ONTARIO — Ontario couple Lester Earl Reger, 61, and Erlene Kay Reger, 50, were arraigned Thursday afternoon in a Malheur County courtroom, each facing charges of first degree attempted murder and first degree assault.

Malheur County District Attorney Dan Norris said a grand jury will hear the matter next Thursday.

The Ontario couple was arraigned in connection with the shooting of a 19-year-old man from Garden Valley, who is the father of their grandchild.

In the past, Norris said there have been custody disputes involving the grandchild, which required Ontario Police Department response.

The victim, Ramon Fry, 19, was previously in a relationship with the couple’s daughter.

Norris said it is believed Fry was shot in the Regers’ garage of their home shortly after Fry dropped of his child following a visitation.

He said Fry was shot in the back of the head and in the abdomen on the left side of the body. It is believed the weapon is a hand gun.

The shooting occurred around 11 a.m. on Wednesday, and the Fry was found on the Ytturi Beltline around noon, just down the hill from the Regers’ home by an Oregon State Police trooper.

The victim was transported to Saint Alphonsus Medical Center in Ontario before being flown to the Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise.

He is listed as stable condition with non-life threatening injuries.

Norris said the Regers had approximately one hour from the time of the shooting until Earl Reger was taken into custody.

Wednesday afternoon, the Ontario Police Department searched the Regers’ home. The search lasted into the early hours of Thursday.

“We were greatly assisted by the Oregon State Police and the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office,” Ontario Police Chief Mark Alexander said. “At one point, we had at least 30 people working on this at one time.”

Alexander said the sheriff’s office, state police and crime lab, the Malheur County District Attorney’s Office and the Malheur County Search and Rescue volunteers also assisted.

The search and rescue volunteers also maintained security throughout the night before the search of the property around and behind the house resumed Thursday. The search lasted until late afternoon Thursday.

The investigation is continuing, Alexander said, as investigators try to contact potential witnesses.

Earl Reger is being held on $500,000 bond, while his wife, Erlene Reger, has been released on $50,000 bail.

Earl Reger is scheduled to be back in court March 9, while Erlene Reger is scheduled a few days later.

Alexander said the Ontario Police Department is very fortunate to have a good working relationship with other agencies in the area and said there is no way the department could have “pulled all this off” without their help.

William Anderson is a news reporter at the Argus Observer. He can be reached at (541) 823-4815 or by emailing williama@argusobserver.com. To comment on this story, go to www.argusobserver.com

(9) comments

Facts??? Why should comments on these news articles be encumbered with fact?. They are much more interesting as written.

-Nothing Better to do

Oregon Citizen...Please back up your comment with facts. First of all this is a felony which has to go through a grand jury indictment and from that point it isn't up to Dan Norris to dismiss the charges no matter what. Yes they can do a plea agreement, but I doubt that it will be dismissed if the people had a place for Dan to hunt. I also think the plea, if taken, would be a fairly large amount of prison time since it seems to be a cut and dry case, I dont think the Reger's have many bargaining chips. That comment just makes you look like a moron.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am no big Dan Norris fan, but he does have guidelines and unless you can prove that someone that lets him hunt has gotten off of charges then don't make slanderous comments. So name one??

Nancy, quit being so negative!. or better yet go back and watch your favorite Reality show, The Kardashians.

-im not here

Nancy

Yeah right.

I was involved in the investigation when his first wife was killed. After he killed her, he tied her up with weights and thru her into the snake river where we recovered her body. During the autopsy it was discovered that she was also pregnant and a fully developed child was removed. How this guy managed to receive so few years for this act is beyond comprehensible.

-EX LAW ENFORCEMENT

This isn't his second wife it is his third. The first one got away but not before damage was done to the two children he had with her. The first time this happened should have been enough but the legal system has been fooled by this man and I truly hope that this time they get it right. Don't just throw the book at him bury him with it!

How anyone thought it was a good idea for this maniac to be let free, after he beat the life out of his first wife, is beyond me. No one thought he might kill again? That was an epic failure on the part of our local legal system. On another note, how did this lunatic find a SECOND wife??? Is killing your first wife not a deal breaker?

Oregon Citizen

Don't know about that, but if she has free hunting ground for Dan Norris to use, she will be out faster than you can say "charges are dismissed"...

Hankadoodle

Didn't Earl used to work on computers at the DAs office? Should help in negotiations.

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