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Prosecutor: Suspect, victim involved in 'love triangle'; woman shot 'execution-style'

Benton County Sheriff’s deputies arrested William Hargrove, 27, on a murder charge after a woman's body was found in the woods outside Alsea, Oregon. (Benton County Jail mugshot; SBG photo)

CORVALLIS, Ore. - The woman found dead in the woods outside Alsea was shot in the back of the head "execution-style" in the back of the head by a man involved with her in what a deputy district attorney called a "problematic love triangle," prosecutors told the court Thursday.

Benton County Sheriff’s deputies arrested William Hargrove, 27, overnight Wednesday on a murder charge.

"The defendant was living with two different women in two different households," prosecutor Amie Matusko told the court Thursday at Hargrove's arraignment.

One of the women gave Hargrove an ultimatum, Matusko said.

"Her or me, and the defendant decided," the prosecutor said. "He took the victim out to a very remote logging location and she was found shot dead in the back of her head execution-style."

The woman's identity has not yet been made public, pending notification of her family.

The prosecutor mentioned the manner of the woman's death and the possible motive during Hargrove's arraignment on a charge of murder Thursday afternoon.

Hargrove appeared by video conference from the jail.

He has been appointed a public defender to represent him in the case.

The woman - so far described only as in her 20s - was found dead by security personnel on private timber land outside Alsea on Monday.

The sheriff said the area is often used by the public for shooting firearms.

"It's a well-known shooting area," Sheriff Scott Jackson said. "People go up there and shoot bottles and cans."

"The circumstances surrounding the positioning of the body indicated a violent or unexpected death," Undersheriff Greg Ridler said earlier this week.

Alsea is a small town in the foothills of the Coast Range of Oregon.

Hargrove is originally from Alabama. He has no known criminal history.

Michelle Hazelton, a former co-worker, said she worked security at a bar with Hargrove.

"Shock, like I would never have imagined I would've saw that until this morning," she said. "And I really just hope that it there was some other situation that happened, that it was a mistake."

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