Kyron Horman's stepmom hires prominent Portland defense attorney

By Michael Russell and Kate Mather | The Oregonian | June 30, 2010

Source: The Oregonian

Terri Moulton Horman has retained prominent Portland criminal defense attorney Stephen Houze as investigators continue to focus on her in the nearly monthlong disappearance of her stepson, Kyron Horman.

Horman, who has been in seclusion at her Northwest Portland home since her husband, Kaine Horman, moved out with the couple's 19-month-old daughter, slipped past the crowd of television and print reporters at the foot of the driveway Wednesday. She returned home around 5:30 p.m. in a silver Volvo sedan with Houze, who got out to open a gate across the gravel road which had been closed for the first time.

Houze declined to answer questions, saying only that the drive was "private property." Houze left about an hour later.

Houze later Wednesday night did confirm to The Oregonian that he was representing Kyron's stepmom, but said he could not comment further.

Kaine Horman, who is living in an undisclosed location, has not responded to attempts by The Oregonian to reach him. Michael Cook, a friend from high school who earlier this month helped organize a vigil for 7-year-old Kyron, said he has spoken with him, but he declined to say how Horman was doing.

"It's sad," he said about the latest development in the case. "It's very sad. I'm just a friend. I hope Kyron comes home."

Cook, who has been at the Horman house Tuesday and Wednesday, urged the public not to prejudge anyone. "I'm not jumping to any conclusions or passing any sort of judgment," he said. "I don't know what happened to Kyron and I won't presume that someone is responsible because of how things might appear."

About 4 p.m. Wednesday, Cook drove up in a blue pickup truck laden with supplies for Terri Horman and her family and friends.

He parked among the 10 or so news vehicles hugging the shoulder on Sheltered Nook Road, dropped off a cooler filled with beverages -- an olive branch to the cameramen and reporters -- then drove up to the home and dropped off 12-packs of Coca-Cola and 7-Up, bottles of Arrowhead water, Hefty kitchen garbage bags, Quaker Chewy granola bars and catfood.

He declined to talk about the mood inside the home, saying he feared his words would be twisted.

Terri Horman was served with the restraining order and divorce papers about 6 p.m. Monday.

Kaine Horman's petition for a restraining order, which must offer an explanation of why he feared his wife was a threat to himself and their daughter, was sealed by Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Keith Meisenheimer. It was sought after Kyron's dad, as well as his mom and stepdad, had been "fully briefed by law enforcement on the on-going criminal investigation."

There were two 9-1-1 calls on Saturday from the Horman residence off Northwest Sheltered Nook Road.

The Bureau of Emergency Communications said the first call came in at 5:17 p.m. as a "threat" call. A sheriff's deputy responded. The second call was made at 11:39 p.m., regarding a "custody" issue, said Jacquie Carlson, dispatch spokeswoman.

The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, citing the ongoing investigation, has declined to allow the release of the 9-1-1 audiotapes.

A group of local news organizations, including The Oregonian, has requested that the petition for the restraining order be made public.

The restraining order says the stepmom can have no parenting time with her 19-month-old and restricts her from possessing firearms.

Kyron was last seen at Skyline School on June 4.