Thursday, September 24, 2020
Sept. 24, 2020

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Two teen boys accused of attempted murder in Hazel Dell home invasion robbery

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter

Two 17-year-old boys face allegations of second-degree attempted murder for a home invasion robbery in Hazel Dell that allegedly involved the 66-year-old victim’s teenage granddaughter.

According to probable cause affidavits, James Reese called 911 at 6:15 p.m. Monday and reported that he’d been assaulted and robbed in his home by his granddaughter and two males. The girl lives with Reese at a house on the 2500 block of Northeast 83rd Way in Vancouver, the affidavit says.

Aiden M. Swegles and Alexander J. Rivers have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in the second degree and first-degree robbery. Swegles is also being held on suspicion of second-degree possession of stolen property.

Two girls allegedly involved in the crimes — Amber R. Maxwell, Reese’s 13-year-old granddaughter, and Sophia Utton, 16 — have been arrested on suspicion of first-degree robbery and motor vehicle theft.

Online court records do not indicate whether any of the teens have appeared in court in Clark County.

Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputies found Reese in his home suffering from several stab wounds to his face and neck. He was taken to the hospital, where he was given a breathing tube and unable to continue speaking with investigators.

Police would later learn that Reese was also stabbed in the chest, which severed his carotid artery. Additionally, Reese had fractured facial bones and multiple severely broken ribs.

“Doctors reported Reese was lucky to still be alive,” the affidavit says.

Before entering intensive care, Reese was able to relay that the group stole his cellphone and wallet and took off in his Dodge sedan. Reese described the male with the knife as 6 feet tall, with reddish hair and wearing a blue or red bandana over his face. He described the second assailant similarly, minus the red hair.

Clatsop County sheriff’s deputies and Seaside, Ore., police officers located the stolen Dodge car later Monday. Law enforcement from four agencies in Oregon pursued the car when it sped off, but the driver eventually crashed and three occupants were taken into custody, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. A fourth occupant ran from the car but was apprehended “some time later,” the sheriff’s office said.

One of the juveniles was treated for minor injuries.

While arresting Swegles, officers found the boy to be in possession of a bandana and two debit cards belonging to Reese, according to the affidavit.

Utton told deputies that the group had stolen the car from Maxwell’s grandfather. Utton admitted to driving the car during the police chase but denied being involved in the violent robbery beyond “escorting” them to the victim’s house, court records say.

In an interview with detectives, the granddaughter said the robbery, assault and car theft were all planned by “the boys.” She said she waited with Utton in the hallway of the home and did not see what happened. However, she could hear Reese’s heavy breathing. She claimed to have noticed blood on Rivers’ shoes, and Swegles showed her a serrated knife while the group drove to Seaside, Ore., according to the affidavit.

Rivers told detectives he sat outside as his three co-defendants entered Reese’s house, and he did not know what happened inside. The allegations do not include statements from Swegles.