A Canby, Ore. man follows in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather after being charged with murder.
Francis Weaver’s grandfather is currently on California’s death row, and his father pleaded guilty to killing two Oregon girls. Now the 31-year-old is one of three men charged with murder in a deadly drug deal.
Authorities say Weaver and the two other men went to steal drugs last weekend from a man whose car contained 15 pounds of marijuana. The victim, Edward Spangler, 43, was shot in the face and shoulder.
Weaver, along with Michael A. Orren and Shannon Bettencourt, 32, were arraigned Tuesday.
Weaver’s father, Ward Weaver III, was convicted of aggravated murder in 2004, two years after the bodies of 12-year-old Ashley Pond and 13-year-old Miranda Gaddis were found in his backyard. The search for Pond and Gaddis spanned months, and the girls were even featured on the cover of People magazine.
“He was very defensive of his father,” Janine Robben, a Portland attorney and journalist who teachers First Amendment law at Washington State University-Vancouver, recalled of meeting Francis at the time when his father was being investigated for the murders.
“He said it was very inappropriate to assume that his father was a killer because his grandfather was a killer,” Robben said.
But shortly after, then 19 years old, Francis called emergency dispatchers to report that his girlfriend accused Ward Weaver of raping her, and that his father had privately admitted to killing the girls.
Ward Weaver Jr., Francis Weaver’s grandfather, was convicted of killing a man whose car had broken down and of kidnapping, raping and murdering the man’s girlfriend, Barbara Levoy, in the 1980s. Her body was found buried beneath his home in Oroville, Calif.
Francis Weaver’s mother, Maria Shaw, said Wednesday her son is not the biological son of Ward Weaver III, and that the father could be one of two men.
“At the time, I was raped by Ward and I wanted revenge,” she said according to Fox News. “I didn’t want to be with Ward. I just wanted to get away from him.”
She also said her son Francis had nothing to do with Spangler’s death.
“He’s not guilty,” she said. “They want [to arrest] him so bad because they think he’s Ward Weaver’s son.”
A preliminary hearing for Francis Weaver, Orren, and Bettencourt is scheduled next week.