By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Shooter receives probationary sentence

Austin James Place will remain on formal probation for 60 months for a 2021 shooting incident in Lafayette.

The plea agreement reached between defense attorney Abraham Hanson of McMinnville and the Yamhill County District Attorney’s Office was the “appropriate resolution” to the case, Hanson told Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Easterday.

Hanson said the victim did not object to Place, who identifies as she/her, receiving a probationary sentence rather than going to prison for five years.

Place pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful use of a weapon with a firearm, a Class C felony, to avoid going to trial.

Her attorney expressed confidence that Place will enjoy success while on probation.

Deputies arrived at a North Jackson Street residence in Lafayette shortly before midnight on Friday, Aug. 17, 2021, on a reported shooting, Sheriff’s Office Deputy Andrew McMahon stated in court records

The Yamhill Communications Agency 911 Center received several calls about gunshots and yelling coming from the residence. Place was one of the callers, claiming to have shot someone in self-defense. The city contracts with the Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services.

Upon arrival, deputies found an adult male on the ground outside the residence with a gunshot wound to the torso. He was identified in court records as Chun Hao Hsu. A female, who was identified as the victim’s girlfriend, was holding his head.

In court, Place told Easterday Hsu was his sister’s boyfriend.

As a deputy approached Hsu, who was sprawled on his back in the driveway of the residence, Place spoke up and said he had shot him in self-defense. He was detained — handcuffed — at the scene.

Asked where the weapon was, Place directed the deputy to a holster on her right hip, holding a 9mm Beretta semi-automatic. The handgun was secured, a live round of ammunition was ejected, and the 15-round magazine contained an additional 12 rounds. Two spent shell casings were located near where Hsu was lying. They matched the ammunition that was loaded into the handgun carried by Place.

Hsu’s girlfriend told detectives the two of them came to the residence from a local bar. When they arrived, there was a verbal altercation between Hsu and Place, and her boyfriend was shot.

Hsu was wounded in the right leg, right arm and right upper chest.

Hsu was unarmed and told detectives he and Place exchanged shoves prior to when shots rang out. Place was not injured during the altercation.

Place refused to speak with detectives at the time of her arrest and declined to say anything during the sentencing hearing, which Hsu did not attend.

Easterday said the probationary sentence “guarantees correctional measures” for Place in addition to adding a level of accountability for her actions.

One count of first-degree assault with a firearm, a Class A felony, was dismissed as part of plea negotiations between the defense and the prosecution.



Thank you for the clarification that the woman involved was Place's sister. This makes the situation somewhat more understandable. I am aware of the claim of self defense but the probation seems very lenient.

Notice that the defendant had a standard capacity, 15 round magazine yet only a few shots were fired.

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