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Suspect in dog mauling case asks for release to Hawaii

A Bend woman charged with manslaughter for the fatal dog mauling of a former Silverton man has asked to be released from jail to stay with a friend in Hawaii while she awaits trial.

The attorney for Jessica Rae McCleery, 38, filed a motion in Deschutes County Circuit Court Wednesday claiming his client would benefit from a safe and sober environment at the friend’s house.

The motion did not detail the relationship between McCleery and the friend, who was identified in the motion as Wydell “Greta” Williams.

A Greta Willems from Hawaii was interviewed by The Bend Bulletin in October and described herself as a long-time friend of McCleery and a former Central Oregon resident. The Bend Bulletin reported Willems currently cares for McCleery’s 5-year-old son.

The motion said McCleery, whose legal last name is Charity, would “be able to fly back to Oregon for any required in-person hearings.” The motion did not describe who would be responsible for the costs and logistics of these flights.

McCleery has also signed a waiver of extradition promising to not challenge any efforts by law enforcement to return her to Oregon if an arrest warrant was issued.

Prosecutors have objected to McCleery’s release and a hearing to argue the matter was set for Thursday at 1:30 p.m. before Judge Alison Emerson. Prosecutors have previously argued McCleery should remain in custody due to the seriousness of the charges.

She was arrested Oct. 16 for the July 19 death of Joe Keeton, 56, after Keeton was mauled by three pitbull/mastiff dogs owned by McCleery at a homeless camp outside of Bend. Both Keeton and McCleery were living there at the time.

She has been indicted on charges of first-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide and was ordered held in the Deschutes County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail. As of press time she remained in custody.

McCleery is represented by Raun Atkinson of Bend-based Atlas Law Group.

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