January 24 2020
PORTLAND, Oregon - Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that 29-year-old Robert Lee West received a 23 year prison sentence for killing Ms. Lila Streeter.
Multiple family members of Ms. Streeter addressed the court during Friday's sentencing. Ms. Streeter's sisters described her as "the heart of the family" who cared deeply about her family and friends. Her family remembered her as a devoted mother to three young boys.
The state medical examiner determined Lila Streeter died of blunt force trauma to her head and abdomen, according to a probable cause affidavit. Her husband, 28-year-old Robert West, was arrested and booked into the Multnomah County jail on suspicion of murder.
nside the apartment in the 17200 block of Southeast Alder Street, Portland police officers found drops of blood on the floor, walls and stairs on the ground floor and blood upstairs on the floor and smeared on the walls in the bedroom and bathroom, the affidavit said.
A neighbor told investigators that he saw Streeter and West outside their apartment around 11:30 p.m. Sunday and at one point saw shadows of what appeared to be West punching Streeter, according to the court papers. The neighbor reported hearing Streeter yell for her attacker to stop.
According to the affidavit, police went to the apartment about 2:40 a.m. Monday after Streeter's sister called 911 and requested a welfare check. The sister said she called Streeter, but West answered her phone.
"Lila was my special baby," Linda Moore, Ms. Streeter's mother said in court. "I know he's here today accepting responsibility but there is no explanation and no justification for taking her life. … There is nothing to be done today in court that could cure my pain. As a family, as a community, we will get past this and we will heal."
On November 20, 2018, West pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree constituting domestic violence and kidnapping in the first degree constituting domestic violence.
Ms. Streeter and the defendant were married at the time she was killed.
This investigation started on October 2, 2017, when officers with the Portland Police Bureau responded to a residence in the 17200 block of Southeast Alder Street in Portland, Oregon to conduct a welfare check on Ms. Streeter.
Upon arrival, law enforcement located evidence that suggested Ms. Streeter may have been injured. The officers attempted to contact the defendant who refused to comply with numerous requests to let them check on Ms. Streeter. A plan was developed to have the Portland Police Bureau's Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) enter the residence and take the defendant into custody.
Law enforcement found Ms. Streeter in a bedroom. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office determined the cause of Ms. Streeter's death to be blunt force trauma, which included injuries to her head, neck and abdomen.
By pleading guilty to manslaughter in the first degree, the defendant admitted that he recklessly, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, caused the death of Ms. Streeter. By pleading guilty to kidnapping in the first degree, the defendant admitted that he knowingly confined his wife, Ms. Streeter, without her consent, in their home for the purpose of causing her physical injury.
The family of Ms. Streeter was consulted and updated regularly throughout the plea negotiation process. They supported the case being resolved through a negotiated settlement.
This case was prosecuted by Multnomah County Senior Deputy District Attorney Traci Anderson, who supervises the Domestic Violence Unit for the District Attorney's Office, and Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Devin Franklin.
The Domestic Violence Unit is responsible for handling domestic violence felony and misdemeanor cases. The DV Unit is also responsible for screening, issuing, negotiating, and prosecuting allegations of contempt of court for violations of a Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) restraining order. The DV Unit is committed to stopping family abuse by proceeding with prosecution whenever legally possible.
Photo: 29-year-old Robert Lee West on left, and Lila Streeter on right.