Trail sabotage suspect in court today

MEDFORD — A psychiatrist is expected to plead guilty to charges alleging he tried to hurt mountain bikers by setting booby traps on national forest trails shared by bikers and hikers outside Ashland.

The Jackson County District Attorney's Office says Jackson Dempsey is due in court in Medford this morning to change his not guilty pleas.

Deputy District Attorney Alisa Ray says Dempsey has reached a plea agreement, but the charges and recommended sentence will not be disclosed until the hearing.

Dempsey was a psychiatrist for Jackson County when he was arrested last July. He has since resigned.

He was charged with assault and three counts of reckless endangerment. Authorities say he strung nylon cords across trails and threw nails and small trees in the path. The U.S. Forest Service officer who made the arrest said Dempsey told him he "did not like downhill mountain bikers."

According to a Forest Service report, three mountain bikers sustained minor injuries after hitting either cords or vegetation that Dempsey admitted to placing across the trail.

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