PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Prosecutors have charged a 30-year-old woman with hindering prosecution and tampering with physical evidence in connection with a crash that resulted in the death of a 3-year-old child.
Candyce Berjay Harris was arrested by the Gresham Police Department on August 19, the day of the crash, but has since been released on her own recognizance.
According to court documents, Armondo Camargo-Carmen was playing in the parking lot of an apartment complex in the 100 block of Southeast 162nd Avenue in Gresham when a vehicle driven by Carlton Burton backed into him.
Harris was the passenger in the vehicle and reported that as the car was backing up, she heard a “thump,” according to court documents. Witnesses told police that after the crash, Harris got out of the vehicle to see what happened and saw Camargo-Carmen on the ground bleeding heavily.
Burton remained in the driver’s seat but then “eventually exited and slowly walked away” from the crash, according to witnesses and court documents.
Burton is charged with felony hit and run but has not been charged with the death of Camargo-Carmen. Officials said they need more time to investigate to determine whether Burton’s actions in the moments leading up to the crash were reckless.
Harris who told police that she was in the vehicle at the time of the crash. When asked if Harris knew who the driver was, she did not immediately answer. She later said, “he told me his name was Brad,” according to court documents. Harris went on to claim that she did not know the driver’s last name and described him as being a light-skinned black male in his 30s with short “outgrown” hair.
Burton – who is 63 years old – is bald.
Police eventually spoke with a witness who told them that a friend came up to his apartment shortly after the crash and said to call an ambulance because he had been involved in a crash, records show. The friend told police that he only knew the first name of his friend was “Carlton.”
Burton eventually turned himself into police in downtown Portland several hours after the crash. He told investigators that he had purchased alcohol and drank until friends drove him to Portland Police headquarters so he could turn himself in.
Records show that Harris is transient and has only been in the metro area for the last 5 months.
The tampering with physical evidence charge comes from Harris concealing backpacks from police. Additional details were not provided in a probable cause affidavit submitted by the DA’s Office.
Both Harris and Burton are due back in court next week.