BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Almost two months since Barry Washington Jr. was shot and killed in downtown Bend, the man accused, 27-year-old Ian Cranston of Bend, pleaded not guilty Tuesday.
Cranston faces charges of second-degree murder, first and second-degree manslaughter, first-degree assault and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon.
Word of a not guilty plea was heard outside the courthouse. Community members, led by the Central Oregon Peacekeepers, gathered in front of the Deschutes County Courthouse during the hearing and walked to the spot Washington died at Wall Street and Oregon Avenue, known as “Barry’s Corner.”
While Cranston is white and Washington was Black, District Attorney John Hummel said he did not have sufficient evidence to also seek a bias crime charge against Cranston. Community members feel differently.
Bend resident Eli Prather said, “Because he’s pleading not guilty, he might be able to get away with it because again white man, white lawyers.”
Another resident, Calcifer Boyd, said, “This is ridiculous and insane to me that someone who literally shot the gun who killed Barry is even trying to plead not guilty at all.”
The state asked for an eight-day trial. The date will be determined on Friday.
Boyd and Prather said they worry about the outcome. “I don’t think it’s good,” Boyd explained. “Especially following everything with Kyle Rittenhouse. I would not put it past the lawyer and I would not put it past Ian, and whatever plan they have to pull some self-defense.”
Washington’s mother, Lawanda Roberson, issued a brief statement Tuesday through a Portland attorney. She said, “Our family is devastated by Barry’s murder. As his mother, I can truly say a piece of me was taken. We are grateful for the outpouring of support from people in Central Oregon, and appreciate the memorial maintained for Barry Jr. he was truly loved and will not be forgotten. We are choosing not to make further public statements about what led to Barry’s murder until we are given the opportunity to review all the evidence and until doing so will not affect the criminal justice process.
KTVZ reached out to Cranston’s attorney, but he declined to comment.