Grand jury indicts triple murder suspect

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that a grand jury indicted 58-year-old Brett Edward Pruett for intentionally murdering three people in northeast Portland.

Pruett is charged with 11 counts of murder in the first degree with a firearm, four counts of unlawful use of a weapon, two counts of burglary in the first degree with a firearm, two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and one count of assault in the second degree constituting domestic violence.

According to court documents, on July 17, 2020, Pruett intentionally killed Elmer Edwin Hughes III and Tashia Heather Cobb during the same criminal episode. 

Additionally, during the criminal episode described above, Pruett is accused of unlawfully entering and remaining inside a residence in the 2500 block of Northeast 122nd Avenue with a firearm where he killed Lawrence Wayne Murphy.

Furthermore, it is alleged that Pruett used a firearm in a manner to cause serious physical injury to either a family or household member the day prior to the triple homicide.

The assault victim does not wish to speak with media. The district attorney’s office is requesting that media refrain from contacting her.

The probable cause affidavit filed in this case remains under seal by court order.

A bail hearing date will be scheduled in the future.

Like in all criminal and civil matters, electronic copies of court documents, which are not subject to a protective order, are available to the public through the Oregon eCourt Information (OECI) system.

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.

A charging document is only an accusation of a crime. Pruett is innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Strategic Prosecution and Services Unit, which reviews cases that stem from neighborhood-specific concerns, is litigating this case. The unit is primarily responsible for interfacing with the community over specific issues, and handles all types of cases across the criminal justice spectrum to include misdemeanors and homicides.