Man allegedly murdered – by friend

The motive still isn’t clear, but the accused killer claims they were ‘like brothers’, before he stabbed the victim …

Police close off this street in outer East Portland in the Parkrose Heights neighborhood, as they begin the murder investigation.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Word of a drive-by shooting at NE 105th Avenue and Sandy Boulevard, with a caller to 9-1-1 reporting that one person was hit by gunfire at 10:15 p.m. on September 3, brought Portland Police Bureau (PPB) North Precinct officers to the area.

“Officers arrived and did not locate any victim or witnesses,” said PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson.

An officer helps maintain the crime scene, as the investigation begins.

A Homicide Division detective looks into the vehicle where a deceased man was discovered.

Further investigation by officers led them to NE 111th Drive, between NE Siskiyou and Fargo Streets, where a male victim – later identified as 25-year-old Martin Richard Ochoa Bettles – was found deceased in a vehicle.

A total of 17 police units were called in; PPB Homicide Bureau detectives arrived and soon, the Bureau’s “Mobile Precinct” rolled into the area to serve as the command station, as the investigation continued through the night.

Now facing murder charges is 36-year-old Kelby Blaine Jake. MCDC booking photo

On the following afternoon at 2:56 p.m., Homicide detectives booked 36-year-old Kelby Blaine Jake into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) on a charge of Murder.

At his arraignment on September 6 in Multnomah County Court, Jake learned he’d face one count of Murder, a Class A Felony; he is being held at MCDC without bail.

Detectives and officers gather outside the PPB Mobile Precinct.

“The Oregon State Medical Examiner determined that Martin Richard Ochoa had died of a single stab wound,” Simpson later reported.

According to court records, Jake was originally from Cedar City, Utah, and was at the crime scene and claimed to know Ochoa, officials said.

They were “like brothers”, Jake told court staff, adding that the two had known each other for some time, started hanging out together, and “were getting high and drinking.”

At the time of his arrest, Jake was reportedly armed with a “lethal cutting instrument”, records show.

Officials haven’t released a motive, or the information about how Ochoa was found dead in this car.

Formerly a Pendleton resident, Ochoa was an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and was currently a student at Portland Community College.

Known as “Painted Wolf”, according to his obituary, Ochoa enjoyed Pow Wow drumming and dancing, and basketball, and was also a gifted lyricist.

Martin Richard Ochoa Bettles celebrated his Native American heritage, friends say. Family-supplied photo

Hard hit by the news was Sean Aaron Cruz, Executive Director of the Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival held in Parkrose.

“Ochoa was in a drum circle at last year’s festival,” Cruz told East Portland News. “We were anticipating to him taking a larger role in this year’s festival in a couple of weeks, perhaps as an emcee.”

Ochoa will likely be memorialized at the Jim PepperFest 2016, Cruz said.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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