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Houfmuse arraigned on murder charges in Hermiston shooting death


By Hermiston Herald

Published on June 14, 2017 6:55AM

Tyree Houfmuse

Tyree Houfmuse

Murder charges were filed Tuesday against Tyree Quaddray Houfmuse in connection to a fatal shooting in Hermiston last month.

The Umatilla County District Attorney’s Office filed charges of first-degree manslaughter and murder against Houfmuse, 35, of Tacoma, for the death of James Cragun. The district attorney also filed a charge of felon in possession of a firearm.

Houfmuse has been in the Umatilla County Jail, Pendleton, since police caught him Monday in connection to Cragun’s shooting death May 27 in Hermiston.

Houfmuse attended the arraignment via video, speaking from the jail. He was represented by defense attorney Kara Davis of Intermountain Public Defenders.

Davis asked to defer entering a plea until the defense had time to look at preliminary police reports and other relevant documents.

Prosecutor Jaclyn Jenkins with the Umatilla County District Attorney’s office said that it would be possible to get some of those documents to the defense. She asked that Houfmuse be held on no bail, due to his charges and repeated offenses. She also asked for a couple of weeks so the case could be taken through grand jury.

Davis said that bail had to be set.

“There’s no facts. We don’t have an indictment yet,” she said.

Jenkins repeated the request for no bail, but said if the court wanted to set bail, she asked that it be set at $1 million, due to Houfmuse’s prior violent crimes.

Davis said that Houfmuse qualified for indigent defense, and that a million dollars was extravagant.

Judge Dan Hill set the bail at $1 million, citing the nature of Houfmuse’s charges.

Houfmuse will appear before a grand jury later this week. A preliminary hearing is set for June 20 at 8:15 a.m. at the Stafford Hansell Building in Hermiston.

Cragun’s mother and sister were in the courtroom for the arraignment.

“Hopefully, this time he stays in jail and doesn’t get the chance to do this to anybody else,” said Cragun’s sister, Cynthia Bailey.

Bailey said from what she had heard, her brother and Houfmuse knew each other back in high school, but did not know much about their relationship at the time of the shooting. She also stated that Houfmuse was seeing her brother’s ex-girlfriend.

Bailey also said that at the time of Cragun’s death, there were several witnesses. The Umatilla County District Attorney’s office would not comment on whether there were witnesses to the incident.

Beverly Cragun said she saw her son Friday morning, the day before he died.

“He was very upbeat, and in a really good mood,” she said.

Cragun said her son has three children, ages 15, 11 and 7.

“They’re all taking this very hard,” she said.

Cragun and Bailey said they were surprised to hear that Houfmuse had been found in Umatilla County.

“I figured they’d find him in Washington, where everybody said he was,” Bailey said.

Houfmuse’s last listed address was in Tacoma, Washington.

Houfmuse has been arrested in the past for several other violent disputes, most recently a shooting in November 2014 outside a Kennewick bar. That incident left another man paralyzed. Houfmuse was arrested in Hermiston for that shooting, but a jury in 2015 determined he had acted in self-defense.

He was also charged in 2005 with attempted murder, after he allegedly fired shots into a moving vehicle with three people inside. That charge was dropped, but he was charged with menacing, assault in the third degree, unlawful use of a weapon against another, criminal mischief and unlawful possession of a firearm.


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