Hot topics | Coronavirus pandemic

22-year-old accused of murder in Mingle Lounge murder is barred from bail, calling it an execution-style shooting

22-year-old accused of murder in Mingle Lounge murder is barred from bail, calling it an execution-style shooting

JaMarie Herring Sr. entered the melee in the VIP section of the Mingle Lounge just before closing early Aug. 22. A woman tossed drinks at someone twice and then fistfights broke out among several people before Ja Marie Herringer Snr arrived.

Rolando L. Mingledoff, 22, was punched in the head and knocked down onto a padded lounge bench. Herring, 25, walked up to MINGLEDOFF, and punked him in his head.

According to court video, Mingledoff, the bar's owner'' s son, popped back up to his feet and fired a 9mm handgun once, hitting Herring in the back. Herring ran out and collapsed outside, unconscious. The one 9mm bullet smashed through his lung and broke his heart.

Defendant shot and killed Mr. Herring because he was small, because of a very powerful man, and hey, if i were him, I'd kill him, Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Brad Kalbaugh told prosecutors at saturday's bail hearing.

Kalbaugh continued, There is no justification for what the defendant did. He made a terrible choice in merely ten seconds, and thats why were here, he added.

Mingledoff was denied bail after a five-hour hearing in which video clips of the chaotic bar fight were carefully examined. He rejected the defense lawyers' claim that Mingledoff acted in self-defense.

Herrings death was the 62nd in the city, which is on the verge of hitting its previous record of 70 killings in a year, set in 1987. Five other men were shot in a suspected drive-by shooting earlier that night, police said, and Herrings death prompted supper outside the bar later that evening, which triggered vigils for several others.

Court testimony revealed that only two of the 50 to 75 people who had been at the Mingle Lounge that night spoke to police after the shooting.

Several people, including Herring, were armed with guns that night and were in a position to pass through lax security without the firearms being detected, according to testimony and video played in court. Mingledoff, the accused gunman, was able to enter the lounge without paying the cover fee or going through security.

Just before 2 a.m., ten women threw ice cold drinks at dozens of men and women at another couple near the back VIP room, and then fistfights broke out. Between the first punch thrown by a Herring associate that night and the firing of the single, deadly gunshot, less than two minutes remained between the punch and firing.

Whitney Boise and Kendra Matthews, Mingledoffs attorneys, argued that MINGLEDOFF fired the shot to halt a threat and urged the judge to issue bail in the case.

Mingledoff, who was wearing black slacks, a gray button-down dress shirt, jail-issued pink socks, and orange flip-flops while sitting quietly by his lawyers at the defense table.

Herrings attorneys claim that Mingledoff shot Herrling after Herringer associates had assaulted their client s cousin and brother in the back VIP area. Mingledoff was watching the fights unfold and didnt get involved until Herring punched him, knocking him off his feet, and then turned to assault MINGLEDoffs cousin, Boise said.

Hes been hit. He jumps up. Herring is on the back of (his) cousin and he shoots him...to stop the threat, Boise told the court. Mr. Mingledoff had a complete right, complete defense to shoot Mr Herring, he added.

The judge wasnt convinced.

He claimed that the state had shown that shooting was excessive.

Ramras compared it to an execution-style shooting, noting that the muzzle of Mingledoffs 9mm handgun appeared to be three to four feet from Herring when he fired into his back.

It is true that he only shot once, the judge stated, but thats all it takes.

Herring no longer posed a threat to him when Mingledoff fired his gun at Herringer, Ramras said.

I do not believe that shooting someone in the back from close range was reasonable force, given only that punches had been thrown beforehand, and Ive not found any evidence that Mr. Herring had a weapon, the judge said.

Mingledoff was shooting out of anger, the judge said, rather than any self-defense effort, and it appears far more likely that he was angry.

He stands right up and shoots the victim after taking a sharp blow to the head, Ramras said.

Portland homicide detective Mike Jones testified that Mingledoff and others were seen on camera looking for the spent bullet casing on the bar floor after the scene cleared.

People fleeing from the bar ran away, and police arrived to assist. Mingledoff is seen exiting the bar shortly after a marked patrol car parked along the road.

Emergency medicals later found a loaded handgun on Herrings waistband. , Mike Jones, a Portland homicide detective, testified in the case.

Mingledoffs father and mother later told Portland detectives that they told their son to go home to his apartment and not talk to anyone until they found him a lawyer. Police said Mingledoffs parents cooperated with police and shared the bar's video surveillance footage with a detective at the scene, but they did not declare that their son was the shooter.

According to court testimony, Mingledoff turned himself in the next day, although investigators had not yet identified the alleged shooter.

Police obtained a warrant to search his apartment and recovered Sig Sauer 9mm ammunition consistent with 'a bullet' found on the sidewalk near where Herring had collapsed outside the Mingle Lounge, according to Jones. Police also found clothing Mingledoff was wearing at the time, a blue flannel shirt and blue L.A. Lakers hat.

Mingledoff has no prior criminal record, no previous arrests, and a concealed gun permit, according to Boise. Since graduating from Clackamas High School, he has worked at his father's other business, Steakadelphia restaurant in Southeast Portland.

Boise said he had gone to his fathers bar that night for a mellow evening with family, including his brother, his cousin, and his sister, for 'a peaceful evening'. Herring or any of his associates were not aware of Mingledoff.

They were thrust into this chaotic and dangerous situation where a number of armed men were physically assaulting family members, Boise said.

Maxine Bernstein, Max Bernheim,

Email mbernstein@oregonian.com; 503-221-8212; or 503-521-8112.

Follow on Twitter @maxoregonian

You may also like: