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Apr-29-2007 22:18printcomments

Clackamas Deputies Make Swift Arrest in Murder

Evidence suggests jealousy may have motivated the killing.

Clackamas Oregon murder scene 42907
Photos courtesy: Jim Strovink/Clackamas County Sheriff

(CLACKAMAS, Ore.) - Clackamas County Sheriff's investigators are pleased with the swift course of a criminal death investigation Sunday, which led to the arrest of a suspect less than 8 hours from the time of the reported tragic murder event in Wilsonville that left one man dead.

Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Detective Jim Strovink, says that shortly after midnight, Sunday morning, law enforcement and emergency medical personnel responded to a home on SW Essex Court, in the City of Wilsonville.

Upon arrival, they discovered a man that was seriously injured, and subsequently died as a result of these injuries, shortly after medical personnel arrived on the scene.

The deceased is identified as 56-year old Ricardo C. Stokes. Stokes lived alone at a home on SW Essex Court, in Wilsonville, at the time of this reported incident.

Suspect: 38-year old Wendell Tate

Strovink says investigators promptly followed encouraging investigative leads to the suspect, 38-year old Wendell K. Tate, early in this investigation.

Information was received that the victim, Ricardo Stokes, and Tate's wife, were acquainted with each other. Clackamas County Sheriff's Investigators collected additional, significant investigative information, and contacted the suspect at his residence on NE 58th, in Portland. At approximately 9:00 AM, Wendell K. Tate was taken into custody at his residence. Tate was transported to the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Jail and lodged for the charge of murder.

Strovink calls it excellent police work. Later in the morning, a search warrant was executed at the Tate residence by representatives of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office; with the assistance of the Portland Police Bureau. The Deputy Oregon State Medical Examiner, Dr. Christopher Young, has announced the forensic autopsy results pertaining to the deceased Ricardo C. Stokes. This forensic autopsy was conducted midday at the Oregon State Medical Examiners Office, in Clackamas.

As a result of this examination, Stokes is presumed to have ‘died as a result of homicidal violence – blunt and sharp force injuries.' This death investigation has brought together the cooperative investigative expertise of the Oregon State Police Crime Lab, the Canby Police Department, the Portland Police Bureau, the Oregon State Medical Examiners Office, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office and the Clackamas County District Attorney's Office. Arraignment for this matter is scheduled for Monday, at 3:00 PM in the Clackamas County Circuit Court, in Oregon City.

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NICK.TALTON June 2, 2007 2:23 pm (Pacific time)


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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.