Steven Montie Crum was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to the murder of Jessica Rae Killian, a Hermiston woman whose body was discovered on Oct. 4, 2010, on a farm near Ione.
Killian, who worked at the Pheasant Cafe and Lounge, was pregnant when she was murdered.
Crum, a 30-year-old former Morrow County Sheriff's reserve deputy, must serve a minimum of 30 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.
The Oregon Department of Justice prosecuted the case at the request of Morrow County District Attorney Justin W. Nelson to ensure the integrity of the process due to the defendant's connection to local law enforcement.
"I extend my deepest sympathy to the Jessica's family. While nothing we do can bring back Jessica, I hope that this prison sentence can bring a bit of closure to Jessica's friends and family. The prosecution of Mr. Crum would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of the Morrow/Umatilla County Major Crime Team and the Oregon Department of Justice," Nelson said.
Assistant Attorney General Andrew Campbell prosecuted the case for the Oregon Department of Justice. The case was investigated by the Oregon State Police with assistance from the Umatilla/Morrow County Major Crime Team.
Crum's trial was scheduled to begin Dec. 5, but he changed his plea from innocent to guilty the day before the trial was to begin.
The state alleged that Crum, a former reserve deputy for the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office, and Killian in 2010 planned to steal from her employer and flee the country together. Court documents show Crum told police he killed Killian after she threatened to reveal their affair to his wife, family and friends.