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Two indicted in connection to First Stop robbery, other felony charges

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MFPD vehicle

Milton-Freewater Police Department vehicle

MILTON-FREEWATER — Two men have been indicted in connection with the First Stop robbery near Stateline Road earlier this month as well as several other felonies including stealing and setting fire to a vehicle and robbing a man.

Michael J. Metcalfe, 19, and Jonathan L. McDonald, 31, were formally charged Jan. 21 by a Umatilla Grand Jury, according Milton-Freewater Police Chief Doug Boedigheimer.

McDonald is the second suspect in a string of armed robberies in Milton-Freewater police arrested and was arraigned on 10 felony charges, Boedigheimer wrote in a press release Thursday.

Milton-Freewater police initially arrested McDonald on Oct. 25 for a parole violation, Boedigheimer told the U-B this morning. He was released and rearrested by Umatilla County Sheriff’s deputies on Jan. 21, according to U-B archives.

A grand jury indicted him Jan. 22 on three counts of first-degree robbery, four counts of second-degree robbery and one count each of second-degree burglary, second-degree arson and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Court documents state McDonald was arraigned in the Umatilla County Circuit Court on Jan. 23, according to a report from the East Oregonian. He entered a not guilty plea to all charges.

Of the 10 charges, eight are for McDonald’s alleged role in robbing the First Stop Mart on Jan. 3 at 85713 Highway 11, according to the East Oregonian.

One count of first-degree robbery and second-degree burglary stem from separate crimes on Jan. 5.

McDonald is a convicted felon, according to court documents, with a criminal history beginning in 2006, when he pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary, the Oregon newspaper reported.

Metcalfe was arrested and pleaded not guilty to 10 felony charges last week for his connection to the three robberies, according to the EO.

Records stated Metcalfe was in custody but had been released from jail “due to overpopulation” less than 24 hours before allegedly robbing the store with McDonald.

Metcalfe originally was arrested on Oct. 2 for investigation of firearm theft and Dec. 28 on warrants, Boedigheimer told the U-B.

He was arrested again for investigation of probation violation on Jan. 6, he wrote, and has been in the Umatilla County Jail since while other cases were formed against him.

In the alleged First Stop Mart robbery, the two men are accused of stealing a woman’s car, robbing the store at gunpoint, fleeing in the vehicle and setting it on fire in an orchard about a mile away.

The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office led the investigation of the First Stop Mart robbery, Boedigheimer wrote, while the other charges against Metcalfe and McDonald were “the result of a complex investigation by MFPD.”

Both Metcalfe and McDonald are in the Umatilla County Jail in Pendleton. Metcalfe’s bail is set at $500,000, while McDonald’s bail is $750,000.

Those with information regarding these crimes can contact Milton-Freewater Police Det. Morgan Dunlap at 541-938-8236.

Emily Thornton can be reached at emilythornton@wwub.com or 509-526-8325.

Emily Thornton covers courts and emergency services, as well as other various stories. She has been in the newspaper industry off and on since roughly 1999 and lived primarily on the West Coast, but also Florida and Europe.