Sheriff's sergeant back in jail in assault case

He allegedly violated court order to not contact his wife

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

Updated: March 25, 2013, 7:01 PM

 

A Clackamas County, Ore., sheriff’s patrol sergeant, who was charged in May with assaulting his wife and stepson at their Vancouver home, is back in jail. He is being held on suspicion of witness tampering and violating a court order not to contact his wife.

Steven P. Hyson, 47, was arrested Thursday after he allegedly confronted his wife over details she disclosed during an interview with an attorney in preparation for Hyson’s April 8 trial. Hyson also is accused of trying to persuade his wife to tell the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office that he is innocent of the previous charges.

His wife, Lora Hyson, said she was forced to return in November to the family home in the Sifton neighborhood after she was evicted from her apartment, according to court records. The documents indicate she couldn’t pay the rent because her husband had failed to make spousal support payments.

On Wednesday, Steven Hyson became enraged after hearing what Lora Hyson had told his attorney, Thomas Phelan, earlier in the day, according to charging papers.

Hyson allegedly confronted his wife, and told her that what she had said would cause him to lose his job and his house. He then allegedly grabbed her by her upper left arm and threw her on their bed before leaving home for the night.

The court documents state that the next morning, he returned to the home, and the couple argued. Lora Hyson told her husband she was going to leave and began to pack items for her and the couple’s 5-year-old son. As she reached for a Wii gaming system, her husband allegedly grabbed her left hand and pulled it away from the device. She yelled at her husband to let her go. After he released her hand, she called her 23-year-old son, Austin Oliver-Brown, and told him what happened. Oliver-Brown, who is the alleged victim in the previous assault case, reported the latest incident to police.

Steven Hyson pleaded not guilty May 15 to assaulting his wife and Oliver-Brown. He allegedly slammed his stepson’s head into a wall during an argument on May 1, shoved Lora Hyson, and caused property damage at their home.

Oliver-Brown said the 2012 conflict arose when he questioned Hyson about why he allowed his 12-year-old son to yell at Lora Hyson.

This led to an argument between Hyson and his stepson on the front porch of the home. Hyson reportedly ripped the stepson’s T-shirt and tried to provoke him to fight by saying “Go ahead and hit me” and “Are you a tough guy?” according to court documents.

Oliver-Brown told investigators that as he attempted to walk away, Hyson grabbed him by the head and shoulder and spun him into the side of the house, according to the probable cause affidavit signed by sheriff’s Detective Todd Barsness.

Hyson’s wife called 911, and Oliver-Brown was treated at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center for a broken cheekbone. Hyson turned himself in to Clark County sheriff’s deputies May 3. He was released after he posted $30,000 bail.

Steven Hyson has been on leave from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office since his arrest. His leave was converted to unpaid leave in September, according to Clackamas County sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Nate Thompson. Thompson said he was not authorized to reveal the reason for the change because it’s a personnel matter.

Steven Hyson will appear in court Friday to request that Clark County Superior Court Judge Robert Lewis allow bail.


Paris Achen: 360-735-4551; http://twitter.com/Col_Courts; paris.achen@columbian.com.