Suspect arrested in Sept. 9 The Dalles homicide

Carlos Alberto Medina, 20, the suspect in the murder of Mark Anthony Labonte, 20, turned himself in at the regional jail Thursday evening, ending a four-day search by law enforcement agencies in The Dalles.

A warrant was issued for Medina’s arrest Wednesday after detectives failed to locate him for questioning at home or any of the usual places he was known to hang out. He is the single suspect in the Sept. 9 Labonte homicide and has been charged with second-degree manslaughter.

Wasco County Circuit Judge Janet Stauffer has set his bail at $1 million cash.

Medina was accompanied by his attorney, Rob Raschio, when he arrived at the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facilities in The Dalles about 5 p.m. Sept. 13. Waiting to make the arrest was The Dalles Police Detective Jamie Carrico, who was assisted by Officer Andrew Davis and Lori Rosebraugh, a detective with the Oregon State Police.

Medina is accused of recklessly causing the death of Labonte about 9 p.m. Sept. 9 in the parking lot of Fred Meyer. The two men had reportedly gotten into an altercation and Monday’s autopsy on Labonte’s remains revealed that he was killed by blunt force trauma to the head.

The victim was LifeFlighted Sunday night to Oregon Health & Science University in Portland for treatment of his injuries but died about four hours later.

“A lot of work has been done to get this arrest and it’s excellent that the suspect has at least turned himself in,” said Police Chief Jay Waterbury.

Sgt. Dan Nelson from The Dalles Police Department is heading the investigation into the death of Scott Erlenbush, 46, on the night of Aug. 25. Erlenbush, a Dallesport resident, was found dead in the AmeriTitle parking lot off Second Street in The Dalles.

According to the autopsy report, Erlenbush also died of blunt force trauma to the head. However, law enforcement officials say the two murder cases are unrelated and a suspect has not yet been developed in the Erlenbush homicide.

“I simply cannot say enough about how hard our local law enforcement has been working,” said Wasco County District Attorney Eric Nisley. “It is unprecedented to have two unrelated homicides in such short order.

“Chief Waterbury made the decision that both cases must be worked and worked hard. He has appointed two detectives to work exclusively on the Erlenbush homicide and assigned others to focus on the Labonte homicide. Some officers have literally worked around the clock on these cases.”

He said thanks are owed to detectives Nelson, Carrico, Rosebraugh and Shawna Moss, as well as Officer Sean Lundry and the remaining policemen in the department.

In addition, he said Oregon State Police have also put detectives Roberto Robles, Dirk Anderson and Aaron Jackson on the case and the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office has Sgt. Chris McNeel, Jeff Hall and Curt McConnell involved in the investigation. The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office has also provided assistance from Det. Matt English.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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