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Nov-02-2010 23:09printcomments

Victim Identified and Suspect arrested in Shooting Near Drakes Crossing

Marion County Sheriff's cars
Photos: Marion County Sheriff's Office

(SALEM, Ore.) - Deputies have located the victim of the shooting reported earlier this afternoon.

Twenty-year-old Elias Sontay, of Woodburn was found on privately-owned forested land, near Grade Road SE and Drakes Crossing Road SE. This area is in the foothills, east of Silverton. He had died from a single gunshot wound.

Within several hours, Deputies had arrested William C. Rogers, 50 of Brooks and charged him with the shooting death of Sontay.

Detectives investigating this shooting determined that Sontay and a friend were walking in the area, looking for plants used in floral arrangements.

Around the same time, Rogers and his cousin, Robert W. Green, 47 of Salem arrived in the area to hunt. They had only a single rifle, but walked down a dirt access road in search of deer.

At one point, Green and Rogers separated with Rogers taking the rifle with him. Several minutes later, Rogers claimed that he saw some movement in the nearby brush and thought he saw the antlers of a deer. He fired a single shot. Rogers said he saw a deer run from the area of his shot, but assumed he had missed him. He also admitted hearing voices in the remote area but did not investigate.

Rogers and Green returned to their car and drove to another area to continue hunting.

Sontay's friend was walking from the area to get help when he observed Rogers & Green leaving in a 1988 red Ford Fiesta. He reported the description of the vehicle to Oregon State Game Troopers who were patrolling the area. They later stopped the car on Grade Road SE as it was leaving the area and took Rogers into custody.

Rogers is charged with criminally negligent homicide, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Hunting Without a License. He has a prior felony conviction for possessing controlled substances.

Green was released without charges.

A Marion County Deputy District Attorney and the Medical Examiner assisted at the scene with the investigation.

Source: Marion County Sherrif's Office




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