Shot man mistaken for a bear

2013-02-24 18:50

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Salem - 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 on Friday before acquitting Eugene Collier, The Statesman Journal newspaper reported.

Collier, 68, was the last witness to take the stand. He told jurors he was shooting to kill when he fired the .270-calibre bullet that caused the death of Christopher Ochoa, 20, of French Camp, California, 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 on Friday he was about 90m from his target when he realised 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,

Good kill shot

"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.

- AP

Read more on:    us
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
21 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

'Zuma's legacy will be judged by Nkandla'

The legacy of President Jacob Zuma is contingent on how he deals with the issue of upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, says Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Bold Design The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone combines the iconic BlackBerry...

From R2979.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.