Trial starts for hunter who mistook man for bear

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by Associated Press

kgw.com

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 7:33 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 20 at 12:36 PM

SALEM -- A trial began Tuesday in Salem on the manslaughter charge against a hunter who killed a man mistaken for a bear near Silver Falls State Park.

In opening statements, the deputy district attorney said Christopher Ochoa was crossing a field with a friend, taking what they thought was a short cut to the park in October 2011 when he was shot.

The defense lawyer for 68-year-old Eugene Irvin Collier said he was hunting with his 12-year-old grandson and believed he saw a bear.

Ochoa was a 20-year-old Marine reservist from French Camp, Calif. The Statesman Journal reports he was visiting a friend. The two men were trespassing on land owned by the Collier family.

Jurors will decide whether the shooting was reckless.

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