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.