Monday, April 22, 2024

Laffoon: Assault was a plot

by Alan Lewis Gerstenecker
| September 13, 2013 1:34 PM


<p>Sandra Laffoon</p>

In the days since the arrest of D.J. Savage, there have been widely conflicting accounts of events that led up to his arrest at a Portland, Ore., laundry.

The Western News has talked to Sandra Laffoon, the woman Savage allegedly assaulted, Troy Police officer Lori Faulkner, who played an integral part in tracking down Savage, a Laffoon and Savage friend, Sheriff Roby Bowe and Carol Ramos, the Lincoln County Victims Advocate. 

It is a bizarre, contradictory tale of events.

Faulkner said she responded on Aug. 29 to a domestic violence call at the Troy home shared by Laffoon and Savage. Faulkner investigated Savage’s flight and took statements from Laffoon, who Faulkner now says has changed her story from the day of the alleged assault.

“That’s not what she told me then,” Faulkner said late Wednesday night while on patrol.

Wednesday night, a smiling 

Laffoon spoke of a different, calculated plot concocted by Savage and herself to ensnare law-enforcement officers in a personal attempt to retaliate against Lincoln County officials — and law-enforcement specifically — for the perceived wrongs beset on Savage by an overaggressive Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Roby Bowe said Laffoon’s story is far-fetched.

“For starters, we really didn’t have anything to do with the latest case,” Bowe said. “That was Troy.”

Bowe said the tale weaved by Laffoon is nothing more than paranoia.

“You’re talking about some conspiracy theorists,” Bowe said. “She’s alleging a dragnet to try to pull us in to this? There’s no validity anywhere to this.”

Laffoon was asked about the facial and arm bruises she had as police responded to her home.

“He did hit me, but not very hard,” Laffoon said. “He didn’t want to do it. I made him. We had to make this look believable.”

Then Laffoon, who was interviewed for 90 minutes Wednesday night, began to elaborate on the scheme.

“I have been with this man when he could not sleep for days for what they took from him — his kids,” Laffoon said. “He was in jail for 133 days for something he did not do. During that time, he lost a relationship with his kids. They don’t even know him anymore.”

Laffoon said it was that disdain for law enforcement that led to the plot they devised to entrap law enforcement. Laffoon said ultimately they wanted to bring the long arm of the law down upon Savage only to prove the assault was concocted.

“I remember D.J. saying, ‘If I’m going to be thought to have done this, I might as well,’” Laffoon said.

From that they began devising their plan, but Wenesday she admitted she wishes they had given it more thought.

“It would have been good to have some kind of recording before all of this came down that indicated our plans. That would have been better,” Laffoon said.

Laffoon said when police were summoned to their home after the alleged assault, Savage was hiding in the shed behind their home.

“He was out there in his bare feet,” Laffoon said. “I couldn’t believe they didn’t look in there, but they didn’t.”

What then transpired was a tale of a man on the lam.

At first, Laffoon was reluctant to say how Savage made his way westward, but then relented.

“He hitched a ride on a train,” Laffoon said sheepishly, just as she was about to take a call from Savage. In all, during the 90-minute interview, Savage called seven times. “Yes, I love you, too,” she responded each time.

Laffoon elaborated from Savage’s jailhouse phone, he is allowed only a few words, and it’s his choice to relay his affection.

“I was worried sick about him,” Laffoon said while Savage rode the rails before disembarking in Pasco, Wash. “He finally called me after two days to tell me he was OK. I told him I missed him, and told him I was going to come to him. He tried to talk me out of it, but in the end, he allowed it. He told me to drive to Spokane (Wash.), and to call him from a pay phone so we could be together.”

Laffoon said she immediately cashed the check she earned as a bartender at the Troy VFW, made sure her son was OK, and then headed toward Spokane, telling the relative with whom she was staying that she was going to the grocery.

However, when Laffoon did not return, her cousin filed the missing persons report. Laffoon admitted she kept everything secret from everyone, except a co-worker at the Troy VFW.

“I support them in this,” Molly Markel said Wednesday night standing outside the Troy VFW. “I do think they’re out to get him. I think there are people out there who want to see him go under.”

Laffoon said the reunion in Spokane was terrific before police honed in on Savage’s cell phone and captured him at a Portland, Ore., laundry.

“We camped out in my van. For six days, we laughed. We played cribbage. We had a great time,” Laffoon said.

The elation Laffoon displayed during the interview is something Faulkner, the Troy officer, knows.

“It’s a cycle of abuse,” Faulkner said. “Right now, they’re in the honeymoon phase. She called police to their home.”

Savage was arrested in the laundry Monday afternoon without incident, said Sgt. Pete Simpson, the Portland Police information officer.

“We used two officers. It was done in about two minutes.”