Craig Alexander Lazon, 37, was charged in Linn County Circuit Court with attempted aggravated murder, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, first-degree unlawful sexual penetration, two counts of second-degree assault, strangulation and fourth-degree assault.
“The victim here had been tied up since Feb. 24, beat up daily, strangled several times” and repeatedly sexually assaulted, Linn County District Attorney Doug Marteeny said Wednesday afternoon during a court hearing.
The charging document states that the attempted murder charge came during the course of, or as a result of, Lazon intentionally maiming or torturing the victim, whom Lazon knows.
The Gazette-Times generally does not identify the victims of sex crimes.
Court paperwork also states that the victim was strangled with a phone cord. Lazon also strangled her with his hands. The bones in her face were broken, and Lazon was convicted previously of assaulting her.
Albany Police officers arrested Lazon, who was booked into the Linn County Jail, early Wednesday morning.
The situation came to light about 5:30 p.m. Monday, when police were alerted to an assault report from Lazon’s address in the 900 block of 21st Avenue Southwest.
The victim reportedly ran to a neighbor’s house, saying, “He’s going to kill me!” Lazon fled from the scene in an SUV, according to a probable-cause affidavit.
In a police interview at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, the victim said that during the beatings, every time she made a noise or cried out in pain, Lazon would hit her harder.
“She said that (her daughter) was still living in the residence when this was going on, but Craig would tell (her daughter) that (the victim) was sick,” according to the affidavit, which further noted that according to the victim, Lazon hit her in the back of a head with a screwdriver handle and repeatedly told her he would kill her during the week. At one point he reportedly said that nobody came looking for her because nobody cared about her.
On Monday, Lazon dressed her in a pair of pajama pants, a hooded sweatshirt and a jacket, put some sunglasses on her face and pulled the hood shut. He walked her out of the house and told the victim that he was taking her to the hospital. He then tied her to the passenger door of the car, and said he was planning to take her to the Calapooia River, drown her and dispose of her body, according to the probable cause affidavit, which further stated:
“She said that they started driving, but he had forgotten his phone. Craig drove back to the residence and went inside. She said that is when she was able to get away from the vehicle.”
During Wednesday’s court hearing, Lazon appeared via teleconference from the Linn County Jail. Judge David Delsman set his bail at $500,000, and appointed Tim Felling as his attorney.
The next hearing in the case was set for 8:30 a.m. March 23.
Neighbor saves beating victim; ‘He probably would have killed her’
ALBANY — The owner of a local security firm helped to save a kidnapping and rape victim after she escaped from her assailant Monday night, and he essentially stared down the suspect while calling 911 for help.
Frederick J. Edwards shuddered to think what might have happened if he wasn’t there.
Prosecutors Wednesday afternoon charged Craig Lazon, 37, of Albany with attempted murder and other charges, saying that he tied up the victim for about a week, repeatedly beat her, raped and sexually assaulted her.
The victim was his wife, and Linn County District Attorney Doug Marteeny said he had assaulted her on a previous occasion.
Edwards, who owns Knight Vision Security, was getting ready to go to a community meeting, sidearm strapped to his hip, when the frantic victim ran to his apartment and began banging on the door.
“At first, I was sort of startled,” said Edwards, who lives at Westside Villa, near West Albany High School. He said the woman probably went to his apartment for help because neighbors often see him in a security uniform and he has a work SUV parked outside.
“You could tell, she was in distress. … She just said, ‘I need help. Help me. He’s going to kill me,’” Edwards added.
The woman was barefoot, in pajamas, and bleeding from her face, which looked like it had been bashed in.
She said she had been tied up, and that Lazon had been binging on methamphetamine.
“You could tell she was strangled, you could tell she was beaten up for days,” Edwards said. “Her whole skin was disfigured. It was purple around her neck.”
He knew he had to protect her.
Edwards talked with the woman outside his apartment and called 911. Within three minutes, the suspect pulled up nearby in the victim’s Mercury Mountaineer.
“I don’t know if this guy’s coming with a weapon or anything,” Edwards said. “He looked at me. I didn’t know what he was going to do, so I held on to my sidearm without taking it out of the holster, and I told her, ‘Don’t worry.’”
Lazon peeled out and sped away, Edwards said.
Edwards said he was scared, but glad he could assist.
“I’m happy that she ran to me. The guy was on all kinds of stuff. Anything could have happened,” he added. “I thank Jehovah that he put me at the right place at the right time. … A few minutes later, I don’t know where she would have ran.”
Albany Police Detective Lt. Travis Giboney said he was thankful as well that Edwards was there to help.
Court paperwork indicates that Lazon dressed his wife Monday in pajama bottoms and a hoodie, which he pulled up, put sunglasses on her and walked her out of the house. He told her she was going to the hospital. The victim told investigators that Lazon then tied her to the passenger door of the car and said he was planning to take her to the Calapooia River, drown her and dispose of the body.
Lazon started driving but he had forgotten his phone, so he went back to his residence and his wife took the opportunity to escape, according to court paperwork.
Other details emerged about the case Thursday.
Giboney said that Lazon was arrested just after midnight at a Springfield motel with the assistance of the Springfield Police Department.
He declined to elaborate on how investigators learned Lazon was at the motel.
Search warrants have been served on Lazon’s person, the Mercury Mountaineer registered to the victim, which Lazon drove from his apartment, and Lazon’s motel room, Giboney said.
Lazon has previous convictions in Linn County for fourth-degree assault in 2012 and methamphetamine possession in 2013.
He also was convicted in Lane County of fourth-degree assault, methamphetamine possession and tampering with a witness regarding a June 2013 incident. A charge of fourth-degree assault (domestic violence) was dismissed. A victim in that Eugene Police Department case is his wife, according to Oregon’s online court database.