Police informant slaying — Two men accused of killing a police informant and dumping his body in a cemetery have been arraigned on aggravated murder and related charges after a grand jury indictment. Jimmy Fears, 44, and Zackery Mersch, 22, appeared Friday in Polk County Circuit Court in Dallas. The men are charged with aggravated murder, murder, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse in the death of 29-year-old James Watson Hawkes IV. Hawkes’ body was found Dec. 29. According to court papers, Hawkes was working as a confidential informant when he approached Fears in a controlled drug buy overseen by the Polk County Interagency Narcotics Team. Prosecutors allege the two men confronted Hawkes after they found out he was an informant. They are scheduled for trial Feb. 19.
Sauvie Island evacuation— Gas crews and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office responded to a gas leak Friday that’s led to an evacuation of some residents on Sauvie Island and closed a bridge. The leak, about a half mile from the bridge, was reported about 5:50 a.m. Lt. Steve Alexander, spokesman for Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, said the leak appeared to be coming from the Williams Pipeline transfer station off of 14430 N.W. Gillihan Road. Williams supplies gas to utilities along the Interstate-5 corridor.
Tire-slashing vandal — No leads have emerged as a vandal has slashed tires on more than 500 vehicles in northeast and southeast Portland in the past six months, often hitting the same people multiple times.
Loud party — Police responding to a noise complaint obtained a search warrant and forced their way into a Eugene home after people at a party refused to let officers inside. Police said they found more than 40 people inside the home Friday night, some of them hiding in closets or other locations. Two 21-year-old residents of the home were arrested and lodged in jail on suspicion of permitting a minor to consume alcohol. Police said both suspects are students at the University of Oregon. Thirteen people were cited for being minor in possession of alcohol, as well as other offenses. Authorities said about 30 to 40 people fled out the back door once officers arrived. Police seized stereo equipment and a laptop, saying they’re evidence of the prohibited noise.