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Teen faces murder charges in deer camp shootings

(AP) – A 14-year-old boy faces two juvenile counts of aggravated murder in the shootings of his foster father and another man at a deer camp in northeastern Oregon, authorities said Wednesday.

The Grant County district attorney’s office said the boy was arraigned by video in Canyon City, Ore., and was held at a juvenile facility in The Dalles.

District Attorney Ryan Joslin told the Blue Mountain Eagle newspaper that he planned to file a motion to charge the boy as an adult.

Sheriff Glenn Palmer said the boy was held after he was released from a Boise hospital, where he was treated after accidentally shooting himself in the leg.

Authorities say the teen shot and killed his foster father, Michael Piete, and Piete’s uncle, Kenneth Gilliland, both of Baker City. They were at a remote cabin outside Granite on a deer hunting trip. After the two men were shot, the boy ran off into the woods. The teen returned after accidentally shooting himself in the leg. Another member of the hunting party held him at gunpoint and taped him to a chair until deputies arrived.

Defense attorney Katherine Berger said from her office in Portland that she had no comment on behalf of her client. A detention hearing was scheduled for Oct. 31.

Piete, 43, grew up in Baker City, was married, and for a time worked on a state road crew, said his former stepfather, Homer Gentry. More recently Piete had been living on Gilliland’s ranch outside Baker City. Gilliland, 64, did home repair and rented out the ranch for grazing. The two men had hunted for years from the log cabin set in pine and fir trees in the Blue Mountains on the edge of the Umatilla National Forest.

Authorities have not divulged what they believe led to the shootings. Palmer has said one man was shot inside the cabin, and one outside, and that the shootings involved a rifle and a pistol. The shootings did not appear to be alcohol-related.

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