SALEM, Ore. — 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 Statesman Journal newspaper reports (http://is.gd/kQ9jS9 ) the Salem jury deliberated for about two hours Friday before acquitting Eugene Collier.
The 68-year-old 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 20-year-old Christopher Ochoa, of French Camp, Calif., in October 2011 near Silver Falls State Park.
Collier was hunting with his 12-year-old grandson and says he thought he was shooting a bear
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.
Information from: Statesman Journal, http://www.statesmanjournal.com