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News / Clark County News

Hockinson man suspected in murder-for-hire plot remains in jail without bail

James Rummell, who faces a charges in his wife’s death, has previous convictions in Oregon

By Alexis Weisend, Columbian staff reporter
Published: April 1, 2024, 4:27pm

A Hockinson man suspected of hiring a former cellmate to kill his wife remains held without bail due to concerns that his prior convictions in Oregon — for attempted arson and kidnapping — make him a danger to the community.

James Rummell, 49, appeared Monday afternoon via Zoom in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of aggravated first-degree murder in the slaying of Lindy Rummell, 60. If convicted of the charge, he would face a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

His first appearance was set over from Friday after his attorney filed a motion to disqualify Judge David Gregerson, who was presiding over the docket, from hearing the case.

On Monday, James Rummell’s attorney withdrew from the case. When asked if he had money to hire an attorney, Rummel said no, and was appointed one.

His arraignment is scheduled for April 10.

James Rummell is accused of hiring his former cellmate, Darrell E. Riley, 55, to kill his wife for $35,000 and a motorcycle.

The couple were struggling financially, he allegedly told investigators. He told another friend, whom he allegedly also asked to kill his wife, he’d been fighting with his wife a lot and that she had a $100,000 life insurance policy, according to court records.

James Rummell has denied involvement in his wife’s death, court records state.

Clark County sheriff’s deputies responded at 6:54 p.m. March 23 to reports of a woman shot inside a house in the 18000 block of Northeast 119th Street in Hockinson. James Rummell and two friends found his wife dead after arriving at the house, the sheriff’s office said.

Although a pickup was reported stolen from the house, investigators said there were no signs anyone had forced their way inside.

Police in Eugene, Ore., arrested Riley on a Clark County warrant for first-degree murder after Riley allegedly told a friend he was hired to kill a woman and described details about the shooting, court records state. Riley remains in jail in Oregon, awaiting extradition.

James Rummell was initially arrested on suspicion of making false statements to a public servant and, later, on suspicion that he hired Riley to kill his wife.