Astoria Motel Gunman Sentenced To 34 Years In Prison

Daily Astorian | July 5, 2013 6:36 p.m. | Updated: July 6, 2013 1:36 a.m.

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Yevgeniy Pavlovich Savinskiy was sentenced to more than 34 years in prison Friday following the officer-involved shooting at the Lamplighter Motel in February 2012.

In May, Clatsop County jurors found Savinskiy, 38, of Washougal, Wash., guilty of two counts of attempted aggravated murder, two counts of first-degree attempted assault, felony attempt to elude, identity theft, attempted possession of a firearm silencer, and five counts of recklessly endangering another person.

The Russian-born man was also found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder and one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault after allegedly hiring an inmate in the jail last summer to kill Astoria Police Officer Joe Symonds, Savinskiy’s ex-wife Olga, and to severely injure Deputy District Attorney Ron Brown.

Savinskiy was found not guilty of solicitation of aggravated murder and assault charges.

Brown was the only victim who spoke in court, asking the judge to “hammer him,” and give Savinskiy the most consecutive sentences that it could

Attorney Steven Chamberlin with the District Attorney’s office said the state wanted to see an example be made of Savinskiy.

Friday, Clatsop County Circuit Court Judge Phil Nelson handed down the sentence.

“I just don’t think he cares about other people,” Nelson said, noting all of the efforts made to get away from police and the risk Savinskiy put both pedestrians and drivers in when he led the highspeed chase. “To me one of the most concerning things of the case is the total disregard for safety of everybody that’s involved in this case.”

What happened

The initial incident occurred when staff at the Lamplighter hotel contacted Astoria Police Feb. 12, 2012. Staff had gone to Savinskiy’s room to see if his belongings were still there, after his prepaid cash amount had run out on his room and he had not been seen in days.

They discovered ammunition for an assault rifle and what appeared to be a pipe bomb – but was later determined to be the makings of a silencer.

Possession of those materials without a federal license is a felony in Oregon.

Astoria Police Officer Joe Symonds took a look at the items and then asked staff to call if Savinskiy showed up again, which he did, around 5:30 p.m.

Symonds drove back to the motel, knocked on the door, but was refused entry, he told jurors during the week-long trial. Officer Chris McNeary was also on scene. Symonds’ orders to see Savinskiy’s hands were ignored, and when he pushed the door in, Savinskiy was blocking it. Symonds raised his gun and Savinskiy stepped back, revealing a firearm in his hand that was aimed at the officer.

Symonds shot at Savinskiy. Then, looking for cover, he continued to fire rounds across the doorway and into the doorframe of Savinskiy’s hotel room to keep him from coming out. It was initially believed Savinskiy fired at officers first, but forensic evidence later showed Savinskiy never pulled the trigger.

Savinskiy was shot in the wrist and received an abrasion mark on the shoulder. He then jumped into his rented minivan and led police on a high-speed chase at speeds of more than 120 miles per hour to U.S. Highway 26.

He was eventually stopped after several spike strip attempts. With two tires blown as a result of the strips, a Clatsop County Sheriff’s deputy made vehicular contact with the van. And Savinskiy was taken into custody.

More charges

Months later, more charges came towards him after it was revealed Savinskiy attempted to hire his cellmate in the Clatsop County Jail to commit crimes for him, including killing the police officer and Savinskiy’s ex-wife, and severely injure Brown. Olga Savinskiy testified against her ex-husband at the trial.

The jury decided Savinskiy’s fate in less than one day in May.

In court Monday, Savinskiy was not present, but instead shown via video for security reasons. He did not speak.

“Not only did he attempt to kill two officers who were simply doing their duty, he sought to assault the prosecutor in this case to see him beaten with a bat to the point that he is in a wheelchair,” Chamberlin said.

When Savinskiy took the stand during the trial, denying his actions, Chamberlin added, “he continued to attack the judicial system and our judicial process by lying on the stand, your honor. …

“He continued to lie throughout this entire case and his behavior, although he only has one prior conviction, that of a prostitution conviction in 2001, his behavior in this case for his significant acts against the judicial process, against those who are required to uphold the law in this community warrant somebody getting made an example of – and there is no better person to make an example of that the behavior that has been put forth by Mr. Savinskiy.”

Defense Attorney Ben Eder asked the court for concurrent sentences, given how bad the Lamplighter situation could have been but was not, because Savinskiy chose not to shoot.

Out of 56 years, Savinskiy was eligible for, he was sentenced to just over 34, not counting potential time off for good behavior and time already served.

The details

Savinskiy also received three month sentences consecutive to each other for each of the five recklessly endangering another person convictions. In his opinion, Judge Nelson said, the state could have found more counts of that charge than they did, based on the number of drivers on the road and the pedestrians in the Premarq Center in Warrenton where Savinskiy led the chase.

He received seven consecutive years and 14 1/2 concurrent years total for the two conspiracy to commit aggravated murder charges stemming from the jail inmate incident. He received three and and half consecutive years for conspiracy to commit first-degree assault on Brown, and seven years concurrent for the same charge.

Savinskiy received two-and-a-half consecutive years for tampering with a witness, allegedly telling Olga Savinskiy not to testify against him.

Additionally, he received six months for identity theft to serve concurrently and one concurrent year for attempted possession of a silencer.

Additional driving suspensions, post-prison supervision and other stipulations were attached to each sentence. He is also to have no contact with Brown, Olga Savinskiy, Officer Symonds or Officer McNeary.

This story originally appeared in Daily Astorian.


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