By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Prison term meted in DUII crash

The 30-year-old McMinnville resident settled his case earlier this week by pleading guilty to one count each of  driving under the influence, driving while suspended, aggravated driving, reckless endangering and third-degree assault. Benton County Circuit Judge Locke A. Williams responded by sentencing him to four years in prison on the assault count and shorter terms, to be served concurrently, on the others.

Cannard was originally charged with second-degree assault, which carries a lengthy mandatory minimum prison term under Measure 11. In addition to the prison term, he was ordered to serve three years of post-prison supervision and 10 years of license revocation upon release. 

One of the factors considered both in the original charging decision and eventual sentencing was the critical nature of the injuries suffered by the other driver, student Jessica Neffendorf.

Cannard was scheduled to take his case to trial this week, but opted to accept a plea deal instead. He is slated to serve his time at the Deer Ridge Correctional Institution, near Madras in Central Oregon’s Jefferson County. His earliest possible release date, with full good time credits, would be October 2018.

The Benton County sheriff’s office gave this account of the crash:

Cannard was westbound on Highway 20. Neffendorf, then 21, was in the process of turning onto Highway 20 eastbound, from Circle Boulevard, when Cannard ran a red light and slammed into her.

Neffendorf had to be extricated. She was transported by Corvallis Fire Department ambulance to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis with head injuries, broken bones and internal injuries.

Cannard was also transported by ambulance to the same hospital. He was taken into custody following treatment for minor injuries.

Prosecutors told the Corvallis Gazette-Times it appeared Cannard was under the influence of a synthetic drug known on the street as spice. They said a pipe containing spice residue was found in his vehicle.

Cannard was first convicted of drunken driving in 2006 in California, following a 21st birthday celebration.

He was convicted of a second offense in July 2013, just a few months before the Highway 20 crash, in an incident east of Yamhill on Highway 240. He was sentenced to probation and 12 months of license suspension.

His wife said he enlisted in the U.S. Marines at the age of 18 and served eight years. She said he developed post-traumatic stress disorder following five deployments, three of them to Iraq, and was taking anti-anxiety medication.

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