.

"He had hurt somebody and wanted to turn himself in," said Grote, "but you can't just arrest somebody because he said he did something."

At that point, police in Deschutes County had not yet determined that a crime had been committed.

"It's hard when you have no victim; people lie to us all the time," he said. "He'd been drinking, so I knew that I had him on a probation violation."

Grote called dispatch and asked the dispatcher to contact Jokinen's probation officer, but dispatch had some difficulty getting ahold of the officer.

"I just wanted to keep him there as long as I could," said Grote. "He was going to walk to Redmond to turn himself in."

With no response from the probation officer, Grote offered to give Jokinen a ride and drove around waiting for a call.

In a letter to Madras Police Chief Tom Adams, Capt. Tim Edwards, of the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, praised Grote's resourcefulness.

"Officer Grote eventually drove him south of town as far as he could and then pulled over to let him out since he had no probable cause to arrest him," Edwards wrote. "Just as Jokinen was preparing to walk away, the PO called and indicated that he would place a detainer on Jokinen. Officer Grote then took Jokinen into custody on the Umatilla County parole violation."

While Grote was at the Jefferson County Correctional Facility with Jokinen, Deschutes County deputies responded to a report of a deceased woman at a horse farm outside Sisters, and discovered an elderly woman who had been beaten to death.

"Deschutes County deputies contacted officer Grote and asked him to seize Jokinen's clothing prior to his booking into the jail," Edwards said.

Ultimately, Deschutes County deputies arrested Jokinen for murder.

"Even though the suspect in this case called to turn himself in, officer Grote's persistence and creative thinking enabled us to secure Jokinen and recover valuable evidence that would surely have been lost had he allowed Jokinen to leave," he wrote. "Officer Grote prepared a well-written police report on his contact with Jokinen that will be crucial to the prosecution of this case."

"I was just doing my job," said Grote.



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