Teen will likely spend his 7-1/2 year term in the Oregon Youth Authority system
By Tom Peterson
Published: August 23, 2002
A Bend teenager was sentenced Thursday to 7-1/2 years in prison for stabbing a man in the chest at a party in October.
Thomas Henry Busche, 16, was convicted of second-degree assault in July after a three-day trial. He was sentenced by Deschutes County Circuit Court Judge Alta Brady
Joe Campbell, 21, of Bend testified in July that Busche stabbed him when he knelt down to talk with him before he left a party on Parrell Road in southeast Bend at about 4 a.m. on Oct. 14, 2001.
Other witnesses also testified that Busche stabbed Campbell in the chest after the two got into a pushing match. Busche then fled in a car with several others after an angry mob chased him out of the party.
Campbell was taken to St. Charles Medical Center where he was treated for a collapsed lung and the stab wound.
Deschutes County District Attorney Mike Dugan said Busche came close to killing Campbell by just missing the man’s heart with the knife.
Busche was arrested several days later at his mother’s home as he prepared to leave town, Dugan said at the teenagers sentencing Thursday.
Busche has a criminal history dating back to 1997, Dugan said.
In 1999, Busche, then 13, got drunk and threatened a La Pine store owner with a surveyor’s stick after the woman asked him to leave the store for using foul language.
And when the store owner’s daughter tried to intervene, Busche also threatened her with the stick, Dugan said. In that case, Busche was found guilty of two counts of menacing, Dugan said.
Dugan also said that Busche had failed to complete alcohol treatment while in the juvenile justice system and had been in and out of a foster home.
He said the teen behaved well while in a foster home, but every time he went back to living with his mother he would get in trouble.
At the time of his arrest for the stabbing, police found several knives and marijuana and methamphetamine paraphernalia in his room, Dugan said.
Busche also said at trial that he was using both drugs the day of the stabbing.
Busche’s attorney, Angela Lee, did not deny that Busche stabbed Campbell, but said that Campbell was not innocent in the altercation.
She also stated that Busche received bad advice from adults after the stabbing, alluding to the reason he did not immediately turn himself in.
“He has had problems, there’s no doubt about that,” Lee said. “But he tends to excel when he is not with his mother.”
She said Busche had a “tough break” as a child being brought up in a home where he was allowed to drink and smoke marijuana.
“No one would say ‘no’ to him, except his foster mother,” Lee said. Busche’s mother sat in the courtroom and cried as Lee spoke. Lee said she had no doubt Busche would turn his life around and possibly even get a four-year college degree while incarcerated with the Oregon Youth Authority.
“He is not all bad,” Lee said. “Nobody is. He has had some tough breaks and he is going to turn this around.”
Brady then sentenced him to the mandatory 7› years behind bars.
“I don’t find joy in imposing Ballot Measure 11 sentences,” she said. “Unfortunately, you earned this one.”
Because Busche is just 16 he likely will spend his entire sentence in the Oregon Youth Authority system – the juvenile equivalent of prison. Teens sentenced to Measure 11 sentences are allowed to be incarcerated with the OYA until age 25, according to state law.
Tom Peterson can be reached at 541-383-0304 or firstname.lastname@example.org