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Court upholds murder-solicitation case

Like 'TV movie of week,' a target says.


The Oregon Supreme Court has upheld a murder-solicitation conviction against a Clackamas man, even though his solicitation was never passed on to someone else.

The intended target was a Clackamas County sheriff’s deputy.

The court rejected the argument by Robert Alan Everett that because his solicitation to commit murder had never been transmitted to someone else, he should have been acquitted of the charges.

But the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision released Thursday, upheld a Court of Appeals opinion rejecting Everett’s claim in 2012.

“The crime of solicitation is complete upon the act of soliciting, regardless of what else does or does not transpire,” Justice Jack Landau wrote for the court.

The chain of events leading to the high court’s decision was described once by the sheriff’s deputy, Karen Moss, as “like TV movie-of-the-week stuff.”

During a traffic stop in November 2006, Everett attempted to run over Moss with his sport utility vehicle, but was arrested anyway.

While in jail awaiting trial, Everett met Barry Piatt, a member of the Outsiders motorcycle club, which had been involved in illegal activities. Everett sought to enlist Piatt to kill Moss before she could testify at the trial.

But Piatt, who was scheduled for release soon, had worked with Moss as an informant. He told officials about the matter, and the recorded interview was played at Everett’s trial.

Everett eventually was found guilty of second-degree assault and other charges stemming from the 2006 incident.

But before the trial, Everett spoke to another inmate awaiting release, Benjamin Van Alstine. He said he wanted Van Alstine to deliver a copy of the recorded interview with Piatt to the Outsiders’ clubhouse on 82nd Avenue in Portland; they would “handle it” to ensure that Piatt would not testify.

Van Alstine, however, did not obtain the digital video disc or approach the club. He also told officials about Everett.

Everett was convicted in 2008 of charges of soliciting Piatt and Van Alstine to commit aggravated murder. The judgment included a charge of soliciting Val Alstine for second-degree assault.

The sentence was 21 years, 8 months, far longer than the sentence for the original crime.

On appeal, Everett argued that the charges related to Van Alstine should have been dropped, because the solicitation was not relayed to anyone.

“Evidence showing that the defendant (Everett) solicited Van Alstine … to commit aggravated murder is sufficient to establish that the defendant solicited Van Alstine to commit aggravated murder,” Landau wrote in interpreting Oregon’s 1971 law defining solicitation for murder.

“That Val Alstine never delivered this information to the Outsiders is irrelevant.”

Everett, now 47, has been at the Oregon State Penitentiary since his conviction on the murder-solicitation charges in 2008.

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