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Woman Charged With Manslaughter In Newport Fire
by Oregon State Media, Inc.
  Friday April 21, 2017 - 1:17 PM
 
NEWPORT, Oregon - On August 5 2016 a fire was reported by phone at the City Center Motel, located at 538 SW Coast Highway, in Newport.

While police evacuated motel guests, the fire continued to consume center rooms of the motel.

Four guests were taken to Samaritan Pacific Community Hospital, three with minor injuries. Those three people were treated and released. One motel guest, later identified as Rebecca Joanne Sinclair,was admitted to Samaritan Pacific Community Hospital for burns and smoke inhalation, and later transported to the Legacy Emmanuel Burn Center. Ms. Sinclair, who had been a registered City Center Motel guest in room 103, was later identified as a person of interest in the cause of the fatal fire.

Once the fire was controlled, police and fire personnel began to search the rooms that were heavily damaged by fire. At 4:00 p.m., two bodies, one male and one female, were discovered beneath burned rubble. The bodies were identified as motel guests Tammi Sue Hepner, age 51, and Allen Arthur Hepner, age 63, both of Portland, Oregon. They had been staying in room 221.

At approximately 8:00 p.m., two additional bodies were discovered deeper in the burned rubble. The bodies were identified as motel guests Sandra Sue Shoemaker, age 60, and Danny Keith Shoemaker, age 64, both of Springfield, Oregon. They had been staying in room 220. The origin of the fire was determined to be room 103, which is the ground-level room occupied by Ms. Sinclair. The likely cause of the fire was determined to be careless discard of smoking materials.

At approximately 8:00 p.m., two additional bodies were discovered deeper in the burned rubble. The bodies were identified as motel guests Sandra Sue Shoemaker, age 60, and Danny Keith Shoemaker, age 64, both of Springfield, Oregon. They had been staying in room 220. The origin of the fire was determined to be room 103, which is the ground-level room occupied by Ms. Sinclair. The likely cause of the fire was determined to be careless discard of smoking materials.

The investigation was cooperatively conducted by the Newport Police Department, and the Newport Fire Department, with assistance from the State of Oregon Fire Marshall's Office. As a result of the investigation, a Lincoln County Grand Jury found Rebecca Sinclair's actions to be negligent and reckless, resulting in a true bill of indictment. An indictment warrant of arrest was issued on March 1, 2017 for the following charges:

Manslaughter 2nd Degree x4
Criminally Negligent Homicide x4
Reckless Burning
Recklessly Endangering x7

On March 2, 2017, Ms. Sinclair was located in Washington State and arrested. She refused to waive extradition, and a Governor's Warrant was obtained. The warrant was served on April 17, 2017. Ms. Sinclair was extradited to Lincoln County. She is being held on $750,000.00 bond in the Lincoln County Jail.

Photo: Newport motel fire photo by Dustin Capri courtesy NewsLincolnCounty.com -- Rebecca Sinclair mugshot via Lincoln County.

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