On May 11, 2020, a 12-person jury in Multnomah County unanimously found 39-year-old Aaron Patrick Shaffer guilty of committing two residential burglaries in the same night during which he took a block of cheese, punched a woman and then assaulted a second individual using a golf club.
State v. Shaffer was Multnomah County’s second jury trial held during the COVID-19 pandemic. The trial required the use of two courtrooms to ensure physical distancing and public access. Other safety measures were taken during the trial to protect jurors, attorneys, court staff, Shaffer and community members.
This investigation started on October 19, 2019 when the Portland Police Bureau responded to a disturbance in the 3400 block of Southeast 85th Avenue. Officers arrived and contacted two people who reported Shaffer assaulted them.
At trial, the jury learned that Shaffer entered a woman’s camper without permission and with the intent to commit the crime of theft. When the victim told Shaffer to leave, he took a block of cheese, a knife and a bag with a bowling ball inside.
The woman’s camper was parked near an apartment complex where an acquaintance lived. The woman testified she wanted to warn her friend, who also knows Shaffer, about what just happened.
When Shaffer got to the complex, he unlawfully entered an apartment unit and started throwing wet garbage onto a man who was sleeping. The man testified that he kicked Shaffer out of the apartment, which is when the woman realized that Shaffer had stolen items from her camper and confronted him about the theft.
While being confronted, Shaffer punched the woman in the face. The man from the apartment came over to help the female, which is when Shaffer used a golf club to hit the second victim multiple times. Shaffer then stomped on the man’s chest and ribs.
Police located and arrested Shaffer nearby and recovered the golf club and the block of cheese. Officers noted in their report that the golf club appeared to have been bent.
The jury found Shaffer guilty of four counts of burglary in the first degree, one count of assault in the fourth degree and one count of attempted assault in the fourth degree.
Count 1 of the indictment charged Shaffer with assault in the second degree. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty on that charge but did find him guilty of the lesser included charge of assault in the fourth degree, as reflected in the preceding paragraph.
Count 7 of the indictment charged Shaffer with theft in the third degree. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty on this particular count.
Sentencing in this matter is scheduled for June 19, 2020 at 9 a.m. with Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Christopher A. Ramras.
This case was prosecuted by Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Eric Collins.
No additional information can be released by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office at this time pursuant to the Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct.