An area teen facing manslaughter and other charges in connection with the November 19 fatal crash on Mulino Road that killed 16-year-old Canby resident Matthew Dewar will continue to be confined to house arrest after a hearing in juvenile court this week.
Ryan Anthony Kellar, who turns 18 in July, was charged last month with second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, two counts of fourth-degree assault and reckless driving in connection with the case.
Two of Dewar’s younger brothers, age 12 and 10 at the time, were also in the car Kellar allegedly struck while attempting to pass another vehicle in a no-passing zone on South Mulino Road, according to police and eyewitness accounts.
The Dewars were on their way to Country Christian in Molalla, while Kellar was headed in the opposite direction, bound for Canby High. The younger boys, who were in the passenger and rear seats, were not seriously hurt in the crash. Kellar was transported to an area hospital and treated for undisclosed injuries.
The Monday afternoon hearing was held before Clackamas County Circuit Judge Colleen F. Gilmartin, who serves as lead judge for the county juvenile court, with Kellar and all other parties appearing virtually.
Kellar has been confined to his Mulino home on a strict form of monitoring known as “sight and sound supervision,” meaning those responsible for watching him — in this case, his parents — are required to keep him within sight and earshot at all times.
Clackamas County Juvenile Counselor Amber Kersey told the judge he has been doing well and following all of the requirements of the court order.
“No issues to report,” she said. “He’s been doing really well. He’s been following all of his conditions of release. I’ve been able to take [urine screenings] from him and they’ve been negative for all substances.”
His parents, Michael and Karen Kellar, agreed.
“Ryan has been following all the rules,” Karen Kellar said. “Somebody is home with him 24-7. He’s doing school, as he should, and has straight A’s. No driving. He has been following our household rules and abiding by his chores as tolerated with his injuries.”
Both Kersey and his parents asked the judge to consider removing the sight and sound portion of his supervision to make it easier on the Kellars’ work schedule, something Clackamas County Deputy District Attorney Eriks Berzins, representing the state, opposed.
“Things are working as they are,” Berzins said. “We appreciate the hardship it may place on the parents, but at this point, we would ask that those conditions remain.”
The victim’s father, David Dewar, also spoke at the hearing and asked that the current restrictions stay in place. A number of other family members and friends attended the virtual hearing in support of the Dewars.
While not removing the sight and sound order outright, Gilmartin ultimately agreed to give Kersey and the juvenile department the authority to do so when and if they deem it appropriate.
In that case, Kellar’s confinement would revert to traditional house arrest with all other conditions remaining in place, including a prohibition against driving and any contact with the Dewar family.
“What that means, Ryan, is that you will be home, and you will be staying home,” Gilmartin said. “And you may be thinking, ‘That’s what I do anyway,’ but that is now a court order.
“I want to be clear: House arrest does not mean that you stay home, and all of your friends come over to hang out. It means you’re being trusted to be a responsible individual and follow the rules of the home and the court orders. Do you understand that?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Kellar replied.
As expected, Berzins told the judge his office does not intend to request a hearing to remove the case from juvenile court and try Kellar as an adult.
Prior to 2019, Oregon juveniles charged with serious crimes carrying mandatory minimum sentences, including manslaughter, would have been automatically tried in circuit court, but this changed with the Legislature’s passage of Senate Bill 1008.
In the juvenile system, the maximum punishment for manslaughter — or any other crime — is confinement to a youth detention facility until age 25.
Kellar’s attorney is Richard McBreen, of the Portland firm Mark C. Cogan, P.C., which specializes in criminal defense. McBreen said Tuesday that he would be requesting an additional six weeks to continue discovery.
The case was set for another review hearing on Monday, March 7.
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