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ODMP Remembers...

Trooper Bret Robert Clodfelter | Oregon State Police, Oregon Oregon State Police, Oregon

Trooper

Bret Robert Clodfelter

Oregon State Police, Oregon

End of Watch: Wednesday, September 30, 1992

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 34

Tour: 8 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Sentenced to life in prison

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Trooper Bret Clodfelter was shot and killed while he was transporting a suspected drunk driver to jail. Trooper Clodfelter had conducted a traffic stop of a suspected drunk driver. He had handcuffed the driver and placed him in the back seat of his patrol car. Trooper Clodfelter offered to drive two passengers of the vehicle to their residence located nearby.

Dispatchers were unable to raise Trooper Clodfelter on the radio after he advised them of the arrest and transport. Back up officers were sent to check on him. His patrol car was located four blocks away from the original traffic stop. All three suspects were missing and Trooper Clodfelter was found in the driver’s seat. He had been shot four times in the head. A massive manhunt ensued to capture the three suspects.

On October 2, tips led the police to the shooter who was found hiding in a barn near the crime scene. The suspect had a history of assault and drug arrests. The suspect was convicted of murder and given life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Trooper Clodfelter had served with the Oregon State Police for 8 years. He was survived by his wife, son, and daughter. Trooper Clodfelter’s wife, who was a sheriff's deputy, took her own life one year after his murder.

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I worked with Bret as a young prosecutor and always enjoyed his smile and attitude, particularly if he was the one designated to hand deliver (yes, the old days) the weekend incident reports to my office where, of course, we told stories, lawyer jokes, laughed and drank bad coffee - as well as doing a little actual work, too - sorry, Bernie. He was a great man and Trooper and I will never forget him. I still to this day have his business card in my trinket box, as well as a gift he gave me when I moved on to another DA's office. I will never forget the tearful call that I got from S. Trooper F.H. telling me of his death, such a tragedy from all perspectives. To Bret's children, please know that your dad left an impression wherever he went and nearly a quarter century later, none of us have forgotten him - and never will.

Charles E. Belknap
Deputy Dist Atty/Dist. Atty (former)
June 3, 2016

 

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