Convict Sues Former Hostage Over Ice Cream Truck Cost


Portland, OR—A convicted killer is suing a man he once took hostage – and he’s winning.

The latest twist in a case which has garnered headlines from the beginning involves Tremayne Durham, a New York man who decided to open an ice-cream business and who custom ordered a musical ice cream truck. After paying $18,000 for the truck, Durham apparently changed his mind and requested that he be allowed to return the truck and receive a refund, but the owner of the company refused. Durham took matters into his own hands, traveling to Oregon with a gun in June 2006 in order to get revenge. He shot a former employee of the ice-cream truck company, Adam Duane Calbreath, 39, in the head, using a pillow as a silencer. During the incident, he also held hostage Rob Chambers, the company’s owner, while holding a gun to Chambers’s stomach.

“’Look at what you made me do,’” Chambers recalls Durham telling him. “’I’ve been robbing and killing people to get to you.’”

Durham made a plea deal with prosecutors, who wanted the victims’ families to avoid a protracted and emotional trial. As part of that deal, he received a meal of fried chicken from both KFC and Popeye’s, as well as Haagen-Dazs ice cream. He also brokered a post-sentencing meal of pizza, lasagna, calzones and more ice cream. In exchange, Durham received a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of release after 30 years, and agreed not to appeal. Had he been convicted and given either the death penalty or life in prison, according to legal experts, Durham’s appeals could have lasted decades and cost the state over $1 million.

Yet Durham hasn’t given up on the idea of getting his refund for the ice-cream truck. He’s suing Chambers for the $18,000 value of the truck, as well as for the travel expenses he incurred when he traveled to Oregon with murderous intent. Chambers, who is at risk for losing his business and being evicted, can’t afford a lawyer; he initially ignored communications from the court, after which an arbitrator ruled against him. A new hearing is scheduled in the matter, however, and Chambers plans to attend, representing himself.

“I’m not going to be the victim in this anymore,” Chambers said.

Durham, who was a convicted rapist before the murder and hostage incident took place, is incarcerated in an Oregon prison.


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