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Judge orders Oregon District shooter’s friend to stay jailed

Published: Monday, September 30, 2019 @ 9:22 AM

Ethan Kollie, 24, of Kettering. CONTRIBUTED
Ethan Kollie, 24, of Kettering. CONTRIBUTED

For a second time, a federal court has denied a release bid for the only person to be jailed so far in an investigation of the August Oregon District mass shooting.

Ethan Kollie, 24, faces charges of making a false statement regarding firearms and possession of a firearm by an unlawful user or addict.

The charges against Kollie, formerly of Kettering, do not involve the weapon Conner Betts used to kill nine people on East Fifth Street early on Sunday Aug. 4.

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However, a federal complaint alleges that Kollie bought the body armor, the double-barrel drum-style magazine and the upper receiver to the AR-style pistol that Betts used. Prosecutors say Kollie was not aware of Betts’ plans.

A federal magistrate denied Kollie bail and home detention after a two-day court hearing last month.

On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rose ruled that Kollie must remain in jail.

“Combined with the allegations and circumstances surrounding the charges against the defendant, including the possession of numerous firearms, his admitted regular drug use of marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms which he grew in his residence as well as concerns as to the defendant’s mental health, this court finds that the defendant is a danger to himself and others,” Rose wrote in a two-page order.

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“The court also finds that the proposed alternatives to detention do not, as proposed, adequately address and mitigate said danger,” Rose added.

Kollie’s attorney, Nick Gounaris, had argued that neither of the charges his client faces requires a mandatory prison sentence with a conviction.

In last month’s court hearing, Magistrate Michael Newman had expressed concerns about Kollie’s past use of drugs and what he called mental health issues raised in a pre-trial assessment of Kollie. Newman did not elaborate on those concerns in open court.