Manslaughter dropped in hit-run driver case

Jay Taylor Jenkins, 24, is walked to a Portland Police Bureau squad car in Southeast Portland (KOIN)
Jay Taylor Jenkins, 24, is walked to a Portland Police Bureau squad car in Southeast Portland (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A Multnomah County grand jury chose not to indict a 25-year-old man for second-degree manslaughter in the death of a 60-year-old man in Southeast Portland after a reported hit-and-run crash last month.

Jay Taylor Jenkins was arrested Feb. 17 by Portland police. Investigators told KOIN Jenkins was driving a 1995 Subaru station wagon on Feb. 15 when he crashed into Douglas Norman Miller.

Portland Police said the front windshield was tampered with following the reported deadly crash (KOIN)
Portland Police said the front windshield was tampered with following the reported deadly crash (KOIN)
Jay Taylor Jenkins shown in a jail booking photo (Credit: Multnomah County Sheriff's Office).
Jay Taylor Jenkins  Multnomah County Jail)

Miller was hit while crossing Southeast Powell Boulevard at  124th Avenue at about 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 15. He died at the scene. Officers allege the suspect driver, Jenkins, fled the scene without stopping. Investigators later learned that he traveled to a nearby home near Southeast 136th and Center Street.

Investigators, acting on a tip, obtained a search warrant for Jenkins’ arrest and the seizure of his vehicle at the Southeast Portland home. Officials said Jenkins was staying at the home as a guest, but has a permanent residence in Hood River, Ore.

Officers located the vehicle inside a detached garage. Police said there was evidence to suggest that Jenkins and another man, 29-year-old Jerin Crabtree, had been making repairs to the vehicle.

Crabtree was indicted by a grand jury on Feb. 25. Police arrested him the same day they took Jenkins into custody. Police said Crabtree assisted Jenkins with attempting to repair damage to the vehicle. He has been indicted on three counts of hindering prosecution and three counts of tampering with physical evidence.

Jerin Nigel Crabtree, 29, was arrested Monday. Feb. 17, 2014 in connection with a fatal hit-and-run on Feb. 15 on Southeast Powell Boulevard in Portland. He is accused of assisting the driver in trying to cover up the incident. (Multnomah County Jail)
Jerin Nigel Crabtree. (Multnomah County Jail)

The grand jury indictment charges Jenkins with two counts of failure to perform the duties of a driver resulting in serious injury or death, three counts of hindering prosecution and three counts of tampering with physical evidence.

Police had originally charged Jenkins with one count of second-degree manslaughter.

Officials have declined to comment the grand jury’s decision, but confirmed additional investigative work is needed. A police official told KOIN that if new information is presented, the case could be taken back to the grand jury for additional charges.

— Brent Weisberg

Follow on Twitter: @BrentKOIN

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