An 18-year-old Bend woman was given three days jail and a scolding by the judge at her sentencing for her role in a plot to beat a Bend teenager and leave him in a remote area.
Kyah Lorraine Budke, 18, appeared Monday in Deschutes County Circuit Court and was ordered to serve three days jail for her role in the Dec. 10 attack on a 18-year-old man and his girlfriend.
Budke had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit third-degree assault in a plea deal that recommended three years probation and other conditions. But Judge Wells Ashby said that deal did not go far enough, calling the group’s conduct “outrageous.”
“It’s only by luck and good fortune that this person was not killed,” Ashby said. “The defendant can spend 72 hours in custody to reflect as to whether she wants to spend the rest of her life institutionalized.”
Ashby gave her until Monday to report to jail.
The attack was coordinated primarily by a group of five high school students using the social media app Snapchat. Budke and one other alleged plotter, Jackson Garrett Fromdahl, were adults at the time of the attack. The other defendants were charged in the juvenile justice system.
The group believed the male victim had engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old girl. They formulated a plan to take him to a remote area, beat him, remove his clothes and leave him tied up, according to Deschutes County prosecutor Aaron Brenneman.
Budke’s role was to act as driver.
One of the plotters wrote online, “(The victim) is going to die,” according to a search warrant request filed in circuit court.
On the evening of Dec. 10, the five students took the two victims to Mayfield Pond off Alfalfa Road, where one of the plotters, who had a hard cast on his arm, was to use the cast to assault the male victim. But when the appointed moment came, the boy produced a steak knife he’d taken from home and stabbed the victim .
The five plotters panicked, shoved the victim’s girlfriend out of the vehicle and fled.
The male victim suffered a punctured lung. He and his girlfriend flagged down a motorist who rendered aid and called 911. The victims provided descriptions of the attackers and their vehicle, and Bend Police officers soon pulled them over and made arrests.
The male victim’s injury was considered life-threatening, and he was hospitalized for several days, Brenneman said.
The victim and his mother spoke at Budke’s sentencing hearing. He said during the drive, he and his girlfriend caught wind of what was happening and pleaded with Budke to take him home.
“Throughout that entire time she could have pulled to the side and told the others to call it off, but she didn’t,” he said. “It’s been an extremely difficult and stressful situation for me.”
The victim’s mother said her son’s medical bills top $20,000, including $180 per counseling session.
“What I find most extraordinary about Ms. Budke’s behavior is that she did not know (my son) or his girlfriend but participated in the plan,” the woman said. “I believe that social media played a big part and had a poisonous effect.”
Budke’s lawyer, Valerie Wright, agreed with the mother on that point.
“The kids had read some things online. … It should not have been a motivator for the kids to take things into their own hands,” Wright said.
Budke apologized when given a chance to speak.
“I am sincerely sorry for the events that transpired and getting involved in that group mentality. I can’t even begin to understand how it would feel for him and what he went through, but I wish him and his family well.”
Fromdahl has a plea hearing Thursday.
The other three plotters were tried earlier this year in the juvenile justice system.
The boy who stabbed the victim was sentenced April 29 for first-degree assault and ordered to be incarcerated in a youth correctional facility for a term not to exceed his 25th birthday. The boy is 16.
The other two plotters admitted to one count each of conspiracy to commit third-degree assault and were given probation.