Hours before she was shot to death, Jenny Cashwell texted a friend to say she didn’t think the first date she was on was leading to anything serious.
By the end of the day, Jan. 12, the man she arranged to meet through the dating website Plentyof Fish, Alan Peter Porciello, would be arrested in connection with the shooting.
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel shared details from the investigation, including the content of text exchanges between Cashwell and a friend.
“There wasn’t going to be a second date from her perspective,” Hummel said Friday.
“We know that during the hike, she had been texting at least one friend and said something like: I don’t know if he’s the guy for me. We’re about to wrap up here.”
Porciello remains in custody awaiting trial for first-degree manslaughter as the investigation into Cashwell’s death continues.
Authorities relied primarily on two factors in arriving at their charging decision — Porciello’s statements to police and forensic evidence from his unit at Cedar West Apartments on NE Watt Way, where police believe he shot Cashwell with a firearm he legally owned.
He’s charged with two counts — first-degree manslaughter and unlawful use of a weapon.
If it’s determined Porciello took Cashwell’s life intentionally, a murder charge could be added to the indictment, Hummel said.
“What we have now — we only have sufficient evidence for manslaughter,” Hummel said. “It’s one of those situations where there were only two people in the room, and one of them can’t testify. The other, we may be at the point where we’re not going to get additional information from him. It comes down to the forensics and an analysis of what he’s already told us.”
Cashwell, 37, and Porciello, 36, connected online and exchanged messages several times before agreeing to meet Jan. 12 — a Saturday — to go hiking.
Cashwell picked up Porciello in her vehicle and drove to Pine Nursery Park Trail. Several hours later, she drove Porciello back to his apartment.
At 3:45 p.m., he called 911 to report he’d shot Cashwell. Bend Police officers arrived to find her dead. After interviewing Porciello, he was arrested.
Porciello suffers from a traumatic brain injury and was known to law enforcement as prone to “bursts of anger,” Hummel said last week.
“It’s not known what if any role that played,” Hummel said Friday. “The defense would have to raise that.”
Cashwell divorced in 2018 and had only recently started dating again.
Cashwell had two daughters, 11 and 8. She’s a 1999 Mountain View High School graduate and was the 1998 Deschutes County Rodeo Queen.
She worked at a small insurance office in Sisters — Fullhart-Bisnett — for more a decade, and was a longtime 4-H volunteer.
According to friends who spoke to The Bulletin, she was a serious animal lover who couldn’t resist feeding squirrels, and was a fixture at the Level 5 gym in Sisters, where she held all the women’s weightlifting records.
“It’s been hard,” co-worker Tammy Taylor said. “A lot of people have been coming in. It shows how many people she touched.”
— Reporter: 541-383-0325, firstname.lastname@example.org