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Send defendant back to Oregon

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NORTH PLAINS, Ore. (KOIN) — Cynthia Trippett stood outside at SunStone Rescue Ranch, across from the 18th hole at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, where the Saudi-funded LIV Golf tour held its first tournament in the U.S. It had a message for the Saudi crown prince.

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Fallon Smart in an undated photo (KOIN archive, 2016)

“Send the people that were in that car that killed my grandson, Fallon Smart, send them back to Oregon so we can continue our legal justice system,” he said.

On August 20, 2016, Fallon Smart was about to enter her sophomore year at Franklin High School when Abdulahraman Sameer Noorah struck and killed her while crossing SE Hawthorne at 42nd.

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Investigators said Noorah, who was 20 at the time, was speeding between 55 and 60 mph and was allegedly passing vehicles in the center lane along Hawthorne between 46th and 43rd at the time of the crash.

Noorah, a Saudi citizen who was in the United States on a school scholarship, was arrested that day. She was released from jail a few weeks after the accident and was placed under house arrest. Not long after, she removed the GPS monitoring device that she had been wearing since she was released on bail.

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Abdulrahman Noorah returned to the scene of the SE Hawthorne accident that killed Fallon Smart, August 19, 2016 (KOIN)

KOIN 6 News learned that Noorah’s $100,000 bail was posted by the Saudi consulate on September 9, 2016, and she has been under Close Street supervision ever since.

In December 2018, newly released photos from 2017 showed a black SUV helping Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah escape house arrest and flee to Saudi Arabia.

On Saturday, Trippett said he can understand why the Saudi government would want to host the tournament in Oregon. But she feels it’s a slap in the face for them to host the tournament in the same area where Fallon Smart was killed, as justice has yet to be served.

“I just want them to respect our justice system and the protection of our citizens and our children so that no other mother has to lose a child on the street, or a grandmother has to watch her child cry for the rest of her life. . life.”

Ricky Freeman, owner of SunStone Rescue Ranch, said he dedicated his property to providing a place for people to peacefully protest the LIV golf tournament, as well as providing a voice for those who lost theirs.

He called Smart’s death and the LIV Golf tournament “a huge injustice.”

“It’s very overwhelming to sit here and watch,” Freeman said. “When I turn around and look behind me now and see the lines of cars going back and forth from there, it makes me think ‘Do you know what happened there?'”

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Branden Grace wins the first American LIV Golf tournament

ANNE M. PETERSON AP Sportswriter

(AP) — Branden Grace won the first stop of LIV Golf on American soil, an event that drew critics and protesters alike because Saudi Arabia bankrolled the new series.

Grace closed out a 7-under 65 on Saturday to finish 13-under in the 54-hole tournament at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. The 34-year-old South African won $4 million.

The fledgling LIV series, spearheaded by CEO Greg Norman and funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, aims to challenge the PGA Tour. He has lured some players, including Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson, with the promise of big signing bonuses, big prizes and fewer events.

Grace beat Mexican Carlos Ortiz by two strokes.

“I played impeccable golf, I played very, very well when I needed to do something special and I reached out and got it out,” Grace said. “But what a great day, it was amazing to come here, this new format, this new everything is amazing and everyone here is having a great time.”

Ortiz, ranked No. 119 in the world, shot a 69. Johnson (71) finished four behind Patrick Reed (67).

The 48-man field in Oregon competed for a $20 million purse, with an additional $5 million prize fund for a team competition. There was no cutoff and even the last place finisher won a $120,000 payday. Charl Schwartzel won the opening event of the tour outside of London (and the team share) for $4.75 million.

The Four Aces team, led by Johnson, won the tag team competition at Pumpkin Ridge.

Dustin Johnson watches his tee shot on the seventh hole during the second round of the Portland Invitational LIV golf tournament in North Plains, Ore., Friday, July 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)

LIV Golf also announced on Saturday that English golfer Pat Casey has joined the series. Casey, 44, has won three times on the PGA Tour and 15 times on the European Tour, and is ranked No. 26 in the world. He hasn’t played a round of the tournament since March due to injuries.

The PGA Tour responded to the new tour by suspending all active members who competed in the first LIV event. Those who played in Oregon were also suspended unless they gave up their tour membership.

LIV Golf has been dogged by critics since its inception, long before it arrived in tiny North Plains, about 20 miles west of downtown Portland.

The city’s mayor and 10 fellow mayors from nearby communities wrote to the Texas-based owner of the course weeks ago, objecting that the event did not align with community values ​​due to human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, including the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

A group of families whose loved ones died in the 9/11 terrorist attack came to North Plains on the opening day of the tournament to protest the event. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers that day in 2001 were Saudi citizens. The group plans a larger rally for the next stop in Bedminster, New Jersey.

US Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon called the tour a “sports laundering” to downplay Saudi Arabia’s human rights record. Wyden pointed to the 2016 hit-and-run death of 15-year-old Fallon Smart in Portland. A Saudi citizen was charged in the case but disappeared before trial, and US officials believe he was flown out of the country with the help of the Saudi government. A protester at the entrance on Friday held a sign that read “Fallon Smart, 2000-2016.”

Pumpkin Ridge LIV golf tournament met with more opposition
Mike Allen holding a sign with Fallon Smart’s name on it outside the Saudi-backed LIV golf tournament in Pumpkin Ridge. Smart was killed in a 2016 hit-and-run on Hawthorne Boulevard. The driver, Abdularahmen Sameer Noorah, was arrested and charged with manslaughter. KOIN 6 News found that the Saudi consulate posted his $100,000 bail and the US government believes the Saudi regime helped him escape to the US. June 1, 2022 (KOIN).

Players faced tough questions before the tournament about their participation, with most rattling off easy answers and saying golf can be a “force for good.” Others complained about the structure and routine of the PGA Tour.

LIV Golf touts that it is “golf, but stronger.” In addition to simultaneous team competition, the tournaments feature shooting starts, interactive fan activities, and blaring hip-hop on the driving range.

The crowds on Saturday were better than Thursday and Friday. LIV Golf said it was sold out but did not disclose the number of tickets sold.

The next event on the tour is scheduled for July 29-31 at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster. Casey is expected to join at that time.

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