Man who stabbed friend to death committed to Oregon State Hospital

From the Oregonian, September 3, 2011

Jason Ojord

Jason Ojord

The family of Jason Pine wept quietly in a Portland courtroom on Friday as the parents of his killer sat on a bench in front of them looking numb. All of them felt like victims.

Fifteen months ago, Pine walked into the Southeast Portland home of his friend and neighbor, Jason E. Ojord, who was tormented by bipolar disorder. Pine, who was 24, wanted his buddy to get back on medication.

The next thing anyone knew, Ojord was dragging Pine’s bloody corpse out of the house in front of the neighbors. Police would soon confront their suspect with shouts, bean-bag rounds and a Taser gun. Later, their official reports would note Ojord’s response: “Would you like me to kill another one?”

Multnomah County Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Walker put the case to rest Friday in a tidy 30-minute bench trial. Walker found Ojord, 37, guilty except for insanity in the stabbing murder of Pine.

The judge looked past Ojord, a thickly built man seated before him in shackles and blue jail scrubs. His eyes found Pine’s family and friends, some of whom wore black T-shirts with three white letters on the breast: R.I.P. Walker asked if anyone had anything to say before he sentenced Ojord.

One by one, they stood and spoke.

Pine’s parents recalled how Ojord burst into their home the night before the slaying of their first-born son and threatened to burn down the house and everyone in it. Their son’s response was to defend Ojord, saying he only needed his medication.

One of their younger sons, Timothy Pine, concurred.

“My brother was Mr. Ojord’s only friend,” he said, recalling how his sibling often fixed breakfast for his mentally ill buddy and went fishing with him. “My brother,” he said, “looked out for the weak and the handicapped.”

Members of Pine’s family told Walker that Ojord’s mental illness alone could not begin to explain his brutality. Authorities found 29 stab wounds in Pine’s corpse. His blood spattered the walls and furniture of his friend’s home.

Walker asked Ojord if he had anything to say on his behalf. The big man only shook his head and said no.

The judge placed Ojord under the jurisdiction of Oregon’s Psychiatric Security Review Board for a term of life and committed him to the Oregon State Hospital. Depending on how his treatment goes, the board might one day allow him to live in a residential facility.

Walker told Ojord he caused a lot of personal damage, leaving a hole in the heart of a family.

“We always hurt the ones who help us the most,” he said.

Ojord’s lawyer, Ronald Fishback, and his parents, Mark and Nancy Ojord, sat silently, taking it all in. They blamed the tragedy on the Social Security Administration, which cut off Ojord’s disability payments months before Pine’s murder.

Jason Ojord was left with no doctor, they said, and no drugs to combat his demons.

After the hearing, some of Jason Pine’s family walked over to the Ojords. Jeffrey Pine, Jason’s father, took Nancy Ojord’s hand in his and tried to console her. They locked eyes for an instant before she spoke.

“It’s been a horrible 15 months,” she said. “It’s been a nightmare.”

READ – Portland police find man’s body on sidewalk in Southeast Portland, investigating as a homicide, Oregonian, May 12, 2010
READ – Police identify suspect, victim in Southeast Portland stabbing, Oregonian, May 13, 2010
READ – Witnesses saw murder suspect drag victim’s body into Southeast Portland street, Oregonian, May 17, 2010