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Alleged Umapine shooter is in court today

Antonio Vasquez-Vargas

PENDLETON, Oregon – A status check in the state’s case against Antonio Vasquez Vargas, 53, is scheduled today before Judge Christopher Brauer. The man charged with shooting and killing a co-worker at the Umapine Creamery north of Milton-Freewater in November 2018. The defendant now has a second lawyer.

“The court has provided a second counsel for this matter,” Umatilla County District Attorney Dan Primus said. “I don’t think (it’s) necessarily uncommon on these homicide cases – these murder cases – to have multiple counsels or a co-counsel situation.”

Court documents indicate that Brauer turned down a request that defense attorney Kara Davis be replaced by another lawyer because of a failure of communication between the suspect and his attorney. Brauer did grant a request for the appointment of a co-counsel, who will be Dean Gushwa.

Primus said that with cases involving the charge of murder it is not unusual for the court to schedule frequent status checks like the one planned for today.

“We’ve had quite a few status checks in the last month or so, two or three,” Primus said. “This is just another one to kind of keep a handle on where we’re at, that this is moving along at an appropriate pace.”

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