Powell Blvd's 'Motel 6 strangler' takes plea deal
On April 21 of last year, an apparent murder in a guest room at the Motel 6 on S.E. Powell Boulevard, near 31st Avenue, led to a brief suspect chase, and then a neighborhood manhunt. You read about it at the time in THE BEE.
That morning, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers spotted a stolen SUV in the motel's parking lot, and then watched as the suspect drove off in it. Officers briefly pursued the fleeing vehicle, but soon ended the high-speed chase due to safety concerns.
However, a short time later, officers found the vehicle 30 blocks east of the motel; a dragnet eventually cornered the suspect as he hid on the roof of a residence near S.E. 52nd Avenue and Francis Street, and police took 32-year-old Joshua Scott Carlson into custody.
After Carlson appeared in Multnomah County District Court on August 30 of this year, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that he had pleaded guilty to "manslaughter in the first degree" in the strangulation death of Valerie Johnson in that motel room.
The family of Ms. Johnson appeared at the hearing by phone, and indicated that they were supportive of this case resolution.
Then on September 7th, Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Christopher Marshall sentenced Carlson to 15 years in prison. And on September 10 he entered Coffee Creek Correctional Institution. Case closed.