Hermiston judge gives corrections officer killer life sentence

July 31, 2013 

— A 23-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after killing an Oregon corrections officer who stopped to help him along a highway.

Joshua Charles Weeks was sentenced Wednesday after a two-day sentencing hearing in a Hermiston courtroom, according to information from the Umatilla County district attorney’s office.

Judge Daniel Hill considered sentencing options of life without parole or life with the possibility of parole after 30 years.

About 11 p.m. Nov. 28, 2011, Corrections Officer Buddy Herron was on his way from his home in Helix to work at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton. He stopped on Highway 11 a few miles outside Pendleton to offer help to a driver whose car was stuck.

The driver, Weeks, stabbed Herron several times and left him to die. He then stole Herron’s car and was arrested after a police chase that ended when he rolled the car.

Before murdering Herron, Weeks had committed a string of thefts, burglaries and robberies in Portland and Pendleton, according to District Attorney Daniel Primus.

Herron’s wife and Weeks’ wife both testified at the sentencing hearing.

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