Terri Horman retains prominent attorney

Terri Horman retains prominent attorney »Play Video
Stephen Houze. KATU file photo.

PORTLAND, Ore. - Terri Moulton Horman, the stepmother of missing 7-year-old Kyron Horman, has retained prominent criminal defense attorney Stephen Houze, a source confirmed Wednesday.

Terri’s retention of Houze comes after her husband, Kaine, filed for divorce and obtained a restraining order against her on Monday. On Saturday he moved out of the family’s house and took the couple’s 18-month-old daughter with him.

Houze has represented high-profile clients like Dr. Jayant Patel and at least three Portland Trail Blazers.

He represented Patel in the United States before he withdrew from the case.

Patel was found guilty in Australia Tuesday of killing three of his patients and seriously harming another. He was sentenced to seven years in prison on Wednesday.

Houze also represented Deniz Aydiner, a man who received a life sentence for murdering University of Portland student Kate Johnson in 2001. Aydiner avoided the death penalty through a plea deal.

He also represented former Trail Blazer Zach Randolph.

In 2006, a woman sued Randolph accusing him of sexually assaulting her in August of that year.

In that case Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schrunk said that he would not prosecute Randolph on criminal charges. Police never named Randolph as a suspect.

Another client was former Blazer Damon Stoudamire. Stoudamire was arrested for possession of marijuana in 2003. Eventually Stoudamire struck a deal with prosecutors and had his case dismissed. The agreement included submitting to drug-free urine tests for six months.

Additionally, former Blazer Qyntel Woods hired Houze to represent him after he was charged with illegal dog fighting.

Woods pleaded guilty to first-degree animal abuse. He was sentenced to 12 months probation, community service, and made a $10,000 donation to the Humane Society.

Houze, however, turned around and sued Woods, claiming he refused to pay him.

John Henry Hingson III, also a defense attorney, said Terri should have had an attorney sooner.

“She needed an attorney a few weeks ago and proceeding as far as she has without an attorney is the height of foolhardiness, arrogance or ignorance,” he said.

Hingson applauded the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office for taking its time with this investigation. He said if it is a crime the evidence has to be not just solid but absolutely point to one person.

“When you get an indictment as a prosecutor, you better be ready to go to trial tomorrow to convict beyond a reasonable doubt, and rushing the gun on a case like this because of the lights, the publicity and the clamor of the people, is wrong,” he said.

While the sheriff’s office has not named Terri as a person of interest in Kyron’s disappearance, Hingson said that’s “because they want to sucker the person along so they can get them in a trap.”

He said to read between the lines.

“We know that she’s taken two polygraph tests,” he said.

On the same day Kaine moved out of the family's home, two 9-1-1 calls were made from the home, according to the Bureau of Emergency Communications.

A log of the calls revealed the first report came in at 5:18 p.m. and lasted 13 minutes. Dispatchers said it came as a report of threats being made in the family’s home on Sheltered Nook Road in Northwest Multnomah County.

The second 9-1-1 call was made from the home at 11:39 p.m. and was recorded by dispatchers as a child custody issue.

The Bureau of Emergency Communications wouldn’t confirm who made the calls.

The restraining order against Terri bars her from being near the couple’s daughter and prohibits her from owning firearms.

Judge Keith Meisenheimer sealed the restraining order because he said if it was made public it could put the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Kyron in jeopardy.

KATU News has joined with other local media organizations in filing a “motion to intervene” to get the order unsealed.

Former FBI profiler and ABC News consultant, Brad Garrett, said there must be some pattern of abuse in this situation or something Kyron’s father knows that the public doesn’t and the police believe has happened.

“What’s interesting is that we don’t know of any history with Terri as far as abusiveness to any of her children,” he said. “So there’s something under the surface here that we don’t know about and obviously it reached a point, possibly last week, that the husband move(d) forward.”

The developments have left Terri increasingly isolated but her parents are with her at her home and there are also friends who’ve stuck by her.

She has yet to say anything publicly about reports that she’s taken two polygraph tests, been interviewed extensively by police, and has also not spoken about the fliers bearing her picture handed out by investigators.

“It’s almost like a psychological noose that they’re pulling around because as you separate from her and she has no one to cling to … the feelings maybe are, ‘if we can push her just a little bit further she’ll actually tell us the truth,’ because I think they feel like they’re close,” said Garrett.

She’s a woman who proudly shares on her Facebook page photos of herself from bodybuilding competitions, describes herself as “energetic, honest (and) loving.” She answered a question on a Facebook quiz that if she were an animal in the wild, she would be a cougar.

Kyron disappeared June 4 after attending a science fair at Skyline School.

Police have not named any suspects in this case and have not charged anyone with a crime.