A Marion County Circuit Court judge sentenced a Salem man on Monday to 12 and a half years in prison for shooting and killing a man in February 2022 in an east Salem suburb.
A grand jury indicted Ivan Herrera-Ortiz, 21, in March 2022 on a charge of second-degree murder in the shooting death of 37-year-old Roberto G. Gorie of Salem.
Herrera-Ortiz pleaded guilty on Jan. 26 to first-degree manslaughter. The legal distinction from the original charge is that he did not intend to kill Gorie, but did so “recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life,” according to court documents.
Marion County Circuit Judge Thomas Hart also sentenced him to three years of post-prison supervision.
Herrera-Ortiz can receive credit for time served and will be eligible in the last 30 months of his prison sentence for an alternative incarceration program, which includes intensive treatment and community service. He may be considered for early release on supervision if he completes the program, court records show.
He was also ordered to pay $14,700 in restitution.
Herrera-Ortiz had been drinking with three other people at least a couple of hours prior to the shooting. The four were outside of Gorie’s vehicle when the shooting occurred, according to a sentencing memorandum from Herrera-Ortiz’s attorney, Spencer Todd.
Ring camera video captured the entire interaction. Todd said in the memorandum that the video quality is “somewhat poor” because the shooting occurred at night, and added that the video does not clearly show who shot Gorie.
He said in the court filing that if the case had gone to trial, prosecutors would’ve had to rely on “process of elimination” to prove his client killed Gorie.
“There was never a clear motive for the incident,” Todd wrote.
Authorities have provided limited information about the incident, but the shooting and ensuing investigation are described in a Marion County Sheriff’s Office affidavit and a news release the agency issued at the time.
Around 7:22 p.m. on Feb. 25, a 911 caller reported a crash in a residential area of unincorporated east Salem, according to the news release.
An emergency call log showed the Marion County Fire District No. 1 responded to a report of a hit-and-run at a home on Northeast Northeast Vernon Street near Hayesville.
Around the same time, Marion County sheriff’s deputy Jessica VanHorn responded that night to a report of a shooting at the home.
Just south of the where the shooting occurred, they found a black Honda Civic “on its top” on Northeast Vernon Street near Herrin Road, the news release said.
They found Gorie dead in the car with a gunshot wound, VanHorn wrote in her affidavit.
Video from the home where the shooting occurred showed Herrera-Ortiz and two others arrive in a car at 5:13 p.m. A fourth man arrived after the others and handed a gun to Herrera-Ortiz, who was seen standing alone by Gorie’s car at the time of the shooting. Herrerra-Ortiz then got into a car, which left the scene of the shooting, the affidavit said.
Police subsequently arrested Herrera-Ortiz in Woodburn and charged him with the shooting.
He was also charged in January 2022 with failure to perform duties of a driver when property is damaged, stemming from a crash in Northeast Salem two months before the shooting. He was cited at the time of the crash for driving with a suspended license.
A month later, Herrera-Ortiz was cited for failing to appear in that case. Prosecutors dismissed the hit-and-run charge on Monday as part of his plea deal.
A second man, 22-year-old Javier Rangel of Salem, was charged in March 2022 with two counts of hindering prosecution. He was accused of driving Herrera-Ortiz away from the scene after he shot Gorie and later lying to a Marion County sheriff’s deputy about the shooting. That case is still pending in Marion County Circuit Court.
Correction: The headline of this story was updated to reflect the correct prison sentence for Herrera-Ortiz. Salem Reporter apologizes for the error.
Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.
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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.