PORTLAND – A judge in the civil lawsuit of missing Portland boy Kyron Horman has issued his decision not to grant a stay in the case, and laid out rules for attorneys to gather evidence.
Judge Henry Kantor referred to Kyron's stepmother Terri Horman as a “prime suspect” in the investigation, although Terri Horman has never been formally named a suspect in any criminal case.
In papers filed last week, the judge denied granting Terri a stay in the civil lawsuit filed against her by the boy's mother Desiree Young..
"Witnesses and evidence may disappear. Memories may fade. The opportunity to find Kyron, alive or dead, lessens," Kantor said. "This weighs strongly against a stay.”
He also wrote the passage of time without any indictment was “significant” and that would not likely overlap with any criminal prosecution.
Terri Horman, the boy's stepmother and the subject of Young's suit, was the last person known to have seen Kyron. He was 7 when he disappeared from Skyline Elementary on June 4, 2010. The civil lawsuit accuses Horman of kidnapping Kyron, by herself or with help.
Attorneys on both sides were asked to prepare answers in how any possible evidence or deposition by Terri would be submitted to the court before a trial.
After the judge released his ruling, the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office released a statement noting that the civil case was separate from the ongoing criminal investigation: "While there may be rulings regarding the court's opinions as to how the case may proceed, these rulings/legal opinions are part of the civil court case. The civil case is a process that is independent of the active, ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office."
“All the judge is doing in that opinion is simply summarizing what was in front of him," Young’s attorney Elden Rosenthal said. "He is not making any finding. He is just responding to the issue.”
Rosenthal thinks the media is way over-interpreting Judge Kantor’s reference to Terri as 'the prime suspect.'
No criminal evidence was put before Kantor, and Rosenthal is not going to comment on what the judge said. Rosenthal pointed out that the complaint filed by Young claims Terri Horman knows where Kyron is and what happened to him.