Details emerge about Larson murder, suspect's past

Details emerge about Larson murder, suspect's past »Play Video
Michael Kirkland appears in court Friday.

PORTLAND, Ore. – A 37-year-old Southwest Portland man was charged Friday with three counts of aggravated murder of a 33-year-old woman who was found dead in her Southwest Portland apartment Christmas Day.

Michael James Kirkland was stoic as he faced a Multnomah County judge for the first time during his arraignment for the murder of Jaime Lyn Larson.

The three aggravated murder counts relate to three different aggravating factors: rape, sodomy and burglary, according to prosecutors.

Portland police said some of the forensic evidence they had gathered in the case eventually led them to Kirkland. He was arrested Thursday at his home on Southwest Clay Street.

The murder allegedly occurred after Larson invited him back to her apartment sometime prior to Christmas. The two were casual acquaintances, sources say.

Her body was discovered Christmas night and sources said Kirkland killed Larson before the holiday.

After Kirkland's arraignment, Larson's loved ones hugged each other tightly.

New details emerged Friday about the alleged killer's past.

In 2003, police found Kirkland atop a construction crane 160 feet in the air at 10th and Couch, according to Portland police records. He was despondent and refused to come down.

According to sources, he was upset because his girlfriend had rolled over in her sleep, accidentally killing their 4-month-old child.

He eventually came down from off the crane and sought help from a doctor. No charges were filed.

His only criminal history includes a 2004 assault conviction. It was dismissed.

Kirkland’s neighbors told KATU News Friday he was pretty reserved.

Larson's family said that everyone's support has been heartfelt and greatly appreciated. The family issued a statement, thanking the Portland police and the U.S. Marshals Service.

"All involved did a fantastic job and our heartfelt thanks goes out to all of them," the statement said. "Thank you for the continuing support."