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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Kell Sentenced in Condon Assaults

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(Condon, OR) – Andrew Kell, 30, entered guilty pleas last Wednesday, August 5, in Gilliam County Circuit Court to Assault in the Third Degree, a Class C Felony and Attempted Assault in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony.

Kell was sentenced by Judge John A. Wolf to 65 months in prison with two years Post-Prison Supervision. As a result of these new crimes, his probation for a prior burglary conviction in Hood River County was also revoked. In that case he received a 55-month prison sentence concurrent with the Gilliam County sentence followed by three years Post-Prison Supervision. The Court further recommended that the Post-Prison Supervision include mental health evaluation and treatment, no intoxicants except as prescribed, and no contact with the victims.

The guilty pleas involved an attack on two visitors to Condon while they were walking up Main Street in front of the ESD building returning to their vehicle about 9 pm on December 28, 2019. In the incident, Jeff Stuermer and his son Charlie Stuermer were knocked unconscious. They experienced severe concussions followed by several months of neurological symptoms.

Both Stuermer’s have expressed their appreciation for the quick help from the residents of Condon. Kelly Jo Janes and patrons of the Round Up Tavern were first to the scene when alerted by Charlie Stuermer that his dad was attacked and unconscious on the sidewalk. Cindy Hinton and Shannon Coppock were the EMT first responders who accompanied the Stuermers by ambulance to Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles.

Gilliam County Sheriff Sergeant Tory Flory investigated and arrested Kell the evening of the incident. Kell was lodged at NORCOR and has remained in custody awaiting the plea and sentencing.

Gilliam County District Attorney described it as an unprovoked senseless crime. He said that “whatever (Kell’s) motivation may have been for the attack, it was imagined”. Weatherford described a father excited to share an evening with his son in the town of Condon where he has many friends and visited often over the past thirty years. “That perception of the safety of a small town is forever changed.”

Gilliam County District Attorney Marion Weatherford also said that the defendant initially faced more serious charges and could have been sentenced to prison for a longer period. Weatherford explained that while the State of Oregon brings the charges, the victims supported a sentence that included the possibilities of early release for good behavior and participation in rehabilitation programs.

At sentencing, the Stuermers expressed their hope that the defendant obtain help so this will not happen again to anyone else.

On the advice of his attorney, Kell did not speak at his sentencing, however, his mom shared her son’s remorse and thanked the Stuermers for their generous support for a lesser sentence.

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