facebook
twitter
search
search

Oregon bear hunter acquitted in killing

Feb. 24, 2013 at 12:17 AM

SALEM, Ore., Feb. 23 (UPI) -- A jury has acquitted an Oregon bear hunter of manslaughter in the shooting death of another man.

A jury deliberated about 2 hours Friday before clearing Eugene Collier, 68, of Turner of second-degree manslaughter in the Oct. 21, 2011, shooting death of Christopher Ochoa, the Salem Statesman Journal reported.

Collier's defense was that he thought he was shooting a bear when he fatally wounded the 20-year-old Ochoa, who he said appeared as a dark figure "on all fours" on the edge of his family's property.

Ochoa was a Marine reservist from California who was in Oregon to help a friend, Raymond Westrom. The pair had gone to see the South Falls at Silver Falls State Park the night Ochoa was shot.

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

"I look and there's something on its hands and knees. It looks like a bear. I adjust to the target, then shoot it. I'm still certain it's a bear."

Collier said it wasn't until he got closer that he realized he had shot someone.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Ted Cruz campaign pulls ad featuring softcore porn actress
Report: Clinton Foundation subpoenaed by State Dept. watchdog over charity projects
Ruby Rose, Gigi Hadid react to Kanye West's lyric about Taylor Swift
Kristen Wiig impersonates Peyton Manning on 'The Tonight Show'
NYC police officer found guilty of manslaughter in Brooklyn stairway shooting