Garlinghouse gets new attorneys; trial delayed

Jason Garlinghouse’s murder trial, which was scheduled to begin Sept. 25, has been postponed, according to court documents. A new date had not been scheduled at press time.

Garlinghouse, 33, of Lebanon, faces a murder charge in connection with the Feb. 14 death of his estranged wife, Sparki Garlinghouse.

Attorney John C. Rich filed a motion to withdraw from any further representation of Garlinghouse.

“The basis for my Motion to Withdraw is that certain ethical conflicts of interest exist between the defendant and myself which cannot be set forth without a violation of the confidentiality of certain communications from the defendant to myself, which make it impossible to continue to represent the defendant at trial,” according to an affidavit Rich filed with the court on Sept. 8.

Garlinghouse made a request on July 17  for a new attorney, which was denied then by Linn County Circuit Court Judge David Delsman.

Brett Jaspers and Thomas Hill were named as Garlinghouse’s new attorneys in a Sept. 13 court document.

An Aug. 18 court hearing for Garlinghouse, which was scheduled for four hours, only took about 15 minutes.

The state has moved to admit statements made by Sparki Garlinghouse to a friend shortly before she was murdered. That motion, to admit victim statements, was filed on Aug. 11.
Sparki Garlinghouse drove to Jason Garlinghouse’s residence on the morning of Feb. 14 to pick up their children for school, according to court documents.

“Because she was nervous about entering into (the) defendant’s house, she activated an audio-recorder on her smartphone,” a court document states. “Unbeknownst to (the) defendant at the time, the victim’s phone audio-recorded the entire incident.”

At the Aug. 18 hearing, prosecuting attorney Keith Stein said he did not expect Delsman to rule; he just wanted the court to be prepared.

Delsman said he appreciated the opportunity to review the motion before trial.

Rich said there were two copies of the audio recording. One is unedited and the other has descriptions of what may be happening in the recording.

The unedited version will be played in the state’s opening statements if the case goes to trial, Rich said.

Stein said his witness list will look a little different from what he previously submitted.

“We have pared things down,” he said.

Rich said he had gotten additional names from Garlinghouse and that the defense will have nine witnesses.

Stein said he expects the state’s case to take four days. Rich said the defense should take two days.

Garlinghouse attended a settlement conference on Aug. 29.

The case began at 7:05 a.m. on Feb. 14, when Lebanon police officers investigated a report that a woman had been shot at 928 Osprey Way, according to the Lebanon Police Department.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case, Jason Garlinghouse called 911 to report that his wife attacked him and he shot her multiple times.

LPD Chief Frank Stevenson confirmed that Garlinghouse did call in the shooting to 911, but said the suspect did not confess and has not released a statement.

“When we arrived we had him come out and we took him into custody,” Stevenson said.

Garlinghouse was transported to the Lebanon Police Department, where he cooperated with the investigation, according to an LPD news release.

When officers arrived, they found Sparki Garlinghouse lying on the floor at the end of the front entry hallway near the kitchen and living room, according to the affidavit.

She had children’s backpacks and a set of keys clenched in her left hand. Her right hand was open with a large bread knife lying in it, according to the affidavit.

Stevenson said the couple has two young children, who were not home at the time.

LPD Detective Justin McCubbins was granted a search warrant for the residence, which multiple officers, deputies and members of the Oregon State Police Crime Lab assisted in serving.

A black semi-automatic pistol was on the kitchen island near where the body was located.
Eight spent casings were located – five near the body, two at the opposite end of the kitchen floor, and one on top of the refrigerator.

Officers observed at least four round holes in the back of the victim’s torso, according to police.

LPD took Jason Garlinghouse to the Police Department, where he was escorted to an interview room. A detective took digital photos of Garlinghouse’s body and did not observe any injuries. Garlinghouse was wearing a belt-attached gun holster, according to police reports.

Jason and Sparki Garlinghouse were in the process of divorcing and living in separate residences. They were scheduled for an early resolution conference on Feb. 24.

LPD had contact with the Garlinghouses at least six times since September of 2016 regarding custody and other divorce-related issues, according to police reports.