DA looking to move Justin Rosas case out of Jackson County

DA looking to move Justin Rosas case out of Jackson County (Courtesy Jackson County Sheriff's Office)

Jackson County District Attorney Beth Heckert is considering moving a felony case against a prominent Medford defense attorney, Justin Rosas, to avoid a possible conflict of interest.

That procedure won't be immediate, as the process could take a while.

"I have ordered the additional information so I won’t send it to another office until we have all the discovery to provide them," Heckert said.

Heckert said Wednesday her office has received the Medford Police report and has ordered additional evidence, including the patrol officer's body cam footage, photos and any other relevant evidence secured by investigators.

Medford Police said Justin Rosas's car crashed into a fence and trees at about 3 p.m. near McAndrews St. and Veneto Cir. on July 4th. Rosas was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, hit and run, and criminal mischief. The Medford Police forwarded those charges to the Jackson District Attorney's Office on Tuesday for prosecution following delays over the July 4th holiday weekend.

Heckert said if the other DA decides to move forward with the case, a prosecutor would travel to Jackson County Circuit Court to handle the case. The move was not unprecedented.

"I don't recall, exactly, how long (Rosas) has been working here. But my whole office interacts with him on cases regularly so it would just be appropriate to have another office look at it so there is no impropriety or any impression of that with the public," Heckert said. "It is not unusual... that we ask another county to handle the case for us, And we do the same for other counties as well."

Medford Police Lt. Mike Budreau said the police report was prepared by the arresting officer and approved by a supervisor in a timely manner. Even though that supervisor was off for the holiday.

"This timeline is very typical of an arrest when someone has bailed out, or not in custody," Budreau said. "Certainly no favoritism going on."

Any appearance of delay in Rosas case was affected by him bailing out of the Jackson County Jail last week.

"Our rush to get reports to the DA are for people that are in custody, so the clock is running. Once they are out of custody, the clock is still running, but not at an urgent pace. As long as the DA get the reports by the first appearance is adequate," Budreau said.

News 10 reached out to Rosas for comment Tuesday and Wednesday but have not heard back.

July 4th was not the first run-in with authorities. In 2008 Rosas pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge in Fayette County, Ky. Court documents show Rosas was given a one-year suspended sentence. That led to a paid suspension by the public defender's office in Jackson County in March of 2008. Rosas currently operates a law office in Medford.

According to his website, Rosas is a defense attorney who has represented people in more than 1,800 cases including murder cases.

Rosas entered the Oregon State Bar in 2007. As of Monday, the organization shows no disciplinary history for Rosas.

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