Fiancee speaks after man allegedly kills neighbor over cat dispute

Crystal Mitchell and her fiancé James Taylor moved to a quiet patch of countryside in…

Crystal Mitchell and her fiancé James Taylor moved to a quiet patch of countryside in Umatilla seven months ago for a quieter life. Now, it is anything but. “It’s just insane,” said Crystal Mitchell. According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, their neighbor Cliff Bliss came to their house last Wednesday armed with a .22-caliber rifle because he was upset that their cat may have meandered into his yard. “He asks James, ‘Do we have a cat?’ He says, ‘Yeah, we have a cat,’” Mitchell said. She said James started walking around his yard to look for his cat and Bliss started following him. “James turns around and he puts his hand up, and he says, ‘Just get the hell out of my yard,’” she said. “That’s when shot him.”Crystal was at work at the time. She said her mother performed CPR, but James died. He and Crystal were set to get married next month. “He took my life. He took my world. He took my best friend,” she said. According to the sheriff’s office, Bliss was known as the “neighborhood hot head.”“If you’re new in this neighborhood, you’re gonna get bullied one way or another by him,” Mitchell said. “When I found out it was over a cat, then I asked myself, ‘Why? What?’”Now, Crystal is making a memorial for James. She said he loved being outside and with their animals. “James loved that cat and that cat loved him,” she said. “James wasn’t going to let anything happen to that cat.”With their cat by her side, Crystal said the memorial is not just for her, but the whole neighborhood. “He knew almost every neighbor down this road,” she said. “He touched a lot of people in the short time we were here.”Bliss is due in court at the end of next month.

Crystal Mitchell and her fiancé James Taylor moved to a quiet patch of countryside in Umatilla seven months ago for a quieter life. Now, it is anything but.

“It’s just insane,” said Crystal Mitchell.

According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, their neighbor Cliff Bliss came to their house last Wednesday armed with a .22-caliber rifle because he was upset that their cat may have meandered into his yard.

“He asks James, ‘Do we have a cat?’ He says, ‘Yeah, we have a cat,’” Mitchell said.

She said James started walking around his yard to look for his cat and Bliss started following him.

“James turns around and he puts his hand up, and he says, ‘Just get the hell out of my yard,’” she said. “That’s when [Bliss] shot him.”

Crystal was at work at the time. She said her mother performed CPR, but James died. He and Crystal were set to get married next month.

“He took my life. He took my world. He took my best friend,” she said.

According to the sheriff’s office, Bliss was known as the “neighborhood hot head.”

“If you’re new in this neighborhood, you’re gonna get bullied one way or another by him,” Mitchell said. “When I found out it was over a cat, then I asked myself, ‘Why? What?’”

Now, Crystal is making a memorial for James. She said he loved being outside and with their animals.

“James loved that cat and that cat loved him,” she said. “James wasn’t going to let anything happen to that cat.”

With their cat by her side, Crystal said the memorial is not just for her, but the whole neighborhood.

“He knew almost every neighbor down this road,” she said. “He touched a lot of people in the short time we were here.”

Bliss is due in court at the end of next month.