Documents reveal details of Ervaeua Herring case

A judge will determine if bail should be set for 3 murder suspects

(L-R) Geontae Jones, Kelani Brown, Demetruis Ray Brown in a court appearance related to their charges in the murder of Ervaeua Herring, August 19, 2016 (KOIN)
(L-R) Geontae Jones, Kelani Brown, Demetruis Ray Brown in a court appearance related to their charges in the murder of Ervaeua Herring, August 19, 2016 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A barrage of bullets from at least 6 separate guns ferociously gunned down a pregnant mother, according to newly released court documents.

On Friday, August 19, Demetruis Ray Brown, Geontae Jones and Kelani Brown appeared before a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge to have bail set in the case that accuses them of murdering Ervaeua Herring.

Geontae Jones and Demetruis Brown ended up waiving their right to a bail hearing shortly before the proceedings started. Only Kelani Brown had a bail hearing. A decision will be made next week to determine his eligibility for release.

emetruis Ray Brown in a court appearance related to their charges in the murder of Ervaeua Herring, August 19, 2016 (KOIN)
Demetruis Ray Brown in a court appearance related to their charges in the murder of Ervaeua Herring, August 19, 2016 (KOIN)

Right now, all 3 men are being held on a grand jury indictment that charges them with 3 counts of murder, 2 counts of first-degree burglary and one count of unlawful use of a weapon.

Jones is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

A fourth suspect, DeAnthony Simmons, has waived his right to a bail hearing because he is currently serving a prison sentence. Even if bail were set for him, his prison sentence prevents his release. Simmons is charged with the same crimes the other 3 suspects and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Police believe at least two other gunmen were involved but they have not been indicted. Detectives said the case remains “open, and very active.”

It was 2 years ago Wednesday, on August 17, 2014, when Herring was “shot and killed by a barrage of bullets fired from at least six different guns,” according to an affidavit filed by deputy district attorney Adam Gibbs.

ervaeua-herringOfficers responded to the Eastwood Village Apartments at 15139 Southeast Powell Boulevard on the report of a shooting.

All of the suspects in the case have been identified as Hoover criminal gang members, according to court documents.

Gibbs’ affidavit reveals, in part, how detectives were able to put the case together. A woman has pled guilty to criminal conspiracy to commit murder for driving 2 of the 6 gunmen to and from the scene.

“The state requests that the court deny the defendants’ request for bail because the proof is evident and the presumption strong that [they] are guilty of murder,” Gibbs wrote.

Gunmen Storm Neighbor’s Apartment
When homicide detectives arrived at Herring’s apartment, they spoke with one of her neighbors. That woman told detectives that 3 gunmen had “burst” into her apartment shortly before the shooting.

The gunmen “…pointed guns at her and her children, and demanded to know where ‘Dre Steves’ was,” according to Gibbs’ affidavit.

The neighbor was able to tell detectives that in addition to the 3 men inside her apartment, there were 4 men standing outside. She said the men outside were also armed.

The woman told the gunmen that Dre Steves did not live there.

“When the gunmen demanded to know which apartment was Dre Steves’, [the woman] pointed to the sliding glass door belonging to Ervaeua Herring,” court documents said.

The true name of “Dre Steves” is Deandre Stephens – a documented member of the Woodlawn Park Blood criminal street gang, according to court documents. Stephens was Herring’s boyfriend.

Before the gunmen left the woman’s apartment, they took her phone and “very shortly thereafter, gunfire erupted in the backyard of the apartment complex,” according to court documents.

Responding officers found Herring where she had fallen, immediately inside the back sliding glass door of her apartment, according to prosecutors. An autopsy showed that her death was caused by “gunshot wounds [to the] brain.”

Herring’s Death Follows Gang Shooting, Fight in Downtown Portland
As homicide detectives continued to investigate, they worked closely worked closely with the Portland Police Bureau’s Gang Enforcement Team.

About 5 hours before Herring was killed, GET officers responded to an incident in downtown Portland at SW 3rd and Ash.

Kelani Brown in a court appearance related to charges in the murder of Ervaeua Herring, August 19, 2016 (KOIN)
Kelani Brown in a court appearance related to charges in the murder of Ervaeua Herring, August 19, 2016 (KOIN)

Detectives learned that there had been a fight between the Woodlawn Park Bloods and the Hoover Criminal gang sets. During the fight, Jerone Cuie, a Hoover gang member was shot and Demetruis Brown was pistol whipped in the face.

George Waters and Isaac Harden, both documented Woodlawn Park Blood gang members, have been convicted for their roles in the shooting and fight.

Video from downtown area businesses “depicts” many of the Hoover gang members at the location of the fight and shooting including Kelani Brown, Demetruis Brown, Normani Brown, Cuie and Simmons.

Detectives later discovered that Herring’s brother, Ronell Herring Jr., a documented Blood gang member, had also been involved in the downtown fight. Ronell Herring Jr. told detectives that he had been jumped by Hoover gang members, including Demetruis Brown outside a bar.

“Detective [Anthony] Merrill asked [Ronell] Herring if during the ensuring fight he had seen Demetruis Brown being ‘pistol whipped’ during the fight. He responded that Mr. Brown had been taken down a notch that night,” court documents state.

Hoover Gang Members Gather in SE Portland
After the downtown fight, a woman drove Demetruis Brown and Simmons back to a Hoovers gathering spot in the parking lot of a Northeast Portland restaurant.

“After some time at that location, [the woman] drove Brown and Simmons” to a house in the 15300 block of Southeast Yamhill Street. According to court documents, the residence is a “regular meeting spot used by the [Hoover] gang…”

Demetruis Brown, Simmons, Kelani Brown and another individual all gathered at the residence on Southeast Yamhill Street, records show.

“…at Demetruis Brown’s direction [the woman] drove Simmons and Demetruis Brown to a home believed to be occupied by Isaac Harden,” according to court documents. Isaac Harden is a rival gang member who was involved in the attack against the Hoovers in downtown Portland.

Geontae Jones in a court appearance related to their charges in the murder of Ervaeua Herring, August 19, 2016 (KOIN)
Geontae Jones in a court appearance related to their charges in the murder of Ervaeua Herring, August 19, 2016 (KOIN)

Police learned that “other” Hoovers were in other cars and that “multiple Hoovers [were] wearing masks [and] went to the home carrying gun,” according to court documents.

The Hoovers stood down what appeared to be a potential attack on Harden’s residence when they learned he wasn’t home, records suggest.

The group of Hoovers went back to the residence on Southeast Yamhill Street where they all “regrouped.” Eventually, [the woman] would drive Simmons and Demetruis Brown to Herring’s apartment complex “and that the other shooters arrived at the same time in separate cars,” court documents state.

Police learned that the six Hoover gang members – Demetruis Brown, Geontae Jones, Simmons, Kelani Brown, and “two other men who have not yet been indicted” ran to the apartment complex carrying guns.

According to prosecutors, Kelani Brown was seen running down Southeast Powell Blvd. wearing “skinny jeans.” Video from the fight in downtown reportedly shows Kelani Brown wearing a similarly described outfit.

After the shooting, members of the Hoovers gathered once again at the residence on Southeast Yamhill Street. Police learned that one of the Hoovers gathered the other shooters’ guns for disposal.

2 shot following Ervaeua Herring memorial

Ballistic Evidence Matches Multiple Crime Scenes
When police learned of the attempted home invasion at Isaac Harden’s residence, they found an unfired .22 caliber round found outside the front of Harden’s house. That was compared to the .22 caliber shell casings found outside Herring’s apartment.

“The shell casings had the same head stamp, indicating they were of the same make and model,” records state. “The presence of the same shell casings at Ms. Herring’s creates a strong presumption that the same gun, loaded with the same ammunition, was present at both scenes.”

A separate report from the Oregon State Police crime lab shows that the 9mm shell casing found at the scene of Herring’s murder was fired from a gun found in a vehicle occupied by Geontae Jones in October 2014.

At the scene of Herring’s death, police discovered three 7.62 mm rounds, “which is consistent with the caliber of an AK-47 rifle,” prosecutors wrote.

GPS Tracks One Accused Killer
When Herring was killed, Geontae Jones was wearing a GPS monitor because he was on supervision. “His monitor ran out of battery and was not tracking him at the exact time of the shooting,” prosecutors revealed in court documents.

“…but his movements before and after are corroborative of the other evidence in this case,” prosecutors state.

DeAnthony Paul Simmons, 19, was arrested Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in connection with a gang shooting that occurred on Dec. 26, 2013. (Multnomah County Jail)
DeAnthony Paul Simmons, 19, was arrested Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in connection with a gang shooting that occurred on Dec. 26, 2013. (Multnomah County Jail)

The GPS data shows Jones was at the Southeast Yamhill residence until about 10:30 p.m. on August 16, 2014. From there he headed to Troutdale and was not downtown when the fight between the Hoovers and Bloods broke out. “However, at 12:30 a.m. on August 17, 2014, minutes after the downtown shooting, Mr. Jones left Troutdale and drove a straight-line down Southeast Stark street” back to the residence on Southeast Yamhill. At 1:22 a.m., his GPS battery died. He was still reportedly in the area of the Yamhill residence.

When the unit was recharged and reacquired his position, it was 12:43 p.m. on August 17, 2014, according to court documents, and he was at the Southeast Yamhill location.

Bloods Retaliate Against Accused Hoover Killers
Two days after Herring’s death, someone used a 9mm handgun to shoot up the house belonging to the mother of the woman who drove Simmons and Brown, according to court documents. Police recovered 7 spent 9 mm shell casings.

Reports show that the 7 shell casings were fired from the same gun that was used in the downtown shooting of Cuie. On Aug. 24, 2014, a 9 mm handgun was recovered from a vehicle occupied by George Waters, the Woodlawn Park Blood who was convicted of shooting Cuie.

Prosecutors Want Judge To Deny Bail

According to Gibb’s affidavit, the state does not have definitive evidence of which defendant’s bullet or bullets caused the fatal wound to Ervaeua Herring.

The four suspects accused of killing Ervaeua Herring have been described as participating in a “firing squad.”

“Each defendant who was part of group of Hoovers that invaded the apartment…intended to kill a member of the Bloods in retaliation for the shooting of Cuie earlier that evening.”

Investigators do not believe that Ervaeua Herring was the intended target of the shooting.

Each defendant is charged with one count of intentional murder and two counts of felony murder, which means they committed a felony before the shooting that caused Ervaeua Herring’s death. There is no sentencing difference between anyone convicted of intentional murder or felony murder, legal experts told KOIN 6 News.

Three Suspects Have Criminal Records

Demetruis Brown – On September 5, 2014, a grand jury indicted Demetruis Brown with murder with a firearm for the June 9, 2013 death of Andreas “Prince” Jones and for the May 26, 2012 attempted murder of Da-Mon McDonald.

Jones was shot and killed at an apartment complex near Southeast 190th and East Burnside, according to Gresham Police.

In a separate shooting, Da-Mon McDonald – a documented gang member – suffered multiple injuries in the May 26, 2012 shooting after being shot by Demetruis Brown, according to police.

In a third separate case filed against Brown, prosecutor claim that in late January 2016, Brown “while being aided by another person actually present” caused physical injury to an inmate being held in custody at the Multnomah County Detention Center. He is charged with tampering with a witness.

Geontae Jones – On Oct. 8, 2015, a Multnomah County grand jury filed a 15-count indictment against Jones, 23, for incidents that happened between September 20-27, 2015. Jones was arrested, along with two other people on September 27, after a pursuit through Portland’s eastside and into Gresham.

Jones is charged three counts of attempted murder with a firearm, attempted first-degree assault, being a felon in possession of a firearm and six counts of unlawful use of a weapon.

He also has a pending case that charges him with second-degree escape for an incident that happened on July 19, 2015.

DeAnthony Paul Simmons — is being held at the Snake River Correctional Institution prison. He entered custody on Dec. 15, 2014 after he pled guilty to one count each of first-degree robbery and attempted second-degree assault for an incident that occurred on Aug. 11, 2014.

In a report filed by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Simmons “has been suspected and/or associated with several gang related shootings.”

According to police, more arrests are expected in this case.

Anyone with information on the death of Ervaeua Ronchelle Herring is asked to call Homicide Detective Anthony Merrill at 503-823-4033 or via email at: anthony.merrill@portlandoregon.gov.

The trial is scheduled for September 2017 before Judge Gregory F. Silver.

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