Volume 8 | September 2022

Welcome to the September 2022 edition of the Washington County District Attorney’s Office newsletter.


I hope you have enjoyed a nice and relaxing summer. As summer winds down and kids go back to school, we remain busy in the DA’s Office. In fact, as I am writing this message, we just finished prosecuting one murder case and are about to start another. We are proud to report that Washington County continues to be the safest large county in Oregon, with a crime rate that is 30% below the state average and 50% below neighboring Multnomah County.


Here’s an overview of some of our work you can read about in this newsletter.


We recently joined the Beaverton Police Department to announce charges against a theft ring believed to be responsible for approximately 40,000 stolen catalytic converters in the Portland metro area. These charges made national news and represent our commitment to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of quality-of-life crimes in our community.


Community outreach and engagement remains important. We routinely visit various rotaries, chambers of commerce, and other community groups throughout the county. In August, I enjoyed joining Hillsboro Chief Coleman on the local Spanish-language television show Elemento Latino to discuss public safety issues affecting our Latino community.


We are working hard to respond to several challenges facing our community. The decriminalization of possession of drugs such as meth and heroin remain a significant concern, as do threats of mass violence to places like schools or churches. I believe new legislation by our state lawmakers is needed to address both issues and we are working to advocate for these changes.


We also have good news to celebrate. You can read about a recent graduation from our highly successful Veteran’s Treatment Court. You can also learn about our celebration of Elder Abuse Awareness Month and our commitment to protecting elders and vulnerable adults from victimization.


I wish you and your family a safe and healthy fall!

-District Attorney Kevin Barton
Visit our Website
Latest News

Garth Patrick Beams Convicted of Murder in Mother's Homicide

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On August 25, 2022, Washington County Circuit Court Judge Ricardo Menchaca found Garth Patrick Beams guilty of second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon. On August 29, 2022, Judge Menchaca sentenced the defendant to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years. Deputy District Attorneys Rayney Meisel and Kate Glasson prosecuted the case against Mr. Beams. 

On July 19, 2018, the then 47-year-old defendant called 9-1-1 and reported he had “clobbered” his mother, later identified as 74-year-old Wendy Henson, with a baseball bat. He remained on the phone with dispatchers for the next 15 minutes detailing his many complaints about his mother. When asked whether he would provide aid to the victim, he indicated he was not interested in helping her. 

Tualatin police responded to the scene. They found Ms. Henson inside the home suffering from multiple wounds to her head. She was rushed to the hospital but later died from her injuries. 

“This was a cruel, unprovoked attack on a disabled, elderly woman,” DDA Meisel said in closing arguments, noting the killing was intentional and done out of frustration and rage. 

Ms. Henson is survived by her son, Michael Beams, who also lived in the home at the time of the attack. Mr. Beams provided powerful testimony to the Court as he delivered his victim impact statement.

“Garth’s crime shattered what was left of our family,” Mr. Beams told the Court. “There are only broken pieces to pick up. I feel stuck in a boxing match, fighting against bitterness and outrage.” He added, “In addition to dealing with the grief, moving out of the house was economically implausible for me. In a nasty twist of fate, every day, to this day, I have to walk past the location where [my brother] felled mom.”

Ms. Henson was a published author who wrote plays, novellas, and published a textbook during her time as a college screenwriting instructor. Her 2018 novella Honor Song was adapted from one of her award-winning screenplays. Ms. Hensen had a passion for the arts. She loved to talk about movies and the writing and actors that brought them to life. She had a reoccurring movie review column in Tualatin Life called, “Now Playing.”

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office wishes to acknowledge the work of Tualatin police and those involved in this investigation.

14 Indicted In Organized Catalytic Converter Trafficking Ring

Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton addresses the media regarding this case. 

After an investigation that spanned nearly a year, the Beaverton Police Department announced 14 people were indicted for their roles in an organized catalytic converter trafficking ring. 

Detectives determined those involved trafficked more than 44,000 catalytic converters with an estimated street value of more than $22 million. Attorneys from our office worked closely with investigators on this effort. 

Click here to read the full press release from Beaverton police. 

DA Barton, Chief Coleman Featured On Elemento Latino

Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton recently joined Hillsboro Police Chief Jim Coleman on the Spanish-language broadcast Elemento Latino. 

DA Barton discussed a number of topics including what it means to be a Sanctuary State, the rights of community members, and how we work with law enforcement to protect public safety. 

Click here to watch the interview. 

Honoring Important Awareness Dates

DA's Office Recognizes Elder Abuse Awareness Month

June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month and Senior Deputy District Attorney Allison Brown hosted a virtual training for law enforcement professionals. 

SDDA Brown is the Chair of the Washington County Vulnerable Adult Multidisciplinary Team, which is comprised of local law enforcement agencies and community partners from across Washington County. She hosted a training symposium for this team featuring experts from the Oregon Medical Examiner’s Office, the Oregon Department of Justice, and Washington County Health and Human Services. The presenters shared best practices when it comes to investigating and prosecuting elder abuse.

These types of crimes are largely a hidden and growing problem. Elder abuse includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. It can also include self-neglect.

For more information on how these crimes are prosecuted by the Washington County District Attorney's Office, visit our website

Video Spotlight

DA Barton Speaks with KOIN-TV About Catalytic Converter Theft Ring Bust

We'd like to thank KOIN-TV for speaking with District Attorney Kevin Barton about a recent catalytic converter theft ring bust and why he believes it is some important to prosecute quality of life crimes like these.

Click here to watch the segment. 

DA Barton Weighs in on Impacts of Measure 110

In 2020, voters approved ballot measure 110, titled the “Drug Treatment and Recovery Act.” This new law promised to increase drug treatment as it decriminalized possession of most street drugs like meth and heroin.

However, the 2021 statewide data shows that under this law, when people receive their violation citation for drug possession, only about 55% of them showed up in court and only about 3% (55 people) completed an addiction assessment/screening. As overdose deaths are increasing statewide, this issue needs urgent attention.

DA Barton recently spoke with FOX News about the issue. Watch the segment here.

Courthouse News

Veterans Treatment Court Celebrates Graduation

We are very proud of the hard work and accomplishments of Charlie Wadelin!

Mr. Wadelin successfully completed the Veteran’s Treatment Court Bravo program. Friends and supporters celebrated his work in a special ceremony recently. A Navy veteran, Mr. Wadelin vowed to remain engaged with the program to help mentor those facing similar challenges.

This specialty court wouldn’t be possible without the support of Washington County, the Washington County Sheriff's Office, Washington County Community Corrections, Judge Eric Butterfield, the Department of Veterans' Affairs, and the Oregon Defense Attorney Consortium.

You can also learn more about how it works here.

Braeden Richard Riess Facing Federal Charge in School Shooting Threat Case

HILLSBORO, Ore.- A federal complaint has been filed against a Washington County man for his threats to commit a school shooting.

Braeden Richard Riess, age 26, will be charged with the federal crime of Interstate Communication of a Threat.

According to court documents, in May of 2022, a federal agency alerted Sherwood police after it received threats from Mr. Riess via its website threatening to shoot children at a particular Sherwood elementary school before killing himself. Mr. Riess was arrested and remains in custody. Parents from the affected school were notified of the incident.

The case was referred to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution. On May 17, 2022, the defendant was arraigned on six counts of Disorderly Conduct in the First Degree, the maximum available charge under Oregon law. However, because Oregon law does not provide sufficient means to address threats of mass violence, this office reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office to refer the case for federal prosecution.

Oregon law does not provide adequate means to address threats of mass violence to public places such as schools or places of worship. District Attorney Kevin Barton is actively working with multiple state legislators to remedy the issue. In 2020, DA Barton collaborated with lawmakers to craft HB 4145 which sought to address this gap in Oregon law. However, despite broad support, that bill did not pass. This office continues to advocate for the legislature to address the problem and to ensure we have the public safety tools needed to keep our communities safe.

Jakob Paul Azevedo Convicted of Manslaughter in Deadly Crash

On June 8, 2022, a Washington County jury found Jakob Paul Azevedo guilty of second-degree manslaughter and reckless driving. The defendant also pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of intoxicants. On August 26, 2022, Judge Brandon Thompson sentenced the defendant to 75 months in prison and ordered his driver's license revoked for life. Senior Deputy District Attorney Andrew Freeman prosecuted the case against Mr. Azevedo. 

On November 11, 2019, at about 7:30 p. m., the defendant was driving a Ford F-350 south on Roy Rodgers Road approaching Sherwood, Oregon. As he crossed the bridge over the Tualatin River, Mr. Azevedo veered into the oncoming lane and collided head-on with a small BMW convertible driven by Mr. Pyanin Sin. The BMW suffered catastrophic damage and spun into the jersey barrier before coming to rest in the center of the roadway. The truck flipped on its side and slid several feet down the road before coming to rest. The defendant suffered minor injuries and a deputy was able to assist him out of his truck. First responders extracted Mr. Sin from his crushed vehicle so he could be transported to Oregon Health & Science University by LifeFlight, but he succumbed to his injuries shortly thereafter.

The defendant repeatedly denied consuming alcohol that night to both police and medical providers. However, the crash scattered beer cans from the truck into the roadway, and medical testing later revealed Mr. Azevedo’s BAC to be .17% almost two hours after impact. After the trial jury was picked, the defendant chose to plead guilty to the crime of DUII shortly before opening statements began. The evidence at trial then proved him guilty of the remaining counts. 

Initial reports after the crash incorrectly placed the blame on the victim. Only after an extensive follow-up investigation was the State able to prove that Mr. Azevedo was at fault and that he killed Mr. Sin through his reckless and intoxicated driving. 

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office wishes to commend the Sin family for the grace and patience they showed through this long process. This office also acknowledges the hard work of the members of the Crash Analysis and Reconstruction Team (CART) who conducted an extensive follow-up investigation which was instrumental in holding the defendant accountable for the death of Mr. Sin. 

More News
In the Community

DA's Office Supports Child Abuse Center

On May 2, 2022, District Attorney Kevin Barton joined staff members in St. Helens for the Race Against Child Abuse to support the Amani Center, a child abuse and neglect center serving Columbia County.

This yearly event serves as the main fundraiser for this vital community resource. We enjoy supporting organizations such as this that do great work for children in need.   

If you'd like to support the Amani Center or learn more about their services, visit their website.

DA Barton, Staff Meet With Community Groups

We enjoy being active in the community. DA Barton and staff members regularly speak to community groups about the work we do and how we work with our law enforcement partners to protect public safety. 

Please email us if you'd like to request a presentation from our office. 

Follow us on Social Media!
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram