Morrow County DA is a crime victim

By on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

HEPPNER – Morrow County District Attorney Justin Nelson is not handling the case against Kaleb Gage Tate, 30, of Ione. The suspect is in Umatilla County Jail, charged with property hit and run, third-degree escape, and resisting arrest. Nelson was the victim.

“We had an antique family wagon that was outside our residence,” he said. “Someone came off the road, hit the wagon, broke it in half and pretty much destroyed it. I called that in, just like anybody else would.”

Nelson’s daughter showed her investigative skills, finding a license plate among the debris that apparently led law enforcement to Tate. However, before a suspect was even known, Nelson removed his office from the case.

“I reached out to Gilliam County District Attorney Marion Weatherford,” he said. “I asked him if he’d be able to review the case if anybody was located.”

Weatherford agreed to help. Nelson said it’s important for district attorneys’ offices to avoid perceived conflicts by asking for help from the Oregon Department of Justice or from another county.