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Prison Guard's Death Ruled 'Line Of Duty'

Officer Buddy Herron. Photo courtesy Oregon Sept. of Corrections
Officer Buddy Herron. Photo courtesy Oregon Sept. of Corrections

Corrections officers and state officials will gather in Pendleton Monday to give full honors to an eastern Oregon prison guard who was murdered. Buddy Herron was killed last week when he stopped to help what he thought was a stranded motorist.

Herron was on his way to a night shift job at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution when he was killed. Prosecutors have charged 22-year-old Joshua Weeks with murder.

Weeks has a long criminal record but prosecutors haven't released a possible motive for the slaying. Regardless, Herron's employer, the Oregon Department of Corrections, is treating the death as in the line of duty.

And members of the Oregon Public Safety Memorial Fund Board decided Friday to award Herron's widow survivor benefits. That includes a $25,000 lump sum payment and possible future assistance for Herron's four children.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has ordered flags to fly at half-staff today. The 42-year-old Herron had been on the job four years.

On the Web:

Buddy Heron's obituary:

Funeral service information:

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.