Madras woman pleads not guilty to murder, other charges in fatal shooting of ex-husband
(Update: Vannorsdall indicted, pleads not guilty)
Couple had disputed terms of son's custody; abuse alleged, 2nd judge said unproven
MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) – A 26-year-old Madras woman pleaded not guilty Thursday to murder and other charges in the fatal shooting of her ex-husband, a 28-year-old Prineville man, last Friday evening at her southeast Madras home.
Madras police officers responded shortly after 6 p.m. Friday to the home of Paige Jordan Vannorsdall, located in the 800 block of Southeast Sun Drive, Jefferson County District Attorney Steve Leriche said.
Devyne Briggs had sustained gunshot wounds and was declared dead at 6:13 p.m., Leriche said, confirming that more than one shot was fired and that other people were in the home at the time. He declined to provide details about the number of wounds pending an autopsy and did not provide details about the weapon involved.
The Tri-County Major Incident Team was activated to begin an investigation, Leriche said.
Vannorsdall was arrested and lodged in the Jefferson County Jail, held without bail on charges of second-degree murder, first-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon. A grand jury returned an indictment Thursday on those charges, "constituting domestic violence."
Judge Annette Hillman continued Vannorsdall's no-bail hold at a brief Monday afternoon court appearance by video from the jail and set a 1 p.m. Thursday arraignment on the indictment.
The courtroom was full again Thursday for her arraignment, at which Vannorsdall pleaded "not guilty" to all three charges. Hillman set a Feb. 8 pre-trial conference in the case.
Online court documents indicated the couple married in 2015, divorced in 2020 and Vannorsdall was awarded sole custody of their son, now 6. Briggs agreed to pay $373 a month in child support to Vannorsdall.
There had been disputes over fulfilling terms of the court-ordered parenting plan, as Briggs claimed his ex-wife had not made his son available to stay with him at times that were promised.
In July, Judge Annette Hillman signed an "order of immediate danger" sought by Vannorsdall, who said in a court filing that their son was "exhibiting very concerning behavior," saying he did not want to go to his father's house, and that his doctor suspected abuse.
She said the boy had disclosed alleged abuse by his father during an evaluation at the KIDS Center in Bend, including pushing him downstairs, hitting him so hard on the back that it left a handprint, throwing a beer glass at him and pointing a gun at him.
But in late August, Judge Wade Whiting issued an order dismissing Hillman's earlier order, saying Vannorsdall "did not prove by clear and convincing evidence" that the child was in immediate danger, and restoring the April 2022 parenting plan.
The last court filing was a copy of a Nov. 1 BestCare Treatment Services certificate of completion for Briggs for their “Parenting Education for Divorce” seminar.