Jasen Laine Bertram shot Cody Earl Johnson to death in Dryden in 2012. Yesterday a jury convicted Bertram of murder in the second degree. The jury also convicted him of two lesser charges, robbery and possession of a stolen firearm, in part for stealing a pistol from Johnson after shooting him dead in his parked travel trailer June 3.
Johnson, 28, was reputed to deal heroin and methamphetamine, and had prior convictions for meth possession in both Chelan and Douglas counties. At trial, Bertram said he confronted Johnson in an effort to remove a 22-year-old family friend, Bridgett Jack-Lee, from her drug-addicted entanglement with Johnson and to get her into treatment. Bertram claimed he shot Johnson in self defense.
But Chelan County Prosecutor Doug Shae told the jury Bertram killed Johnson execution-style with three close-range shots to the head and neck from a stolen handgun, took heroin from his trailer, and covered his tracks as he fled.
The journey did not agree with the prosecutor’s assertion that the shooting was planned ahead, finding that Bertram intended to kill Johnson when he confronted him in his trailer, but acted without premeditation. Shae joined KOHO’s Isaac Kaplan-Woolner by phone to discuss the verdict.