Abo indicted by grand jury
Abo, 34, is being held in Washington County rather than Yamhill due to his recent background in law enforcement.
He launched his law enforcement career as a Yamhill County jail deputy, went on to spend four years as a patrol deputy before being fired by Sheriff Jack Crabtree in December 2012 for a pattern of failing to make court appearances. He went on to volunteer for eight months as a reserve officer with the Yamhill Police Department. In fact, he remains on Yamhill’s reserve roster, though he has not been active since the August death of former chief Gordon Rise.
He faces two counts each of first-degree assault and first-degree criminal mischief. While criminal mistreatment is a Class C felony, first-degree assault is a Class A felony carrying a lengthy mandatory-minimum prison sentence under Measure 11.
Bail was originally set at $1 million, but was reduced to $500,000 by Judge Cynthia Easterday during a proceeding in which the prosecution requested $1 million and the defense for $50,000. To secure his release, he would have to post $50,000.
Abo’s father retained a defense attorney for him, but said he would not be able to post any amount beyond $5,000.
Abo appeared before Easterday again for the serving of the indictment Monday. Security was tight, with several sheriff’s deputies stationed throughout the courtroom.
“It’s a public safety concern, not only for him, but everyone else involved,” said Capt. Tim Svenson of the YCSO.
“There are a lot of family members upset over this,” Svenson said. “It’s divided the families.
“You’ve got three different players. There are the victim’s grandparents, the victim’s mother and the ex-wife, who has the other children. You put all that together and you’ve got all the makings of having potential issues.”
Svenson said every attempt is made in high-profile cases to ensure courtroom security. He said the county deploys all the resources it deems necessary.
Abo is charged with inflicting brain damage, torn large and small intestines, scrotal bruising, seven broken ribs and extensive bruising of the arms, legs, forehead and pelvic area on the child. The damage, revealed when medics were called to Abo’s home in late December, stemmed from at least two attacks on different occasions, according to medical experts.
The boy is being treated at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. “As I understand he is out of intensive care, but is still struggling with significant medical issues,” according to Capt. Matt Scales of the McMinnville police.
The Abo residence would normally come under the jurisdiction of the sheriff’s office, which was the first to respond to the scene. However, Sheriff Jack Crabtree asked McMinnville police to lead the investigation to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest.
Abo claimed the boy fell down a stairwell. However, the doctor treating him at OHSU said the injuries resulted from multiple blunt force blows inflicted on multiple occasions.
The boy was hurt on New Year's Eve. Abo was arrested on Jan. 4.
Due to his access to firearms, his training in law enforcement and his background in martial arts combat, an Oregon State Police SWAT unit was called in. The SWAT unit broke down a gate with an armored vehicle to gain safe access to the property.
He is next due back in court at 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3.