- Associated Press - Friday, March 3, 2017

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon man has been convicted of murder in the shooting death of a man he once considered a father figure.

Stranger Davis, 30, of Cave Junction said he was suffering from mental problems when he walked up to Michael “Dirty” MacDonald in broad daylight in August 2014 and fired four rounds into his upper torso.

But Josephine County Judge Lindi Baker rejected the insanity defense in a nonjury trial that concluded Wednesday, the Daily Courier reported (https://is.gd/87BE7J ).

Baker also found him guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The judge cited extensive evidence that Davis carefully planned his actions. Several mental health professionals who evaluated Davis before trial found that his mental health problems did not rise to the level of criminal insanity.

Davis stole a .45-caliber pistol from his sister’s property in Cave Junction, prosecutors said. He wore an orange vest and hardhat while walking through private properties to get to MacDonald’s cabin, so no one would contact police, prosecutors said.

After killing MacDonald, he fled to a town near Chico, California, where his mother lives, according to his arrest warrant.

Davis allegedly told authorities that MacDonald, whom he called “Dad,” needed to die. He said MacDonald, 61, was a ringleader in organized criminal activities in the Illinois Valley of southwestern Oregon, and had persuaded him and others to commit a number of violent crimes.

The defense said the trauma suffered by Davis during his experiences with MacDonald caused him to lose his ability to reason. Moreover, Davis asserted that seeing MacDonald taking on another young apprentice caused an extreme emotional disturbance.

MacDonald lived on a property that was known as a hub for fencing stolen property, the Daily Courier reported. He was named as a person of interest in the November 2013 killing of a Cave Junction man, but a different man was later convicted of negligent homicide. Prosecutors said MacDonald was a witness and his death undercut their case.

After the verdict, Davis tearfully addressed the judge and prosecuting attorneys.

“Thank you for your time and energy in this . I know that you were just doing your jobs,” Davis said. “I am not delusional, these things happened but I know that doesn’t excuse my actions.”

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Information from: Daily Courier, https://www.thedailycourier.com

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