News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Sisters woman remembered at killer's sentencing

Judge Wells Ashby told a packed and solemn courtroom on Tuesday, January 14, that no sentence can “properly honor Jenny Cashwell or square the ledger on her death.”

Alan Peter Porciello, 37, shot and killed Cashwell after a date on January 12, 2019, in his apartment in Bend. Porciello pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter in the killing, which occurred when, as he told police, he was “being facetious, acting like I was going to shoot her, and accidentally did.”

On January 14, the judge sentenced Porciello to nine years in prison with 12 months of post-prison supervision. Any firearms and ammunition that he possessed are to be forfeited and he is to have no weapons of any kind after release.

In a statement to the court, Porciello said, “I take 100 percent responsibility, because I broke the cardinal rule of gun (handling)… I am so very sorry, from the bottom of my heart.”

Family and friends of Cashwell did not speak at the sentencing hearing — but many people in the Sisters community wrote letters to Judge Ashby describing the impact Cashwell had on their lives. The judge told Deputy District Attorney Dan Reesor that he had read “every single one.”

“Those letters really illuminated a life lost,” he said.

Cashwell, who was 37 when she was killed, lived east of Sisters and worked at what is now Bisnett Insurance. She left two daughters. She was crowned the Deschutes County Rodeo Queen in 1998 with her horse, Bo Wrangler. Her family recalled in her obituary that, “Her love of animals was apparent, as you could often find her outside of work feeding the squirrels. She loved anything with fur — horses, squirrels, and especially dogs. She was a fierce advocate of animal welfare and adoption.”

Cashwell was an active lifter at Level 5 CrossFit Sisters, which has held memorial lifting events as fundraisers to assist her family. Several people at the hearing wore “Lift For Jenny “ shirts in her honor.

Judge Ashby read excerpts from several letters, which expressed a sense similar to his own that the loss of Jenny Cashwell cannot be put right by any action of the court.

“I guess we’re all victims in this case,” one letter read. “So who will be served by justice? I guess people who never knew Jenny. And I think Jenny would be alright with that.”

Editor's note: a previous version of this story incorrectly stated length of Porciello's sentence.


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