Man accused of killing woman recently convicted of domestic violence

TURNER, Ore. There was a warning sign something was wrong a couple of months before Adrian Bird was killed and her 2-year-old daughter was held hostage.

The man accused of both crimes, Dustin Bryant, had just been arrested and convicted of felony domestic violence crimes in September.

An autopsy found that Bird, 23, was shot in the head.

Bryant was dating Bird back in September when he was charged, and pleaded guilty to, felony coercion, attempted assault, and interfering when Bird tried calling police for help.

Felony coercion is a lesser form of kidnapping -- essentially when you stop someone from leaving a room, but don't take him or her from one location to another.

A judge sentenced Dustin Bryant to 36 months probation in Marion County.

He served 20 days in jail.

And then he was released.

A few weeks later, on Friday night, police say he violated his probation by returning to Bird's apartment on Third St. in Turner, shooting and killing her, and taking her daughter hostage in her apartment for eight hours until SWAT teams rescued the little girl.

Bryant was back in Marion County court on Monday, facing charges of violating his probation from September's crime by going near Bird after a judge ordered him to stay away.

"It was not an unusual sentence," said the prosecutor handling the case, Paige Clarkson, who is deputy district attorney in Marion County. "I think the system did the best it could."

Clarkson says prosecutors and judges must rely on state legislative sentencing rules that factor in the seriousness of crimes and the person's criminal history.

Bryant's "score" was a 7-F.

His crime was ranked 7 out of 11, with 11 being the most serious.

His criminal history was ranked F, from a scale of A to I, with A being the most serious.

According to Clarkson, the Legislature's felony sentencing rules mandated a sentence of probation for these rankings based on the charges.

Clarkson insists the district attorney did not give Bryant any special treatment or lenient sentencing for pleading guilty.

"Our hands are tied by the law," she said.

"Mr. Bryant received the same sentence that similar domestic violence offenders across the state receive every day."

And if you're outraged?

"Address this with the Legislature," said Clarkson. Lawmakers wrote the rules prosecutors and judges follow.