PORTLAND – The mother of Joda Cain, the 17-year-old boy accused of murdering his great-grandmother, said she was shocked by the allegations.
“I know he wouldn’t do that,” said Cain’s mother, who asked that her name not be used. “It’s so hard because you don’t really know how to feel.”
Jaqueline Bell, 71, was found dead in her Cedar Mill home by Washington County police Saturday.
Cain’s mother, who grew up in Portland and lives in Kansas City, MO, is the only grandchild of Bell.
“He’s not perfect – he’s spoiled rotten – but my God, he would never, never do that to her. He’d never do that to anybody,” she said.
Cain and his 19-year-old cousin, Micus Ward, are suspects in her murder.
Cain’s mother admitted her son had gotten into trouble in the past, but she thought things were improving.
She said she sent Cain to live with his great-grandmother in July and the two had a great relationship.
“He was happy,” she said. “He was back to playing football and everything was great for all I knew.”
According to Cain's mother, Jaqueline Bell bought Micus Ward a plane ticket to Portland to visit his cousin on Friday. Bell was dead the next day.
Cain’s classmates speak
Cains classmates at Sunset High School in Northwest Portland were similarly in disbelief over the alleged crime.
Students said Cain was popular and had many friends.
“He was really nice,” said Parker Newcomb, a 10th grader at Sunset High School. “He was just chill and just wouldn’t really say anything.”
Others said they were stunned that a classmate was possibly capable of murder.
“It’s scary and unnerving that somebody would do that, and that we’ve gone to school with him,” said 12th grader Emily Packham.
Cain’s friends said he threw a party Friday night at Bell’s home. Investigators believe Cain and Ward murdered Bell sometime after the party and drove away in her car.
Cain and Ward were arrested after a high-speed chase on Interstate 84 in Eastern Oregon Saturday.