Black man sentenced to 16 years after conviction for manslaughter in death of Portland BLM-Antifa rioter

Aaron David Christopher pleaded guilty to one count of Manslaughter in the First Degree and one count of Abuse of a Corpse in the First Degree.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
Aaron David Christopher, 43, has been convicted of killing BLM/Antifa rioter Joseph Robert Sipe, 24, in Portland, Oregon. Sipe's body was found stabbed and burned at a homeless encampment in 2021.

On Monday, Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Marshall sentenced Christopher to 16 years in prison.

On Nov. 20, Christopher pleaded guilty to one count of Manslaughter in the First Degree and one count of Abuse of a Corpse in the First Degree, according to the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office.

Court documents show that Joseph Robert Sipe died of blunt force trauma at a homeless encampment on May 25, 2021, in Portland, Oregon. Sipe's body had been set on fire and was discovered "badly charred" in a fire pit by a woman who was residing in the encampment, according to the Oregonian.

Investigators found multiple puncture wounds on Sipe's body, and officers located a bloodied knife and camping fuel at the scene, police records show.

The woman claimed to have seen Aaron David Christopher standing over the fire pit. Christopher was also homeless. She identified him to police which led to his arrest.

During the apprehension, officers located several knives on Christopher in addition to a lighter and a small can of WD-40, according to KOIN 6.

The murder occurred at a homeless encampment near Northeast 78th Avenue and Northeast Schuyler Street.

In addition to the killing of Sipe, Aaron David Christopher is a registered sex offender and has been charged with a felony. In 2010, he was convicted of private indecent exposure, and in 1996 he received a felony conviction in the state of Washington, according to court records.

The victim, Joseph Robert Sipe, was arrested during a violent BLM/Antifa riot in Portland in 2020. Sipe was charged with attempted murder, possessing a destructive device, and arson. District Attorney Mike Schmidt's Office dropped the attempted murder charge later on. At the time Sipe was killed, his charges included riot, a felony charge, and possessing a destructive device.

Sipe had been accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail at Portland police officers.

According to court documents, Sipe admitted to lighting the wick of a Molotov cocktail and then launching the device behind a line of uniformed police officers as they moved along Southwest Main Street.

The Portland riot was organized in response to a grand jury decision to pursue a lesser charge connected to the police-involved death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky.

Aaron David Christopher is in custody at the Multnomah County Detention Center and will be transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections to serve his sentence, the DA's Office said.

Deputy District Attorneys Kristen Kyle-Castelli and Aileen Santoyo represented the state of Oregon in this case.
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