A judge has released two of four defendants facing trial in the beating death of the daughter of Ecclesia Athletic Assn. founder Eldridge J. Broussard Jr., and reduced bail for the other two.
Clackamas County Circuit Judge John Lowe granted defense motions for the release of Willie K. Chambers, 35, and Constance Z. Jackson, 37.
Lowe ordered both to remain in Oregon until their trial, to contact their attorneys in person weekly and not to be in charge of children under 18.
Lowe reduced bail to $25,000 from $250,000 for the other two defendants, Brian J. Brinson, 30, and Frederick P. Doolittle, 28.
But Ron Thom, a court-appointed attorney representing Brinson, told Lowe that it was unlikely the defendants could post the reduced bail.
The four face a manslaughter trial Dec. 12 as a result of the Oct. 14 beating death of 8-year-old Dayna Lorea Broussard. She was among more than 50 children living at the association’s religious-athletic camp near Sandy.
The four adults were supervising the children at the time of the girl’s death.
Her father, who was not charged, was then in Los Angeles, where the group was founded. He flew to Oregon after the girl’s body was turned in to authorities by the group.
Neighbors in Oregon complained when the group first moved there that they saw children exercising for overlong periods of time and in extremely hot weather.
After the girl’s death, the 53 remaining children, ranging in age from 1 1/2 months to 16 years, were taken into custody by Children’s Services Division officials.
Another two children in Ecclesia’s care at the Watts Christian Center, where Broussard had founded his group, were taken into custody by juvenile officials there when Broussard’s brother was arrested for child endangerment.
‘Ties to Community’
In releasing Chambers and Jackson, Lowe said, “It appears that they have substantial family relationships and ties to the community.” He said the lack of those ties prompted him to only reduce bail for Brinson and Doolittle.
The defense attorneys provided background on the four defendants, noting Jackson had been a member of the Watts Christian Center for more than 10 years. Chambers was a meat cutter in Los Angeles while Doolittle had been a school bus driver before joining the center 2 1/2 years ago.
Thom said Brinson had served an exemplary tour of duty with the U.S. Army and had been employed by Rockwell International, where he held “top secret” federal security clearance. He joined the Watts Christian Center in 1981 and had been in charge of the center’s security.