Benton DA Calls Deadly Use of Force Justified

The Benton County District Attorney’s review of deadly use of force by Corvallis Police Officer Daniel Granillo against 32-year-old Philomath man Jeffrey Appelt was released on April 29. According to the review, the use of deadly force was justified under Oregon law.  

The review took into account Appelt’s actions which prompted police involvement, his threats towards officers on the scene and, as outlined in their catalogued sequence of events, his attempt to enter a police vehicle which had loaded firearms inside and keys in its ignition.  

When responding to a complaint that Appelt was acting in an aggressive manner and attempting to enter hotel rooms on April 3, Corvallis Police Sergeant Dale Raybould engaged with Appelt outside of the Days Inn Hotel on Ninth Street. Appelt escalated the encounter by drawing a knife and threatening to kill Raybould and, later, other officers on the scene.  

Raybould and several officers at the scene, including Officer Granillo, asked him to put down his weapon and cooperate, and Raybould unsuccessfully attempted to stun Appelt using a taser. The encounter ultimately ended when Granillo shot Appelt. Law enforcement provided life saving measures on Appelt afterwards and Corvallis Fire medics arrived quickly, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. 

 As a footnote, the review noted that Appelt had a history of crime, drug use, and mental health hardships for which he had indicated that he was not taking prescribed medicine. However, while possibly noteworthy in relation to Appelt’s behavior, these factors were not used in the consideration of Granillo’s actions. The review considered only what Granillo knew at the moment that he was forced to make a decision, and determined that he had reasonable cause to believe that Appelt may attempt to use deadly physical force against him or other people at the scene.  

Ardea C. Eichner 

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