Jacqueline Bell's car, following I-84 police chase involving her great-grandson.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -
Family members say two cousins accused of killing a 71-year-old relative are not capable of that kind of violence.
Jodah Cain, 17, and Micus Ward, 19, were taken into custody Saturday morning after a high-speed chase on Interstate 84 that reached speeds of 135 mph.
At about the same time troopers stopped the 2006 Lexus ES350, deputies were responding to a house on Northwest Lee Street in Cedar Mill. The body of Jacqueline Bell was discovered inside the home.
The Lexus was her car.
Bell was Cain's great-grandmother. The medical examiner's office said she died from "blunt force trauma."
Cain and Ward are accused of killing Bell, according to deputies. Cain, however, has not yet been charged in the case. He is in custody of the Washington County Juvenile Services. Ward is behind bars in Union County facing charges including criminal homicide.
Cain's mother told Kansas City TV station KSHB that she sent Cain to Portland to live with her grandmother.
"He needed to get away, he was having issues," she said. "He was getting in trouble."
The woman, who asked not to be identified, said Ward traveled from Kansas City to Portland to visit his cousin on Friday. Bell paid for the ticket, she said.
"She sent him a plane ticket on Friday and she was dead the next day," she said.
On Tuesday, a grandmother and aunt of Cain and Ward both told FOX 12 they believe someone else killed the Portland woman and the cousins then fled out of shock.
"Micus and Jodah, they're not like that. They have good characteristics," said their aunt in a phone interview with FOX 12 from Kansas City. "And for us to see them on the news about murder, they're never capable of that. Neither one of them."
Classmates at Sunset High School, where Cain was a junior, described him as quiet in class but friendly and funny. Students also said Cain was planning a party at his great-grandmother's house last weekend.
Family members told FOX 12 they were aware of the party but couldn't comment on its connection to the case. Investigators have not released any details regarding a party.
Deputies were called to the house at 8:20 a.m. Saturday from a person concerned about Bell. Just 15 minutes earlier, a truck driver reported a Lexus driving recklessly on I-84 near milepost 251 in eastern Oregon. A trooper eventually spun out the car and took Cain and Ward into custody.
"They're good kids," said the boy's aunt, who asked not to be identified. "And I don't want anybody to sit here and prejudge them like they're just some animals when they're not."
The boys' grandmother, who was on the other side of the family from Bell, said the news has just been a shock to the whole family.
"I know they didn't do this," she said. "I think this is just a dream and I'm gonna wake up and say, ‘This is all a dream.'"
Cain spent his freshman year at Aloha High School, left the state for his sophomore year and then returned to the area to attend Sunset High School for his junior year.
"We're praying for Miss Jackie and her family and then we're praying for Micus and Jodah because these kids are not like that," their aunt said.
Cain's Twitter feed is laced with profanities but includes photos of him going to pep rallies and joining the football team. On Facebook, however, Ward posted a chilling photo just a few days ago.
It shows Cain pointing a gun at the camera, with money in his mouth, a bottle of vodka in the foreground and his cousin sitting in the background behind a cloud of smoke.
Cain made his preliminary appearance in juvenile court Monday. He is charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle, attempt to elude, reckless driving and reckless endangering. He is not yet facing charges connected to his great-grandmother's death, but prosecutors said if he is charged with murder, he will be charged as an adult.
"He's not that person, he's really not," Cain's mother said. "He's not perfect, he's spoiled rotten, I mean, my God, he would never, never do that to her. He'd never do that to anybody."
Ward is behind bars on charges of criminal homicide and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. His bail is set at $10,000.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office is seeking the public's help in this case. Anyone with information is asked to call 503-846-2500.
Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.
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