Property dispute led up to Blodgett murder, affidavit says

In a probable cause affidavit, deputies say there was an ongoing property dispute between one of the suspects and her ex-husband.

Posted: Jul 31, 2018 8:01 PM
Updated: Jul 31, 2018 8:06 PM

BLODGETT, Ore. – The Benton County District Attorney’s Office has released new information about a shooting that left a man dead and a woman injured.

Prosecutors released a probable cause affidavit Tuesday with new details about what happened before, during and after the deadly shooting in the rural town of Blodgett in May.

Julie Thurman and Jim Morris, who are facing murder charges in the case, appeared in court Tuesday for a status check hearing.

READ MORE: One dead, one injured following shooting in Blodgett

In the affidavit, detectives said there were ongoing property disputes at the site of the shooting on Tum Tum Road between Julie

Thurman and her ex-husband Bragi Thurman going back to November 2017.

On May 21, the morning of the shooting, deputies said Julie Thurman asked the Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office for help getting her property from the home after her ex-husband was allowed to return to the residence a few days prior.

The office told her they could not help her, and Julie Thurman said she would take care of it herself, according to the affidavit.

Detectives said she was warned not to go to the home or she would face consequences.

That evening, Cassandra Wilhelm said she was at the property with Wesley Newell when a man, who deputies identified as Morris, walked up to them. Wilhelm said Morris told them “what you’re doing isn’t right,” pointed a gun at them and shot both of them.

Newell was killed and Wilhelm was taken to the hospital with injuries.

Bragi and Troy Thurman said they were also on the property at the time and heard someone shooting at them. As they ran away down a road, they said they saw a pickup truck with Julie Thurman inside.

They said Julie Thurman put the truck in reverse and tried to run them over before they jumped out of the way.

Bragi Thurman said he had seen the same truck drive by his property six times.

After Julie Thurman and Morris were arrested, deputies said Julie Thurman admitted to dropping off Morris near the property just before the shooting. She also told deputies she saw Morris holding a gun at the scene of the shooting, but said he found the gun at the property, according to the affidavit.

Deputies said Morris refused to be interviewed but told investigators that Julie Thurman did not have anything to do with what happened.

While he was being booked in the Benton County Jail, deputies said he was asked during the suicide assessment if he was thinking about hurting himself or someone else, to which he replied, “I already did that […] last night sometime.”

Deputies said Morris later admitted to practicing shooting the day of the murder.

Julie Thurman’s lawyers have argued that she was not involved in the shooting because she did not fire the gun, but prosecutors said the evidence shows she was involved.

Julie Thurman and Morris will both be back in court for another status check hearing Sept. 18. A trial has not been scheduled yet.

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