Tillamook County Deputy District Attorney Lawrence Lee Carter committed suicide early the morning of Friday, Dec. 6, at his home in this small north Tillamook County city, according to Tillamook County District Attorney Bill Porter.
Carter, 53, who was known as Lee Carter to friends and colleagues, began working for the Tillamook County District Attorney’s Office in January 2012. His caseload largely consisted of domestic violence and sex offenses, said Porter.
The cause of Carter’s death was a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, according to Dr. Paul Betlinski, Tillamook County medical examiner.
Carter earned his law degree from the University of California Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. He was a deputy district attorney in Curry County in the mid-1990s before starting a private practice in Oregon City.
Shortly thereafter, he worked for Metropolitan Public Defenders, one of two large public defender organizations in Portland.
In 2002, Carter was elected Grant County District Attorney as a write-in candidate. He beat the only formally announced candidate with 1,716 votes to that candidate’s 1,457 votes. He was backed by a coalition representing local law enforcement personnel, said Porter.
Carter resigned from his position as Grant County District Attorney in December of 2005.
“He joined the Public Defender’s Consortium in St. Helens before coming here as a [Deputy District Attorney II] in January 2012,” said Porter.