Son of notorious child killer charged in homicide

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 19, 2014 at 11:32 pm •  Published: February 19, 2014
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CANBY, Ore. (AP) — His grandfather sits on California's death row, and his father avoided a death sentence by pleading guilty to killing two Oregon girls.

Now Francis Weaver, 31, is one of three men charged with murder in what Canby, Ore., police describe as a drug deal gone bad.

Police allege Weaver and co-conspirators sought to steal drugs last weekend from a Grants Pass man whose car contained 15 pounds of marijuana. The victim, 43-year-old Edward Spangler, was shot in the face and shoulder.

Weaver and the other men, 27-year-old Michael A. Orren and 32-year-old Shannon Bettencourt, were arraigned Tuesday in an Oregon City court. A court clerk said they did not enter pleas and have yet to be assigned attorneys. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for next week.

Weaver's father, Ward Weaver III, was convicted of aggravated murder in 2004, two years after the bodies of Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis were found in his backyard. Before the discovery, the search for the 12-year-old Pond and 13-year-old Gaddis riveted Oregon for months and put the missing girls on the cover of People magazine.

It was Francis Weaver, then 19, who finally ended the mystery by calling emergency dispatchers to report that his girlfriend accused Ward Weaver of raping her, and his father had privately admitted to killing the girls.

In the early 1980s, Francis Weaver's grandfather, Ward Weaver Jr., was convicted of killing a man whose car had broken down and of kidnapping, raping and murdering the man's girlfriend, 23-year-old Barbara Levoy. Her body was found buried beneath a deck at his home in Oroville, Calif.

Francis Weaver's mother, Maria Shaw, said Wednesday her son is not the biological son of Ward Weaver III. Asked who is the father, she said it was either a now-deceased Marine named Richard or a man who was in the Navy named Christopher.



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