Attorney: Oregon man acted in self-defense during assault

BEND, Ore. — A man shot and killed a houseguest in self-defense after the defendant was sexually assaulted, a defense attorney told jurors during opening statements at the murder trial.

Attorney Walter Todd said Wednesday that his client Luke Wirkkala shot David Ryder in the neck with a shotgun, The Bend Bulletin reported.

“The defendant is going to testify in this case,” Todd told the jury. “He is going to tell you he was forcibly sodomized by David Ryder. Mr. Ryder had been sharing some issues with Luke Wirkkala. They were talking as friends do, and as drunken friends do, frankly.”

Ryder, 31, was married and had a 2-year-old son. He was a guest at Wirkkala’s home in Bend when he was shot about 2:30 a.m. on Feb. 4, 2013. The men and Wirkkala’s girlfriend had spent the previous day drinking and watching the Super Bowl.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Mary Anderson, in her opening statement, said Wirkkala “knew what he did” and asked the jury to hold him accountable.

After the opening statements, jurors listened to the 911 call placed by Wirkkala’s girlfriend, Rachel Rasmussen. The dispatcher asked Rasmussen the circumstances surrounding the shooting. Rasmussen said she didn’t know what happened and there were two children sleeping in the home.

She then ended the call abruptly, against the dispatcher’s instructions.

Jurors also listened to a recording of Officer Scot Eliott’s conversation with Wirkkala as he drove him to the police station for questioning.

“This is a pretty horrible situation,” Wirkkala said, according to the recording. “Whatever comes of this, I feel horrible.”

Eliott testified that Wirkkala appeared intoxicated but lucid.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.

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