NYT Reporting Portland Shooter Micheal Reinoehl killed in Lacy, Washington, when federal fugitive task force moved in to arrest him.
Portland District Attorney’s office had issued an arrest warrant earlier Thursday, apparently after Vice News had teased an interview set for later Thursday night in which Reinoehl admitted that he was the person who shot and killed Aaron Danielson in Portland on Saturday night.
Danielson was a member of a right-wing groups known as “Patriot Prayer”, and was in Portland as part of a Pro-Trump car rally which had gone through downtown Portland earlier in the evening.
Details remain limited. I’ll update this story through the night. Below is the story I was writing with regard to the interview that was to be broadcast.
Michael Reinoehl was interviewed by Portland area “Independent” journalist Donovan Farley, and parts of that interview was broadcast on Thursday night on Vice TV.
In the interview Reinoehl confessed to shooting and killing Aaron Danielson in downtown Portland on Saturday night.
Reinoehl had been identified by his sister from video taken during various events leading up to the shooting, and in this videos in which he was identified he was wearing a relatively unique vest with tactical webbing, which appears to be the same garb being worn by the shooter in the video of Danielson’s murder.
The only purpose of the interview seems to be to either begin a “PR” campaign with his supporters/defenders to convince the Multnomaugh County District Attorney Michael Schmidt to credit his claim of “self-defense” and not charge him, or to attempt to influence the jury pool by getting information out into the community that might never make its way into an actual trial should one ever take place. To make a “self-defense” claim to a murder charge, Reinoehl would need to establish in the evidence of the case that he feared for his life or the life of someone else, and that was his motivation for shooting Danielson.
But what he has really done is a gamble with his trial. Even if the current DA for some ridiculous reason were to credit his claim of self-defense — and nothing on the video supports it — that only lasts as long as Schmidt is the elected DA. Like most states, there is no statute of limitations on a murder charge. Reinoehl will have that charge following him around for the rest of his life.
Oregon does have a shield law that would seem to prohibit law enforcement from compelling production of any unaired portions of the interview. But that law would not protect Farley from a federal grand jury subpoena.
The interview accomplishes eliminates one crucial hurdle for any prosecution of Reinoehl — positively identifying him as the shooter. The best video of the shooting is taken from behind, and Reinoehl’s face is never seen. The clothing is substantially similar, but that would be unlikely to substitute for a positive identification. There is reportedly one witness to the shooting who was friendly with the victim, but no information has surfaced yet concerning whether that witness could identify Reinoehl. I suspect he cannot, and that’s why five days after the shooting, and four days after Reinoehl’s sister identified him to Portland Police he still has not been arrested.
But that problem no longer exists, as this video would be admissible in trial and played for the jury.
Under the Rules of Evidence, only the portions selected by the prosecution could be played for the jury. The defendant would not be allowed to play any of it himself without giving up his right to remain silent, and he would then be subject to being called as a witness and cross-examined by the prosecution.