By News-Register staff • 

Defendant sentenced in deadly Deer Meadow hammer attack

Marcus Larson/News-Register##Defendant Nathan Brewer is flanked by his attorney, Michael Finch, at the Friday afternoon sentencing hearing in Yamhill County Circuit Court. Brewer received a 75-month prison sentence.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##Defendant Nathan Brewer is flanked by his attorney, Michael Finch, at the Friday afternoon sentencing hearing in Yamhill County Circuit Court. Brewer received a 75-month prison sentence.

Nathan Brewer, who bludgeoned Ronald McKenzie to death with a hammer last May while the two were residents at Sheridan's Deer Meadow Assisted Living Community, was sentenced to 75 months in prison Friday afternoon in Yamhill County Circuit Court.

Judge Ronald Stone handed down the sentence after the 52-year-old Brewer previously pleaded no contest to one count of second-degree manslaughter, a Class B felony and Measure 11 offense.

A defendant who enters a non contest plea concedes the charges alleged without disputing or admitting guilt and without offering a defense.

Brewer was indicted by a grand jury on a murder charge in the case that was scheduled to go to trial starting Tuesday, April 28. The trial was scheduled to last two to three weeks.

However, Deputy District Attorney Meuy Chao and court-appointed defense attorneys Michael Finch of McMinnville and Elana Andrew-Flynn of Sheridan negotiated a plea agreement that will send Brewer to prison for a little more than six years, based on his crime rating and criminal history score.

He receives credit for time served in local custody, so the time he serves in state Department of Corrections custody will be reduced by about a year.

Had the case gone to trial, and Brewer been found guilty of murder, he would have been sentenced to 25 years.

Brewer will be placed on 36 months of post-prison supervision when he's released from from prison. He was also ordered to pay $2,860 in restitution to the McKenzie family to cover funeral expenses, in addition to standard court fees and fines.

Stone waived attorney fees that will likely total more than $20,000, in part, because he said he wants the restitution paid in full.

Brewer's attack on McKenzie took place the morning of May 14. The 51-year-old victim died of his injuries two days later at Salem Hospital. A physician said he sustained severe blows to the head and face, consistent with an attack with a hammer.

McKenzie's niece, Danielle Hamilton, read a lengthy statement to the court. Kevin McKenzie, a brother, Jake McKenzie, a nephew, and family friend Beckie Kittson also spoke.

Finch said Brewer, who was confined to a wheelchair during the hearing, would not make a statement.

Stone offered his condolences to the McKenzie family.

See Tuesday's print edition for additional details.

 

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