A man was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison in Oregon for fatally shooting two people, including a Vancouver man, in November 2018.
James Javontae Barquet, 29, pleaded guilty in Multnomah County Circuit Court to two counts of second-degree murder for the slayings of 51-year-old Brian Hansen of Vancouver and 70-year-old Carol Horner of Portland, according to a Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office news release.
Barquet’s sentence includes a mandatory minimum of 50 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole.
Hansen’s sister and daughter spoke during the hearing.
“My brother was sensitive, sweet and had a goofy sense of humor and was always there in times of need,” Kathy Hansen said in her victim impact statement, according to the news release. “I have an idea of how to process grief, but this pain goes deep into my soul … a piece of my heart that my brother held is gone.”
“My one regret in life will be not having the chance to comfort my dad in his final moments,” Tasha Hansen said in the news release.
Deputy District Attorney Melissa Marrero spoke during the hearing about the loss of Hansen and Horner.
“I want to recognize the strength and resilience of the families of both victims over the last three years. … It is clear that we are much worse off without Mr. Hansen and Mrs. Horner in our community,” Marrero said in the news release.
Police found Horner’s body Nov. 19, 2018, under the west end of the Morrison Bridge in Portland. The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office found Horner died of a single gunshot wound to the head. Officers found a .45 caliber shell casing at the scene, according to the district attorney’s office.
Later that night, police responded to a gas station in the 400 block of West Burnside Street, where a man, later identified as Barquet, entered the store. He asked for a pack of cigarettes, and as the clerk started to ring up the sale, Barquet pulled out a handgun and ordered the employee to hand over the cigarettes, according to the district attorney’s office.
Early the next morning, police were called to the middle of the Burnside Bridge in Portland, where they found Brian Hansen’s body. Officials say he also died of a single gunshot wound to the head, and officers found another single .45 caliber shell casing with similar markings nearby, according to the district attorney’s office.
Surveillance video showed Hansen walking west across the bridge that night. He was being followed closely by someone in a hooded coat pulling a wheeled suitcase and carrying a small bag. The video captured what appeared to be a muzzle flash, the district attorney’s office said, and then the person who followed Hansen running away.
Shortly after finding Hansen, police searched the area, and at about 3:30 a.m. located a man matching who they saw in the surveillance footage, identified as Barquet.
The district attorney’s office said an officer found a .45 caliber pistol in his waistband, and it was loaded with rounds stamped similarly to those found near the two bodies. Further testing confirmed the gun was used in both homicides.