CANYON CITY — A hearing on a motion to have separate juries for a Mt. Vernon man accused of 20 sex-related charges and 10 other offenses spanning a period from 2015 to 2020 began on Thursday, June 16, at the Grant County Courthouse.

Robert Moon, the defense attorney for Brogan C. McKrola, 23, argued Thursday that the conviction rate for jurors in similar cases is 19% higher than normal. He argued that jurors, who are given special instructions to judge each case on its merits, are more apt vote to convict when there is a large number of counts involved in one case.

Special Deputy District Attorney Tobias Tingleaf is pushing the court to deny the request, and he argued the move could adversely impact victims.

In one case, McKrola stands accused of six counts of first-degree rape, one count of first-degree kidnapping, one count of first-degree sodomy, one count of first-degree unlawful sexual penetration, one count of attempted first-degree sodomy, four counts of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of second-degree sexual abuse, three counts of third-degree sexual abuse, one count of luring a minor and one count of harassment, along with two counts of first-degree aggravated animal abuse.

The alleged crimes were committed between June 1, 2015, and Dec. 4, 2020, according to a secret indictment filed May 25 in Grant County Circuit Court by Tingleaf, a senior assistant attorney general with the Oregon Department of Justice who is prosecuting the case on behalf of the Grant County District Attorney’s Office.

The indictment listed at least nine different alleged victims, for six of whom the related charges were said to involve “forcible compulsion.” Two of the alleged victims were said to have been “incapable of consent by reason of mental incapacitation,” and two were minors at the time of the alleged offenses.

Thirteen of the charges are Measure 11 offenses, which carry mandatory minimum sentences of at least six years with no possibility for any sentence reduction.

The animal abuse charges allegedly occurred between July 1 and Sept. 30, 2020, and involved the unlawful torture and killing of a porcupine.

In the other case, McKrola is accused of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, first-degree sexual abuse, second-degree kidnapping, three counts of strangulation and furnishing alcohol to a person under 21.

Those crimes allegedly took place on Dec. 20, 2020, and involved a single victim, according to an amended indictment filed March 1 by Grant County District Attorney Jim Carpenter.

McKrola’s defense attorney filed a demurrer, seeking to dismiss the charge of luring and some of the other lesser charges. Circuit Court Judge Daina Vitolins said she is inclined to grant the demurrer. Tingleaf asked Vitolins for the opportunity to argue such a decision. The next hearing is scheduled for July 6 at 2 p.m.

Locations

Reporter

Steven Mitchell, a reporter with the Blue Mountain Eagle since 2020, covers sports, county government and issues facing natural resources and ag in Grant County. Office: 541-575-0710 Cell: 971-263-3444 Email:steven@bmeagle.com

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