Breeze-Courier | Taylorville, IL
weather sponsored by
Breeze-Courier




Advanced Search
search sponsored by


LOGIN | SUBSCRIBE




KMRM

home : news : national news free February 6, 2016

   
2/23/2013 2:42:00 PM
Hunter acquitted of killing man mistaken for bear

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon hunter has been found not guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of a Marine reservist from California he says he mistook for a bear.

The Salem jury deliberated for about two hours Friday before acquitting Eugene Collier, The Statesman Journal newspaper reported (http://is.gd/kQ9jS9 ).

Collier, 68, was the last witness to take the stand. He told jurors he was shooting to kill when he fired the .270-caliber bullet that caused the death of Christopher Ochoa, 20, of French Camp, Calif., in October 2011 near Silver Falls State Park.

Collier was hunting with his 12-year-old grandson and said he was sure he was shooting a bear

“I made a terrible mistake. It was a tragic accident, I didn’t mean for it to happen,” Collier said. “I’m terribly sorry.”

He and his wife met with members of Ochoa’s family privately after the trial ended. Neither family spoke with the media after the verdict.

Collier testified Friday he was about 100 yards from his target when he realized he had shot a human.

“I froze,” he recalled. “I thought the only person up there was my grandson. Then I realized he wasn’t dressed like that.”

His grandson heard the shot from his hunting stand and came running,

“Danny came, I said, ‘I shot somebody. We got to go get help,”’ Collier said.

Prosecutor Tiffany Underwood asked Collier why he had taken Vicodin pain killer before his blood was tested by Marion County sheriff’s officials responding to the scene. Collier said he told a deputy about the prescription for a recent knee surgery and thought it would be OK to take when his knee started aching.

Underwood also asked Collier about his 60 years of hunting experience.

“How often do you hit your target?” she asked.

“I will usually make sure I’ve got a good kill shot,” he replied.

During her closing argument, Underwood suggested that Collier was aware of a risk and disregarded it.

“A reasonable person would look at something for longer than two or three seconds before firing at it,” she said. “If defendant had looked at Christopher Ochoa for longer than two or three seconds, we might not be here.”

But Collier’s attorney, Jeff Jones, told jurors the evidence pointed to a tragic accident.

“Sometimes bad things happen to good people when accidents happen,” he said.

———

Information from: Statesman Journal, http://www.statesmanjournal.com


Anderson Jewelers




Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

If you are looking for the SPEAK OUT submission form, you can find it by clicking here: Speak Out Form


Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

NOTE: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address will not be displayed or shared.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   












Trinity Dodge Fixed

Larry's Service Center
NewsWebPagesOpinionPeopleObituariesAg & BusinessSportsContact Us
Subscriptions | Username & Password Reminder | Change Password | Life

Breeze-Courier & Printing | 212 S Main St. Taylorville, IL 62568 | (217) 824-2233 |
website@breezecourier.com

© Copyright 2014 Breeze-Courier & Printing. All Rights Reserved.
Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Breeze-Courier & Printing.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved