Innovative Woodworx Burglar’s Death Ruled Accidental
The District Attorney’s office today announced the investigation into the death of the man caught burglarizing Innovative Woodworx on Harbeck Road in January is complete and has been ruled accidental.
Jason Robert Lewis was caught burglarizing the business January 21st by employees arriving for work. According to authorities, Lewis charged the employees and struggled with them. They took him to the ground and restrained him while waiting for law enforcement. Before police arrived Lewis stopped breathing and died at the scene.
The Deputy State Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy and found no abnormal injuries and determined the probable cause of death was positional asphyxia due to restraint and determined that to be accidental. Analysis of Lewis’s urine and blood revealed the presence of many drugs including methamphetamine, morphine and oxycodone.
Oregon law allows landowners to use reasonable force to prevent theft or damage to their property. The law also allows citizens to use reasonable force to arrest a person for a crime committed in their presence. Nothing in the investigation suggested that anything but reasonable force was used on Mr. Lewis.