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Lebanon double murder suspect charged in court, pleads not guilty
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Lebanon double murder suspect charged in court, pleads not guilty

A Lebanon double murder suspect was arraigned in Linn County Circuit Court on Wednesday afternoon.

Brenton Wade Richmond, 48, was charged with two counts of aggravated murder for the deaths of Tammy Hopper, 42, of Lebanon, and Erik Jacobs, 48, of Independence, who were shot to death earlier this month.

Judge David Delsman ordered that Richmond be held without bail, as requested by prosecutor Richard Wijers.

Defense attorney Nicolas Ortiz offered not guilty pleas on behalf of his client.

However, Ortiz told Delsman he reserved the right to contest bail and the charges. He also reserved the right to make an affirmative defense at a later date, as he didn’t have enough information to make such a determination for the initial court hearing.

Richmond, who was apprehended at the border with Mexico in San Diego, arrived in Oregon and Linn County on Tuesday night, Ortiz said.

The next hearing in the case was scheduled for March 21 at 10:30 a.m.

Hopper and Jacobs were dating and they were killed in Hopper’s Lebanon home in the 200 block of Shannon Place on or about Feb. 7.

Richmond was Hopper’s ex-boyfriend, and the two had dated on and off for about nine years. About two weeks prior, Richmond had threatened to kill Hopper and any man she was dating, according to court paperwork.

The bodies of Hopper and Jacobs were found on Feb. 9 after a family member became suspicious when Hopper wouldn’t respond to phone calls or texts.

The same day, Richmond bought a plane ticket and boarded a flight from Eugene to San Francisco. 

On. Feb. 10, Richmond was detained when he presented his passport to a customs officer as he was entering Mexico on foot.

Richmond had been issued a concealed handgun license by the Linn County Sheriff’s Office in January.

According to Oregon’s online court database, Richmond has no criminal history. However, he has had previous run-ins with law enforcement.

In 2002, while still a Lebanon Police Department officer, Richmond was involved in a SWAT team standoff in Lebanon after he reportedly threatened to commit suicide.

He was ultimately not charged in the incident, the Albany Democrat-Herald reported at the time, because prosecutors determined he had only presented a threat to himself.

Richmond, who had been a Lebanon Police Department officer for about eight years, resigned from the agency later that year. He is the son of former Lebanon Police Department chief Walt Richmond.

In 2003, Richmond was arrested by Lebanon police after reportedly firing a handgun in his house. The incident allegedly began when his ex-wife went to his home to pick up their children after a visitation.

According to a Lebanon Police Department supervisor at the time, Richmond did not want the children to leave and took the youngest into his house. After officers made several contacts with Richmond, he let the child leave. The gunshot occurred as officers were getting ready to leave the house, the supervisor told the Democrat-Herald.

Kyle Odegard can be reached at kyle.odegard@lee.net, 541-812-6077 or via Twitter @KyleOdegard.

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