Medford man sentenced to 30 years in prison under ‘dangerous offender’ law

A Medford man accused of shooting and killing another man in 2018 was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Police arrested Cody Templeton in January of 2018 after he allegedly shot a man who was staying in his apartment on Ellendale Avenue, 39-year-old Thomas Peterson.

Peterson was originally taken to the hospital in critical condition, suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. He died a short time later. Upon Peterson’s death, Templeton was charged with murder. He was 23 years old at the time.

Following a bench trial in November, Judge Lisa Greif found Templeton not guilty of Murder. However, she determined that Templeton was guilty of Manslaughter in the First Degree.

The Jackson County District Attorney’s Office said that the court met Friday morning after a pre-sentencing hearing to determine if Templeton would be subject to an Oregon law that labeled him a “dangerous offender,” bringing with it a much longer sentence. The court found that this statute did apply.

While there are multiple grounds for determining whether a defendant is subject to the dangerous offender statute, all of them hinge on the person “suffering from a severe personality disorder indicating a propensity toward crimes that seriously endanger the life or safety of another.”

Court documents indicate that Templeton underwent psychiatric examinations at Oregon State Hospital in 2019. He was ultimately found fit to proceed.

The DA’s office said that members of Peterson’s family delivered heartfelt victim impact statements on Friday before the court moved forward with sentencing.

Judge Greif handed down a determinate sentence of 10 years in prison on the Manslaughter charge under Measure 11 — which stipulates that the sentence not be reduced in any way — followed by three years of post-prison supervision.

The dangerous offender finding brought with it an indeterminant sentence of 30 years in prison. That time will run concurrent with the 10-year sentence, and can be reduced.

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