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Sunday, March 8, 2009

[OR] A formiddable foe: Ex-Portland Officer Steven Brian Gomez

THIS MONTH:

...A former Portland police officer [Steven Brian Gomez] convicted of shooting his wife more than a decade ago is in trouble with the law again. This time he was charged with arson...


FROM ARTICLES IN 1997 AND 1998:

...A Portland policeman suspected of shooting his wife with a shotgun had threatened several times to kill his former wife, court records show. And friends of the wife critically wounded in the shooting Monday say she, too, feared her husband would kill her... The blast caused her to lose "massive" amounts of blood and damaged many organs, including her bowels, bladder, uterus and colon. The 12-gauge shotgun pellets ripped a hole in her pelvis, sending bone shards through her body. "Frankly, after the first surgery, we did not expect her to survive"... She has had more than 20 operations... doctors amputated Santana's right leg below the knee because of nerve damage... "I didn't mean to hurt her. I love my wife... I never tried to hurt my wife... I'm sorry"...

FROM 1999:

...Josephine Santana found a shred of forgiveness for her ex-husband, Steven Gomez of Beaverton. Even if it was just to let him borrow her car once in a while. But that simple act opened the door for another violent encounter... Santana told police that her ex-husband slapped her and then choked her from behind, causing her to pass out. When she woke up, Gomez was rubbing her sternum in an effort to revive her. Gomez called 9-1-1, telling dispatchers that "someone is going to be killed" and he was "the one to do it"...

EX-COP ACCUSED OF LIGHTING APARTMENT ON FIRE WITH PEOPLE INSIDE
kgw.com
By Teresa Yuan
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
A former Portland police officer convicted of shooting his wife more than a decade ago is in trouble with the law again. This time he was charged with arson. Investigators arrested 43-year-old Steven Brian Gomez Tuesday, accused of setting an apartment on fire. Detectives said Gomez started a fire at an apartment complex on the 2100 block of North Kilpatrick on November 7, 2008. Three people were inside the apartment at the time of the fire and one person suffered minor burns. Detectives believe that Gomez knew the victims and have been investigating him since. Last week, a Multnomah County grand jury indicted him on arson and attempted assault charges. Back in 1997, Gomez confessed to shooting his wife while he was on the Portland police force. At the time, he apologized and said he was playing with the shotgun and didn't know it was loaded. His wife survived, but Gomez spent 90 days in jail and resigned from the force. Gomez was scheduled for an arraignment on Wednesday and was being held at the Justice Center in downtown Portland. [Link]

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LOOKING BACK
1997
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OFF-DUTY OFFICER SUSPECTED IN WIFE'S SHOOTING
The Oregonian, -Portland, OR
Stuart Tomlinson
Wednesday, February 12, 1997
[Excerpts] A Portland policeman is the only suspect in a shooting Monday night that left his wife critically wounded by the blast of a 12-gauge shotgun. Now detectives are trying to determine whether the shooting was an accident or a domestic dispute that turned violent. The answer might not come from Josephine Santana-Gomez, 39, who remained in critical condition Tuesday. Gresham police say they are investiagting her husband, Officer Steven Brian Gomez, 31. Gomez, who was off-duty, called 9-1-1 at 7:50 p.m. Monday and reported that his wife had been accidentally shot in the buttocks with a 12-gauge shotgun at the couple's apartment in the 3100 block of Northeast 23rd Street. Santana-Gomez was in the intensive-care unit of Legacy Emanuel Hospital and had yet to regain consciousness. Sgt. David Lerwick, Gresham Police Department spokesman, said Gomez was questioned Monday night and released. Lerwick said the case will be turned over to a grand jury when the investigation is complete. Detectives are eager to get Santana-Gomez's story when she regains consciousness. "But she might not regain consciousness," Lerwick said. A neighbor who lived directly above the couple's apartment said she heard two people arguing shortly before 8 p.m... The case is one of the first to be investigated by the East Multnomah County Major Crime Team, an interagency unit that includes detectives from the Oregon State Police, Multnomah County sheriff's office and Gresham, Fairview and Troutdale police departments. Lerwick said detectives with search warrants scoured the couple's apartment Tuesday. An officer was posted outside the apartment, and seals were placed on the apartment door... Lt. Cliff Madison, spokesman for the Police Bureau, said Gomez was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. "Even if the shooting was accidental, the officer has gone through a traumatic experience, and we want to make sure he's OK before going back to work," Madison said...

...Gomez's history of domestic violence would not necessarily exclude him from being accepted into the police bureau, Madison said. "It would be something we look at on a case-by-case basis,' Madison said...

SUSPECT IN SHOOTING MADE THREATS
The Oregonian, -Portland, OR
Stuart Tomlinson and Peter Farrell
Thursday, February 13, 1997
[Excerpts] A Portland policeman suspected of shooting his wife with a shotgun had threatened several times to kill his former wife, court records show. And friends of the wife critically wounded in the shooting Monday say she, too, feared her husband would kill her. Police said they still have not been able to question Josephine Santana Gomez to find out what happened... Josephine Santana Gomez, 39, remained in critical condition and unable to speak Wednesday at Legacy Emanuel Hospital with a massive shotgun wound to the buttocks. [GR] of Tacoma, Josephine Gomez's brother, said his sister had never told him that Gomez abused her... Washington court records say that on Nov. 13, 1990, Cherylann Gomez, Steven Gomez's former wife, petitioned the court as a victim of domestic violence. In a signed document, Cherylann Gomez said Steven Gomez showed up at her residence unannounced several times carrying a firearm. She also said Gomez made numerous hostile phone calls. But on that day in November 1990, she said, Gomez had threatened to kill her several times. A Pierce County Superior Court judge in Tacoma granted a restraining order against Gomez, then a soldier at Fort Lewis, Wash. Cherylann Gomez lived in Tacoma. As part of the protection order, Gomez was not allowed to remove their two children, then ages 2 and 3, from his wife's house, and he was ordered to undergo counseling and treatment for domestic violence. The couple divorced in October 1991. In April 1993, a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge ordered Steven Gomez to pay $527 a month to his ex-wife for child support... Paramedics who treated Josephine Gomez described her wounds as devastating. She was taken directly to an operating room at the hospital... Gomez's history of domestic violence would not necessarily exclude him from being accepted into the police bureau, [Portland Police Bureau spokesman Lt. Cliff] Madison said. "It would be something we look at on a case-by-case basis,' Madison said... "The only thing that automatically excludes anyone from being a Portland cop is a felony conviction," Madison said.

DA DEFENDS DECISION ON PATROLMAN
The Oregonian, -Portland, OR
Stuart Tomlinson
Friday, February 14, 1997
[Excerpts] Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schrunk on Thursday defended the decision not to arrest a Portland policeman suspected of shooting his wife earlier this week. "If anything, this case is getting more scrutiny because of all the agencies involved," Schrunk said. "Something happened that shouldn't have happened... but the investigation is moving along at a rapid rate."... Schrunk said the decision not to arrest Steven B. Gomez... was an on-scene decision made by the community district attorney. Santana-Gomez remains in critical condition at Legacy Emanuel Hospital with a gunshot wound to the buttocks. Gomez, an East Precinct graveyard shift patrolman, was questioned and released. Schrunk said Gomez did not receive preferential treatment from fellow officers and community district attorneys, who decided not to arrest him....

SHOTGUN VICTIM A LITTLE BETTER, TALKS TO POLICE
The Oregonian, -Portland, OR
Stuart Tomlinson
Wednesday, February 19, 1997
[Excerpts] The wife of a Portland police officer underwent a third surgery Tuesday to repair injuries caused by a shotgun blast eight days ago. Josephine Santana-Gomez, 39, was drifting in and out of consciousness in Legacy Emanuel Hospital, but she managed to talk with Gresham police detectives for a few minutes last week and again Monday, said her sister, Maria Valdes... She said her brother-in-law has visited only once, the day after the shooting. He spent three minutes with her sister in the presence of police. Valdes said her family was not talking to Gomez. Santana-Gomez's wounds were so severe that doctors did not expect her to survive. She was struck in the right buttock by a blast from a 12-gauge shotgun. Valdes said the buckshot traveled at an upward angle through her sister's torso, damaging her large and small intestines, liver, kidneys and stomach. Doctors used 50 units of blood during emergency surgery to save her life. Her condition has been upgraded from critical to serious...

GOMEZ, WIFE IN SAME HOSPITAL AFTER SHOOTING WOUNDED HER
The Oregonian, -Portland, OR
Stuart Tomlinson
Thursday, February 20, 1997
[Excerpts] A Portland policeman suspected of shooting his wife checked himself into the psychiatric wing of the same hospital the night of the shooting and spent the last week just one floor above her room. Friends of the victim say they repeatedly intercepted phone calls and written messages from Steven B. Gomez, 31, to his wife, Josephine Santana-Gomez, 39, while he was a patient at Legacy Emanuel Hospital. He visited her room with a police escort the day after the Feb. 10 shooting. He checked out Tuesday. "We knew he was at that hospital, but we didn't take any extra security precautions," said Gresham police Sgt. David Lerwick. "The Gresham Police Department and the district attorney's office don't believe that Gomez poses any serious danger to the victim"... His ex-wife, Cherylann Gomez, asked for and was granted a restraining order against her husband in November 1990 by a Pierce County Superior Court judge in Tacoma. In an affidavit, Cherylann Gomez said her husband showed up at her residence unannounced several times carrying a gun...

WOUNDED WIFE OF OFFICER GETS RESTRAINING ORDER
The Oregonian, -Portland, OR
Stuart Tomlinson
Tuesday, February 25, 1997
[Excerpts] The Gresham woman shot and severely wounded by her police officer husband filed a restraining order against him Monday to prevent him from coming to her hospital room... She has undergone four surgeries and a fifth is planned, her family said... Law enforcement authorities said Santana-Gomez had indicated the shooting was unintentional...

...Santana-Gomez's sister, Yvette Norton, wanted to know why Gomez wasn't charged with a more serious crime. "Her life is changing, why isn't his?"...


GRAND JURY INDICTS PORTLAND POLICEMAN IN SHOOTING
The Oregonian, -Portland, OR
Stuart Tomlinson
Wednesday, February 26, 1997
[Excerpts] A Multnomah County grand jury indicted a Portland policeman Tuesday for third-degree assault in the shotgun wounding of his wife. If convicted, Steven B. Gomez, 31, of Gresham will lose his job but will probably get probation and not serve any jail time, according to Jim McIntyre, Multnomah County deputy district attorney... The grand jury decided Gomez unlawfully and recklessly caused serious physical injury to his wife with a deadly weapon. The charge could have been raised to second-degree assault if the grand jury believed Gomez had intentionally shot her... Portland Police Bureau spokesman Lt. Cliff Madison said Gomez has seven days to decide what to do: He can resign... he can remain with the bureau on unpaid leave until his case is settled or he can request to stay on paid administrative leave, in which case the bureau would immediately begin an internal investigation into the shooting... Santana-Gomez's sister, Yvette Norton, wanted to know why Gomez wasn't charged with a more serious crime. "Her life is changing, why isn't his?"... Norton said doctors don't know if her sister will walk again. She said Santana-Gomez is scared that Gomez will hurt her again. "I think she'd like to think it was accidental," Norton said. "You know, you'd hate to think the one you love would do this." Santana-Gomez filed a restraining order against her husband Monday because she said she feared she would be hurt again....

..."I didn't mean to hurt her. I love my wife... I never tried to hurt my wife... I'm sorry."...


POLICEMAN PLEADS NOT GUILTY IN WIFE'S SHOOTING
The Oregonian, -Portland, OR
Bryan Smith
February 27, 1997
[Excerpts] A Portland policeman charged with assault in the shotgun wounding of his wife pleaded not guilty Wednesday, saying afterward, "I didn't mean to hurt her. I love my wife... I never tried to hurt my wife... I'm sorry"...

REINSTATED WITH BACK PAY
The Oregonian, (Portland, OR)-
Steve Duin Steveduin@aol.com.
February 27, 1997
[Excerpts] The curious tale of Steven Gomez and his 12-gauge shotgun, a combo that nearly put Josephine Santana-Gomez in her grave, begs a new answer to an old question: What does a cop have to do to lose his job in this town?... The general rule that a cop can't get fired in Portland - or when he is fired, is quickly reinstated with back pay - might be tested by Gomez, who shot his wife (accidently, he said) in the buttocks. So far, Gomez - whose first wife told a Tacoma court that he several times threatened to kill her - has gotten off pretty light... Near as I've been able to determine, only one Portland cop has been fired, and had that firing stick... On the rare occasion that the chief fires a cop, an arbitrator quickly orders him back on line... Mayor Vera Katz complained, "The present system gives the arbitrator, a single lay person, the sole power to second-guess the chief of police and mayor." Dominating that system is a powerful police union. Leo Painton, the head of that union, is delighted that we now live in an age where "there are laws that protect people and their employment"... Whatever happened to conduct unbecoming? To holding people in authority to a higher standard when it came to personal indulgences? When did we lose the right to judge public employees on a performance basis?... At the moment, a Portland cop has a better chance of being hit by an asteroid than by a motion to dismiss... and he's not checking the heavens for falling stars...

ACCUSED POLICEMAN OPTS FOR PAID LEAVE
The Oregonian, -Portland, OR
Stuart Tomlinson
Wednesday, March 5, 1997
[Excerpts] A Portland policeman charged with third-degree assault in the shotgun wounding of his wife has chosen to remain on paid administrative leave from the Portland Police Bureau while he awaits trial. The decision means the bureau will open an immediate internal investigation into the shooting, said police spokesman, Lt. Cliff Madison... The course of the investigation should proceed this way, he said: *The incidents surrounding the shooting and Gomez's conduct will be investigated by two sergeants within the internal affairs division. The sergeants turn the results of their investigation over to Capt. C.W. Jensen, head of internal affairs. Jensen gives the findings to Police Chief Charles Moose, who will in turn submit the report to a review committee consisting of assistant chiefs, the city attorney, a personnel captain and a representative of the city's personnel bureau. The chief then makes his recommendation to Mayor Vera Katz based on the investigation and the review board's hearing. Katz, as police commissioner, has the final say in whether Gomez keeps his job."...

POLICEMAN WHO SHOT HIS WIFE GETS TIME
The Oregonian, -Portland, OR
Laura Trujillo
June 13, 1997
[Excerpts] A Multnomah County judge sentenced a Portland police officer to 90 days in jail after the officer pleaded guilty Thursday to shooting his wife in the buttocks in February. Under a plea agreement, Steven B. Gomez also resigned from the Portland Police Bureau and will be placed on probation for five years. If he hadn't quit, Gomez would have been fired, police officials said. Gomez could have received up to five years in prison. Gomez can complete a work-release program while he serves his jail time. Gomez, 31, and his wife, Josephine Santana-Gomez, 40, both told police and court investigators that Gomez accidentally shot his wife while using the 12-gauge shotgun in a playful manner in February in their Gresham apartment. Santana-Gomez was critically wounded, with buckshot damaging her large and small intestines, liver, kidneys and stomach. She spent a month in the hospital before moving to Tacoma, where she is recovering from her injuries. Looking at the floor, Gomez said, "I first want to apologize to my wife for this horrible accident and tell her that I love her." He then apologized to his co-workers at the Portland Police Bureau, where he has worked the past years. The felony conviction prohibits Gomez from working as a police officer in Oregon and probably any other state, said Lt. Cliff Madison, a spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau. Santana-Gomez listened to the proceedings by speaker-phone. She couldn't come to Portland, she said, because traveling is too painful for her. She pleaded with the judge to keep her husband out of jail and asked that he be allowed instead to take care of her. "It was an awful accident," she said. "I want him to spend time with me." She also asked that a restraining order against her husband, which the district attorney's office filed, be lifted so Gomez could see her again. Multnomah County Circuit Judge Frank L. Bearden agreed to lift the order. Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Jim McIntyre, who prosecuted Gomez, said there was no satisfactory end to the case. "There can't be one. The victim has seen her life destroyed, and the defendant has seen his life destroyed," he said. "All from the reckless play with a firearm." Gomez will spend 90 days in jail but will be allowed to leave during the day for a job, classes or other training. The judge also barred Gomez from owning firearms, ordered him to pay for his wife's care, and to obtain and pay for medical coverage for her. He also ordered Gomez to attend anger counseling, get a psychological evaluation and complete 250 hours of community service. Bearden said he understood Santana-Gomez didn't want her husband to go to jail but said he needed to balance that against what was best for the community...

WIFE SUES EX-OFFICER OVER SHOOTING
The Oregonian,
Dana Tims
November 25, 1997
[Excerpts] The wife of a former Portland police officer who accidentally shot her is suing him for more than $5 million. Josephine Santana-Gomez filed the lawsuit against her husband, Steven Brian Gomez, Monday in Multnomah County Circuit Court. An attorney representing Santana-Gomez, 40, simultaneously filed divorce papers in Washington County. "I think she finally just came to an understanding that she couldn't live with a guy who shot her, regardless of whether it was an accident or intentional," attorney Steven Leskin said. "Josephine will have to carry these injuries around with her for the rest of her days." Santana-Gomez says in the suit that her husband acted negligently in February when he reached under their bed and pulled out a pump-action shotgun while the couple were watching television in their Gresham apartment. She claims that he failed to make sure the 12-gauge shotgun wasn't loaded, didn't secure the safety latch, and failed to handle the shotgun safely. The suit says that she suffered "grave and permanent injury to her internal organs and left-lower extremity, and suffers permanent disfigurement." Santana-Gomez is seeking $5 million for extreme physical and mental suffering. She says she has incurred medical bills of $350,000 and expects to face an additional $100,000 in future medical and rehabilitation expenses. In addition, she expects to lose $375,000 in future earnings...

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1998
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FORMER OFFICER RUNS OUT OF ALTERNATIVES, MUST GO TO JAIL
The Oregonian
Peter Farrell
February 11, 1998
[Excerpts] Former Portland police Officer Steven B. Gomez must report to jail within two weeks to begin serving a 90-day sentence because Multnomah County's restitution center rejected him and he can't afford the $270 monthly fees for electronic monitoring. Circuit Judge Frank L. Bearden said he had run out of alternatives for Gomez. He had hoped work release at the center would let Gomez earn money for his wife's support. But the center said he was not a suitable candidate... In November, Santana-Gomez sued her husband for $5 million and a divorce. Santana-Gomez did not appear in court Tuesday, but she monitored the proceedings by speakerphone. She told Bearden she now thinks her husband should go to jail. "He is not providing care, " she said. "I really don't feel safe." She said Gomez has not paid her medical bills... "I only make a limited amount of money," Gomez told Bearden about his attempts to keep up with the bills his wife said he had not paid. Gomez said he must also pay child support that he cannot afford without his police salary...

$5.5 MILLION AWARDED TO EX-WIFE IN SHOOTING
The Oregonian, -Portland, OR
David R. Anderson
August 21, 1998
[Excerpts] Josephine Santana doesn't expect to see much of the $5.5 million she won in court Thursday. It was the principle, the need to hold her ex-husband, a former Portland police officer, responsible for maiming her with a shotgun blast. "Dreams were shattered when my husband did this to me," she said Thursday in Multnomah County Circuit Court. "My condition is lifelong, and the person who did this to me should have to take care of it the rest of his life. He broke my body." The man who did it, Steven Brian Gomez, didn't show up in court Thursday. For the first time Thursday, Santana, 41, recounted publicly what happened the night of the accident, Feb. 10, 1997. She said she and Gomez had spent the day together, running errands. They planned an early evening and had been watching television in bed. While Gomez took a shower, Santana returned her dinner dishes to the kitchen. When she returned, she saw him sitting on the end of the bed. She crawled past him to climb into bed. "All I remember was hearing the pop and feeling an intense heat," she said. As she went in and out of darkness, Santana had to tell Gomez to call 9-1-1. "He kept saying to me, `Please don't die,' " she said. Investigators determined that Gomez accidentally shot his wife while using the shotgun in a playful manner. Dr. Stephen Datena, a trauma surgeon at Legacy Emanuel Hospital, listed the injuries that Santana suffered. The blast caused her to lose "massive" amounts of blood and damaged many organs, including her bowels, bladder, uterus and colon. The 12-gauge shotgun pellets ripped a hole in her pelvis, sending bone shards through her body. "Frankly, after the first surgery, we did not expect her to survive," he said. But she did, spending five months at Emanuel. She has had more than 20 operations. And Datena said Santana faces a lifetime of possible problems, from chronic pain to infections to bowel blockages to post-traumatic stress disorder. In April, doctors amputated Santana's right leg below the knee because of nerve damage. She said she is able to walk about a block before she becomes too tired. Circuit Judge Charles Guinasso awarded Santana $5 million for pain and suffering, and $875,000 for her past and future medical bills and diminished earning capacity. That will be reduced by about $364,000 that Santana won during her divorce from Gomez, 32, for her medical bills to that point. Santana's lawyer, Steven Leskin, agreed that she has little chance of getting much money from Gomez. "Josephine will probably spend the rest of her life trying to collect from Mr. Gomez, and I'm convinced she's determined to do that," he said...

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1999
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EX-COP ARRESTED AFTER FIGHT WITH FORMER WIFESTEVEN GOMEZ, WHO SERIOUSLY INJURED JOSEPHINE SANTANA IN 1997, CALLS POLICE AFTER A VIOLENT FIGHT
The Oregonian, -Portland, OR
Stuart Tomlinson
Friday, July 9, 1999
[Excerpts] Two years ago he broke her body with a blast from a 12-gauge shotgun. After five months in a hospital, the loss of her right leg and a multimillion dollar lawsuit, Josephine Santana found a shred of forgiveness for her ex-husband, Steven Gomez of Beaverton. Even if it was just to let him borrow her car once in a while. But that simple act opened the door for another violent encounter Sunday with the former police officer... Last Sunday, Gomez came to Santana's apartment to return her car which he had borrowed. Police said the two argued about a $5 million lawsuit she won, his probation and other matters. Santana told police that her ex-husband slapped her and then choked her from behind, causing her to pass out. When she woke up, Gomez was rubbing her sternum in an effort to revive her. Gomez called 9-1-1, telling dispatchers that "someone is going to be killed" and he was "the one to do it." "This was not your usual domestic violence call," said Troutdale Officer Kurt Sorenson. "He told us when we arrived that he needed to go to jail... he even removed his watch because he knew it would get in the way of the handcuffs." Gomez admitted to dispatchers and officers that he threatened to kill his wife or himself. "He got very angry and it escalated to that point," Sorenson said. On the floor of the home, officers found shredded photographs and fragments of glass from a coffee maker broken in the fight. Gomez is being held in the Justice Center Jail on second-degree assault and third-degree assault charges. Bail is $259,000. A grand jury will meet Monday to review the case...

EX-OFFICER ACCUSED IN ASSAULT STAYS IN JAIL
The Oregonian, -Portland, OR
David R. Anderson
Thursday, August 5, 1999
[Excerpts] A former Portland police officer must remain in jail while he awaits trial in a second assault on his ex-wife, a Multnomah County judge ruled Wednesday. Steven B. Gomez, 33, does not appear to be a danger to others, but something frightening happens when he's with his ex-wife, Circuit Judge Frank Bearden said. "It's some sort of chemistry that's befuddling to the court," Bearden said. "It must be a love-hate relationship or something." Gomez's attorney, Robert Halpern, had asked that Gomez be released so he could continue working and paying restitution to his ex-wife. But Rod Underhill, a senior deputy district attorney, said it appeared that Gomez might have been thinking of murder-suicide during the July 4 incident... "I don't know, he needs to be punished," Santana said. "He can't hurt me or somebody else. Because if it's not me, it will be somebody else." In the latest incident, Gomez is charged with second-degree attempted assault, fourth-degree assault, menacing and harassment. If convicted, he faces one year and two months in prison...

3 comments:

  1. Amber GomezMay 23, 2009

    I just wanted to clarify that Steven B Gomez is currently married to the woman he accidentally shot. She did press charges but he forgave her and they remarried. He accomplished a lot when he worked for Oregon and any allegations and charges that were brought up against him during the unfortunate shooting of my stepmother were unjust. Before being arrested on the charges of arson he was her provider and caregiver. She is now struggling with insurance, finances, and misses her husband. His bail was reduced but there are no bail bonds in Oregon he is sitting in jail instead of caring for his wife. If you would let the public know the current relationship between Steven and his wife it would help deeply. I just gave birth to his first biological grandchild and really want him to know that everthing will be ok. The truth will rise and he will be home soon.

    ReplyDelete
  2. JURY CAN'T AGREE ON WHETHER FORMER PORTLAND OFFICER SET FIRE TO APARTMENT
    The Oregonian
    by Aimee Green
    Thursday August 06, 2009
    Multnomah County jury couldn't agree on whether former Portland cop Steven Brian Gomez set an early morning fire in a home with three people inside. The hung jury was deadlocked on whether Gomez was guilty of first-degree arson and attempted first-degree assault Thursday, at the end of a four-day trial. Gomez, 43, is accused of pouring gasoline on an interior stairwell Nov. 7 in an apartment in the 2100 block of North Kilpatrick Street. Robert Case, 47, and his mother Joyce Wells, 73, were sleeping inside. A friend, Marzetta Gooseberry, 58, was awake and saw the flames, which she and Case managed to put out. Gomez said he never touched a gas can found at the base of the stairs. When told his DNA was found on the handle, he said he may have flicked a "booger" on it or scratched his head, causing dandruff to land on it...
    http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/08/jury_cant_agree_on_whether_for.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. It was a crack house set on fire. Any junkie could have done it, the owners could have set it themselves. Anyway what's the big deal one less crack house in N Portland. I don't see that as a bad thing. Maybe that's why the jury hung.

    ReplyDelete

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