Here are key events in the case of a DEA agent charged with killing a Salem cyclist in March 2023. The prosecution is pending federal court action on whether the agent can seek immunity and get the case dismissed. Newly-released court documents provided previously confidential information about the collision.
March 28, 2023
Fatal cyclist collision
Marganne Allen is killed in a collision at High and Leslie Streets. Minutes after emergency crews arrive, an undercover Salem drug investigator texts crash photos to a DEA official. Public information officers for the two agencies begin a chain of phone calls that keep up over four days.
March 29, 2023
Police issue public statement
Salem police’s initial statement identifies the driver as Samuel Landis, but lists no occupation. The agency begins communicating with Keizer Police about the crash. Salem Reporter seeks to confirm whether the driver is a DEA agent.
March 31, 2023
Driver identified as DEA agent
Salem police share body camera video related to the crash with Marion County prosecutors.
Salem police issue second public statement, disclosing that the driver is a DEA agent and the case is being transferred to Keizer police.
May 12, 2023
Keizer reports findings to prosecutors
Keizer police submit an initial report of their findings to the Marion County District Attorney’s Office.
May 15, 2023
Details emerge about driver’s conduct
Salem Reporter reports on video showing the driver drove through the neighborhood at excessive speed, past the stop sign and into the intersection where the collision occurred.
June 20, 2023
Keizer reports more findings to DA
Keizer police submit additional investigative work to the district attorney’s office.
July 21, 2023
Grand jury proceedings begin
The Marion County District Attorney’s office begins grand jury proceedings.
Aug. 17, 2023
DA asks Keizer for more investigation
Prosecutors again ask Keizer police to investigate further.
Aug. 28, 2023
Investigators submit final report
Keizer police submit an additional report to the district attorneys office.
Aug. 31, 2023
Grand jury proceedings conclude
A Marion County grand jury had three days of proceedings in the case before returning an indictment.
Sept. 6, 2023
DEA agent is charged
A Marion County grand jury indicts DEA agent Samuel Landis on a charge of criminally negligent homicide in the cyclist’s death.
Landis was arrested and released the same day after posting $2,000 bail.
Judge moves case to federal court, Landis pursues immunity defense
U.S. District Judge Michael McShane ordered Landis’ criminal case moved to federal court after a request from the agent’s attorneys.
In court filings, Landis admitted he ran a stop sign but argued he should be immune from prosecution because he was acting as a federal agent tracking a drug dealer.
Jan. 9, 2024
State appeals Landis case being moved to federal court
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum challenges the decision to move Landis’ prosecution to federal court, arguing the agent’s immunity defense is unjustified.
Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.
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Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.