Suspect takes plea deal in 2012 Wilkes murder

After wrangling in court, it looks as if one of the three suspects in this outer East Portland murder will be spending 20 years in prison. Here’s why …

In May, 2012, officers found a man shot to death in the doorway of this Wilkes neighborhood duplex – which eventually led them to arrest three suspects for murder. East Portland News archive image

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

On the evening of May 9, 2012, a residence in a cul-de-sac of the Wilkes Community Group neighborhood was swarming with dozens of Portland Police Bureau (PPB) North Precinct officers.

Upon arrival, at 11:38 p.m., they’d found a deceased man, later identified as 29-year-old Kenneth Ray Henry, crumpled in the doorway of a duplex at 14811 N.E. Fremont Court.

The following day, a next door neighbor told East Portland News she’d heard “gunshots … followed by what sounded to me like two women shrieking and crying.”

The day after that long-ago murder, bullet holes were evident near the door of the duplex. East Portland News archive image

After the shooting, three suspects fled to an apartment complex near NE 152nd Avenue off Sandy Boulevard, and were subsequently arrested by PPB Homicide Detectives on May 10, 2012 at 3:36 a.m. – after a lengthy standoff.

On October 30 of this year, seven years after that crime, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office announced that one of the three suspects, 32-year-old Tracey Christopher Lomax, has received a 20 year prison sentence after pleading guilty to manslaughter and a weapons charge. He will be serving his time at Coffee Creek Correctional Institution.

After taking a plea deal, 32-year-old Tracey Christopher Lomax is headed to prison. MCDC booking photo

According to the DA’s office, on October 4, Lomax pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter in the first degree and one count of unlawful use of a weapon. By changing his plea, Lomax admitted that he “recklessly, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, caused the death of Mr. Henry”, court papers show.

“The family of Mr. Henry fully supports this resolution, which brings closure to a case that is more than seven years old … Mr. Henry’s family has been resilient, and remained firm in their desire to seek justice,” said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Eric Zimmerman, who litigated the case along with Senior Deputy District Attorney Glen Banfield.

Tracey Lomax will receive credit for time already served in custody, but no other credits that would make him eligible for early release, according to DA Zimmerman.

Nearly six years ago, on January 28, 2014, a Multnomah County jury found Xabian Robert Riley, 31; Marcellus A. Allen, 28; and Tracey Lomax guilty of murder. However, on December 5, 2017, the Oregon Court of Appeals reversed the convictions and sent the cases back to Multnomah County for a new trial.

-4 Here’s how the suspects looked seven years ago: (left to right) 23-year-old Xabian Robert Riley, 24-year-old Tracey Christopher Lomax, and 21-year-old Marcellus A. Allen. Archived MCDC booking photos

Marcellus Allen exercised his right to speedy trial, pursuant to Oregon law.

The jury returned its verdict on March 13, 2018 and Allen was once again found guilty of murder.

On July 10, 2014, Allen was also found guilty in a separate case of attempted aggravated murder for attempting to kill a critical witness in the death investigation of Mr. Henry. He received a 240 month prison sentence in that case, which was ordered to be served consecutively to the life in prison sentence imposed for his murder conviction. Allen is currently serving both sentences in the Oregon Department of Corrections.

The other two suspects, Xabian Robert Riley and Tracey Lomax opted not to have their cases heard within 90 days.

In August 2019, Xabian Riley received a 20 year prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter in the first degree and one count of unlawful use of a weapon.

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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