An Oregon man who shot off a rifle inside a Richland hotel Saturday allegedly planned to kidnap and kill the woman he hired for sex.
Jamin L. Harris told police that he had survival equipment with him because he had intended to take the woman he met through Backpage.com to a remote area near Bend, Ore., court documents show.
Harris, 34, admitted that he was going to force the Kennewick woman to go with him if she didn’t go willingly, court documents state. He told the 26-year-old that he was going to kill her when he first threatened her with the rifle, documents said.
Backpage.com is known for advertising escorts who are part of the sex trade. Some of those listed under the adult services section say they are consenting adults, while others are underage children and women who are victims of sex trafficking, police said.
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Harris reportedly told investigators that he had been contacting women on the website for a month “with the intent of putting his plan into action,” wrote Deputy Prosecutor Julie Long.
Online records show that his last known address was in McMinnville, southwest of Portland.
Harris pleaded innocent Thursday in Benton County Superior Court to felony harassment, second-degree assault with a gun, reckless endangerment and second-degree unlawful possession of a gun.
Bail is set at $100,000, and scheduled for Jan. 30.
Harris reportedly told police he was going to try to convince the woman to go with him, but was prepared to tie her up with duct tape and take her if she refused, said court documents.
Court documents say Harris has felony convictions in Oregon for second-degree kidnapping, first-degree theft and second-degree robbery, and he is not allowed to own or possess guns.
The dispute between the two early Saturday at the Shilo Inn and Suites allegedly started over payment for her services.
Harris said he took out the rifle in “an attempt to intimidate” the woman, documents said. A struggle ensued and one round was fired.
The woman told police that Harris pointed the rifle at her and threatened to kill her, court documents said. She eventually got free and ran from the room.
Richland police arrived just before 5 a.m. and found Harris still in the hotel room.
As officers were starting to secure the scene, Harris allegedly fired up to a dozen more shots out of the room and through the wall into a neighboring room with people inside.
Members of the Tri-City Regional SWAT Team called Harris on a phone and negotiated his surrender. No one was hurt by any of the shots.
In his interview with police, Harris said he was going to try to convince the woman to go with him, but was prepared to tie her up with duct tape and take her, documents said.