PORTLAND, Ore. — A week before he was arrested and accused of murdering his former partner at her Southeast Portland townhouse on Saturday, court documents show that 33-year-old Mohamed Osman Adan was bailed out of jail by the Portland Freedom Fund.
The fund's mission statement is to pay bail for the release of "Black, Brown and Indigenous" people in the Portland metro area, and the group has advocated in the past for the complete abolition of cash bail.
Adan was in jail on charges for violating the conditions of an earlier release from custody. Both the original charges and the more recent violations were related to repeated violence and threatening behavior toward his former partner, Rachael Abraham, according to court documents.
Abraham's ex-husband has started a GoFundMe campaign to cover expenses for her funeral.
Editor's note: This story contains graphic details involving domestic violence that may be hard for some to read.
'She believed she was going to die'
According to court documents, Portland police responded on May 2 to a call from Rachael Abraham, 36, at her townhouse on Southeast 92nd Avenue. She said that Adan, her partner, punched her in the head twice after she received a text from a female friend. Police reported that she had a bruise on her forehead and a scratch down the left side of her face.
Abraham told police that she thought Adan was under the influence of either cocaine or methamphetamine. Four children were at the home, sleeping, when the alleged assault happened, but Abraham said that none of them woke up.
Adan had left the home by the time police arrived, and Abraham said that he'd taken her phone with him. An officer tried calling the phone and a man answered but denied that he was Adan. He was not taken into custody, but the officer connected Abraham with a domestic violence advocate.
Less than two months later, on June 23, Portland police received another call from Abraham, who said that Adan had attacked her and violated an active restraining order in the process.
"Adan was mistakenly let into the home by their young daughter the day prior and Adan was now refusing to leave," the probable cause affidavit reads.
Police reported that Adan repeatedly argued with Abraham in front of the children and broke her phone to prevent her from calling for help. He blocked her from leaving and choked her several times, she told police, and the assaults continue throughout the night. She recalled being hit hard in the face but couldn't remember when it happened.
"There was one point during the entire altercation where Adan drug Abraham to the ground and said, 'I'm going to put you to sleep' while kneeling on her throat," the affidavit reads. "Adan told her, 'I should kill you' and 'you're not getting up because you're going to run away.'"
Abraham finally escaped the house with Adan's phone, calling police while Adan locked her outside. She told police that "she believed she was going to die." Portland police arrived and arrested Adan without trouble.
In the affidavit filed the next day, the Multnomah County District Attorney's office made special note of the potential threat that Adan posed to both Abraham's safety and that of her children:
"There are significant lethality factors on this case, which includes potential access to a firearm, increase in physical violence and the severity of the physical violence, the named victim has left or separated from offender after living together within the last year, offender threatens to kill the named victim, offender has avoided being arrested for domestic violence, the victim has a child that is not the offender's child, offender has strangled victim, the offender uses illegal drugs, offender controls most or all of victim's daily activities, victim believes the offender is capable of killing her, repeated violations of the restraining order and/or court orders, and offender follows or spies on victim."
In the weeks following his arrest, Adan was granted release from jail on the condition that he wear a GPS ankle monitor and have no contact with Abraham or the children. Adan almost immediately violated both conditions, according to court documents.
After cutting off his ankle monitor at the end of July, Adan allegedly got inside Abraham's apartment while she and the children were sleeping on Aug. 11. She reported that he struck her with a length of prayer beads. She managed to contact police, who took Adan back into custody.
Again, the DA's office probable cause affidavit stressed "significant lethality factors" involved in the case. The court set his bail security at $20,000.
Enter the Portland Freedom Fund. On Aug. 20, group co-founder Amanda Trujillo paid the 10% of bail required, $2,000, to have Adan released. Under the requirements of that release, Trujillo took on responsibility to pay the full amount of his security if he again failed to comply with the conditions of his release.
A week after Adan's release, Abraham was killed.
'The carpet was soaked in blood'
Around 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Portland dispatch received a call from Abraham's number. According to court documents, Abraham's voice could be heard saying something like "I'm not doing black magic" before the call disconnected. A dispatcher tried to call back, but the phone rang and then went to voicemail.
A few minutes after that call, a neighbor called to report a fight at the address between a man and a woman. There is no indication in the DA's office affidavit whether police were dispatched to respond at that time.
Hours later, just before 10:45 a.m., Adan called 911 himself. He reported that Abraham was dead, according to the affidavit. When a dispatcher told him to perform CPR, he reportedly refused. He said that he took a knife from Abraham and was "protecting the children."
When officers arrived at the townhouse, they found Adan downstairs "in clean clothes" with three children under the age of 8. Upstairs, in a child's bedroom, police found Abraham's body laid out on a bed, according to the affidavit, covered in a bedsheet.
The officers reported seeing water on the floor of a nearby bathroom and blood soaking the carpet in the child's bedroom where Abraham's body was found. There were signs of violence throughout the home and a large kitchen knife on the floor near Abraham.
Abraham's body was covered in cuts, police reported, but an autopsy determined that she'd been strangled to death.
The neighbor who called 911 spoke to investigators, telling them that they saw Adan pushing Abraham against an open window upstairs — the same room where her body was found. Screaming could be heard coming from the window.
Another neighbor who spoke with police said that they'd received a call from Adan's mother, according to the affidavit. They said that Adan's mother had gotten a call from her son, and he admitted to killing Abraham.
"Defendant asked his mother what to do," the affidavit reads.
Portland police arrested Adan on charges of second-degree murder (domestic violence) and unlawful use of a weapon.
No 'indications for concern'
The Oregonian was first to report on Tuesday that Adan, who was identified in a Portland police statement following his arrest over the weekend, had made bail with the assistance of the Portland Freedom Fund.
The organization put out a statement on its Facebook page Tuesday afternoon, acknowledging the case.
"Our thoughts are with the families and communities affected by this tragedy, particularly the children who have effectively lost both parents," the group said. "It is a profound tragedy when any person is harmed."
Portland Freedom Fund went on to describe its overall mission, which "seeks to limit the number of persons held pretrial solely for inability to pay the bail" and also seeks to reduce harm.
"In Mr. Adan's specific case, the court had deemed him eligible for bail release and he was referred to us as a financial provider for two small children with a letter of community support," the group concluded. "Along with support he was receiving from the community, we were in contact with Mr. Adan throughout the time between his release and re-arrest and did not receive any indications for concern."
KGW tried to reach out to Amanda Trujillo, the Portland Freedom Fund co-founder who signed for Adan's release, in order to get more specifics about what work the group had done to assess his background. She did not return a call and no one came to the door when we knocked at the address listed on Adan's release agreement.
Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt released his own statement in response to Adan's release and Abraham's murder:
“I am deeply concerned by the circumstances that led to Mohamed Osman Adan's release. Our prosecutors aggressively pursued a high bail amount in this case. Mr. Adan’s intent to kill the victim was unambiguous. After the judge set Adan’s bail, the Portland Freedom Fund undermined our efforts and the efforts of the court to save the victim's life by using their resources to bail him out. When a judge imposes bail, the defendant’s ability to pay is among the factors they consider. The action taken by the Portland Freedom Fund circumvented this, with tragic results. We offer our deepest condolences to the family of the victim, and will dedicate our efforts to the full prosecution of this matter.”
24-Hour Hotline for Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Assistance
- National Domestic Violence Hotline (English and Spanish) - 800-799-7233
- Proyecto UNICA (Spanish) - (503) 232-448 or toll-free at 888-232-4448
- National Sexual Assault Hotline - 800-656-4673
- Portland Women Crisis Line - (503) 235-5333 or toll-free at 888-235-5333