Truck Driver Gets Decades in Prison for Interstate Shootings, Motive Remains a Mystery
Jackson County, OR – A former UPS truck driver who pleaded guilty last month to a slew of charges in connection to a string of shootings last year on Interstate 5 was sentenced today.
On Tuesday, in Jackson County District Court, 49-year-old Kenneth Ayers, of Roseburg, received a 20 year prison sentence.
Last month, Ayers entered guilty pleas on 15 counts including: three counts of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, five counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon, two counts of Criminal Mischief in the First Degree, three counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person, and two counts of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree.
A grand jury indicted Ayers on a total of 34 criminal counts in December of last year.
The charges stem from a more than three-month long investigation by Oregon State Police (OSP) into a series of shootings along I-5 beginning in May 2020.
OSP said its investigation into the incidents spanned three counties – Jackson, Josephine and Douglass – and culminated on August 20 with the arrest of Ayers.
He was arrested specifically in connection with an August 19 shooting on I-5 in which a female was shot while driving near milepost 37.
After apprehending Ayers, authorities also determined he was the shooter in a half dozen additional incidents in which multiple vehicles were struck including at least one big rig.
Despite entering the guilty pleas and the extensive investigation, Ayers nor authorities have publicly stated the motive for the shootings.
That did not change today.
“Ayers declined to make a statement regarding the case or his motive for the shootings,” read a statement from the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office. “During today’s sentencing a number of victims addressed the court and expressed how traumatic this event was and the impact it had on their lives.”
The terms of his post-prison supervision are yet to be be determined, but the majority of the charges carry supervision terms of one to three years.
Further, a hearing on restitution for the victims will also be held at a later date.