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Lebanon man pleads guilty to double murder
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Lebanon man pleads guilty to double murder

Murder Plea

Brenton Richmond pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in Linn County Circuit Court on Tuesday.

A Lebanon man accused of executing his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder on Tuesday afternoon in Linn County Circuit Court.

Brenton Wade Richmond, 50, is scheduled for a sentencing hearing from Feb. 16-19.

Richmond admitted to killing Tammy Hopper, 42, and Erik Jacobs, 48, in Hopper’s Lebanon home in the 200 block of Shannon Place on Feb. 7, 2019.

“He agrees that there’s a legal basis for this plea, and so do his lawyers,” said Richmond’s defense attorney Geoffrey Gokey.

Per terms of the negotiated settlement, Richmond could face any sentence available under the law. The maximum sentence is life in prison. The mandatory minimum sentence is life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years. At the least, Richmond would serve every day of that 25-year stint and not be able to earn time off, nor would he be eligible for alternative incarceration programs or work release.

Richmond faced charges of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree burglary. He pleaded guilty to the lesser included crime in two of the offenses, and the rest of the charges are set to be dismissed at sentencing.

The mandatory minimum sentence for first-degree murder is life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years.

Richmond had been scheduled for an 11-day jury trial starting Feb. 4.

The sentencing hearing will be held at the Linn County Fairgrounds, rather than the Linn County Courthouse, to accommodate social distancing, said Judge David Delsman.

Hopper was Richmond’s ex-girlfriend, and the two had dated on and off for about nine years. At the time of her death, she was dating Jacobs, according to court paperwork.

Two weeks before the murders, Richmond, a former Lebanon Police Department officer, had threatened to kill Hopper and any man she was seeing, according to court documents.

Hopper and Jacobs, an Independence resident, were found shot to death on Feb. 9, 2019. That same day, Richmond boarded a flight from Eugene to San Francisco. The next day, Richmond was detained in San Diego when he presented his passport to a customs officer as he was preparing to enter Mexico on foot.

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 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, 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 contacted at 541-812-6077 or kyle.odegard@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter via @KyleOdegard.

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