Former student placed on probation for package hoax
Melissa Davaz was recommended to spend three days in Yamhill County jail, placed on 24-month probation and given 240 hours of community service to complete for planting eight suspicious packages across Linfield. Her restitution is $9,000.
Davaz pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of a hoax destructive device and two counts of disorderly conduct March 11. She received a conditional discharge for four of the five counts.
Her punishment for the standalone charge includes jail time and restitution payment, while the remaining counts
collectively require 24-month probation, which is referred to as bench probation.
In court, defense attorney Elana Flynn described Davaz as a person of excellence. Flynn explained to the judge that she received more than 50 character affidavits — more than she has gotten in any other case.
Davaz openly accepted responsibility for her actions. She said she failed to think about the fear that she could inspire and that she did not realize that the entire campus would have been shut down. With her were apology letters addressed to the Linfield students and faculty, the McMinnville Police Department and the McMinnville community jointly; she also had a letter directed toward the police specifically and another for the college. She read her letters in court, extending an apology in each.
Given that placing garbage-filled boxes covered in duct and Scotch® tape across campus was out of character for her, the judge asked Davaz what her thoughts were Dec. 6 when she committed the act. She stated that she continues to ask herself what had to have been inside her head.
Flynn said that she was convinced of Davaz’s remorsefulness.
Flynn explained that her client had already raised $1,000 to put toward her restitution and that Davaz is employed.
The judge admitted that although he did not sense her seriousness upon the opening of the hearing, after seeing the effort she had already made and listening to her letters, he was positive that she had grasped the severity of her actions.
Davaz was given one year to complete her community service.
Dean of Students Dave Hansen, Associate Dean of Students, Director of Residence Life Jeff
Mackay and Director of Campus Public Safety Robert Cepeda sat in the first row behind the prosecution. None of the men chose to speak when the judge gave the opportunity.
Davaz and college officials will discuss disciplinary matters at an undisclosed date. Flynn said that the letter to the college was tendered that day.
Davaz’s general letter of apology has been submitted to the press.
Davas was scheduled to graduate from Linfield after she completed the 2010 Spring Semester. Whether she will is to be determined.
Copy chief Septembre Russell can be reached at email@example.com.