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June 25, 2022

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Teens face murder allegations in vehicle dragging death

Cesar D. Ortiz-Velasco, 16, was identified as the victim in the robbery turned deadly

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter
Published:

Two teens face murder allegations after an intended robbery turned deadly when a 16-year-old boy was dragged by a vehicle at a Vancouver parking lot, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case.

Jaycob Trotter, 16, appeared in Clark County Superior Court on Tuesday on allegations of first-degree murder and first-degree robbery. Christopher Pierce, 15, faces the same allegations in Clark County Juvenile Court, though he’s additionally facing an allegation of leaving the scene of a crash. He is scheduled to be arraigned June 1.

During Tuesday’s hearing in Superior Court, Deputy Prosecutor James Smith described what happened on Friday as a “drug rip.”

According to the affidavit, Trotter drove with Pierce to the parking lot of Safeway, 13875 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd., just before 2 p.m. Friday to meet Cesar D. Ortiz-Velasco, 16.

The meeting was arranged to sell Ortiz-Velasco marijuana for $120 cash, but Pierce admitted to detectives that he planned to steal the money without delivering the drugs, according to the affidavit.

Trotter drove the vehicle and Pierce sat in the front seat as Ortiz-Velasco approached Pierce near the passenger door, the court document states.

Pierce grabbed the money from Ortiz-Velasco and told Trotter to drive away quickly, but as they sped away Ortiz-Velasco held onto the vehicle with one hand, attempting to strike Pierce, the affidavit states.

Pierce attempted to roll up his window and Ortiz-Velasco became disengaged from the door and fell to the ground, according to the court document.

Witnesses reported that the vehicle ran over Ortiz-Velasco before Trotter drove away without rendering aid or calling for help, the affidavit states.

Detectives reported that Ortiz-Velasco suffered multiple skull fractures, chest injuries, abrasions and bruises. He was initially put on life support but died later the same day, according to the court document.

During Tuesday’s hearing in adult court, Trotter’s attorney, Tom Phelan, argued that his client was far less culpable and that supervised release would be sufficient in the case.

Judge Gregory Gonzales, however, set Trotter’s bail at $500,000 and scheduled his arraignment for June 16.

Trotter is not currently enrolled in school and had no recent work history, according to court documents. He also had a criminal record that included attempted assault, Smith said.

Because of Trotter’s age and the nature of the allegations, Smith said, he was automatically remanded to adult court. He said that the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office could request that Pierce’s case also be heard in adult court, but said that he had not looked at all the facts to determine if that request seemed appropriate.

“This is obviously a very extremely serious incident where a young man lost his life, which is tragic,” Smith said after the hearing. “We’re taking the case very seriously given the outcome here, and we’re going to look at all the facts and try to get to a just result here.”

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Ortiz-Velasco’s family with funeral costs: www.gofundme.com/cesars-funeral-family.

Columbian Breaking News Reporter

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