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Saturday, November 19, 2011

[WA] Sad investigation result on accidental shooting of Detective Owen's 3 year old son

An internal affairs investigation report on the accidental shooting death of 3 year old Ryan Owens, son of Clark County Sheriff's Deputy Ed Owens found the detective to have violated several policies, been deceptive after the fatal shooting, and that he and his wife "persistently" blamed his 11-year-old stepdaughter for Ryan's death - though he knew otherwise. The report concluded that he and his wife threatened, assaulted, and taped a forced a confession from Owens' stepdaughter. His attorney says that is not true.

VIOLATIONS FOUND IN DEATH OF CLARK COUNTY DEPUTY’S SON: Report looks at treatment of man’s stepdaughter, 11
The Columbian
By Laura McVicker
Friday, November 18, 2011
[Excerpts] A Clark County sheriff’s deputy [Detective Ed Owens] violated policies on firearms storage, off-duty conduct, ethics, competency and employee responsibilities in connection with the 2010 shooting death of his 3-year-old son, according to an internal affairs investigation... Owens’ son Ryan fatally shot himself [with dad's loaded Kel-Tec pistol] while playing with his father’s gun Sept. 14, 2010, at the family’s Battle Ground home. Most of the allegations relate to Owens’ behavior following the shooting. Reports say he blamed his 11-year-old stepdaughter for the death - even though evidence clearly showed it was accidental - and coerced a false confession from her... In the ensuing investigation, detectives discovered that the gun safe had malfunctioned, sometimes not locking when it should, and that Owens and his wife knew it wasn’t working properly, according to police reports. Owens explained that he kept loaded guns in his house to protect his family... “The full reasons may never be known, but whatever they are, Deputy Owens decided to make (his stepdaughter) a scapegoat for this tragic accident, and there is a high probability that his actions will have a long-term effect on (his stepdaughter’s) mental health”... Owens’ Portland attorney, Steve Myers, however, said the internal affairs report isn’t an accurate depiction of what happened. He said his client denies the allegations... A final decision on his employment or any discipline has not been decided... [Full article here]

[edward owens interrogation police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities homicide toddler gun safety child child abuse lies washington state politics]

1 comment:

  1. Fired Clark County deputy says he's being used as a scapegoat
    By Bob Heye KATU News and Staff Published: Nov 30, 2011 at 5:49 PM PST

    BATTLE GROUND, Wash. - The Clark County Sheriff's Office deputy who was fired over his son's accidental shooting said he was let go as a scapegoat for problems in the investigation and with the gun safes tied to the case.

    While Ed Owens says his firing was wrong, the Clark County sheriff says he stands by his decision.

    In September 2010, Owens' 3-year-old son, Ryan, managed to get a gun out of a gun safe inside the family's home and accidentally shot himself in the head. The boy died.

    An internal investigation into the shooting incident contends Owens coerced a confession out of a witness and violated sheriff’s policies. Owens denied that and called his firing "a political move by the sheriff's office, in order to protect themselves on this issue."

    And on the sheriff's release of information, Owens said "It's been very selective on what they've released on this."

    Owens points to a YouTube video that demonstrates how easy some of the manufacturers' gun safes, distributed by the sheriff's department, are to get open.

    The Deputy Sheriff's Guild may file a grievance on Owens' behalf, suspecting the firing is more personal than professional.

    "The Guild's position, and one of the things in large part of what the Guild will evaluate, is whether or not the sheriff should have stepped into this family relationship and imposed the sheriff's family beliefs upon Ed and how Ed interacts with his family," said Mark Makler, an attorney for the Deputy Sheriff's Guild.

    "We believe that he violated county policies and violated the expectations that our community has for us," said Clark County Sheriff Garry Lucas by phone.

    He said, while some gun safes have been recalled, the one's given to his deputies, including Owens', were not.

    "The model safe that we issued was not among that recall," Lucas said. "There has not been one of the safes of the model that we issued that has been recalled."

    An attorney representing Owens called the sheriff's investigation conclusion that Owens coerced a confession from a witness, "nonsense."

    The Deputy Sheriff's Guild will have to meet before deciding whether to file a grievance on Owens' behalf.


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