Suspect arrested in officer's death

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Oregon State Police are investigating the suspected homicide of Buddy R. Herron, 42, after the Helix resident was discovered lying in the roadway on Highway 11, two miles north of Pendleton on Monday night.

Herron, a corrections officer at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution, was driving to work when he apparently pulled over to help a motorist in distress at roughly 11:17 p.m., according to a news release from Umatilla County District Attorney Dan Primus.

Details of the incident have not been released so far, but Pendleton police officers responded to a distress call, and Herron was taken to St. Anthony Medical Center in Pendleton where he later died, Primus said.

Police have arrested Joshua Charles Weeks, 22, on investigation of murder in connection with the assault.

"No words can describe how devastating this is to his family here at EOCI," said Andrea Neistadt, public information officer at EOCI.

Herron has worked at the facility for four years. Weeks has never been an inmate at EOCI, but has a criminal record that includes felony identity theft in Oregon and aggravated assault in Boise, officials said.

The Oregon State Police are investigating the incident, with help from Umatilla County Sheriff's Office, Pendleton and Hermiston Police and other local agencies.

Luke Hegdal can be reached at lukehegdal@wwub.com or 526-8326.

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