US~Observer Client “Not Guilty”
By Joseph Snook
Gold Hill, OR – Harassed, assaulted, hospitalized and arrested are just a few words used to describe what Daniel Young has endured – all while trying to protect his family on their own property. On February 21, 2013, almost 7 years after disputes with neighbors arose over the use of an easement, Dan Young was accused of “menacing, and recklessly endangering” his neighbor Kevin Mayfield. Proclaiming his innocence, Dan and his family spent the next 10 months under severe stress, wondering, “will Dan be locked up?”
Describing why his neighbor would make false allegations against him, Dan stated that he has asked neighbors to refrain from using recreational vehicles (atv’s, dirt bikes, etc,) on the easement, which is also part of Dan’s property. According to Dan, some neighbors create hazards for his family and others when they turn blind corners at un-safe speeds, tearing up the driveway and creating “large amounts of dust.”
The charges against Dan alleged that he attempted to run his neighbor over with his vehicle several times while his neighbor was jogging. Kevin Mayfield stated that Dan called him a, “F—ing Pu–y” while attempting to run him over. Kevin stated that he sustained “multiple injuries,” which included many scratches from having to “jump into blackberry bushes,” and an “injured knee.”
Several deputies responded to the scene including Jackson County Deputy Ettinger who testified, “no photos were taken of Kevin’s injuries.” Deputy Ettinger also stated that he, “didn’t visit” the alleged crime scene. Deputy Ettinger didn’t take any photos whatsoever. According to testimony, Deputy Ettinger didn’t even include all of Kevin’s alleged injuries in his report. Deputy Ettinger couldn’t recall seeing any scratches, torn clothing or anything else that would suggest that Kevin, “jumped into blackberry bushes,” to avoid being struck by Dan’s vehicle.
Shortly after speaking with Kevin, Deputy Ettinger went to the Young home and informed Dan’s daughter that he was there to, “arrest Dan.” All the deputy apparently needed was an accusation .
Disputes regarding Dan and his property, which has an easement have often led to what Dan described as a “deliberate disregard for his rights , as well as wrongful arrests by Jackson County Sheriffs.” Instead of doing what hasn’t worked in the past, Dan found the US~Observer and sought our help. We investigated and published on the case prior to Dan’s trial. We did what mainstream media should do, but rarely does – a full investigation.
The facts of this case were simple, but not simple enough for the D.A.’s office to realize that prosecuting Dan was not only an injustice, but a major waste of tax dollars. Instead, the prosecution relied on one man’s testimony vs. another.
On December 11, 2013 Dan faced his accuser in court. Dan’s attorney, Jamie Hazlett, was very direct. Hazlett tactfully exposed the mistakes by the Sheriff’s Dept. She also did exceptionally well while questioning Kevin Mayfield. As Dan testified, some jurors showed body language that suggested they could tell what really happened. After several hours, the defense and prosecution rested. The jury deliberated for approximately 17 minutes before Dan was informed that a verdict had been reached.
Judge Ravassipour, who was appointed in September by Governor Kitzhaber announced, “Not guilty” on both counts.
After exiting the courthouse, one juror stated, “It didn’t take much to read between the lines.”
Kevin is still Dan’s neighbor and from what has been reported, this dispute is likely to continue.
Dan and his wife Susan stated that, “gun-shots” have been “blasted” towards their home from the direction of Kevin Mayfield’s house. Susan continued, “I can hear the bullets whistling through the trees at night.”
Due to their lost faith in law enforcement, the Young family now carries video recording devices every time they travel on their own property to protect themselves from false allegations.
Numerous attempts to communicate with Kevin Mayfield were unsuccessful – until trial. Kevin insisted that Dan was “crazy” as he signaled with his finger in a circular motion next to his head. Kevin did say that he, “could understand” Dan’s fear for safety when people are using off-road vehicles on the easement at unsafe speeds. Kevin has not yet contacted this reporter post trial.
Dan recently retired and will enjoy this new year as a free man without the stress of jail hanging over his head.