Man accused in shooting charged with trying to hire a killer

A Jackson County jail inmate is accused of hatching a plot to murder a witness involved in his upcoming trial for a July 30 shooting at Muchas Gracias on West Main Street in Medford.

Raymond Ranal Williams, 25, was charged with solicitation to commit murder after police learned he asked another inmate to kill a witness.

The investigation showed that Williams made the request to the inmate and then took active steps to ensure the witness was murdered, Medford police said in a news release.

Williams and Julius Anthony Branner, 21, of Central Point, were arrested on charges of attempted murder, attempted first-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon linked to the shooting outside the restaurant in July.

Investigators linked the two to an argument that erupted in gunfire at about 3 a.m. on July 30 outside the Muchas Gracias restaurant at 2305 W. Main St., Medford.

An argument had broken out among people in the lot thought to be customers of the restaurant, police said. A man got a gun out of the trunk of a white sedan and fired at least three shots, Medford police said after the incident. The shots hit the restaurant, but caused minimal damage and injured no one.

— Chris Conrad

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