Tuesday, September 21, 2010
DALLAS -- The two suspects in the murders of local farmers David Scott Jondle and Marilyn Jondle were indicted by a Polk County grand jury on Sept. 15.
The son of the victims, Andrew Thomas Jondle, 20, is accused of killing the Jondles with a steel pipe and scythe on their farm in Dallas on Aug. 31.
Andrew Jondle faces two counts of aggravated murder, murder and robbery. Polk County prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty for Jondle.
The grand jury also added two counts of aggravated murder to the list of charges against his accomplice and girlfriend, Cindy Lou Beck, 46, last week.
She had previously only been accused of two counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder and one count of hindering prosecution.
"If the Jondles were alive, she could be convicted of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder," said Polk County District Attorney Stan Butterfield. "But it's our theory that she was instrumental in committing the murder."
Butterfield said the state presented jury members with information on the case for about three hours on Sept. 15.
Their decision was deliberated in about half an hour, he said.
Beck's attorney, Chris Lillegard, had originally entered a plea of not guilty during what was to be Beck's arraignment on that indictment on Sept. 16.
But Lillegard later withdrew that plea after notifying the court that his Dallas firm's public defense contract with Polk County doesn't include death penalty cases.
As such, the state assigned
Chris Burriss, an Oregon City attorney, as Beck's new legal counsel on Sept. 17.
The maximum penalty for aggravated murder in Oregon is death by lethal injection. Though the gravity of charges against Beck have increased, Butterfield said his expectation is that the state wouldn't seek death in her case.
"While her involvement was central, it's still further removed" as Andrew Jondle carried out the murders alone, Butterfield said.
Beck and Andrew Jondle will be arraigned on their indictments on Sept. 23 and Oct. 8, respectively.