Court docs: Murdered mom had strained relationship with ex-boyfriend

Court docs: Murdered mom had strained relationship with ex-boyfriend »Play Video
Eric Christopher Petersen is a person of interest in the death of 24-year-old Aimie Zdrantan.

Court documents show the young Hillsboro mother and the man who’s been arrested in connection with her murder had a strained relationship.

Police discovered Aimie Zdrantan, 24, dead inside her home at the Minter Bridge Square apartments last Friday. They had responded there just before noon on the report of a stabbing. 

Over the weekend, Zdrantan’s ex-boyfriend, Eric Petersen, 24, was arrested in Clark County Washington. Police arrested Petersen on a probation violation out of Washington County and have named him a person of interest in Zdrantan’s murder. 

Petersen appeared in a Clark County courtroom Tuesday afternoon. He is fighting extradition to Oregon; it’s unclear when he’ll be transported back to Oregon.

KATU News also obtained a series of court documents that show Petersen was arrested for threatening Zdrantan with a weapon on March 5, 2013. The next day Zdrantan filed a restraining order against Petersen, which a judge granted. She wrote that he grabbed her arm, twisted it, and took her to the ground.

Petersen violated the restraining order in May 2013 by sending Zdrantan text messages. And in June 2013, he was convicted on the weapon charge. He was eventually sentenced to probation, including anger management and drug classes. 

By August 2013, Zdrantan asked a judge to dismiss the restraining order against Petersen. She wrote “I feel like he’s trying to change … I want him to be able to come to our daughter’s 2nd birthday party.”

A judge denied Zdrantan’s request but did modify the contact Petersen could have with her. 

After that, until the end of 2013, documents show Petersen repeatedly failed to report to his probation officer. He failed to get a job, and he quit taking the classes he was ordered to take. 

On Jan. 31, 2014, a judge issued a warrant for his arrest for violating his probation agreement.  He wasn’t actually arrested until Aug. 7, 2014.

On Aug. 19, 2014, a judge assigned him to the Washington County Community Corrections program.  He was transferred from the jail to live in the community corrections facility across the street the next day.

That program required Petersen to look for and get a job, but to report back to and sleep at the community corrections facility.  People in the program are responsible for their own transportation.  They either use TriMet or are allowed to keep a car at the facility. 

On Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, Petersen got permission to leave the facility.  He was to be back by noon. He called his supervisor just before noon and said he’d gone to Clackamas Town Center without permission. She ordered him to return to the facility. He never did. At 3 p.m., Petersen’s supervisor declared that he left without authority and never returned. 

The next day, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, a judge issued a new arrest warrant for Petersen. He had violated his probation again by failing to report back to the community corrections facility. 

That’s also the same day police found Petersen’s ex-girlfriend, Zdrantan, dead inside her Hillsboro apartment.

“It’s very hard to make sense of. I've been doing this work for 20 years and it's still heart-wrenching, said Keri Moran-Kuhn, Director of Programs for the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Assault.

Numbers compiled by the coalition place Zdrantan as the 21st person killed in an act of domestic violence in Oregon this year.  Cassandra Wagner, who police said was shot-to-death at her home by her boyfriend the day after Zdrantan’s murder, is the 22nd person killed by domestic violence.
The coalition tracked 18 women killed by acts of domestic violence in 2013. That’s down from 27 in 2012.

Moran-Kuhn said people should take notice at those numbers because they’re high; even one person killed by domestic violence in a year is too many.

“I think people have a reason to pay attention to domestic violence in their communities, and that it happens across the state,” she said.

The coalition recently started working to gather domestic violence numbers from every police agency in Oregon. Moran-Kuhn said no agency in the state had been tracking true domestic violence cases statewide in the same way until the coalition recently started doing it. The Multnomah County Domestic Violence Coordination Office also collects data. The Coalition's goal is to raise awareness.

"Our community-based programs are really an integral part of that safety net for one that the criminal justice and the legal systems have in place don't work or aren't the right fit for a survivor,” Moran-Kuhn said.