Belander still awaiting extradition to Washington
Damian Belander, the man accused of killing Newberg resident Brian Bodle last winter, is still awaiting extradition to Washington.
Belander, 22, is accused of bludgeoning Bodle in Washington in January. Bodle's body was found on Jan. 24 near a burned minivan near the junction of two U.S. Forest Service roads approximately six miles east of Cougar, Wash.
Belander has been charged with second-degree murder and felony murder. A conviction of second-degree murder and felony murder is punishable with life in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000.
An arrest warrant issued March 13 said Belander "willfully fled from the justice of the State of Washington and has been found in the County of Yamhill, State of Oregon."
Belander appeared via video in a Yamhill County Circuit Courtroom earlier this month and was slated to appear at a status check on May 23 regarding his extradition to Washington.
The legal allegations against Belander aren't limited to Washington. Two days before Bodle was found dead, Belander allegedly shot at a motor home in an attempted robbery before assaulting his mother's boyfriend with a crowbar. His use of the weapon may prove important to prosecutors because Bodle's cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and a subsequent investigation found a burned tire iron in the van.
Belander remains in custody at the Yamhill County jail on nearly 20 charges, including several counts of first-degree robbery, second-degree kidnapping, unlawful use of a weapon, recklessly endangering another person and several misdemeanor charges that stem from an incident on Jan. 21.
It was the charges against Belander in Oregon that allowed Washington authorities to track him down after they discovered a license plate that identified the van as being owned by a former boyfriend of his mother's. Washington sheriff's personnel investigated the license plates and discovered that Yamhill County police were preparing to issue a warrant for Belander in connection with a shooting and robbery involving that minivan a few days earlier.