Umatilla County man convicted for murder, burglary

Michael James Metcalfe pleaded guilty to all charges and faces life in prison.
Umatilla County

UMATILLA COUNTY, Oreg. — Back in April 2020, a Umatilla County man named Michael James Metcalfe was arraigned for second-degree murder and a handful of other charges. More than a year later, he’s been convicted by the Umatilla County District Attorney and faces at least 32.5 years in prison.

According to a press release issued by Umatilla Co. DA Daniel Primus, Metcalfe pleaded guilty to a handful of charges and was sentenced to life in prison by the Honorable G. Baxter on June 4, 2021. He was investigated by the Milton-Freewater Police Department with help from the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office, FBI, and other state/local agencies.

Their investigations determined that Metcalfe committed crimes against eight separate victims in the Milton-Freewater area in a matter of three weeks and five criminal episodes.

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His charges include murder in the second degree, four separate counts of robbery in the first degree, felon in possession of a firearm, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, burglary in the second degree, and solicitation to commit murder in the first degree.

Investigators determine that Metcalfe murdered a man named George Martin on January 3, 2020. He was then deemed responsible for a robbery at the Red Rea Garden in December 2019. He also robbed victims at First Stop Market on January 3, 2020, and again in an alley on January 5, 2020. The District Attorney says that Metcalfe solicited another jail inmate to kill a witness who testified about the Martin murder.

This is the extent of the detail being released at this time. Metcalfe’s alleged accomplice and co-defendant, Jonathan Lee McDonald, is pending charges.

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