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Friday, September 8, 2000 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Murder suspect turns up - but is turned away

The Associated Press

HILLSBORO, Ore. - Her face had been all over the local TV news and on fliers for the past two weeks. But when a nude dancer charged in a banker's shooting death showed up at a suburban jail with a gun in a sack, she was turned away.

Jessica Rydman is one of three suspects in the Aug. 23 slaying of Bank of America executive Wayne Olson at his home in the West Hills neighborhood of Portland.

On Saturday, Rydman showed up at the Washington County Jail with a brown paper bag, told a deputy there was a warrant out for her arrest in Multnomah County and that she had some evidence to surrender. The deputy accepted the bag with the gun but didn't look inside.

Instead of the deputy taking her into custody and notifying Portland police in neighboring Multnomah County, Rydman was given back her paper bag and told to find her own way to downtown Portland.

"We screwed up. We screwed up big time," Washington County Sheriff Jim Spinden told The Oregonian, which reported the oversight yesterday.

The mistake was the second for the jail this year. Earlier, Spinden fired a deputy who allowed a serial rapist to escape by failing to follow standard procedure and handcuff him after a court appearance.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Marlene Gaskins said that Rydman showed up at the Washington County Jail lobby about 1:30 p.m. Saturday, accompanied by her brother and sister-in-law, and gave the deputy her name - a name that had repeatedly been headline news in the metropolitan area since the fatal shooting.

But because she didn't have any identification, the deputy called the supervising sergeant on duty and asked her what to do. The sergeant told him to tell Rydman she needed to try Multnomah County.

"The sergeant had just been on the phone with Multnomah County, apparently hassling with them to get a court date in another case," Gaskins said.

The Washington County Jail had hit its limit for women inmates, so the sergeant told the deputy to send Rydman to Multnomah County to turn herself in, Gaskins said. She was booked at the downtown Portland jail later in the day.

"The deputy then recognized the name later, on the news," she said.

Rydman, 31, was the first suspect named in Olson's death. Olson, 53, was found bound, gagged and shot in the head when his wife returned from a business trip.

Rydman didn't mention the Multnomah County warrant was for murder.

But under Washington County Sheriff's Office policy, the deputy should have confiscated the gun, run her name and date of birth through the law-enforcement computer system and immediately locked her in a holding cell, Gaskins said.

The sheriff, Spinden, summed it up as "basic Cop 101. We should know better."

Spinden will decide whether disciplinary action is warranted, Gaskins said.

Rydman, meanwhile, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to an aggravated-murder charge in Olson's death. Another suspect, Calvin Davis, 23, has been arraigned on aggravated-murder charges. Police are still searching for a third suspect.

Copyright (c) 2000 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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