Klamath Falls, Ore. – Former Klamath County Sheriff Frank Skrah was found ‘guilty’ by a jury May 19th on five misdemeanor charges related to use of excessive force.
On Friday, May 26th, an emotional Skrah spoke to the court before sentencing. “I’m sorry for what happened. And if you send me to jail, I don’t know if I can defend myself.”
Judge Roxanne Osborne assure Skrah he would not be going to jail. “I am not going to sent you to jail. There would be no purpose in you going to jail.”
Prosecutors had sought a 60 day jail sentence, 2 years of probation, and $8,000 in fines.
Instead, the judge sentenced Skrah to 120 hours of community service work, 1 year of probation, and $3,000 in fines.
“The judge’s sentence was very fair.” Said prosecuting attorney Victoria Roe of the Oregon Department of Justice. “And it was important to the state that he be held accountable, and the court has done that.”
The judge had high praise for the deputies who testified as witnesses during the trial.
“It wasn’t just a wink and a nod, and look the other way.” Noted Judge Osborne. “No, these officers stepped up and said, ‘This is not the way we treat our defendants in our community.”
Skrah and his lawyer Rosalind Lee did not offer statements to the press following sentencing.
Charges against Skrah stem from three separate complaints where victims were choked, or hit while restrained.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.
He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.
“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.
When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.