Stemle, 56, who is charged with the Dec. 23 fatal shooting of 41-year-old Michael Egan in front of Meier & Frank, is being held without bail. His next court appearance is set for Jan. 4.
According to witnesses, Stemle had just stepped off a TriMet bus when Egan accosted him. Stemle then took a concealed gun from his coat and shot Egan three times in front of startled commuters, Christmas shoppers and Portland Tribune police reporter Jennifer Anderson.
In November 2001, Stemle had filed a civil stalking petition asserting that he was in danger because another resident of his downtown hotel had threatened him. The petition was dismissed by the court.
Four months later, Stemle was ordered to leave the hotel--which houses very low-income elderly and/or disabled persons--for what his landlady described to The Oregonian as "paranoid and violent behavior that finally culminated in a minor assault on another resident."
Court records show that Stemle also has a 2003 citation from TriMet security for "prohibited conduct." TriMet officials were unable to provide WW additional details concerning the citation prior to press time.
Stemle's victim also had problems. According to news reports, downtown mental-health workers recently had attempted to have Egan committed because of complaints of him hitting people without provocation, exactly the sort of behavior that witnesses say preceded his shooting by Stemle.